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Terminal Services - Multiple duplicate printers from each session

Posted on 2004-04-15
Medium Priority
Last Modified: 2013-11-21
We have three locations.  One location houses our Terminal Server, running on Windows 2003 server.  The other two locations have local PC's that use terminal services to connect to that server.  On these two locations, the PC's are in a workgroup, and two or three printers are hooked up to those PC's (shared to all).

When we use Terminal Services and decide to print, it may show the same printer multiple times.  It shows that same printer for each session that is logged in.

I read that a solution is to install the printer directly to the server as a network printer.  Well, these are those 100$ printers that you would buy, ex. hpdeskjet 5650.

Why am I getting the same shared printer up there everytime someone loggs into a session?

Please help
Question by:cjjimbos
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Expert Comment

ID: 10838651

If I understand you correctly, there are users accessing a remote terminal server, however they have their own printers to print on even though they are working "remotely."

Also, it may even be that the "workgroup" "local" printer that is duplicated is indeed the actual printer that is actually on that client machine itself ??

Well, then, the question is, are they all logging in using the SAME terminal server username ?
The sessions on terminal servers keep track of that particular user's settings. if all your users are logging in with the same name in their remote sessions, you'll get lots of wierd things happen, especially with temp files and such. the temp files are saved by username.

Please make sure the remote users have their client software (TSAC) configured to use individual names. It is sometimes common to have a "remote user" account, however it will cause the problem you are describing.

hope this helps,

P.S. I found this info on microsoft.com about enabling local printers at the client even while working remotely:
To make a local printer available in a Remote Desktop session, but I assume you've already done this to even get the printer to show up in the list, nevertheless, I've included it below for completeness.

To use a local printer at a client who is connected to a terminal server:
On the client:
Click Start, point to All Programs, point to Accessories, point to Communications, and then click Remote Desktop Connection.
Click Options in the Remote Desktop Connection dialog box.
Click the Local Resources tab.
Click Printers in the Local Devices box.
Click Connect.
After you establish the remote connection and log on to the remote computer, the local printer that is connected to the client becomes the default printer for any programs that are running on the remote desktop.

If the client has more than one LOCAL printer attached to it, THE DEFAULT LOCAL printer becomes the default printer on the remote desktop; however, all local printers are available.

Note that when you click Connect, the settings that you specify in the Remote Desktop Connection dialog box are used as the default settings for all new connections. On the General tab in the Remote Desktop Connection dialog box, you can save a collection of settings to a Remote Desktop file. When you do this, you can create different groups of settings for connections to different remote desktops.

Expert Comment

ID: 10840430
One solution may be to change the way your printing configuration works,  turn off connect client printers and install the 2 or 3 printers on the server by

Sharing the printer from one workstation
Add the printer to the server using the add new printer wizard and select a local printer not network
on the printer port select new local port and type the path to the share e.g. "\\remotepc1\hp5850"
install the driver and then edit the security on the new local printer so only the users required see it.

Expert Comment

ID: 10844024
Have you checked to make sure your terminal server users don't have local printer redirection turned on?  I've seen cases where exactly what you describe happens if:

1) printer X is installed as a network printer on user Y's desktop machine, and
2) printer X is also installed as  a printer locally on the terminal server.

As a matter of fact, if user Z also has printer X installed, and users Y and Z log into the terminal server at the same time, they would see all three instances of printer X - though it should be named differently.

HTH, ZakDaddy
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Author Comment

ID: 10871759
The remote users have their own user account.  Our File server is also our Terminal Server.  The two remote stores with the users over there all use RDP to log onto the server with their own user name, authenicated through Active Directory.
Yes, we do have local printers there, and we have network printers where the Server is, however, when a user logs in, and say there is 5 other sessions(users logged in) going, when the user tries to print, they will see the local printers and the remote printers multiple times from each session.
I was hoping that there was a way in which that one user in his/her session, only see's the available printers locally and remotely for them only, not the same duplicate printers for the other sessions.


Author Comment

ID: 10871778
Dean and ZAkDaddy, I think you might be into something.  I will try your idea's and let you all know soon.

Accepted Solution

digus earned 1500 total points
ID: 10914552
The terminal server will attach all installed printers from an rdp client if so enabled. If a client has 3 printers installed on his/her local PC rdp will attach 3 printers with his/her session. If you have 3 users and they all have each others printers shared and installed on each others PC's, then each time someone logs on to the server his/her 3 installed printers are attached. If all 3 users log on 9 printers are attached - 2 duplicate for each users.  Additionally, since windows loads its print drivers into the kernel, this kind of situation can cause all kinds of unforeseen software problems. There are software solutions to this problem, but they are not cheap, and do not always work perfectly. For now I would make sure each client only has 1 printer installed locally.

Good Luck!

Expert Comment

ID: 25633354
This may be an addition to later versions of the RDC client, but adding to digus response:

If you simply disable the use of local printers in the client (in RDC on all client systems) and only use printers setup on the TS server, this stops the duplication issue.

This can be done, by opening the RDC client application, selecting 'Options' then selecting the 'Resourses' tab and finally, un-ticking "Printers'

Hope that helps to clarify the situation.

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