Need help in Terminal Service Printing

Posted on 2006-04-15
Last Modified: 2010-07-27
Terminal Server - Windows Server 2003 R2
Remote Desktop Clients - Windows 98SE, 2000 and XP SP2

I wish to allow clients to send the print jobs back to printers at the client side when they are connecting to the Terminal Server via Remote Desktop Connection.  This is working fine with older model printers which Windows Server 2003 has the default printer drivers.  For newer printers, I followed the guides from EE to add the printer drivers to the Terminal Server (printers  and faxes->Server options->Drivers->Add). At the client side however, I am confused how the printer setup should be done.  My questions are as follow:

1. Do I have to add the printer drivers for all OS versions (98SE, W2K and XP) at the Terminal Server?

2. How is the printer setup at client side?  To print to specific printer, do I have to set the printer as default printer at each client PC?  How about those non-default printers that are also connected to client PCs?  Can they print to other non-default printers?

3. Most the printers are connected to the client PCs via standard TCP/IP port.  Is it neccessary to map the printers to client PC's local port or LPT port?

Please advise.  THank you.
Question by:hoggiee
    LVL 37

    Accepted Solution

    On the client PCs you only need the driver version for the OS that's installed on the client. The printer can be set as the default or not, that is up to you. At print time the user can select which printer to use. Every Windows application allows you to print to any of the installed printers, local or remote. Just select File > Print, select the printer and click OK (or Print, or whatever button the application uses).

    You do not need to re-map any ports on the PC. One question though: as you are printing to local printers that are connected via TCP/IP, why force the user to print via the remote server? It seems much easier to use a local TCP/IP connection. That way you avoid having to send the print traffic to the server and back again.

    Author Comment


    I have installed the required printer driver(for all OS) on the Terminal Server (Printers and Faxes->Server Properties-> Driver->Add).  It is working ok with Win XP clients, but not with Win98SE clients.  The printers still cannot be seen in RDC from Win98SE client PCs.  Below is the message from the Event Viewer of the Terminal Server.

    "Driver HP LaserJet 5100 Series PCL 6 required for HP LaserJet 5100 Series PCL 6 is unknown.  Contact the administrator to install the driver before you login in again."

    "Driver HP LaserJet 2420 PCL 6 required for printer FNA LaserJet 2420 is unknown.  Contact the administrator to install the driver before you login in again."

    The following are the details of printer drivers added onto the Terminal Server:

    HP LaserJet 2420 PCL 6             x86    Win 2000,Win XP and Windows Server2003
    HP LaserJet 2420 PCL 6             x86    Win 95, Win 98, and Windows Millennium Edition
    HP LaserJet 5100 PCL 6             x86    Win 2000,Win XP and Windows Server 2003
    HP LaserJet 5100 Series PCL 6   x86    Win 95, Win 98, and Windows Millennium Edition

    Any ideas?

    By the way, can you explain in more details on printing via the local TCP/IP connection, as you mentioned in your previous comment?
    LVL 37

    Expert Comment

    Those drivers should work. To check that they are indeed installed, go to Start > Printers *on the server*, right-click on the printer and select Sharing. Then click on the Additional Drivers button. If they're not ticked, add them.

    To print via a local TCP/IP connection, go to printer Properties from the Start menu, click on the Ports tab, and then on the Add Port button. Select Standard TCP/IP port from the Ports list and click New Port and then Next. In the next window type the printer's IP address. You can also give it a name or accept the default name. Cleck Next and finish.

    Note that this does not work for Win95/98/Me. They require 3rd-party software for a TCP/IP connection. You can also use one of the local 2k/XP PCs as a server for those if you like.

    Author Comment


    "To check that they are indeed installed, go to Start > Printers *on the server*, right-click on the printer and select Sharing"

    Does the above mean that I also need to install that HP LaserJet 2420 and 5100 on the Terminal Server, not just adding the printer drivers?

    By the way, I need to have a look at the printer driver mapping file (.inf) on the Terminal Server.  Do you know the name of that file and its location?
    LVL 37

    Expert Comment

    Yes, the drivers have to be installed on the server. Just "adding" them does nothing.

    I do not know the names of the .inf files for your printers, but installing them from the CD should find them automatically. Installing from downloaded driversis much more compliacted in this case as you'll have to download drivers for both printers for all the versions of Windows you use.
    LVL 1

    Expert Comment

    The way your server connects to the clients printers is not too clear. If the TCP/Ip Client printer is visable to the server then just add it as a printer on the server. If the client's printer is only visable locally (or connected through LPT or USB) then share out the printer from the client so that the server can see it as attached to the client machine.

    Sorry if I am pointing out the obvious.

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