Printer mapping in Termianl Server 2003

VNE used Ask the Experts™
I have lately been having issues with a customer that is runnning Terminal Server 2003 Enterprise.  This customer has multiple remote locations that have point of sale pc's with receipt printers attached to them.  The point of sale system is a windows program but it uses a DOS printing system/interface and it must print to an lpt port.  Here's the way I have these setup in order to print receipts:

Users login to the terminal server and their pos software starts automatically.  The receipt printer follows the user's session to the server.  On the server I have installed the drivers for the receipt printers.  The receipt printers show up in "printers and faxes" on the server whether the user is logged in or not.  I have the receipt printer shared and then when the user logs in I have a batch file that uses net use to map lpt1 to this shared name.  This works great about 90% of the time.  The rest of the time the mapping doesn't work and the users can't print.  The users scream and yell because they don't know it's not working until they have customer waiting for a receipt.  Sometimes the mapping may be lost during the session but I can't really verify this for sure.  

My main question is:  Why in the world does this work great and then all of a sudden give me problems?  How can I make this stable?
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yea, timeouts on login etc, sometimes cause this, why not apply login script via GP? and via vbs?

Isnt there a way to make that mapping system wide, or do you need citrix for that?


Thanks for the reply,

I don't think I need to make the mapping system wide as only about 4 of the users are using lpt1 to print.  If I make a login script and apply it to the global policy, how does this differ from setting a program to run on login under the environment tab in the users properties?   And also, I see a lot of people writing scripts using vb as you suggested.  Is this a better way to do it?

Back to the original question though---I am using the persistent switch on net use, so shouldn't the mapping stay until the user logs off?  Is applying the login script as you suggested more stable than my method?

It's the unpredictable and erratic behavior of the mapping that is driving me nuts.

well at least the GP gets applied regularly, and I find the vbs script is faster than loading a command emulator..

Login script under the environment tab? not sure about that, but you could use a script in the startup folder also I suppose..
On the ports tab for the properties of the printer, do you have the "Enable bidirectional support" and "Enable printer pooling" checkboxes checked?  This worked for me years ago on a 2000 platform.

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