windows 2000 terminal server printing

hi, i have a few terminal servers out there, and the printing is allways the thorn in my side.  having to dowload all these huge printer drivers on the terminal server is such a pain.  

first, are there light versions of printer drivers out there? some of the hp all in one drivers are 10 meg or more, and sometimes to get the printer to load on the terminal server you have to connect the printer to it directley for the "testing connection" step.  or is there a work arround for loading all these giant drivers???  multifunctions are the worst, and most of my remote home offices have those.  

seccond, is there a giant printer file i can get that has most all of the printer drivers ever written??

im really just looking for the first part awnsered, but any help here would be greatley appreciated.

sincerly, dan

Who is Participating?
On HP Drivers, look for what is called the Corporate Version. These are stripped down version. You may also try executing the installer on a system, or extracting the installer so you may get to the inf/driver files. Then just add the printer by going into the printers group, clicking file, server properties. Then click the driver tab, and add driver. This is a quicker way to add multiple drivers and view which drivers are installed on your system, even if they are not listed as installed printers.

Lee W, MVPTechnology and Business Process AdvisorCommented:
Look up the language compatibilities of the printers.  Most HP Printers speak PCL - I'd suggest installing a generic (low end inkjet/laser printer such as a DeskJet 692 or LaserJet 4) PCL driver for each.  You WILL have a problem in that some of the possibly advanced printers might not allow you to use all their functions, but try that.

Also, check HP's web site.  The multifunctions I think your pretty much out of luck on, but the single function PRINTERS, HP has started releasing stripped down corporate drivers (not for everything, but for some).
I ran into the same problems with connecting remote terminal users and a variety of printers.

One thing I can help you with, you don't have to directly connect them to the printer to get them to work =).  On the terminal server here is what I did to get the drivers loaded, first start the add printer wizard, select local printer uncheck the box for autodetect PnP printers, next, select a local port that is not in use, ie LPT3, it will either come up and ask for what drivers to use, or say the printer is not connected are you sure, say yes, then install drivers for the printer.  After your done creating the printer you can then remove it since all you wanted was the drivers to be installed anyway.  If it asks to remove the drivers say "NO".

As to what drivers to use, the Multifunction beasts are the worst.  They are the hardest printers to configure for working on terminal server.  Mainly because of the way that they install themselves to use a port called DOT4.  They also won't work with "standard" HP drivers, by that I mean that almost all of the HP laser printers can use the Laserjet 2/3 drivers.

Printer redirection info:;en-us;q302361
Ultimate Tool Kit for Technology Solution Provider

Broken down into practical pointers and step-by-step instructions, the IT Service Excellence Tool Kit delivers expert advice for technology solution providers. Get your free copy now.

cyph beat me to it, follow his procedure for manually installing the drivers =) I was just about to post what he already stated =(
I use Windows 2003 Terminal Server, and I will say this:

When you "add a printer" from the menu, you can choose it from a list (built-in drivers). try to stick with those models, and you will not have to load any drivers at all- it will be seemless (at least with 2003 Server). I even go so far as to purchase factory-refurbished, supported printers such as the HP LaserJet 6P (because it's in the list)- it makes my life a whole lot easier! I concur with the statement above- avoid multi-function printers!
Just a note...

If loading drivers across multiple servers becomes an issue (Lets say 15 or 20 servers and up)... then you might look at Citrix. Other than its numerous features the trample over Windows TS... it does have a printer driver management that will automatically deploy and synch all printer drivers across your servers.

But that is not really related to this... just a rambling!

And Mazaraat... no worries... I've been doing that all day... Seems like I'd get a post up and then reread it and there would be someone else saying the exact thing I said. Such is life!

Good luck!
There are many programs that sit over TS and provide 'content management' IE allowing certain groups of users access to certain programs only at certain times of the day

one of which is Jetro which includes a 'universal printer driver' by converting documents at the server and 'squirting' them to your local printer for printing this seems to all but eliminate the major printing headaches that many TS admins experience

I look after a few colleges and they work this way with very very few problems

hope this helps
hehe... 'squirting'

I like that.
pcavenueAuthor Commented:
you wall were great, cyph's really helped, thanks a ton, this has allways been a thorn, you guys gave me so many paths to take, thanks a ton..

Question has a verified solution.

Are you are experiencing a similar issue? Get a personalized answer when you ask a related question.

Have a better answer? Share it in a comment.

All Courses

From novice to tech pro — start learning today.