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Win 7 and Vista Reject Deployed Printers

posted Nov 25, 2011, 9:21 AM by Jeremy Walker   [ updated Aug 14, 2012, 3:40 PM by Jeremy Walker ]
By default, Windows 7 and Vista reject printer drivers from unauthorized hosts. In other words, when Windows 7 and Vista are instructed by Group Policy Preferences to connect to shared printers it will attempt to locate the appropriate drivers. Here's the order I think Windows goes through:
  1. The local list of installed printer drivers.
  2. The list of drivers that comes with Windows.
  3. Windows Update, if it's enabled by Group Policy(?)
  4. The list of installed printer drivers on the computer hosting the printer.
If Windows reaches step 4 then by default, Windows will reject the connection and post an event in the System log.

To fix this, just enable the "Point and Print Restrictions" setting in Group Policy. In Windows 7 and Vista the setting is applicable to the User Configuration and the Computer Configuration. It is located at:
User\Administrative Templates\Control Panel\Printers
Computer\Administrative Templates\Printers
I think the order in which this setting is applied matters; i.e. this setting should be set first before GP Preferences attempts to download the drivers for a shared printer.

I'm not sure this applies to unsigned drivers. That's beyond the scope of this article.