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HP Direct Digital Filing not good enough

March 1, 2008

A client of mine just purchased an HP Officejet Pro L7680 for their small office. They needed a faster printer with network scanning features. This printer has something called Direct Digital Filing, which gives you the ability to print directly to a file share; by the time you get back to your desk, your scan, which can be in PDF or other formats, is ready to e-mail, archive, or whatever. You configure it through the web interface. No software installation required. Finally these little all-in-one devices are offering simple features that should have been available a long time ago, like the big scanners had.

Sounds good, right? Only problem, it doesn’t support the most common small-business network environment around – Windows Small Business Server. Wha?? HP’s Digital Filing feature will not save to a share on a Windows Domain Controller. After running into issues trying to get it to work, I contacted HP and they confirmed that this environment is not supported (it doesn’t say in the documentation that it doesn’t work). Sure, I can scan to a Windows XP or 2000 computer or to another server, but not to their primary server. HP provided a workaround – enable anonymous Guest access to the DC. Yes it works, but No, I won’t do that. I didn’t spend too much time troubleshooting – it may be something easy such as security settings in group policies, smb signing, etc, but when you’re charging by the hour, that’s hard to do. So for now, scans get sent to each individuals computer, and they are responsible for moving them to the server.

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