Monitor Print Server Activity

I was recently approached by management and asked to monitor an older print server to see who was still using it.  They wanted a report that would show which users and machines were still using this print server so they could correct old printer mappings.  Well of course Microsoft gives us no easy way to do this out of the box so it was time to get creative.  Here is the method I used to enable logging and generate a nice pretty TPS report from the data.

Enable Print service logging on the print server
1. Open the event viewer
2. Expand application and service logs > Microsoft > Windows > PrintService
3. Right-click the operational log, click enable log.

Now that logging is enabled you will begin to see the logs fill up with print jobs (Event 307). I let this run for about a week so we could get plenty of data. You may need to adjust the size of the log because I found it filled up way too quickly. The default is 1MB which is stupid low.
Now on to generate a pretty report for these guys. As it turns out this sounds so easy but in fact is a PITA. You can export the log to CSV but there are several issues with this, the biggest one is it exports the users SID instead of username, which of course makes sense because we all know the SID for each user right? There are also several formatting issues with exporting to CSV and long story short, it just didn’t work, you’re welcome to try that on your own if you think I am crazy. What I really needed was a way to pull the XML params out of the detail section of each event and export that to CSV. To accomplish this we turn to our friend, Powershell.

$PrinterList = @()
$StartTime = "04/10/2014 12:00:01 PM"
$EndTime = "04/18/2014 6:00:01 PM"
$Results = Get-WinEvent -FilterHashTable @{LogName="Microsoft-Windows-PrintService/Operational"; ID=307; StartTime=$StartTime; EndTime=$EndTime;} -ComputerName "localhost"

ForEach($Result in $Results){
$ProperyData = [xml][/xml]$Result.ToXml()
$PrinterName = $ProperyData.Event.UserData.DocumentPrinted.Param5
$hItemDetails = New-Object -TypeName psobject -Property @{
DocName = $ProperyData.Event.UserData.DocumentPrinted.Param2
UserName = $ProperyData.Event.UserData.DocumentPrinted.Param3
MachineName = $ProperyData.Event.UserData.DocumentPrinted.Param4
PrinterName = $PrinterName
PageCount = $ProperyData.Event.UserData.DocumentPrinted.Param8
TimeCreated = $Result.TimeCreated
}

$PrinterList += $hItemDetails
}

#Output results to CSV file
$PrinterList | Export-Csv -Path "C:PrintAudit.csv"

 

This script runs locally on the print server and pulls all the info I needed and dumps into a CSV that can then be fondled within excel.  Optionally, you can run this remotely by changing the –ComputerName param at the end of line 4.  Of course, you do need to modify the start and end times to your needs.

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