Introducing Terminal Services Easy Print: Part 3

Introducing Terminal Services Easy Print: Part 3

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[Part III in a series. Jump to Part I, Part II, Part III]

In Part 1, we introduced the main benefits of Terminal Services (TS) Easy Print: a “driver-less” solution for printer redirection over a TS session. In part 2, we introduced a new group policy for default printers and the support for per-session printers. Part 3 describes a few changes made based on feedback received in the Windows Server 2008 Beta 3 release.

Change #1: Renaming of redirected session printers:

In Windows Server 2008 Beta 3, the redirected printers had the naming format as shown in the screenshot below:

New_Naming_Format 

We got feedback that just having the session ID in parentheses after the redirected printer’s name did not clearly convey that the printer is redirected. So, for Windows Server 2008, redirected printers will appear with the term “redirected” suffixed to the print queue name as shown in the screenshot below.

 Old_Naming_Format

By adding the keyword “redirected”, users can now distinguish their redirected printers more easily.

Change #2: Ability to view and manage session printers:

Another piece of feedback received is that administrators may want to monitor printer usage by all Terminal Server users. This functionality has now been incorporated.

Members of the “Print Operators” group can monitor users’ printer usage through the “Print Management Console”. To view all session printers in Print Management Console, the administrator must take following steps:

  • Add themselves to the “Print Operators” group,
  • Install the “Print Servers” role on the server using these steps:
  • Go to Start -> Administrative Tools -> Server Manager
  • Select “Add Roles”
  • Select “Print Services” and complete the wizard
  • Launch “Print Management Console” as follows:
  • Go to Start -> Administrative Tools -> Print Management

Redirected printers from all sessions are displayed in the “Print Management Console” as shown below:

PMC

By default, members of the “Print Operators” group can only view all redirected printers. To manage any redirected printer, members of this group need to take ownership of that particular printer. “Print Operators” can take ownership of any redirected printer as follows:

  • Open “Print Management Console” and right click on the session printer to be managed
  • Select Properties
  • Select Security tab
  • Select Advanced option
  • Select “Owner” tab
  • Select “Print Operators” and click either “Apply” of “Ok”
  • Close the properties dialog
  • Re-open the printer’s properties
  • Select Security tab
  • Give the Print Operator “Manage Printer” permission on the session printer

This screenshot shows how to take ownership of a redirected printer:

TakingOwnership

This screenshot shows how to give “Manage Printer” permission to the “Print Operators” group:

ManagePrinters

Print Operators should use the “Manage Printers” permission only to perform the following tasks:

  • Delete any redirected printer,
  • Open the print queue of any redirected printer,
  • Manage jobs of any redirected printer.

All other actions on the session printers such as rename, set printing defaults, printer properties, printing preferences etc. are not supported.

There is one noticeable drawback to being able to manage all redirected printers. If “User Access Control” is disabled or if applications are opened with elevated privileges, redirected printers from all active TS sessions will be displayed when trying to print from the application.

Supported platforms:

TS Easy Print can also be used with Vista SP1 Beta as the client connecting to Windows Server 2008. Other requirements for using Easy Print remain the same as mentioned in the “What is needed to use TS Easy Print” in Part 1.

At WinHEC 2007, there was a detailed drill-down session on TS Easy Print where the feature’s design was discussed in great detail. The WinHEC slide deck is available at:

http://download.microsoft.com/download/a/f/d/afdfd50d-6eb9-425e-84e1-b4085a80e34e/SVR-T340_WH07.pptx

For more details on “Print Operators” group:

http://www.microsoft.com/technet/prodtechnol/windows2000serv/evaluate/featfunc/07w2kadc.mspx

For more details on “Print Management Console”:

http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/windowsvista/aa905094.aspx

For more details on “User Access Control”:

http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/windowsvista/aa906021.aspx#E2G

Please leave comments or questions below. If necessary, we will put out a part 4 blog entry in the Easy Print series.

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  • I have a Virtual server HyperV 2008 server Standard edition. Terminal Services Role + Print Server Role are added.

    - Clients can VPN into the server and their local printers redirect to theTS Session with the Easy Print drivers without any problems.

