Use Printer Migration tool when switching to new Windows Machine

When switching to a new Windows Machine or Deploying a new Windows Print Server, Reinstalling Printer Drivers and adding all the existing printer on the network again is time-consuming. In this post, we will show how you can use the Printer Migration tool to migrate all printers and drivers to a new computer or print server.

Use the Printer Migration tool when switching to new Windows Machine

Windows offers an in-house utility called Print Management. It is available since Windows Vista and Windows Server 2008 R2. It not only allows you to manage and watch all printers over a network but also help you move to a new Windows 10 PC. You can use it to move all printer and the drivers using the Export and Import method or the Printer Migration Tool to a new PC or Print Server.

Print Management Console

  • Log in with an administrator account which allows you to manage Print Servers
  • Type in Print Management in your Windows Start Menu. It will list the Print Management Console.
  • Click to open the console and navigate to Print Management > Print Servers
  • For a standalone home computer, you will see your laptop listed, and for Server Environment, you will see the server accordingly.

Migrate Printers Printe Servers

  • If you like command-line interface you can locate the Print Migration command-line tool in CD %WINDIR%System32SpoolTools Printbrm

PrintBrm Command Line

Export Printers & Drivers from Old Machine or Old Print Server

You can use the Windows interface or command line to export all the printers and drivers.

1] Using Windows Tool

  • Right-click on the Print Server
  • Export Printers to a File.
  • Give a name and save this file. The extension for this file will be .printerExport

2] Using the command-line tool :

Printbrm -s \ -b -f .printerExport

Importing Printers & Drivers in the New Machine or New Print Server

You cannot only use it to migrate to a new computer, but also migrate to a new printer server saving yourself from the hassle of installing drivers, and other features.

1] Using Windows Tool

  • Right-click on the Print Server > Import Printers from File
  • Review the list of the printer.
  • The next screen gives you the option to either overwrite or keep existing printers.
  • If you overwrite, you will lose settings, drivers, etc. on the existing machine. Everything will be replaced with one which comes from the backup.
  • The option which says List in the directory means if you want to publish the print queues to the Active Directory Domain Services. It is useful if you have imported any spooled queues while importing.
  • The last option says Convert LPR Ports to Standard Port Monitors. It means if you want to convert Line Printer Remote (LPR) printer ports in the printer settings file to the faster Standard Port Monitor.

Printer Migration import Options

Click on the Next button to start importing all the printers with drivers, print queues, etc. In case of any error, you will be given the option to check with the Event Logger. Performance and Information tool is another good option in Windows to check for conflicting drivers etc.

2] Using Command Line tool

Printbrm -s \ -r -f .printerExport

Migrating Printer from Windows 2000?

If you are migrating from Windows 2000 or Windows NT to Windows Server 2008 R2, the migration process will not work as said above because of the level of difference between the versions. The best way to migrate these machines is to first to migrate them to a Windows Vista Machine and then to Windows Server 2008 R2.


About Ashish Mohta

A Professional Tech blogger, Editor and Writer who talks about solving day to day problems of people who use computer. His expertise are in Windows 7, Microsoft Office, Software, Mobile Apps and Video Posts.

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