Wednesday, January 14, 2009

An Ancient Printer in Vista Home

Q: You answered a question from Craig McKay about how to "Install an Ancient Printer in Vista." He indicated that he is using Vista Home Premium, as am I. The problem I am having is that typing gpedit.msc does not bring any results. Did Microsoft turn this feature off in SP1? Or are you referring to a command that's just for Vista Business and Ultimate?—George Pas

A: Hmm. The other reader seemed satisfied with the solution, but I now notice that Vista Home Premium indeed does not include the Group Policy Editor. (There are seven distinct "flavors" of Vista—it can be tough to keep them straight.) Another way to change this policy involves reaching directly into the Registry. In fact, the Group Policy Editor is simply a friendly face that produces this exact same effect indirectly. As always, remember to back up your Registry before making any changes.

Click Start, click Run, enter regedit. Navigate to the key HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Policies\Microsoft\Windows NT\Printers. (Note that it's the "Windows NT" key in there, not "Windows"). In the right-hand pane look for a value named KMPrintersAreBlocked. If it's not present, right-click in the right-hand pane, select New | DWORD Value from the pop-up menu, and name the new value KMPrintersAreBlocked. Double-click that value and set its data to 0. Now reboot. Solved!

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