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Terminal Server 2003 printer redirection not working

Posted on 2007-08-01
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I have a small network and am running Terminal Services to allow a site in London access to our Windows 2003 server. The problem I am having is how to allow the remote sites to print documents locally while in session on the server. The remote clients are attached to a networked HP printer and can print to it fine from their local session.  Printer redirection is enabled on the terminal server.  The driver is installed on the terminal server.  For some reason the printer is defined in Printers and Faxes at an address that is on the remote network, not our network, and i cannot delete the printer or the one job in the queue.  (I will stop the spooler later tonite and try to get rid of that situation, but want to get some input on this as soon as possible).  I don't think I should even see that printer in Printers and Faxes, unless someone is printing to it??  I am expecting that automatic redirection should work, but my reading makes me wonder if the remote printer has to be a non-networked printer?  Seems unlikely (and really bad if true) but what, if anything, is the workaround if it is true? When they try to print from the RDP session, they get the error 'the document failed to print' .
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Question by:quaybj
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Rob Williams earned 1600 total points
ID: 19610486
Are they connecting by VPN, and if so is it a site to site VPN or a software client access? This can affect printing to networked printers.

You will need to clear the print que, and therefore stop the spooler service, before you can delete the printer. Administrators may see redirected printers but other users should not.
Have a look at the following as to how to set up remote desktop printing, specifically the driver install method. There is an other option if using a VPN.

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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by:Hypercat (Deb)
Hypercat (Deb) earned 400 total points
ID: 19610825
The fix referred to by Robwill above - http://support.microsoft.com/default.aspx?scid=kb;en-us;q302361 - is the one you need to ensure that the remote users will be able to print to a printer on their local network.  You are correct that you normally wouldn't see that printer except when users are connected from that office.  Once the registry fix mentioned in that article is applied on the workstations, you will see a printer redirection for each connected user.  The printer connections are normally deleted when the users disconnect. The reason you're seeing that connection that is frozen is because the printer redirection wasn't working properly.
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by:quaybj
ID: 19610905
Thanks, RobWill, I will follow these instructions after the close of business today.  We are not connecting via VPN.  I will switch to PostScript and PCL 5 drivers.  I have just asked them to verify that printers as a local resource is checked.
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by:Rob Williams
ID: 19610927
Let us know how you make out.
--Rob
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by:quaybj
ID: 19615712
Thank you both.  I have followed the instructions from RobWill and will ask the admin in London to do the fix on the local machines there. I can't see the port type from here.   If that doesn't happen (he is not in the office often), I will take over their sessions remotely to apply the fix.  I am traveling today and tomorrow, so will let you know how this turns out on Monday.  The printer in question in not a multifunction, but a networked HP color Laserjet.  
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Author Comment

by:quaybj
ID: 19671266
I am going to close this and split the points.  The remote folks are having some kind of outside IP addressing problem which is stopping them from working on the printing issue, which I don't think has anything to do with this bacause they can connect and work just fine.  I am splitting the points even tho the fix was submitted by RobWill, hypercat gave some clarity to the issue of seeing the redirected pritners and what the reg fix does in general.  Thank you both for your input

quaybj
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by:Rob Williams
ID: 19672405
Thanks quaybj. Good luck with it.
Cheers !
--Rob
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