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Cannot Set Up a Default Network Printer for All Windows XP Users

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This article was previously published under Q307016
SYMPTOMS
When you deploy Windows XP Professional in a domain or workgroup, you may not be able to specify a default network printer. Instead, each user may have to log on and install the printer separately.
CAUSE
This issue may occur if the registry does not include some required registry keys. In Windows XP, the information about the network printer is stored in the
HKEY_CURRENT_USER
registry hive instead of in the
HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE
registry hive. The
HKEY_CURRENT_USER
registry hive stores settings that are specific to the currently-logged-on user, and the
HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE
registry hive stores settings that are related to the whole computer.
WORKAROUND
Important This section, method, or task contains steps that tell you how to modify the registry. However, serious problems might occur if you modify the registry incorrectly. Therefore, make sure that you follow these steps carefully. For added protection, back up the registry before you modify it. Then, you can restore the registry if a problem occurs. For more information about how to back up and restore the registry, click the following article number to view the article in the Microsoft Knowledge Base:
322756 How to back up and restore the registry in Windows
To work around this issue and to add a printer for all users, import the registry keys that relate to the printer into the default user profile:
  1. Create a new user who is named Test:
    1. Log on to the client computer as Administrator.
    2. Click Start, right-click My Computer, and then click Manage.
    3. Under System Tools, expand Local Users and Groups, right-click Users, and then click New User.
    4. Create a new user who is named Test.
  2. Quit the Computer Management snap-in, and then display hidden files and folders:
    1. Click Start, click Control Panel, and then double-click Folder Options.
    2. Click the View tab, click Show hidden files and folders, click to clear the Hide extensions for known file types check box, click Apply, and then click OK.
  3. Log off the computer, and then log on as the Test user account that you created in step 1.
  4. Click Start, click Printers and Faxes, and then click Add a printer. Follow the instructions on the screen to add a network printer.

    Note You may have to be authenticated before you can connect to the network printer:
    1. Click Start, click Run, type cmd in the Open box, and then click OK.
    2. Type net use lpt1: \\servername\share /user:administrator, and then press ENTER, where servername is the name of the server with the shared network printer, share is the share name of the network printer, and administrator is the name of a user account with administrative credentials on the server.
    3. Type the administrative password when you are prompted to do so, and then press ENTER.
    4. Restart the Add Printer Wizard.
  5. After you add the network printer, log off the computer, and then log on as Administrator.
  6. Load the Test registry hive:
    1. Click Start, click Run, type regedt32 in the Open box, and then click OK.
    2. Click HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE, and then click Load Hive on the File menu.
    3. Open the Windows installation drive\Documents and Settings\test folder, where test is the name of the Test user that you created in step 1.
    4. Click the NTUSER.DAT file, and then click Open.
    5. In the Key Name box, type Test, and then click OK.

      The Test registry hive is loaded under
      HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE
      .
  7. Insert the default user Test registry file under
    HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE
    :
    1. Click the following registry subkey:
      HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\Test\Printers
    2. On the File menu, click Export.
    3. In the File name box, type print.reg, and then click Save.
    4. Click the
      Test
      registry subkey, and then click Unload Hive on the File menu.
    5. Click Yes to confirm that you want to unload the key and all its subkeys.
    6. Click the
      HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE
      registry key, and then click Load Hive on the File menu.
    7. Open the C:\Documents and Settings\Default User.WINDOWS file.
    8. Click the NTUSER.DAT file, and then click Open.
    9. In the Key Name box, type Test, and then click OK.

      The default user "Test" registry file is inserted under HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE.
  8. On the File menu, click Import.
  9. Open the folder where you saved the Print.reg file, click Print.reg, and then click Open.
  10. When you receive the message that the information in the Print.reg file has been successfully entered into the registry, click OK. The printer information is loaded into the default user registry settings.
  11. Click the Test registry key, and then click Unload Hive on the File menu.
  12. Click Yes to confirm that you want to unload the Test key and all its subkeys.
  13. Quit Registry Editor.
  14. Test the new configuration by creating a new user, and then logging on as that user. The network printer is listed in the Printers and Faxes dialog box.
MORE INFORMATION
For additional information about how to add printers to Windows, click the following article number to view the article in the Microsoft Knowledge Base:
314486 How to Add Printers with No User Interaction in Windows XP
Properties

Article ID: 307016 - Last Review: 04/24/2003 10:58:34 - Revision: 1.4

  • Microsoft Windows XP Professional
  • kbhardware kbprint kbenv kbprb KB307016
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