You are hereGetting a Remote Network Printer to Show Up In A Windows 2003 Terminal Server Session

Getting a Remote Network Printer to Show Up In A Windows 2003 Terminal Server Session


By steve - Posted on 17 March 2006

When a TS user logs on, and if you have the right boxes checked for the user, the session, and the server, you can share up the local drives and printers from the remote computer. This means you can save or copy files from the remote to the server or vice versa. You can also print to a local printer. However, you can't print to a remote network printer, until now...

The secret is to use the old NET USE hack to access a shared printer from an unused printer port. Then install the printer as a local printer to the looped up printer port. I used to have to do something like this when running old DOS programs in Windows when they needed to print to a network printer.

Here are the steps:

  • Make sure the shared printer is shared and working and you can can print to it from the computer that will be running RDP (terminal services client).
  • Open a command window on the PC that will be using RDP: start/run/cmd
  • c:\> net use lpt2 \\serverpc\printershare /persistent:yes
    replace serverpc and printershare with the name of the PC and the name of the shared printer. You may need to add /user:username and specify a password.
  • The persistent option will tell the PC to remember this and you won't have to run it in a startup script or anything.
  • lpt2 is used, but you really just need to specify an unused physical printer port (lpt3, but probably not lpt1).
  • Install the printer driver for the printer you will be using. Do this even if you had already accessed the printer by a windows network share and the driver was installed automatically. This will save you some trouble.
  • Select LPT2 (or your port from the above command) as the port you want this printer on. It now points to the shared printer thru the virtual LPT port.
  • Print a test page. It should print on the shared printer.
  • Make sure the user, the rdp file, and the server all allow you to share up local printers to the terminal server.
  • Install the printer driver on the terminal server. Unless you have a very common printer that has been available for awhile, terminal server probably doesn't know about it. Installing the driver right now on the server eliminates the little red messages that will show up in the event viewer telling you that this driver isn't available and can't be installed when the user logs on.
  • Start your RDP session. Check under start/settings/printers and see if your printer shows up. It should show up as your default printer!
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