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Can not remote print when connected to VPN

Posted on 2013-12-08
Medium Priority
Last Modified: 2013-12-13
I have always previously been able to print from home on my LAN wired connected HOME desktop and wired HOME printer when connected to work via a VPN connection.  Now for some reason despite no changes that I am aware of I am unable to print a document from work to my HOME printer.  If I go to printers I see it in a spooling state.  If I close out my VON connection and then SHUTDOWN my home PC it then seems to print.  A very ineffective way to print :(
Question by:upobDaPlaya
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LVL 71

Expert Comment

ID: 39704870
"I see it in a spooling state" - that is, the printer driver received the print job, but isn't able to send it to the physical printer, correct? Do you really need a shutdown to get it work?

There are several possible reasons for that. One is that the name you use for the printer isn't resolvable while running the VPN, which can be caused by changes on the server end.
Another possible reason is that the local IP addresses are not reachable any longer. Again, this can be caused at the server end.

For troubleshooting, open a command prompt while connected, try the following commands, and post the results:
nslookup YourPrinterNameHere
ping -n 1 YourPrinterNameHere
ping -n 1 YourPrinterIPAddressHere

Open in new window

And BTW it would be good to know which kind of VPN is used - the integrated one on which OS, or Cisco, or ...?

Author Comment

ID: 39704917
So I do nslookup from my home computer ?  I tried nslookup from my home computer and got the following ?

Default Server:  UnKnown
Address:  192.xxx.xx.1

> nslookup hp laserjet p2035
Unrecognized command: nslookup hp laserjet p2035

Note for my VPN I go to a website and click in my credentials and then it connects me to my work computer...
LVL 71

Expert Comment

ID: 39704933
I see you are not well experienced with both network printing and VPN. In that case it should be best to contact your IT providing the VPN, they should be able to help better than we, as they know they environment.

Just that you know: Your network printer has an IP address, and probably a network name (which is not "hp laserjet p2035", as that is not a valid TCP/IP DNS name). That IP or name is used in the connection properties of the printer, and that one is what you'll need for testing.
Be aware that you should not just type nslookup, as that will start that tool in a command prompt mode you have to leave with exit.
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Author Comment

ID: 39704950
My IT group was of no help which was I came here.  To attempt to fix and learn.
LVL 71

Expert Comment

ID: 39704991
I feared it is that way :(. Prepare for some work then.

While not connected, open the printer's properties. You should see a "Port" tab, with one port checked. Click on that port, and then on the "Configure" button. The dialog box appearing should show the IP address or name used to contact the printer. Note that (e.g. in a Notepad).

Then perform the test posted above in the command prompt window (still with no VPN connection), and add
ipconfig /all

Open in new window

It's a good idea to copy the results (again) into a Notepad (right click in the command prompt, choose Mark All or Select All, press return, and then paste into Notepad or whatever; save the file, of course).

Now connect via VPN, and do the command prompt test again as above. Disconnect, and try again, not shutting down the machine.

The results you collected should tell us enough about the cause (I hope).

Author Comment

ID: 39705007
Hi Qlemo...also whats interesting as I prepared to follow the above instructions I disconnected from the VPN and my job printed.

When I click on the port box I get the following error...thanks for your help..appreciate it..
LVL 31

Assisted Solution

masnrock earned 400 total points
ID: 39705010
Depends on how the VPN is set up for your office. That type of conflict actually occurs quite a bit. Ask your IT group about being able to see resources on your network at the same time as being on the VPN.
LVL 71

Expert Comment

ID: 39705017
The error message tells exactly that: Your Printer Spooler service is not reachable. That's strange. Was printing finished at that time? Also, go into the Service applet (in Control Panel),  and check the state of the Spooler service. It should run at all times.

Author Comment

ID: 39705026
Correct printing was finished.  I have attached 2 files displaying the printer and spooling sevice properties.
LVL 31

Expert Comment

ID: 39705059
What program do you use to connect to the VPN?
LVL 71

Expert Comment

ID: 39705060
The first screenshot is of the wrong tab - the first one would be needed.
The second shows that you do not use a network printer, it is connected via USB. VPN connections should have absolutely no effect to that, unless they prohibit USB connections for security reasons, but I've never heard of that.

If you can create print jobs while connected, the Spooler service runs (else you wouldn't be able to see any printer). Blocking that service is the only reason I can imagine to cause your issue. But well, if printing works as soon as you disconnect, I consider that as an acceptable workaround.

Author Comment

ID: 39705113
Some more information...I notice on my home PC I had to load some software called Screwdriver which would allow my work PC to see my home port.  If i go to my work PC I see a port description called RDP5 Port for my printer to use when remoting to work from home.  This is the only port checked and the name is S4R00010.  There are 2 other RDP5 port descriptins, but they are unchecked.  There names are S4R00001 and S4R00006.

Some verbiage from the web on Screwdrivers

ScrewDrivers uses a patent-pending process to query the local
client’s printers and create virtualized printers on the Terminal
Server. When the user prints to one of these printers, the print
process that is used is the standard which is built into Windows.
The driver on the server translates the GDI commands into a
custom designed format called TMF (triMeta), which natively
supports streaming and compression. The print job is streamed to
the client machine, where it is then rendered to the client’s
It is important to note that the client printer’s standard printer
features such as page sizes, trays, and resolutions are reproduced
by the virtual printer on the server. These properties are reflected
on the server so that the user has a seamless transition to the
Terminal Services environment. The printer name also takes a
familiar form, so no user training is required to recognize the
printers when running from an application hosted remotely.
LVL 71

Accepted Solution

Qlemo earned 1600 total points
ID: 39705588
Oh, you need to tell such important details from the very beginning! As I understand it, you are using the VPN to remote into your office, execute some Terminal Service stuff (that is, you work on a PC in the office), and have issues with printing from there. Printing starts when you disconnect from VPN (or maybe you only need to quit the Terminal Session).

Seriously, that is something your IT has to manage. It's their job. They should contact tricerat, because the issue you have is exactly what ScrewDrivers should cure - remote printing issues.

Anyway, I will change topic areas, maybe you'll get somebody here experienced in troubleshooting that software.

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