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How can I print via RDP to my local printer when there are no drivers available for the remote server's OS?

Posted on 2010-08-12
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Last Modified: 2013-11-21
I've got an HP PhotoSmart 2600 printer attached to my Windows XP machine.  I use Remote Desktop to connect to a virtual (VMware) Windows 2003 server to run certain applications.  When I log on to that server, my printer does not map, so I can't print anything.

I know that generally you have to install the same driver on the server that you are using on the client machine.  The problem is, the driver disc that came with the printer did does not include a Windows 2003 driver.  I tried adding the printer to the server by going into Printer and Fax properties, click File | Server Properties, click the Drivers tab, click Add, go through the wizard, select Have Disk, browse to the CD and select an .inf file.  The problem is, it's not finding any printer drivers when I do this.  

So then I tried running the Setup.exe on the installation CC to install the printer, but during the install I get "This computer does not have the necessary USB software support to allow completion of a USB installation. The installation cannot continue until this is resolved."  That may be due to it being a virtual machine so there really are no physical USB ports.

I've also tried using the Terminal Services Fallback Printer Driver, and the HP Universal Printer driver.  The TS Fallback Printer Driver did not work.  The HP Universal Printer driver also didn't work - it didn't even work on the local Windows XP machine, let alone via RDP.

I even had the idea of installing the printer on a VMware Windows XP machine, sharing that printer, then adding the shared pritner on the Widnows 2003 machine (thinking this may be a way to trick the 2003 server into isntalling the driver), but once again I got "This computer does not have the necessary USB software support..." when I tried installing it on the virtual XP machine.

I have contacted HP Support, but they said "...unfortunately a software driver package compatible with Windows 2003 server is not available for your unit. As the software drivers are not available for your unit it is not supported to install the unit in Windows 2003 server. I regret for the inconvenience this may cause to you."

I'm out of ideas.  Any help would be appreciated.
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Question by:Oak_IT
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Duff614 earned 500 total points
ID: 33423181
There may be a better way but for any PhotoSmart inkjets I have had luck using an inkjet 990 or 990c driver, usually they are built into windows. You can try to use the Terminal Server Printer Driver Redirection Wizard to associate the printer with a different driver.
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by:DrUltima
ID: 33423207
Unfortunately, you have your answer.  HP has already told you.  It isn't a compatible printer with Server 2003.

Your only other attempt would be to print to an image type file (pdf or xps), copy to your machine, and print locally or share from your machine, try to install Server 2000 drivers as additional drivers, and then map from the VM to your physical.  Neither is a going to really give you the fix you want, though, and the second option may not work at all.

Justin
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by:Cláudio Rodrigues
ID: 33423599
If you do want to print using this printer no matter what you will need a third party solution ($$). Net2Printer, SimplifyPrinting, UniPrint, ThinPrint, etc will work in this case.

Cláudio Rodrigues
Microsoft MVP - Remote Desktop Services
Citrix CTP
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by:DeDeckkerAndy
ID: 33423954
here you go:

Download the software from windows xp and start the setup on your server 2003.
When the error comes, don't close the program, just minimize it.
Look on your hard disk for a temporary folder that is created with all the extracted software files in it. Probably on your personal temp folder (c:\documents and settings\username\local settings\temp\x). Best to search for folder create date.
Copy the folder to another location.
Search within the folder for .inf files with the following sentence "ExcludeFromSelect=*" (without the "" quotes).
Comment that line out by placing an ; in front of the line. (you can edit the file with notepad).
Then manually install a new printer. When you have to select a driver, point to the folder where you have changed the .inf file. The correct printer should be in the list now. Proceed, you will get a warning that the driver isn't correctly signed (that is because we added the ; in front of the line in the .inf file)
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by:DeDeckkerAndy
ID: 33423973
ok. on mistake.. shouldn't be "when the error comes", but "when the windows opens where you have to press next"
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by:Cláudio Rodrigues
ID: 33424135
Just be aware that there is a reason why certain drivers are NOT supported on TS. Have you heard about BSODs? Good reason to stay away from things that are not supposed to run on TS.

Cláudio Rodrigues
Microsoft MVP - Remote Desktop Services
Citrix CTP
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Author Comment

by:Oak_IT
ID: 33424566
Thank you all for your input!

DrUltima, "printing" to a pdf document is what I've been using as a work-around, and you're right - it's not the fix I want.

DeDeckkerAndy, thanks for writing out that solution.  I mentioned it to a co-worker, and he said he already tried that and it didn't work.

Duff614, I'm hoping your suggestion works.  I installed the driver on the XP workstation and the driver DOES work with the printer locally.  I have not had a chance test it from the Windows 2003 server via RDP - I had some stuff running in the remote desktop session and didn't want to close it for the sake of loggin out and back in to see if the printer maps.  But I'll test it tomorrow morning and should know then if it work - I'm thinking it will!

tsmvp, thanks for the warning and suggestions.  I'm going to try the 990c driver.  If it causes BSODs then I'll probably take your advice and look into a 3rd party solution.
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by:Spike99
ID: 33466263
HP Photosmart printers are NOT supported on terminal servers because they use Host-based print drivers.  Here's HP's document on what they do support in a Citrix or RDP environment:
http://h20195.www2.hp.com/v2/GetPDF.aspx/4AA0-8465ENW.pdf

Ah, but you may be in luck: the Photosmart 2600 is listed in that PDF.  HP has successfully tested it using the DeskJet 6540 (see page 22 in that PDF).  So, I would install another instance of the printer locally using the DJ 6540 driver & also install the drver on the TS to see if that works for you.  Or you can use print driver mapping on the TS to map the PSC2600 driver to the DJ 6540.

Here's MS's download page for the print driver mapping tool:
http://www.microsoft.com/downloads/details.aspx?FamilyId=9AD27BE9-40DB-484F-862E-38A094EEEAF7&displaylang=en

There are only two ways I got my local Photosmart Premium printer to work:
   TS Easy Print (which is included with Windows Server 2008)
   Tricerat's ScrewDrivers which elminates the need to install OEM drivers on terminal servers.  Client software is a free download, but the server license you need for each TS is about $1000.

I've tried everything I know how, but it just won't work any other way. I tried different drivers & mapping the driver to another driver that's installed on the server: but no luck until my company installed Screwdrivers on the TSs.

Alicia
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