Case Study: Local Printing in RDP Sessions Functionality

Background:

Printer redirection routes printing jobs from the terminal server or Remote Desktop computer to a printer attached to your local computer (also called the “client computer”). There are two ways to provide access to local printers: automatic and manual printer redirection. Use manual redirection when your local printer requires a driver that is not available on the version of Windows that is running on the remote computer.

Case Environment: Windows server 2003 and Windows 7 64bit.


Problem Being Addressed:

After a power outage the client lost his ability to print locally when in his remote sessions on the Termserver. Initially he was unable to connect. This was found to be an IE 10 issue and was resolved by uninstalling IE 10. Once remote web access was accessible again, the user found that his local printers no longer appeared on the Termserver.


The Approach Taken:

 

First I ensured that printer sharing was enabled at login for the remote session then I installed print drivers on the Termserver. The printers were still not being redirected. I attempted enabling port pooling on the local computer in the printer properties and then installing the printer on the termserver as a ‘local’ printer. No success. The user then made me aware of the program Thin Print that they had been using to enable local printing within their remote sessions. Once a repair was ran on Thin Print local printers appeared.


 

Problems Experienced:

Initial attempts to enable local printing should have worked in theory. It is possible that group policy on the server was preventing printer redirection. This possibility was not explored since there was already a work around in place. However, this is most likely a bug within Windows server 2003 which is not an issue in later server versions.


 

Things We Would Do Differently:

Check for related stopped processes and or programs.


 

References:

Printer Redirection, Microsoft 

Spiceworks – Printers not showing up RDP

ThinPrint RDP Session


Inactive since January, 2014