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Force Run for the Closest Printer

Novell Cool Solutions: Tip
By Glenn Alward

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Posted: 15 Nov 2000

Current version: ZfD3

I work for a school board in central Alberta in a 5.1\nt4 workstation environment. Our users wanted the default printer to always be whichever printer was closest to the computer and not set by the user profile. I didn't like to force the printer in a policy as it increased the login time. We created five force run applications that change the registy setting for the default printer based on location of the machine.
HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\ Microsoft\WindowsNt\CurrentVersion\ Windows\Device.

All five applications run as a force run but the requirements on the application are set that they only run if there exists a text file with the same name as the printer on the c: drive. For example, if there is a file named library.txt then the library application would run and set the default printer to library.

I also created an application for the local admin to copy the appropriate text file to the hard drive, an initial setup they had to run after a re-image. This would copy a text file to c:\ and if any of the other text files for the other printers existed, it would delete them. This ensured only one force run app would run as there would be only one text file on c:\. The text files were just empty files. Seems to work well for a small network.

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