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Cannot connect printer with remote desktop connection to Windows SMB Server

Posted on 2007-10-17
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Last Modified: 2013-11-21
Hello, I am connecting to a server running microsoft smb server using remote desktop connection. While I can connect a local drive I can't seem to connect a local printer. I have enabled the connect remote printer option but still no joy. Also what is the most cost effective way of allowing more than two remote desktop connections using smb?
Many Thanks in Advance!
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Question by:Alexthekiwi
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by:ctbtech
ctbtech earned 800 total points
ID: 20098883
2 or more remote desktop connections:
For mutilple connections you will need to install terminal server and have license per user or per device.
The administrator account is defaulted to always be able to remote desktop.

Printing:
Install your local printers driver onto the server.  Just do a add driver.  This should do the trick.

Regards,
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Cláudio Rodrigues earned 1200 total points
ID: 20104708
Although adding a printer may do the trick, this is the first thing people should LEARN NOT TO DO on a Terminal Server. Not all (I would say, MOST) drivers are TS compatible, meaning the developers had no clue on what would happen when multiple people were sharing the same machine - the terminal server - and tried to print using their driver. The end result? Print spooler crashing (everyone then loses the ability to print) and in certain cases, BSOD (blue screen).
The best way is to find a driver that is shipped on the out-of-the-box Windows Server that will work with your printer and then edit NTPRINT.INF or create an alternate one.
This is all explained on the Microsoft Terminal Services community webpage and on articles that other TS MVPs and myself wrote.
Check MSTerminalServices.org as well. For the TS community just do a search on Google.
Once you find an alternate driver, your issue will be fixed. Or you can try the risky route and as pointed above, install the driver on the TS. But again, this is on your own risk and not recommended by any TS expert!

Cheers,
Cláudio Rodrigues
Microsoft MVP
Windows Server - Terminal Services
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Author Comment

by:Alexthekiwi
ID: 20105004
Thankyou both very much for your assistance. Just one last point to clarify, when I install the driver I can see 3 ports that are marked as TS001 port on connection "connection number here". I take it I am to manually select one of these ports for the printer driver. Apologies if this is obvious stuff.. I am very much first time around at these things!
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by:ctbtech
ctbtech earned 800 total points
ID: 20106797
Well tsmvp if this is the case then why is there a option to add a print driver?  I have been and always will be a user of Microsoft, but if this is true then it just goes to show you how versatile Microsoft really is.  But hey your the MVP so Alexthekiwi I would be carefull.  I've never experienced this myself, but thats not to say it could happen.

Regards,
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by:Cláudio Rodrigues
Cláudio Rodrigues earned 1200 total points
ID: 20109777
I understand your concern CTBTECH. The option to add a driver is there for the same reason you can add for example a raid controller driver. This does not mean all drivers will work, all drivers are tested and signed and so on.
Also remember that Windows Server 2003 can be used on many other things other than Terminal Services.
For the same reason you can fill your car at any gas station, you can add any driver to a TS. This does not mean the gas station you go is selling you pure 91 octane gas. They may have added methanol to the gas to increase their profit and did not tell you. That is the same case with drivers. Not all were tested with TSs. Actually most were NEVER tested and that is why we do recommend you using the built-in ones.
If you access the Microsoft Terminal Services public newsgroup and ask the question 'Should I install printer drivers on my server?' you will get the same answer from everyone: do NOT install unless there is no other way around AND you are willing to accept the risks. Simple as that.
Alex, the way it works for the printer is simple. If there is a match on the drivers (meaning the TS can recognize the printer you have on your PC - you do that by creating your own .INF file OR taking the risk and installing the same driver on the TS) the printer will get automatically mapped to the logged in user when he connects to the TS. You do not need to do anything like connecting to a port. The TS creates the right ports dynamically (TS001, etc) and connects the printer to the correct port (one per session).

Hope this helps.

Cláudio Rodrigues
Microsoft MVP
Windows Server - Terminal Services
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by:ctbtech
ctbtech earned 800 total points
ID: 20111549
I am glad you chimed in on this question tsmvp.  I have never had any problems before, nor was I aware of the possible issue.  I will be more careful in the future.  I like Microsoft, but this is just another check mark of things that are so annoying with Microsoft.  Anyway Alexthekiwi, be careful if you just add the print driver.  Let us know and tsmvp thanks for the advice of Microsofts ways.

Regards,
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Assisted Solution

by:Cláudio Rodrigues
Cláudio Rodrigues earned 1200 total points
ID: 20111630
Not a problem CTBTECH. Sometimes the IT world is not the way we want/expect. :-)

Cláudio Rodrigues
Microsoft MVP
Windows Server - Terminal Services
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Author Comment

by:Alexthekiwi
ID: 20180694
Thanks for your help! I now have the driver problem solved!
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