Forcing Windows XP to forget printer settings.

  1. Create a printer called Test, based on an NRG DSc 460, using a PCL 5c driver, on a Windows 2003 server. Share it as TestPrinter, ensuring that the Printing Defaults are set to Color.
  2. On a Windows XP machine, connect to the printer by running “\\<server>\TestPrinter”
  3. Note that the printer on the XP machine will default to Color. This is correct.
  4. Delete the printer on XP.
  5. On the server, change the Printing Defaults to Black and White.
  6. Reconnect the printer as in step 2.
  7. Note that the printer on the XP machine will default to Color. This is incorrect.

The behaviour on Windows 7 is correct (i.e. in step 7 it defaults to B&W).

What appears to be happening is that the printer settings appear to be being saved somewhere in XP. My first instinct was to search the registry for PrinterTest, and delete any related keys. This did not resolve the situation.

I then tested what happens with a different printer (a HP LaserJet 4250).  This worked correctly (i.e. it immediately pulled the new settings from the server, without needing to remove the printer), leading me to think it might be a driver issue.

I downloaded the latest driver, but how does one get rid of an existing driver? The answer is to :

  1. Open “Printers and Faxes”
  2. Right-click and select “Server Properties”
  3. Click the “Driver” tab – from here you can remove drivers
  4. If you get an error that the driver is in use, restart the “Print Spooler” service.

Once I had deleted the old driver, and installed the new one, everything was Rosie again!

EDIT: On Windows 7, the “Server Properties” option has been removed. Instead you can use Start → Run → “printmanagement.msc”.

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