Windows XP - Default printer changing - Asked By Rick Buccieri on 16-Jan-12 04:59 PM

Default printer changes. I have all network printer. This happens to a number of  computers. Here is the scenerio. A user gets up from their home computer (may or may not logout, makes no differance), goes to second computer, logs in, may or may not print something. Logs out then returns to their home computer. The printer default from the second computer replaces the default printer on their home computer. All the computers are xp pro All the printers are network and distributed by GPO
Anoop S replied to Rick Buccieri on 16-Jan-12 08:43 PM

When walking through the logic, the registry key to keep an eye on is HKCU\Printers\Defaults. The print spooler service determines and sets the default printer for users in similar ways at different times. Let’s take a look at the logic for the user logon scenario.

•The spooler checks the value of HKCU\Printers\Defaults\Disabled to verify if Location Aware Printing is enabled. If this value is set to 1, then the option “Always use the same printer as my default printer” has been set (see the screenshot below – the first radio button disables Location-Aware Printing). The current default printer that has been selected is the default printer. If the value is set to 0, then Location Aware Printing is enabled and the spooler moves to the next step in the process to determine if there is a default printer selected for the network to which the user is connected.
[)ia6l0 iii replied to Rick Buccieri on 16-Jan-12 09:14 PM
Since you say that the computers are distributed through GPO, you may have to set the GP Preferences to the shared network printer. 

The article titled "GP Preferences: Add a new printer, set as default" has good information on this. If it does not help, let us know - We will dig furthur.
Jitendra Faye replied to Rick Buccieri on 16-Jan-12 11:08 PM

Since you are pushing the printer installation out by GPO, I believe you have mistakenly added the option to the GPO.  This might not have been an issue in XP, but your Windows 7 machines are using the preference.

Try setting the computer to a test GPO and see if it is resolved.

Suchit shah replied to Rick Buccieri on 17-Jan-12 12:14 AM
You can script it. See "SetDefaultPrinter" method in this link:
smr replied to Rick Buccieri on 17-Jan-12 12:54 AM

It is very easy to configure printer by network in Windows 7 running system.

You just need to follow few steps to do so:
  • Click on the Start button i.e Windows Orb
  • Now click on Devices and Printers
  • You will see a list of options, just click on the Manage default printers option.
  • In the Manage default printer dialog you have to click on Change my default printer and change the networks
  • Make sure that you have configured the printer to proper network.
Reena Jain replied to Rick Buccieri on 17-Jan-12 01:49 AM
Hi Rick,

I was getting the same problem in my company so what i get would like to share with you

Every time you logon to a remote computer using the Remote Desktop, the target computer may lose it's default printer setting.

If a local printer is made available in a Remote Desktop session:
After you establish the remote connection and log on to the remote computer, the local printer that is connected to the client becomes the default printer on the remote desktop. If the client has more than one printer attached to it, the default printer for the computer becomes the default printer on the remote desktop.

Resolution Which is worked for me

To disable this behavior, use the following steps:

  1. Click Start, Run and type MSTSC
  2. Click Options in the Remote Desktop Connection dialog box
  3. Click the Local Resources tab.
  4. Uncheck Printers in the Local Devices box
  5. Click Connect
Hope this will help you
kalpana aparnathi replied to Rick Buccieri on 17-Jan-12 04:08 AM

Set the default printer for all users on a Windows XP computer

A situation came up at work recently where one of our users wanted to make sure that each and every person who logged onto a particular machine would have the same printer set up as their default. Various previous attempts to do this had failed, since there doesn’t seem to be a command-line switch for globally changing the default printer in Windows XP. I floated the problem to a co-worker, who suggested putting a simple batch file in place to run on every user’s Logon. This ended up working beautifully, as follows:

  1. Create a batch file by going to My Computer, choose the root file path of the hard drive (usually C:), right-click on some empty space and select ‘New Text Document.’
  2. Next, open your new text document and type in one of the following lines:
    • If you have a networked printer, type rundll32 printui.dll,PrintUIEntry /y /n\\%printername%
    • If you have a local printer, type rundll32 printui.dll,PrintUIEntry /y /n”%localprintername%”
    • Choose ‘Save As’ in Notepad and change the type of file from Text (.txt) to ‘All Files.’ Name it something like ‘printer.bat’ (the ‘printer part is not important, the .bat part is) and save it to the C: drive.
    • Go to ‘Start,’ choose ‘Run,’ and type ‘gpedit.msc’ to launch the Management Console.
    • Under ‘User Configuration,’ ‘Windows Settings,’ you will find ‘Scripts (Logon / Logoff).’ Double-click on ‘Logon’ in the main window (to the right) and choose ‘Add’ to add a new script.
    • Browse for your batch file (should be on C:). You don’t need any additional parameters. At this point, every user that logs in will have their default printer reset to the one you want.
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Rick Buccieri replied to Anoop S on 19-Jan-12 03:33 PM
I have checked the registry and it is not causing this issue 
Rick Buccieri replied to [)ia6l0 iii on 19-Jan-12 03:36 PM
We do not want the same default printer for all. We need to set the printer defaults per the individual user.
Rick Buccieri replied to Jitendra Faye on 19-Jan-12 03:39 PM
We do have a few Window 7 computers, but they are not the issue. The issue is per user not per computer. We are
primarily a XP shop.
Rick Buccieri replied to Reena Jain on 19-Jan-12 03:42 PM
When they log into a differant computer, they are not using  a RDP. They are physically getting up from their
primary computer and going to a second computer, usually in a differant part of the company and logging in their.
When done, they go back to their primary computer and resume working their. This may happen multiple time in a day.
Anoop S replied to Rick Buccieri on 20-Jan-12 01:30 AM
If you use Group Policy to deploy printers, as a workaround, you can refer to the following article to configure default printer:

How to Add a Default Printer Using a Visual Basic Script