Wednesday, May 21, 2014

How do I track pages printed?

We had a 3rd party service managing our printers for a while. It didn't work out in the long run but they gave us these nice reports showing us how many pages each printer printed in the previous quarter. I found that information very valuable thought and kind of missed it.

After a little digging, I came up with a way to track that information without having to walk to every printer. To be honest, I had a lot of ideas but I eventually found a Windows event log that that gave me everything I needed. The event log is called Microsoft-Windows-PrintService/Operational. You first need to enable the log but it collects a lot of good details. 

$log = Get-WinEvent -FilterHashTable @{ "LogName"= "Microsoft-Windows-PrintService/Operational";"ID"="307"}

Once we pull all of the events, it they will be easy enough to parse with RegEx. Through this together quite quickly but it gets the job done. I have only tested this message format on Server 2012R2.

 *RegEx excluded from the post because I can't get it to render correctly in blogger without a lot of rework. See script at the end.

Once I parse out the values I need, I package it back into an object. From there you can do whatever you need to do with it.

$log | ?{$_.message -match $MessageRegEx} | 
    %{ New-Object PSObject -property @{"Document"=$Matches.Document;
       "TimeStamp"= $_.TimeCreated;
       "Printer" = $Matches.Printer;
       "PrintHost" = $_.MachineName

Then write that out to a CSV file when you are done. If you take a look at the values that I can parse out of it, I get a lot more information that I expected. Not only can you get page counts per printer, you can track printed page counts back to individual users. I pull this dataset into Excel and transform it into a pivot table for easy reporting.

After I clean this up a bit, here is my resulting CmdLet: Get-PrintHistory

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