Using Print Migrator


T

Tim_S

I have been using print migrator 3.1 for some time now.

It is not a perfect tool but it works. I have found it very useful in
standardizing all my printers on all machines and profiles.

Scenario: I have about 70 WinXp Pro systems that print to 24 different
printers. I would normally use a print server to manage the printers and
setup each computer to print to the server but due to the organizations
server admin's union they restrict the server so much that it takes an act
of congress to get any thing updated or changed. So I decided to circumvent
them and have each system print directly to the printers. I used one XP
machine as a template. I installed each printer locally using Standard
TCP/IP port and latest drivers from the internet. I then used the migrator
tool to Backup the printer information to a .cab file. I then developed a
batch file and put this in a shared folder. Users execute the batch file
and update their printers. When the batch file runs it executes the print
migrator tool and it performs a restore to any PC that it is ran on.
Several things are a plus, first, the users have complete control of the
print jobs. Second, the users have full "Options" capability such as
watermarks. (admins only load bare necessities). and Third since all are
local TCP/IP ports and printers all of them cross all profiles. Meaning if
user A logs on he/she sees them and if user B logs on they see them. Fourth,
it saves me from loading just one printer at at time... one for joe and a
different one for sally etc... All are available and they choose which one.

It takes a little work up front, but it sure beats going to each
workstation.
Here is what to look out for when using this tool.

1. make sure you set all your options on each printer before backup (trays,
duplexers etc)
2. make sure you use the Standard IP ports. (HP port monitors plus several
other 3rd party port monitors are not backed up)
3. Test on one machine before deploying to everyone
4. Look at the backup log and restore log prior to deploying for any thing
that may be wrong.
--For example, the Xerox 8400 print drivers include a xrx8000.cab file that
is installed when you install the drivers. This file is listed in the "
file dependency" area of the registry. When the tool is backing up it can't
place this file in the .cab file that the tool creates. Can't put .cab
inside a .cab apparently. When you do a restore the tool will error out
when it reaches this file. You will only see it in the log. (A workaround
is to just remove the dependancy entry in the registry of this one file.)
5. make sure you set up a default printer prior to backup ( I set mine to
the Microsoft Document printer) (this prevents users who don't follow
instructions from printing to your printer because they forgot to set their
default)
6. make sure when you deploy that you inform your users to set their default
printer after running
7. to keep the local spooler clean, I used microsofts method for manually
clearing the spooler (instead of cleanspl.exe) and programmed it into the
batch file. (cleanspl.exe is a gui that will only confuse the user and it
does not allow you to use cmd line switches in batch files nor specify
individual printers to clear)
8. have each user delete old printers after running or you can remove them
in your batch file by using the registry.
9. watch out for All -in- One devices. Such as HP6100 series or Savin 4145eg
Scanner/copier/printer will need to be setup individually if it has special
software that tags along. The software is not backed up, only drivers and
ports. It may print but may not function as a scanner and or fax.

It would be a great tool if:
a. it would backup any software that was installed with the printer such as
scanner software.
b. Fix the .cab within a .cab issue mentioned above. (at least stop the
backup and let you know there will be an error)
c. Backup all print monitors. HP print monitor and the Dell Print monitor
isn't backed up.
d. Allow you to specify which printers (if found) are to be removed prior to
restore by printer name.

Hope this helps someone... as it has me....
Even with the problems, Thanks for making this tool! MS.

T
 
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