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Printing to local printer from Terminal Server

Jmorrow used Ask the Experts™
Here is our setup:

Terminal Server A (Server 2003)
Terminal Server B  (Server 2003)
Client Home PC ( Connected to network via VPN ) (Windows XP )

We need for the client to print directly to his local printer from the terminal server(s).  I have tried many things to make this work but all have failed.  I made sure the connect printers option is selected in the remote desktop settings and I made sure both teh server and client computer have the same driver installed.

I just wanted to know the easiest most effienct way to get this remote printing setup.  I am even willling to use a 3rd party program to do so.  Please help!

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Its quit easy, you must have assigned one IP to remote printer, ping it first, then select Add printer option in terminal server from printers menu and select "local printer attached to this computer" then do next and select the create new port option , then select the standard TCP/IP port click next provide the IP and show the drivers path in next screens, you will have the printer setup on the terminal server to which client can give direct print.I am managing more than 45 printers in terminal server the same way..


Do I assign the IP via DHCP on the server?  Is that what you mean? sorry my knowledge with networking isnt that great.  
You don't necessarily have to have the SAME driver installed on the server and the local workstation. In fact, if the driver that is installed on the client computer is not compatible with the server operating system (i.e., Windows 2003), you would have to download and install a Windows 2003-compatible driver for that user's printer on the server. For example, if the user has an HP multifunction machine, you'd have to find and install a Windows 2003 printer-only driver for that machine on the server. Check this out first to see if the drivers you have on the server are in fact compatible with the Windows 2003 OS.
I ran into an issue with this before and the problem was that the driver was not compatible with Terminal Services. Here is a link to the HP site describing the issue.


So I had to ultimately replace the print driver or printer if they didn't have a terminal services driver.


Thank you for the help, but I am still confused on what Bawer was suggesting.  I need to know how to assign an IP to the local printer.  
Does the printer that you are trying to print to have a network connection or is it directly connected to your desktop?

If it has a network connection then you can assign an ip address to it. If not, then you have to share it through your PC, then you could set it up from the add printers function. But this is assuming that you can access the remote printer from your terminal server. This would most often be done over vpn if it is not on the same network.


Thanks for the help propakmike,

The printer is attached to the local machine via usb.  Is there a way to do this if the client simply connects to the remote server via our company website?  remote.company.com ???
This would be very risky because you would then be opening up ports. I would not do it in my own network so could not recommend this. I would establish a VPN connection.

To answer your question about connecting directly to remote.company.com, I don't know of any solution like that.
What is the client operating system? If it is XP (or earlier) see this article related to using USB printers with a terminal server:
People, let's start with the basic questions:
1. Which brand/model is this printer? Not all printers are compatible, especially the host based ones.
2. Are you using the latest and greatest RDP client from Microsoft on this PC?
3. On the server and client the driver NAME (shown under printer properties, advanced tab) must match. If these do NOT match the TS does NOT create the printer under the user session.
4. Right now if you try to logon do you see any errors on the TS event log at the exact time you logon? If the TS tries to map the printer and fails it usually logs messages about that in the event log.
5. Run TSCC.MSC on the TS. Go to RDP-tcp and double click it. Make sure printing is NOT disabled.

If willing to use third party options you can check: Net2Printer, UniPrint, ThinPrint, SimplifyPrinting, etc.

Cláudio Rodrigues
Microsoft MVP - RDS
Citrix CTP
Ok, for remote machine to work it is necessary to have secure channels, i.e VPN,
second, if the printer is attached to the machine via USB it should be shared and then you should be able to add it to your printers menu at terminal server by accessing the printer connected to remote machine

  \\ IP \ Printer

Third you must have a win 2003/2008 compatible drivers for the printer to work in both cases if you are going to add it as a shared printer or if the printer has its own IP from the remote site range connected to your main site via VPN then you will use standard TCP/IP port to get the printer displayed in the printer menu list.

I hope now its clear,...
No need for a secure channel at all, especially with TS. Printing goes over a virtual channel within the RDP traffic so this information is NOT accurate at all.

Cláudio Rodrigues
Microsoft MVP - RDS
Citrix CTP
If you are creating a standard TCP/IP port why will it go one RDP port??
Where did the author say he is creating a TCP/IP port? All he wants is to print from his TS session to his local printer on his local PC he is connecting from. This is handled through the RDP traffic. No need for anything else, unless the printer is not compatible with TS at all (and even in this case there are universal printing solutions like the vendors I mentioned).

Cláudio Rodrigues
Microsoft MVP - RDS
Citrix CTP
tsmvp, the auther is looking for the solution, i have suggested if the printer is located in a remote site and that site has been allocated an IP range then it would be better to create ST port which is much more better than selecting printers option in RD settings, also in case of slow connection this option creates issues. Also as far a Secure channel is concerned , auther must be having such setup because working from a remote office on a terminal server is only possible on a secure channel.
A solution over RDP will be much cleaner and easier for the author.
Also note access to a TS does not need to go over a secure channel like VPN at all.

Cláudio Rodrigues
Microsoft MVP - RDS
Citrix CTP
well now it depends on author what option is better to be selected..


I havent had a chance to try any of these options yet.  I will keep you all posted.


hdhondt, i literally have not gotten a chance to try any of the preposed solutions.  i have to try this on the clients computer but he has not been available
I dropped out of this discussion due to being away on vacation and very busy. IMO, Bawer has confused the issue by misunderstanding the question.
@Jmorrow - As I understand your OP, the issue is simply that you are trying to print to a printer attached to the remote computer from a terminal session running on that remote computer. There is no need to assign IP addresses or anything connected with that.  If the printer is compatible, then a session for it will be created automatically when the user logs on to the TS.
My advice is first to read and check my comments in post #33147024 and then follow tsmvp's post #33147387. If that solves your issue, then you're good.  If not, then please post back with further info, including the results of your testing and any event log errors you see either on the server or workstation.
just to add into this..
more often than not there will be event log errors on the TS relating to printing..this will tell us more.

and I agree with tsmvp  - getting it to work over the rdp connection is the most flexible, otherwise you need to fix the vpn IP address, also - as a printer over the VPN it may be visible by other TS users which wont be wise.


Thank you for your advice.  IT WORKS! :)