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Terminal Services printing redirection

Posted on 2006-10-30
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My terminal server is Windows 2003 SP1. Clients connecting to the server need their printers redirected to their local printer device.  Some clients are using printers that the server already has drivers for.  These clients work do not have a problem with printer redirection.  To support new user connections, I started installing drivers for other printers.  This has become a big headache to say the least.

I know there are third party print utilities such as Thin Print and Print2RDP but I would like to try Microsoft's fallback printer driver first. I am having trouble with Windows 2003 fallback printer driver, can't seem to get it working.  I have enabled this setting in group policy to show BOTH PCL and PS if clients print driver is not found on the server.  I then did a "gpupdate /force" on the terminal server. The client still could not print.

From my understanding, when the group policy for this object is enabled and a terminal user connects with a bizzarre printer attached to their local computer, the server will default to either an HP 500 Deskjet or an HP 500 Color Deskjet depending if their local printer is color capable or not.  I have read everything I could find on the net about configuring the fallback driver and I don't think there is anything else to configure on the server.  If I wanted to use a specific fallback driver some registry edits could be made to support that but I would be happy with the fallback drivers Microsoft supports.  Correct me if I'm wrong about any additional configurations.

I enabled the fallback driver for PCL and PS then refreshed group policy on the TS server.  I'm not exactly what the terminal user will see for a default printer in their TS seesion when connecting.  I would guess they would see an HP Deskjet 500 if they had a monochrome printer.  What do I need to do to get this to work?

The 3rd party solutions are quite expensive.

Thank you
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Question by:msandhorst
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Jeffrey Kane - TechSoEasy earned 2000 total points
ID: 17845615
I'm not sure what you've read on the net, but the ultimate guide, and authority for TS Printing is Brian Madden.  
The guide is at:http://www.brianmadden.com/content/content.asp?ID=62

And these two articles should explain what you're looking to do:
http://www.brianmadden.com/content/content.asp?ID=316
http://www.brianmadden.com/content/content.asp?ID=438

Jeff
TechSoEasy
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by:msandhorst
ID: 17851057
Thanks Jeff,

I did read Brian's articles and they were helpful. Microsoft's fallback printer function seems to work now as far as using the fallback driver for unsupported printers.  When the fallback driver was use, the printer printed out unreadable garbage.

I've decided to use ".print RDP Engine 7.0" developed by ThinPrint.  This company is a Microsoft Gold Certified Partner, so I felt comfortable installing it on my TS server.  This product is a breeze to install on the server, no configuration required.  The users connecting to the TS server has install a small software client that requires no configuration changes.  You can also download a client to create a transform file file that preconfigures the client but this is not necessary.  I installed server and client using all defaults and it works seamlessly with Windows.  This product is pricey, about $820 but is worth not having to constantly support printing issues.

You can download a 30 day demo which I am currently using, after that a registration key must be purchased to continue using the product.  It is licensed per server not per user.

I am closing this question.
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by:Jeffrey Kane - TechSoEasy
ID: 17851340
Thanks for the update and review of the 3rd party tool... that's always handy to know.

Jeff
TechSoEasy
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