Category Archives: Windows XP

How to push printers to Windows XP clients via Group Policy

If you are like me, you have been using the Print Management and Group Policy options in Server 2008 to push printer installs to all your Windows 7 clients. This is great and works well.

But, what happens if you still have Windows XP clients in your domain? Well, help is at hand with a Microsoft utility called PushPrinterConnections.exe which is found in the the C:\Windows\System32 directory on your server.

Here is how to push printer connections via Group Policy to your XP clients.

First, copy the PushPrinterConnections.exe file from the System32 directory on your server to your Desktop. Then follow these instructions:

  1. Open the GPMC.
  2. In the GPMC console tree, navigate to the domain or organizational unit (OU) that stores the computer or user accounts where you want to deploy the PushPrinterConections.exe utility.
  3. Right-click the GPO that contains the printer connections that you want to deploy using Group Policy, and then click Edit.
  4. Navigate to one of the following locations:
    • If the printer connections are deployed per-computer, go to Computer ConfigurationPoliciesWindows SettingsScripts (Startup/Shutdown).
    • If the printer connections are deployed per-user, go to User ConfigurationPoliciesWindows SettingsScripts (Logon/Logoff).
  5. Right-click Startup or Logon, and then click Properties.
  6. In the Startup Properties or Logon Properties dialog box, click Show Files. The Startup or Logon window appears.
  7. Copy the PushPrinterConnections.exe file from the %WINDIR%\System32 folder to the Startup or Logon window. This adds the utility to the GPO, where it will replicate to the other domain controllers with the Group Policy settings.
  8. In the Startup Properties or Logon Properties dialog box, click Add. The Add Script dialog box appears.
  9. In the Script Name box, type: PushPrinterConnections.exe
  10. To enable logging on client computers running Windows Server 2003, Windows XP, or Windows 2000, in the Script Parameters box, type: –logLog files are written to %WINDIR%\temp\ppcMachine.log (for per-computer connections) and to %temp%\ppcUser.log (for per-user connections) on the computer where the policy is applied.
  11. In the Add Script dialog box, click OK.
  12. In the Startup Properties or Logon Properties dialog box, click OK.
  13. Use GPMC to link the GPO to other OUs or domains to which you want to deploy the PushPrinterConnections.exe utility.

The dreaded ‘Unknown Device’ yellow exclamation mark

Have you ever had the problem where you have reinstalled or upgraded to a new OS and found that some of your devices are no longer working?

If you take a look in Device Manager, you may find the dreaded little exclamation marks staring back at you in some kind of arrogant way, smirking thinking that you will never find out what it is? Well, there is an easy solution.

If you right click the offending device and choose properties, then choose the details tab, then choose ‘Hardware ID’s’ from the drop down box, you will be presented with a cryptic code of what the device is.

For example, you may see something similar to this:


All you have to do is fire up Google and start typing in that line up to (and including) DEV_3B64 for example and you will find that there will be heaps of results. Look through some of these and you will find links to driver download sites which will happily banish the yellow exclamation mark. The one that I listed is for the Intel Management Engine Interface.

Tip: in the list of hardwar id’s, the top id is normally the most detailed item describing exactly what the device is. The listing under this first one, will then start to be more generic and eventually ending up at the manufacturer of the device.

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Posted by on September 22, 2011 in Windows 7, Windows XP