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2003 Terminal Server Question regarding printer drivers

Posted on 2010-11-15
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I have a 2003 Windows Server, and I want to add print drivers for a couple different printers.  We have a couple people using remote desktop who need to map their printers.  I know how to go into the print server properties and add drivers, but the problem I am having is, two of the computers that remote desktop into the server are running Windows Vista Business and Windows 7 Business.  The printers these computers are using have built it native drivers on Vista and 7 and HP and Brother (for example) don't even have driver downloads available for Vista and 7.  I can't add the vista and 7 drivers to the Windows 2003 server when the drivers aren't even available.  The XP drivers are available, and the one XP machine can map their local printer through the remote session just fine, but short of getting rid of the printers or downgrading the computers to XP, I am wondering how I am supposed to add drivers when I can't even find them to download.  I assume other people have the same problem all the time, so hopefully there is an easy fix I am overlooking.  Thanks!
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Question by:jbobst
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tstritof earned 1000 total points
ID: 34138125
Hi,

when HP printers are concerned I suggest you install a HP Universal Printer driver and set up mapping for client printers that don't have appropriate drivers. My experience with this driver so far is really good. I've sucessfully used it to print to totally different HP printers (color laser jets, inkjets, and even photosmart aio devices) and printers of other vendors (e.g. Epson POS printers).

Complete Microsoft directions on how to do this can be found here:
http://support.microsoft.com/kb/239088

In short this is what you do:

1) Download and install HP UPD on your terminal server (download link here).

2) Create the custom driver mapping file on your terminal server to map your local printer driver to HP UPD.

To determine driver used by your client printer go to Printer Properties on the client and capture driver name:
 Capturing client printer driver name.
Do this for all your client printers missing appropriate server OS drivers (I do it for most of my client printers to minimize server side driver problems :))

On the server side - create a custom mapping file (name it as you like and give it inf extension - the example I use here is "ntprint_example.inf").
 Example of mapping file.
With HP UPD you have the choice to map PS or PCL - I use PS because it produces smaller spool files and is more universal. You can also download universal drivers from other vendors to achieve better results if HP driver can't support all used client printer models.

Place the mapping file in %WINDOWS%\inf folder (usually C:\Windows\inf).

3) "Hack" the registry on your terminal server.

Run regedit and locate the following key:
HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Control\Terminal Server\Wds\rdpwd

Add the following two values:
Name: PrinterMappingINFName
Type: REG_SZ
Data: Name of the .inf file to which you want to redirect lookups.
In my example it would be: c:\windows\inf\ntprint_example.inf

Name: PrinterMappingINFSection
Type: REG_SZ
Data: Name of the section in the .inf file to which you want to redirect lookups.
In my example it would be: Printers

And that's all. I use this solution even on server 2008 because it produces significantly smaller PS files than universal EasyPrint driver XPS files (when printing PDF with graphics EasyPrint generated XPS can turn out to be 10x bigger than HP UPD generated PS spool file).

Hope this helps.

Regards,
Tomislav
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by:jbobst
ID: 34394490
So sorry about delaying this question!  Thanks so much for your help.  Got everything working!
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Expert Comment

by:tstritof
ID: 34394538
No problem. I hope my suggestions actually helped :)
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