Printing problems on Windows Server 2003 SP2 x64 in Terminal Services mode

Posted on 2009-02-16
Last Modified: 2013-11-21
Windows Server 2003 SP2 x64 in Terminal Services mode can only print plain text documents from Notepad or Wordpad or Windows Printer Test Pages from the console as Administrator, but can print any documents when logged in via Terminal Services / Remote Desktop as any user including Administrator. This started on 2/4/09. That day, .NET Framework 2.0 and 3.0 were installed.

When attempting to print a web page from FireFox while logged into the console as Administrator, an error message comes up stating "You may not be able to print after installing .NET F..." The rest of the message is truncated and the wording may not be exact.

Hotfix 944203 from Microsoft has been applied and re-applied with no change.
Question by:MGCTech
    LVL 6

    Expert Comment

    Have you restarted the server?
    Are the print spooler service running on the server?
    Do you get any other printer related errors in the eventviewer?
    post some more info and we continue from there
    / Mikael

    Author Comment

    There are no printer-related errors in the event viewer, other than the usual ones when a client connects via RDP with a printer for which the server has no driver.

    The print spooler service is running.

    Yes, the server has been restarted.

    Let me know what other info you need and I'll post it.

    LVL 6

    Expert Comment

    When you applied the hotfix, did you check the file version on unidrv.dll, and unidrvui.dll so that those where the same version as in the hotfix?
    have you installed any print drivers just before the .net installation or after that uses the above files? since unidrv.dll is commonly used by many drivers maybe those have been updated by another driver and therefore the hotfix is not applied (no replace when version is newer on existing file)
    can you check the file version on those two files above? you will find them in the spool\drivers folder on the server.
    / Mikael

    Author Comment

    I did check the unidrv.dll and unidrvui.dll versions. The first time, they were later than what was specified in the KB article, so I renamed those ones to *.old and then applied the hotfix again, which did give us the versions we were expecting, but did not resolve the issue.

    There's another hotfix (KB961118), which I'll be applying early next week.  If that doesn't resolve the issue, I'll try uninstalling .NET Framework 3.5 to see if that solves the problem.  If not, then uninstalling .NET Framework 3.0.

    Thanks for your suggestions.  I'll post the results next week.

    Author Comment

    Used method 1 and method 2 in KB923100 to remove .NET Framework and then reinstalled just version 1.1.

    Unfortunately, that has not changed the status of the issue.

    Author Comment

    Reinstalled .NET Framework 2.0, 3.0 and 3.5 and applied hot fix KB961118.

    Still no change.

    Any thoughts?

    Accepted Solution

    If you're having this problem, do the following:

    1.      On the Windows Start menu, point to Settings, and then click Control Panel.
    2.      Double-click Regional Settings.
    3.      On the Regional Settings tab, choose a different setting from the list (there are several country settings that use English).  Then click OK.
    4.      Run msconfig and configure it for a clean boot, stopping all startup and NON-essential services after step 3 (before reboot).
    5.      Restart your computer.
    6.      Return to Regional Settings in Control Panel, and select your original regional setting.
    7.      Click OK, and then restart your computer (still using msconfig in clean boot configuration).
    8.      Install and test with an inbox printer driver first.  If good, test existing.

    To clarify, on #8, an inbox printer driver is the one closest to the printer you are using.  For example, if we have an HP LaserJet 1200, the inbox driver would be the HP LaserJet 1150 or 1100.  On #4, clean boot means no SYSTEM.INI, WIN.INI, non-Microsoft services or Startup items.

    If that works for you, as it did for me, just go back to msconfig, enable one or more items, reboot and try printing again until you get the error.  Then you'll have narrowed down your list of suspects and can root out the culprit by disabling the last items you enabled one at a time and rebooting until you no longer get the error when printing.

    In my case, it was the credit card processing software, ActiveCharge.

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