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XP VPN remote print sharing?

Posted on 2006-10-21
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Last Modified: 2012-06-27
Two sites:

Local Site has an XP Pro server that serves as a VPN server to the remote site.

VPN connection works fine.  RDP works fine.  I need to figure out a way to get RDP to two other machines.  

There is one remote user needs to be able to Remote Desktop into one of the local machines and use Quickbooks and some UPS shipping software that integrates with Quickbooks, but then she needs to be able to print the shipping labels back to a thermal label printer at the remote site.  I want to be able to setup the local computer that she uses for VPN access and RDP so that it prints to the shared printer on her computer at the remote site.  Unfortunately when the remote computer is connected to the VPN none of the local computers can access resources on it.  I can ping by IP address, and I added name mapping to the hosts file so I can even ping by name, but I can't map to resources on the remote machine.  The remote machine was able to map to a network share on the local server.

How do I let the local machine that is being used in RDP print back to the remote computer?

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Question by:jb1013
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by:jb1013
ID: 17782401
Ignore the sentence, "I need to figure out a way to get RDP to two other machines." I meant to remove that.  I was adding more than one question in the thread originally and found it was just too confusing.  One step at a time.  ;)
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by:Rob Williams
ID: 17782416
There is a security feature in the VPN client that blocks local connections, including local Internet access, to protect the office/remote network. You can disable this if you wish. To do so on the client/connecting PC, go to:
control panel | network connections | right click on the VPN/Virtual adapter and choose properties | Networking | TCP/IP -properties | Advanced | General | un-check  "Use default gateway on remote network"
This should allow the user to connect to the shared printer while connected to the VPN.
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by:jb1013
ID: 17782440
Hi Robwill thanks for the assistance, but unfortunately that did not work.  

I have the remote computer connected to the VPN.

From the local computer I'm just trying to map to the printer share on the remote computer by \\computername\sharename, I've also tried \\IP address\sharename and neither worked.

The local computer can ping the remote computer both by IP and name, but the remote computer does not show up in "Workgroup computers"

The remote computer also can't see any of the local computers in "Workgroup Computers"

The remote computer can map to resources on the local network, but cannot browse to them.

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Rob Williams earned 500 total points
ID: 17782527
Not sure I fully understand the physical configuration. However, you do not map printers or connect using \\IP address\sharename or the computer name. Assuming the following:
Server PC (configured for remote access) => router/modem=> Internet <=router/modem<= client PC (using remote desktop connection client)
With remote desktop you need to install the drivers on the Server PC and then on the Client PC you simply check the box "printers" on the "local resources" tab under "options" of the remote desktop connection client. To install the drivers on the server PC, open printers and faxes, on the menu bar go to file, server properties, add, and point to the diver .inf file. You will have to download the drivers first to a temporary folder. If you do this remotely, you should log off and back on before trying to print. If still having problems, again on the server PC, go to printers and faxes, on the menu bar go to file, server properties, ports. Look at the port type. If it is a Dot4, you will need to use the following Microsoft fix: http://support.microsoft.com/default.aspx?scid=kb;en-us;q302361  You will also have to un-check the "Use default gateway on remote network" option on the VPN client if the printer is not physically attached to the client PC.

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by:jb1013
ID: 17782710
Is there anyway to have the remote computer share its resources with the local computers when its connected via VPN.  So that it will show up and be browseable in Network Neighborhood?

What about getting the local computers to show up in Network Neighborhood for the remote computer when its connected to the VPN?

Thanks again for your help.  I just lost remote connection to one of the computers I'm trying to configure, so I'll have to check on your latest suggestions later.
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Expert Comment

by:Rob Williams
ID: 17782728
If you are using a VPN you can connect to shares such as printers as if you were on the local network:
\\PCName\ShareName  or \\192.168.123.123\SahreName
As a rule they are no available in network Neighborhood as NetBIOS broadcast are not broadcast over a VPN.
Regardless Remote desktop usually uses it's internal connection options for printers as opposed to mapping to shares.
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by:jb1013
ID: 17782818
Well, I see what your saying now.  

I can Remote Desktop into this remote server from my PC, and I can print to my own local LPT1 laser printer without having to do anything but check the box for printers in the RDP client.

However my network printer doesn't show up?  I tried the registry edit from the knowledge base but that didn't seem to help.  How do you redirect network printers in RDP?

I installed the driver on the remote computer as well.
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by:jb1013
ID: 17782827
Also resource sharing only seems to work one way.  

Only the VPN client computer can access resources on the local network.  Computers from the local network cannot reach resources on the VPN client via UNC.
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by:Rob Williams
ID: 17783793
I have assumed you are using the default Windows VPN client, correct me if I am wrong.

>>"However my network printer doesn't show up? "
Have you removed the "Use default gateway on remote network" option on the VPN client. No connections to other PC's or printers in the same office as the client will be available if that is checked. If it is unchecked, look at the event viewer on the server PC, in the system log, after connecting by Remote Desktop, and see if there are any errors. If the printer is being detected but not added it should errors relating to the drivers.

>>"Also resource sharing only seems to work one way.  "
The client is meant to be used in one direction. The IP configuration on the client and the gateway feature assure that. For full bi-directional connections allowing the two networks to share resources between multiple sites you need to create a site-to-site VPN, which has lots of advantages. This can be done between 2 Windows servers, but the simplest and better method is to use 2 VPN routers such as the Linksys RV042 (under $200 US):
http://www.linksys.com/servlet/Satellite?c=L_Product_C2&childpagename=US%2FLayout&cid=1123638171618&pagename=Linksys%2FCommon%2FVisitorWrapper
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by:jb1013
ID: 17784261
RobWill Thanks so much!!!!  I truley appreciate the lesson.  You have my sincere gratitude!

That was an excellent learning session.  Lots of new stuff that I learned about RDP and redirecting printers from this.

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Expert Comment

by:Rob Williams
ID: 17785841
Very welcome. Thanks jb1013.
If interested in more detail the following id a great site:
http://www.brianmadden.com/content/content.asp?ID=62
Cheers,
--Rob
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