Print Server Migration

Original Setup:

·        Printers installed and shared on print server

·        One AD security group per printer with all users of that printer as members

·        One GPO to deploy printers

o   User Config>Preferences>Control Panel Settings>Printers

o   Add each printer to that list

§  Action: update

§  Share path: \\printserver\printername

§  Run in logged-on user’s security context

§  Item-Level targeting: User in Security Group for that printer

·        This makes it so users get all printers that they are in the security group for and it’s easy to manage

·        If you have stations where a computer only prints to one printer

o   Add the computer to the AD security group

o   Make the Item-Level targeting: Computer in Security Group for that printer

o   Check the Set this printer as default option

o   This makes it to where anyone who logs onto that computer will get that printer as the default printer and is great, for example, a warehouse where users float between stations and don’t need their printer list cluttered up with all the stations’ printers like would happen if you added each user to the group

To migrate to a new print server:

·        Setup all printers on the new print server and do test prints to makes sure they all work correctly

·        Create an AD security group for deleting existing printer connections (I called mine “Print Nuke”)

·        Create a “Delete” printer with the Delete all shared printer connections checked

o   Item-Level targeting: User in Security Group “Print Nuke “


·        Move that Delete printer to the top of the Order in the list of printers in the GPO

o   The Delete printer MUST be number 1 or it will delete all printers after the printers in the order above it get installed so they can never be used

·        Do the following for one or two printers for testing, then do the rest of the printers either in batches or all at once if you feel brave

o   Edit the GPO for that printer to point to the new print server

o   Edit the GPO for the Delete printer to add

§  Item-Level targeting: OR User/Computer in Security group for that printer

·        Choose User or Computer depending on if the printer Item-Level targets a security group with users or computers

o   Now, every time Group Policy refreshes it will process the Delete printer first since it’s at the top of the Order and remove all network printers, then it will process and re-add any printers the user/computer is in the groups for

o   Once all (or most, see below) users for a printer have gotten the new settings you can remove the Item-Level targeting entry for that group in the Delete printer so it’ll stop deleting printers which can change the user’s default printer selection

·        Once all printers have their GPO changed to the new server and the Delete printer has cleared out everyone’s old printer listing you can disable printing on the old print server

·        You might notice we haven’t used the Print Nuke security group yet. It’s partially just as a fail-safe so you don’t accidentally delete all printers for all users, but it’s also used for stragglers who weren’t there the day you migrated the print server

o   If a user reports they can’t print and you discover it’s because they never got migrated then you can add their user to the Print Nuke security group to make just their printers get deleted and re-added rather than potentially messing up the default printer for everyone in that printer’s security group

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