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Allowing Users to Modify Printer Settings on Windows 2000

Novell Cool Solutions: Tip
By Brad Blanchard, Daryl Melear

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Posted: 3 May 2002

Daryl and Brad are in charge of keeping 1000 US Army users happy. Sometimes that can be a tall order. Here's a clever solution they came up with when asked to give their users just enough rights to change printer settings but not enough to get into trouble.

We are a Novell NetWare 5.1 shop utilizing NDPS to manage our more than 140 HP printers. We're big fans of ZENworks for Desktop 3.2 that we use to support 8 servers and just over 1000 users on our local network.

The problem:

How to allow Restricted Users in Windows 2000 to add and modify printers. Previously we had used an Add Printer icon with NDPS to allow users in Windows 95 to install printers.

We came across what we call a shortcoming in Microsoft Windows 2000 while trying to field it to our approximately 1000 co-workers. Windows 2000 does not allow restricted users to install and modify printers.

We prefer to keep our users restricted from installing software and creating issues in the operating system so Power Users was not an option. We searched for a way to change Windows 2000 so our restricted users could add and modify printers. After several days of searching, no method of changing the folder/registry could be found that would allow a restricted user to make the necessary changes.

The solution:

We decided to use a method of discovering how software gets installed by utilizing a ZENworks Snapshot to detect changes to the PC when installed by a Power or Administrative User. Once we discovered that we could Snapshot a Printer install, we decided to employ that method to deliver the printer to the user by allowing them to install printers from Application Explorer after naming the Printer Application after the printer name. We also discovered under the Start/Settings/Printers that if we changed the security on Everyone we could allow the Restricted Users to change the printer properties such as Duplex printing, color settings, etc...

So we took a Snapshot of the printer installation and security changes and now we have the ability to deliver both to a restricted user and still keep the security tight for the rest of the operating system.

If you have questions for Daryl or Brad about their implementation, you can e-mail them at

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