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network printer over vpn connection problem

Posted on 2007-04-07
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Last Modified: 2010-04-12
I have an xp pro system and a win server 2003 tied together over the internet with a Cisco point to point VPN connection.

On the XP system i have defined a shared printer named canon.  From the server 2003 system I can see the printer in network places explorer. However, I can not connect to it. I get the msg
"Either the printer name was incorrectly typed, or the specified printer has lost its connection to the server"

I can get to shared files, and mapped drives just fine. Only the printer function is not working.

Thanks in advance for any ideas.

Sweeney100

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Question by:sweeney100
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Expert Comment

by:Rob Williams
ID: 18870364
Based on; "From the server 2003 system I can see the printer "
I assume you are trying to print to the local printer using a remote desktop connection. Assuming that is the case have a look at the following:

To set up printing with remote desktop:
-On the users workstation when they start the remote desktop connection client, click the options button, and then go to the local resources tab. Check the box for printers and save.
-the drivers for the printer have to be installed on the computer to which you are connecting, assuming they are not native to the operating system. Do not install the printer on the computer to which you are connecting but rather; on the "server" computer, 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 computer to which you are connecting, 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
-if it is an option, often connecting the printer to another local computer and sharing it, then connecting to the share rather than having it attached locally, often resolves the problem. If you are using a VPN client this is not always possible, due to routing issues.
-if you are using a USB printer, though it usually works (some multi-function units do not), Microsoft does not officially support USB printing through remote desktop sessions. Vista is supposed to resolve this, though it doesn't help you now.
-avoid PCL6 drivers with terminal services
-Microsoft has released an updated version of the Remote desktop Connection (ver 6) which should be more compatible with USB printers. Certainly offers more USB options, assuming these are compatible with existing O/S's.
http://www.microsoft.com/downloads/details.aspx?familyid=26F11F0C-0D18-4306-ABCF-D4F18C8F5DF9&displaylang=en
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Author Comment

by:sweeney100
ID: 18874020
Thanks for the feedback Rob. However, I'm not trying to print using remote desktop.

From the 2003 server I can see the printer in network connections. This is because of the VPN.  Since the VPN connects the 2 computers they are essentially networked together, I can see shared folders on each computer from the other just using the network explorer. I can get data from the shared folders.

On the server 2003 system, when I go to newtwok connections and do a search for computer name xyz, I can see the shared folders, and the printer. I can read the folders, but can not connect to the printer.

Sweeney100
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by:Rob Williams
ID: 18874045
I assume you are connecting from Computer1 to Server1. Computer1's printer is visible on Server1, but is it physically attached to Computer1 or is it connected to a shared printer on another computer, or is it a TCP/IP printer? If it is not attached to Computer1 it likely means split-tunneling would need to be enabled with the VPN. VPN's by default usually block all local network access to protect the corporate/server1 network, and therefore you have no access to local resources, such as non-attached printers. Split-tunneling allows access to both simultaneously.
If this is the case split-tunneling needs to be enabled on the Cisco router for connecting clients. If not the case, let us know and we can pursue other avenues.
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by:sweeney100
ID: 18876181
the printer is connected to computer1 (XP pro machine, usb port), and computer1 can print to it ok. Computer1, has it defined as a networked shared printer, so server1 shoul be able to print to it.
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by:Rob Williams
ID: 18879662
Maybe I should have asked this in the first place. How are you trying to print ? Are you logged on to the server directly and trying to print from an application there? or from a workstation on the server's LAN ? If the latter it may be a routing issue.
Where the printer is a USB printer I would still check the port type and see if the following will resolve, even though not using remote desktop.
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Author Comment

by:sweeney100
ID: 18887291
It does sound like a routing problem.  Would accessing a folder, and a printer have different
routing parms?

I am trying to print from a wokstation connected to the server 2003 computer through remote desktop.  This is because the server is racked up in a closet.

I will check on the usb issue.

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Expert Comment

by:Rob Williams
ID: 18888998
It could be routing. The user sees the printer on the server which uses the same route as accessing the shares, but it is another/different route from the server to the actual printer.

I am very confused now. You said both;
-"However, I'm not trying to print using remote desktop."
-"I am trying to print from a wokstation connected to the server 2003 computer through remote desktop. "
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Author Comment

by:sweeney100
ID: 18890822
Thanks Rob.
Yes that's confusing. I am logged in to the  server using remote desktop.  Once connected, I assume
I am "on the server". Then I try to add printer(as a user on the server).  I meant I am not remote desktop into the machine that has the printer. I am VPN to the machine that has the printer. A little strange.

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Accepted Solution

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Rob Williams earned 250 total points
ID: 18891499
So you are trying to print using remote desktop. I.E you have logged on to the server, using a remote desktop session, from a Computer1 and and you want to print to the printer attached to Computer1. Assuming this is the case the list outlined above is required in order to print. The most common issue is the drivers need to be installed on the server. Use the method outlined above. If you still do not see and or cannot print see the link to Microsoft regarding printer port types.
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Author Comment

by:sweeney100
ID: 18894301
Thanks Rob.

sweeney100
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Expert Comment

by:Rob Williams
ID: 18894767
Thank you sweeney100.
Cheers !
--Rob
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