    - All clients are all members of the Print Operators, and the GPO settings are set so that the TS Sessions see their default local printers - No problems there !

    * Problem is the clients want to share their redirected printers to print stuff to remote printers *

    I have tried a number of things, including making the redirected printers 'sharable' - without luck.

    The only way the clients can be made to see other remote redirected printers is to create a shared printer manually from within the TS printer properties, and point it to the same TS port as the one used for the printer redirection. With me so far ? Then of course when the client logs off and back on again, the TS Session ID changes, and the port for the printer which was created manually is no longer valid.

    So - Is there a way to get the session redirected printers to always use the same TS port OR is there a way to make the redirected printers 'sharable' ?

  • I even did a test on a single PC and opened 2 x TS  sessions. The 2 sessions do not see each other'd redirected printers. I have used the administrator crudentials and I am a member of the print operators. When I create a printer manually in the printer properties, then all the ts sessions can see the printer which was created manually. I don't understand it. Have a look at the original posting for full details.

  • We use pure Server 2008 TS and it would be nice if the new Easy Printer driver worked well but unfortunetly that is not the case it is very unstable and causes the .Net Framework to crash often on the clients both in XP and Vista.  Also it has trouble with graphics.  So for the most part we are always forced to isntall the drivers on the server and set the group policy to not use easy print first.

    Here is more details on the issues we have with Easy Print.  We are using 32 bit Server 2008 Standard and have problems with both Vista SP1 clients and XP SP2 & SP3 Clients. The problem is also not limited to one server we have 3 2008 Servers and all have done this at one point or another.  Some of the issues we have seen are that in Word 2002 if you reverse a clipart image it will not print and on occasion seems to also have trouble with Word Art and Watermarks.  These problems are often seen when printing to our Canon Pixma IP3000.  We are a school and our typing classes often encounter issues when printing where the spacing between characters is wrong.  It is almost like it has problems with some fonts because I have seen situations where changing the font will fix it.  These problems occur with an HP LaserJet 1320.  As far as the .Net Framework crashing I have seen this happen on both Vista and XP with .Net Framework 3, 3.5, and 3.5 SP1 where you will try to print and then on the client machine you get a message that the .Net Framework is not responding and you have to restart the computer to print again.  The printers that I have seen these errors with include Canon ip1500, Canon iP3000, HP LaserJet1320, and HP Deskjet 6830 to name a few.

  • Hi Brandon

    Thank you very much for posting the details as requested. There are two .NET QFEs that may help - request you to try these in your deployment.

    http://support.microsoft.com/kb/954744

    http://support.microsoft.com/kb/954743

    Please let us know if the problems you see continue to occur after applying these QFEs. If yes, next step would be to use the e-mail functionality on this blog to send in a test document and the exact printer model / version on which the problem occurs.

    Thank you

    Gaurav

  • As per above, the renaming of the printer in every TS session appears to contradict the very logic of the Easy Print development.  If I understand correctly, in order for our CRM application to print in a TS session, I either must disable Easy Print and configure printers manually or purchase a third party add-on.  I cannot see any response above of Microsoft's view on this anomaly.

  • Hi Iain

    What CRM application are you using? What happens when it is used with Easy Print which suffixes the redirected printer names with the session ID?

    Thank you

    Gaurav

  • Hi Gaurav

    I gave feedback to you [the TS Team] regarding the need for controlling printer naming back in 2007.  Please see my comments to "Introducing Terminal Services Easy Print: Part 2":

    http://blogs.msdn.com/rds/archive/2007/05/03/introducing-terminal-services-easy-print-part-2.aspx#2400814

    This situation (printer names that change each session) causes problems for certain applications.  People have been posting in the newsgroups about this issue going back about 10 years now.  Third-party Universal printer driver solutions offer the ability to modify the naming convention to solve this need (among others).

    Let me give you an example.  Say you are a employee working in the warehouse shipping packages.  For each order you need to print a pick ticket, a UPS/Fedex/etc shipping label, as well as carton labels.  Each one of these prints to a separate printer attached to your workstation.

    The shipping software makes the above convenient by allowing you to specify the printer to use for each type of printout.  That way when you click print you do not need to select each different printer one-by-one.

