Printing and Windows 7 rollout

The goal is installing drivers automatically as printers are connected at logon, without user interaction.
If your users are non-privileged, you will need to add a Group Policy setting to suppress the elevation prompts. Using a PC running Vista or later with the Group Policy Management MMC tool, set:

  • Computer Configuration > Policies > Administrative Templates > Printers > Point and Print Restrictions

If your print servers are likely to remain on Windows 2003, you will most likely need to find a way of loading Windows 7 drivers for x86 and x64 architectures. You can’t do this on the Windows 2003 host, however you can accomplish this by using a Windows 7 machine and loading Print Management from Administrative Tools. Then right-click on Print Servers branch and add your 2003 print server. Now you can add the necessary drivers.

Print Management

The final problem is an intermittent one. Occasionally you will find that documents won’t print, and when you investigate, you will find a document in front of the print job in the print queue called Local Downlevel Document.

According to this thread, it transpires that Windows Vista and newer introduced a new protocol (Asynchronous RPC) and for some reason the OS is too stupid to actually check whether the remote print server supports it before attempting to use it (Windows 2003 does not support it).

The workaround is to set to disable Async RPC on Vista/Windows 7 clients, again by Group Policy. Set the following Registry value:

HKLM\Software\Policies\Microsoft\Windows NT\Printers\EnabledProtocols
Data: 6

1 thought on “Printing and Windows 7 rollout

  1. Rob

    I am seeing the same issue with my windows 7 x64 computers connecting to my print server is 2008 r2. It has been going on for 6 months and a reboot of the afflicted win7 computer is the easy solution rather then unmapping printers etc.. Is there a simliar known printing issue as detaisl on this thread? Please email me @ Thank you in advance. Rob


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