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default printing on TS, server 2008 x64, xpsp3 w/rdp7

hi there

i only ask questions when i have no time to go find the answer, which provides a fair trade of points for time

currently, we have a company wide printing issue that seems to have popped up around 2-3 weeks ago and they're just now telling me about.

the issues are probably related, but might not be, who knows.

the setup:
12 terminal servers running server 2008 x64 (r1) and server 2003 x32
clients connect from xp sp3 with the latest rdp, and dot net 3.5
clients "bring" their printers with them via the checkmark and the registry hack FilterQueueType
printing worked fine for at least 6 years over a few upgrades

something happened 2-3 weeks ago - nothing was instlaled - but now the issues:

1. users get set a random printer every time they log into the remote desktop
2. when people print, the fonts are almost always screwed up coming out of PDF documents, unless we choose "print as image"
3. when printing, it takes a really, really long time (60 seconds to see the first page)

the printers:  
some hard-coded installed on the server pointing to an ip address
some brought with the connecting client (usb/parallel/ip)

the permissions:
users only see those printers which they have permission to see
for most users, that includes what they brought, and 1 or 2 "direct" printers (installed on the server, pointing to the printer)

there's no noticeable method to how the default gets picked each time.  it's almost never the default which is chosen on the client before connecting.

i do have the command to run at user logon which chooses the default printer, but from what i can tell that only works for "direct" printers installed on the server.  some users want their own printer they brought with them to be the default (random ts id port).  that rundll command is NOT in use, but i'm ok using it if that's the fix.

so... the question:

what could have changed - or - at least - how to set default printers forever and have them stick.
possibly related:  why so slow, and why are the fonts all jacked up?

troubleshooting:
doesn't matter if i pick PCL or PS or PPD drivers, the font issue is the same... although PCL is a lot faster, it only prints half the page :/

if the questions are not related, the main intent of this thread is to get the defaults fixed.

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B H
Asked:
B H
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1 Solution
 
mquirozCommented:
it may be som QoS policy from the communication guys or some automatic update from the printer drivers and you have compatibility issues between clients and servers
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B HAuthor Commented:
hmm  interesting thought on the QoS - i'll remove that from all the nic's since we're not trying to use it

automatic updates bit us a few years back, now we do them manually and read every one of them

what kind of compatibility issues can you think of for me to check between clients/servers?
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mquirozCommented:
printer drivers version mismatching, it happed to us...
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B HAuthor Commented:
and how did you go about fixing it?

do you just care about PCL on the server and PCL on the client, or does the actual version matter?  it's pretty difficult to find exact matching drivers for xp and 2008 - but at least we can be pcl/pcl or ps/ps

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mquirozCommented:
it's kinda dirty but i try to use old hp drivers, like hp laserjet 5 even if the printer is a late model
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B HAuthor Commented:
dang that might be it too - we were using laserjet 1100 drivers for every make/model laser printer, and someone went and updated them :)
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mquirozCommented:
I'm glad you found out. tnx.
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