    Now, think about what happens if the application is running under TS using redirected printers.  The printer names are different each time so the user would need to re-program the list of printer names over and over again.  In some cases there are workarounds, like sharing the local printers and then mapping to them from the TS, but this is more work and is not viable if the TS is on another network.

    Another possible workaround: write a script that renames the user's redirected printers at logon.  This will not work because the user does not have enough permissions to their printers, and you (MS) do not provide a way to set default permissions for autocreated printers--in other words the permissions are hardcoded, like the naming convention.  Of course I could write a service that runs under SYSTEM and automatically renames printers after they are created, but that should not be needed.

    My proposed solution is to add an optional registry entry that would override the default auto-created printer naming scheme.  That would provide an easy way for TS administrators to change the naming scheme.  Most admins would be happy with the default, but for those cases where necessary the registry entry would provide the flexibility to change the naming.

    Again please see my other comments for some sample tokens like %PRINTERNAME% %USERNAME%, etc.

    I appreciate all of your help.

    -TP

  • You might want to put a link to this post from the part 1 and part 2 posts

  • EDIT:  I found the solution.  I disabled in the Group Policy "Use Terminal Services Easy Print printer driver first" under

    "Administrative Templates\Windows Components\Terminal Services\Terminal Server\Printer Redirection".  Now below problem is solved for ALL the client PCs trying to print to their local printer via TS.

    ORIGINAL PROBLEM:

    I have a workstation with windows xp servicepack 3 and .net 3.5.  In the remote session all my redirected printers show up but when I try to print out of them, no page comes out of the printer with no error as well. However, the redirected printer HAD been working fine via TS a month ago.  I don't know why it wont work now.  I tried another computer (at home) with the same specs above and my redirected home printer wont print.  Further exploration...no PC running RDC connecting to our Win Server 2008 64Bit via TS will successfully print via redirected printer.  Yet...the macintosh's RDC 2.0 will print via TS redirected printer every time still to through this same server.  I've upgraded to Win Serv '08 RC2.  No help.  Ran every update possible on the clients.  No help.  Checked the Group Policy, Easy Print is engaged and clients have no boxes checked for disabling printers, audio, etc.  

    I'm going to try disabling Easy Print, install the client printer driver on the server, and see how that goes.  I tried with Easy Print ENABLED to do the above, but no help.

  • I have several brother HL-2140 printers, and a brother DCP-165C at home.  When i print from the terminal services into server 2008 and i print PDF documents, I get 1/2 the page come out in Wingdings font where the fields should be, some text and graphics are displayed.

    anyone know what could be causing this?

  • Please install all the .NET QFEs mentioned at http://blogs.msdn.com/rds/archive/2009/09/28/using-remote-desktop-easy-print-in-windows-7-and-windows-server-2008-r2.aspx. Thanks

  • We have two computers that were printing through Remote Desktop to our Main office on the local printers.  After the computers were re-configured, every time they log-on to the remote desktop they lose the default printer - the ports shift and it is a lottery to find the right printer from the list.  What could we do?  We are running Vista 32.

    Thank you

    Ion

  • I'm having the same issue as Michael, anytime I print a document with certain fonts in it, it comes out as Wingdings or symbols. I'm running Windows 2008 R2 with the default .net framework of 3.5.1 which shows to have the correct file versions as the QFEs listed, and if I try to install them it directs me back to the "Features" section to install .net. Does anyone have a solution for Easy Print on 2008 R2?

  • Hi

    easy print is a good solution but is not  possible with WBT because there are not Redirect Printers. There is no way to use it with a logon sciprt connected printer ?

    When there are WBT, the printer is not present at CLient Side, but only on server side ( with logon script or GPO ). Users connect to published desktop and the logon script map the printers, I used Citrix Session printers but is not possible to use the Citrix UPD with Session Printer.

    There is no way to use Easy Print in this situation to limit the number of Printer Driver loaded on RDS servers ?

  • Quest vWorkspace has the ability to autocreate client printers and to assign session/network printers, both using a single universal printer driver.  This works for TS/RDSH and VDI from 2003 thru 2008 R2 and XP thru Win7 RDP hosts.  It also works if installed on top of XenApp or Presentation Server.

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