Importing Printers in Windows Server 2008

In a previous blog post we have seen how to export print queues and printer settings to a file – Migrating Printers in Windows server 2008. Now, let’s see how to import print queues and printer settings from the file created by the export procedure. Follow these steps:

  1. In Server Manager, right click Print Management and then choose Migrate Printers – the printer migration wizard appears.
  2. On the Getting Started With Printer Migration page, select Import printer queues and printer drivers from a file, and then click Next.
  3. On the Select The File Location page, type in the name of the exported file, and click Next.
  4. On the Review The List Of Items To Be Imported page, click Next.
  5. On the Select A Print Server page, select a server, and then click Next.
  6. On the Select import options page, click the Import mode drop-down list to choose whether to keep or overwrite existing printers. Also choose whether to list the imported printers in the Active directory if relevant to your environment, and finally click Next.
  7. On the final page, click Open event viewer to review any errors that might have occurred during the import process. Then, click Finish.

Alternatively, you can double click the exported file from the export procedure (filename.printerexport) and follow the prompts that appear.

Using the command line to export and import printers requires you to use the printbrm command. This may become very handy in administrative scripts or applications. The command is located in the Windows\System32\spool\tools folder. To export printers to a file, from an elevated command prompt type:

printbrm –b –f name.printerexport

To import printers from a file created in the previous step, type:

Printbrm –r –f name.printerexport

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