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RDP Printer not showing up.

My client has a Win 8 laptop at home Office and it is connected to local wifi printer and works fine locally. She rdp's into server 2012 workgroup server at main office. The driver is already there as another user rdp's from Win 8 pc as well and that user is able to print locally AND in rdp. These 2 users are in same Home Office.

This users log into server as a different user (administrator). When the laptop logs into the server, the printer does not show up even though the option is checked in the rdp setting to bring printers through. Printer shows locally, and prints, but in rdp is does not show on the server even after installing the driver again..

Now when I install the printer on the laptop as a \\pcname\printer share map printer, it will print locally, and DOES show up on the server, but STILL does not print? It still works locally. Not seeing any errors in logs..

Printer is an Epson Workforce 630 and a Toshiba Laptop and Dell PC, both win 8.
Kevin Caldwell
Kevin Caldwell
1 Solution
First, you should check if the version of win8 and win2012 are the running the same bits version (64).

It can be problems printing with unproper driver

The solution could be the following:

install the printer on the rdp server, check if printing from rdp is working fine; then when you connect to the server, uncheck printers from local resources (so that the driver will not be loaded from laptop)
Sajid Shaik MSr. System AdminCommented:
log in to the rdp server with different user (administrator) and check the printer is installed there and showing or not...

if showing ... check the printer properties...print processor... if win 8 is 32 bit then...u have to add 32 bit processor..
Spike99On-Site IT TechnicianCommented:
I doubt that printer is supported in a remote desktop environment because I think that uses a host-based print driver.

HP has strongly emphasized the fact that any printer using host-based drivers is NOT supported in a remote desktop environment (either using remote desktop services or Citrix).  They have a PDF document listing which printers are or aren't supported in that environment:

This other HP page does a good job of describing what host-based printing is. But, basically, host-based print drivers perform the bulk of print job processing on the "host" PC. So the jobs are larger and take up more CPU & RAM resources :

HP states pretty strongly on that page that host-based printers are not supported in an RDP connection:
NOTE: PCAnywhere or remote desktop connections are not supported on a host-based printer, HP suggests using a non-host-based printer for this type of environment.

I have been unable to find any similar statements regarding support in a remote desktop environment from Epson.  But, but the specs of that printer list that printer's language as  "Epson ESC/P -R" not PCL.  So, it's probably a host-based type of driver as well.

See this page for the printer's specs:

So, all of that leads me to think that this particular model uses a host-based print driver which won't perform well (if at all) as a redirected printer in a remote desktop environment.

In my experience supporting users in an RDP environment, PCL printers work best.  We did get a one host-based driver to work fairly well (the HP Color LaserJet 2600), but most of them failed to even print (like the HP LaserJet P2035).  So, for those printers which supported it, we install the PCL driver instead.  For example, the P2035 only has a host-based driver download on HP's site, but it is compatible with the PCL 5e printer language.  So, it worked very well with the P2015 PCL5e driver but wouldn't print at all using the P2035 driver.

It doesn't look like that Epson printer is compatible with the PCL printer language, so I don't think using an alternate driver will help you out in this case.  So, I would advise using a printer with a PCL driver.
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Kevin CaldwellOwner of RUseeingRed Tech SolutionsAuthor Commented:
The printer is supported to a degree, because it is working on the 64 bit win 8 home desktop, It is using the Epson ESC/P -R driver,, The laptop is also 64 bit, and depending how I install it locally, by IP or by share, it will either show up in the rdp and not work, or not show up at all.

Matrix, if host based drivers will not work according to Alicia's findings, would this still work?
Spike99On-Site IT TechnicianCommented:
Host-based printers are fine for home or small office use: that's exactly what they're designed for. They are not designed for an enterprise environment that uses Citrix or Remote Desktop Services.

I know from my personal experience at a previous job that used Citrix & RDS: host-based print drivers would rarely work.  Someone did get an HP Color LaserJet 2600 to work very reliably on a Server 2003 terminal server but, generally, host-based print drivers would refuse to print if they showed up at all in the terminal services session.  I was never able to get the HP LaserJet P2035 printer to work  using the Host-based driver provided by HP for it. But, that printer does support the PCL 5e printer language, so the P2015 PCL 5e driver worked very well for that one.

I was very successful in getting PCL-compatible printers to use a PCL driver by using a custom print driver mapping file as described in this article.  It worked very well in both Server 2003 & 2008 (not sure if it would in 2012):

But, re-mapping the client printer using the Easy Print driver built into Windows Server 2008 (which also works in 2012) might also work for you.  This article describes how to set that up:

We never had much success getting the Easy Print driver to work with some of our customer's clinical software in my old job: the clinical software didn't like it for some reason.  So, we implemented that custom print driver mapping file on the 2008 servers when we made the switch from Server 2003.
Kevin CaldwellOwner of RUseeingRed Tech SolutionsAuthor Commented:

The host driver in the RPD works perfect for the main user on the desktop,, it's when another user, Administrator or another user name tries to RDP,, either the printer is seen but don't work, or is not seen at all.  The server 2012 is simply doing workgroup duties, No AD..
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