ESXi 5.1 and Windows 7 VMs, redirected printers.

We have a client with ESXi 5.1.0 build 799733 running. ESXi host a Windows 2008 server and 8 Windows 7 Pro workstations. All the VMs have redirected printers in Devices and Printers, rather than just a single install of the printer needed.

Some printers are connected via ethernet and some via USB, then shared off primary workstations.

Is there a reason for these redirected printers?
LVL 1
HaroldNetwork EngineerAsked:
Who is Participating?
I wear a lot of hats...

"The solutions and answers provided on Experts Exchange have been extremely helpful to me over the last few years. I wear a lot of hats - Developer, Database Administrator, Help Desk, etc., so I know a lot of things but not a lot about one thing. Experts Exchange gives me answers from people who do know a lot about one thing, in a easy to use platform." -Todd S.

Andrew Hancock (VMware vExpert / EE Fellow)VMware and Virtualization ConsultantCommented:
Are these redirected printers, mappings from their local printers attached to the workstations ?
HaroldNetwork EngineerAuthor Commented:
Andrew: can redirected ports be picked up by the RDP: Local Resources, Printers check box. I noticed my printers actually should up in the server and I RDP into that server to work.

I can install a printer ethernet or USB(shared) and the look back in the Devices and Printers a second time and there will redirected printers of the same and they are not removable.

Mapping like a drive, no.
Spike99On-Site IT TechnicianCommented:
So, I guess I don't understand what the problem is. Is that problem that the VMs have printers installed on them so you don't need the redirected ones?

If you'd like to block printer redirection, you can block it using group policy (or on each VM using local policy):
Computer Configuration | Policies | Administrative Templates | Windows Components | Remote Desktop Services | Remote Desktop Session Host | Printer Redirection
Enable the setting called:  "Do not allow printer redirection"

Or, if you would just like to reduce the number of printers which are showing up, in that same policy group you could enable the setting "Redirect only the default client printer" instead.  That setting alone will greatly reduce the number of redirected printers on the remote desktop.

This page has a good description of that "do not allow" setting:
http://www.techrepublic.com/blog/the-enterprise-cloud/disable-printer-redirection-in-group-policy/

This MS page goes into much more detail about printer redirection. It also details how to disable or change printer redirection settings by changing TS Config settings :
https://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/library/ff519145(v=ws.10).aspx
Your Guide to Achieving IT Business Success

The IT Service Excellence Tool Kit has best practices to keep your clients happy and business booming. Inside, you’ll find everything you need to increase client satisfaction and retention, become more competitive, and increase your overall success.

HaroldNetwork EngineerAuthor Commented:
Alicia: I'm trying to understand where this Printer Redirection comes from. I have other ESXi networks that this doesn't do this with printers on those networks. The difference in this one is, all the W7 workstations are VMs to, along with the server. These redirected printers, just appear, we don't add them.
Spike99On-Site IT TechnicianCommented:
I think printer redirection is enabled by default.  So, if the driver for that particular printer is installed on the VMs and printer redirection is not blocked, then the printer will be redirected when a user connects.

By default, Server 2008 will try to use the Terminal Services Easy Print driver.  If the client PC doesn't meet the requirements for that, then, the printer will be redirected using the print driver installed on the server.  But, that driver has to have the exact same name as the client's print driver for client printers to be redirected.   If matching drivers aren't installed on the server, the user's printer will not be redirected and you will see an Event ID 1111 error in the system event log.

On that other ESXi network, you might want to check to see if printer redirection is disabled.
This technet article goes over the different way that can done:
https://blogs.technet.microsoft.com/yongrhee/2011/10/09/how-to-disable-printer-redirection-on-windows-server-2008-or-a-windows-server-2008-r2-print-server/

Or another thought just occurred to me:  since the Win7 clients for the network in question are on the same ESXi host as the server, they probably meet the requirements for TS Easy Print. That might explain why you're seeing redirected printers on one network and not on the other, all else being equal.

If you check printer properties, are those redirected printers using the Easy Print driver?

Experts Exchange Solution brought to you by

Your issues matter to us.

Facing a tech roadblock? Get the help and guidance you need from experienced professionals who care. Ask your question anytime, anywhere, with no hassle.

Start your 7-day free trial
HaroldNetwork EngineerAuthor Commented:
thanks
It's more than this solution.Get answers and train to solve all your tech problems - anytime, anywhere.Try it for free Edge Out The Competitionfor your dream job with proven skills and certifications.Get started today Stand Outas the employee with proven skills.Start learning today for free Move Your Career Forwardwith certification training in the latest technologies.Start your trial today
Printers and Scanners

From novice to tech pro — start learning today.