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  1. #1
    Super Moderator BATcher's Avatar
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    Remote Desktop Connection: printer not redirecting

    I have a situation where two XP PCs are running Microsoft Remote Desktop Connection 7.0 each to connect to a (separate!) Windows 7 PC.

    Each of the XP PCs has a directly-attached printer, one an HP Deskjet and the other a Brother Laser, each of which is shared on the WorkGroup in which both XP PCs are members.

    All the MSTSC options are set so that, when connected to their corresponding Windows 7 PC, they should be able to print on either of the 'home' printers, by the usual automatic printer redirection method which RDC provides.

    However, only the HP DeskJet appears in the Devices and Printers window on the Windows 7 PCs.

    The only way I can get the Brother printer to appear on the Windows 7 PCs is to connect to it as \\XPpc1\Brothersharename, which causes a huge amount of (presumably print driver) data to be transferred across the connection (which is only about 0.5 Mbps, and so takes a couple of minutes for each logon).

    I have tried installing the Brother printer drivers on each of the target Windows 7 PCs, but it doesn't seem to make any difference.

    Just to add to the annoyance, everything worked correctly with regard to printer redirection for both printers when the target PCs ran Windows XP!

    Has anyone any suggestion about how to proceed, to make the Brother printer redirect correctly, as the HP one does? Thanks!
    BATcher

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    Things that might be worthwhile checking include:

    Driver compatibility: XP x32 versus Win7 x64?
    Local printer port visibility on the remote machine: can the remote machine actually see the local port when RDC is established?
    Remove the local Brother Printer and its driver, establish the RDC, then reconnect the Brother Printer - does forcing an installation of the local print driver allow redirection?
    An obvious one, but I've been caught out by it: a stuck print queue on the local machine?

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    BATcher (2013-02-20)

  4. #3
    Super Moderator BATcher's Avatar
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    Thanks for the suggestions: I should have said that all the OpSyses are 32-bit!

    I tried ticking the options box for Ports in the MSTSC Local Resources tab, but it didn't make any difference. (The HP DeskJet is attached to the first XP PC via a parallel printer cable, the Brother Laser is attached to the second PC via a USB cable)

    Having had a look in the System Event Log on the target Windows 7 PCs, and found messages complaining about the absence of a driver for the Brother Laser on that machine I (re-)installed the Brother printer driver on each Windows 7 target PC, this time as a networked, ethernet, connection (even though it isn't!) and put in dummy IP addresses and the like into the configuration setup. Following reboots and reconnections, the Brother Laser now gets redirected correctly, and there are no more red System Event Log messages.

    All I need to do now is to find a method of making one of these redirected printers the Default printer, on the Windows 7 target PCs, once it becomes available in the Devices and Printers window. PRINTUI.EXE /y looks like a good start, provided I can run it at the correct time for a redirected printer, and can work out the other parameters!
    BATcher

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    Default printer is a registry value. Run a batch file to check for the printer in your "volatile environment" registry keys and go from there.

    cheers, Paul

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    Are these systems all on a home network or is this over the Internet? Probably over the Internet since you mention the .5 megabit (lucky!, I get about 70% of that). IF this is something used often I would just use network shares locally, or, network shares over a virtual network adapter VPN running under GBridge or some such (I don't think Hamachi is free any more but there's another). Either case set whatever shared printer to default in whatever Win 7 system and since everything is 32-bit, easy pleasy, done.

  7. #6
    Super Moderator BATcher's Avatar
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    Thanks, Paul - I will see if I can find the registry key(s)/value(s).

    It's not really relevant but we have a router-based VPN between two offices, each of which has a cable connection to "the cloud", running Remote Desktop between the remote office and the local office, from an XP PC to (now) a Windows 7 PC. It's a sort of poor-man's Terminal Server.

