Troubleshooting Microsoft Terminal Server Printing

Terminal server printing has always been a black art with a large number of hand-offs just asking not to work correctly. I’ve compiled this list of items to check when the trees cannot be killed.

If printing does not work at all for any printer:

1-Does your RDP shortcut connection have the “printers” option checked on the local resources tab. Right-click and choose edit on your shortcut. All the tabs show up when you hit the options button on the main page. The printers must be checked or it does not even try to map your printers.

2-Does your terminal server allow printers to be mapped. In Remote Desktop Configuration manager this ability can be turned off administratively.

In TS 2003 right click to properties on RDP-Tcp connection object. Check the “Client Settings” tab and insure that “Windows printer mapping” is NOT checked as disabled.

In TS 2008 this same setting is found in Server Manager–Roles–Remote Desktop Services- RD Session Host Configuration.

Specific Printer Issues

1-Are the printer drivers loaded on the terminal server. You want the printer driver used by the client computer to match the one installed on the terminal server itself. This facilitates the printer redirection mapping and insures there are not translation errors. With 2008 and easy print enabled this will usually map printers even without drivers. But it is always best to have them loaded anyway.

Add printer drivers in TS 2003 by going to Printers and Faxes window. File menu – Print Server option – Drivers tab. Use the add button to install additional downloaded drivers.

In TS 2008 this if found in Server Manager – Roles – Print and Document Services – Print Servers – SERVERNAME – Drivers. Right click and Manage Drivers.

For terminal server 2008 only:

2-Does your client have RDP client 6.1 and .NET services 3.0 SP1 or better. These are the printer redirection minimums. Vista needs SP1. XP needs SP3 plus a potential install of .NET.

Still Not Working

If all that still doesn’t work, then download the utility on the link below on the server. This will collect for you all the event log messages for printer redirection errors.

Terminal Server Printer Redirection Wizard

Use this tool to pull the printer errors on the terminal server. Then take those specific errors and google is your friend….

Originally Posted October 03, 2010
Last Revised on November 20, 2010