Printing over Remote Desktop & Terminal Services

For a while I didn’t understand why some printers would print over remote desktop and others wouldn’t. After some troubleshooting with an HP LaserJet 1022 (a host-based USB printer) I discovered these helpful tips:

  1. If the printer supports Postscript or PCL, it should work over remote desktop without any additionally configuration, as long as it can print locally.
  2. If that doesn’t work or if the printer uses a custom language like GDI, if it is called “host based”, or if it is generally cheap, install the driver on the remote desktop server. Then, add a new local printer to the RDP server and pretend it is connected on LPT3, and choose the correct printer driver/model. This will force windows to load the driver, albeit to a non-existent port.
  3. If it still doesn’t work, try making it a shared printer on the client side. Make sure printing is allowed in the Windows Firewall control panel.

On the RDP server, you can also check the Application or System Event Log (Right click My Computer -> Manage). Any printer related errors or warnings are recorded there.

Microsoft Certified

I’m now considered a Microsoft Certified Professional, since I’ve passed the “Installing, Configuring, and Administering Microsoft Windows XP Professional” Exam at a local testing center.
I had already been working with installing and configuring Windows XP for a couple of years now, so I knew a lot of the material already. It wasn’t easy though, there were a lot of networking questions and arbitrary questions about the unattended / automated installation options.