First published on TECHNET on Apr 12, 2009

PRN: Active Directory Printer Publishing

Description: Active Directory Printer Publishing is used to advertise printers in Active Directory. It is unrelated to the shared printer list provided when a user does a Start, Run, \\PrintServer to get a list of shared printers.

Scoping the Issue: If the printers are not published and Start, Run, \\PrintServer returns a list then it is likely an Active Directory Printer Publishing issue. The two most frequent Active Directory Printer publishing issues are that the printers get pruned or they never get published in Active Directory. If the printers were published and are now missing the solution is generally to increase the pruning Interval to 12 and pruning retries to 4, which results in less network traffic and provides for a longer period of time of not being able to reach the printers on the print server before the DC prunes the printers. The other option is to configure Check Publish State . If the printers were never published then it is likely that the security permissions for the OU that the Print Server computer objects are in are insufficient for the print server to publish the printer, provided the print server can reach a DC.

Data Gathering: Determine if the printers from the print server had been published in AD or if the printers were never published in AD. Configure all the DCs to log spooler error, warning, and informational events under the Advanced tab of the Print Server properties of each DC and collect system event logs from every DC.

In all cases, please collect an MPS Report by downloading and running the correct version for your architecture from: http://www.microsoft.com/downloads/details.aspx?FamilyID=CEBF3C7C-7CA5-408F-88B7-F9C79B7306C0 ... . When running the tool, please ensure the boxes for General, Internet and Networking, and Server Components are selected.

Additional Resources:

- Print servers are responsible for publishing printers. Domain Controllers are responsible for removing stale printer shares that can no longer be reached.

- The following policies only apply to Domain Controllers, because they prune the stale printers from AD, so the policies must be applied to the DC computer objects in AD. Located under Computer Configuration\administrative Templates\Printers

Directory Pruning Interval How long a DC should wait before cheking to see if it can reach the print share. Default is 8 hours

Directory Pruning Retries Prune the published printer from AD if unable to reach it after x number of scans in a row. Default is 3.

- The following policies only apply to the Print Server, so the policy must be applied to the Printer Server computer objects in AD. Located under Computer Configuration\administrative Templates\Printers

Allow pruning of published printers Determines if a DC can prune printers published by this computer. The Default is Yes

Check Publish State Directs the system to periodically verify that the printers are published in AD. The Default is Never. Note: By default when print spooler is started it will re-published missing printers.