    In passing, has anyone ever been able to get PRINTUI.EXE to work? I cannot find any combination of the printer name which does not give the 709 error message!
    printui /y /n "printer name"
    BATcher

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  8. #7
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    MS provide a vb script for you: cscript C:\Windows\System32\Printing_Admin_Scripts\en-US\prnmngr.vbs
    There are others too: prndrvr, prnobj, prncnfg.

    cheers, Paul

  9. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by BATcher View Post

    It's not really relevant but we have a router-based VPN between two offices, each of which has a cable connection to "the cloud", running Remote Desktop between the remote office and the local office, from an XP PC to (now) a Windows 7 PC. It's a sort of poor-man's Terminal Server.
    Ah, seems relative to me because these are exactly the issues Hamachi is designed to overcome and still remain secure; but if you're stuck with a router-based VPN, one has to be brilliant enough to setup your own partial virtual network.

    I had a situation where a local virtual NAT had to be used to avoid MAC address conflict between other identical VMs when using the Internet, so it was only one way. No way could I figure out how to connect into the virtual NAT. Finally installed GBridge (free) and it created yet another set of virtual local I.P. address, so there's 4 different base I.P. addresses floating around including the real one distributed from the router, yet it all works brilliantly. Just don't ask me EXACTLY how!!!

  10. #9
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    avoid MAC address conflict
    More likely it was an IP conflict. If the MAC is the same you need to cluster the machines / VMs via clustering software.

    cheers, Paul

  11. #10
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    I know what you're saying, I change the VM local I.P. address before each deployment and that works fine for XP and Win 7. It was not working for a certain late model OS, therefore the need to go to virtual local NAT in the first place and then figure out how to grant the same level of access that a virtual bridged adapter is so nicely capable of merely with a change of computer name and local I.P. address.
    Also I read support literature about how to configure local NAT to work but it required the full workstation software in order to have those configuration options available. So I put my thinking cap on and came up with the local VPN idea. Since its designed to hand off after the handshake, the connection is speedy as well for a VPN; little bit slower but not bad.

  12. #11
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    I can't see why you'd want to NAT a VM or use a bridged network connection. VMs only ever need 1 NIC unless you want to span networks for a router etc.

    cheers, Paul

  13. #12
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    I'm just talking about the various forms of NIC emulation in relation to the host. So I'm always using bridged configuration if I can so it appears as an ordinary network location with all privileges granted therein. The problem as I mentioned, is that Win8 was having none of that and I'm using all local accounts so its not that; the only way a pair of identical VMs would inter-operate simultaneously with the Internet is in NAT mode. Entering the local I.P. base in the alternate configuration for the virtual adapter lets me browse the local network from the VM, but I was at a loss as to how to remote into the VM, and as I mentioned, only the VM workstation software had the routine for enabling local inbound; I'm using the freebee and this is only proof of concept stuff, I don't need it for anything specific.
    You perhaps know a way of configuring a virtual adapter for which there are no settings available but not I, and I had been setting up LAN parties over the Internet in the past using Hamachi so we didn't need a 3rd party dedicated server (and so I could always have virtually zero latency (which the rest never caught on to! ). Fast forward to this puzzler and hmmm...try fighting fire with fire. Virtualize the VM's virtual settings with settings I can use via Gbridge; and it works great.

    Of course if Microsoft wouldn't be so paranoid and just let things work without trying to clamp the vise down all the time, it would hold no interest at all for me.

    If point to point software VPN can solve my problem then I thought it should easily solve whatever issues Win7 is having with the router to router VPN protocols via remote desktop.


    ps. I'm also spanning networks but none of that's involved here, mine are inline so I only need two real NICs to span upstream if need be.
    Last edited by F.U.N. downtown; 2013-02-26 at 16:39.

  14. #13
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    To share servers via one IP you use NLB. The servers then manage the details for you.
    http://www.vmware.com/Ffiles/pdf/imp..._balancing.pdf

    cheers, Paul

  15. #14
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    Thanks, that explains why VMWare installs two virtual adapters for multicast. If I was reading it right, the key factor in unicast mode is virtual MAC address resolution as an endpoint. I tried looking up NLB OSes and it took me right to a timely article from Microsoft extolling the capabilities of Win2K Advanced Server. I'm guessing its not part of XP Pro or Win 7 Ultimate? If such is the case then my solution seems even more unique and robust if we're dealing with enterprise class stuff here.

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