Server 2003 Remote Desktop provides service to stores served by several ISPs. The server loses its virtual printer image of the local printer (as seen from the remote store site) and a copy of the original local printer appears on the local computer with a different driver without notice.
- A remote desktop session is opened on a local computer that has a Brother HL2140 USB printer connected and the associated software installed with a correct driver shown under the “advanced” button.
- The server has the same Brother software and driver.
- An application that is running on the server attempts to print on the local printer connected to the local computer running Vista Pro or XP Pro.
- Either it works correctly (Good) or it does not print (Bad) or it prints on another Local Printer connected to another local computer logged into the server (Bad and Odd). When it doesn’t print (or prints somewhere else) we ask the customer to look for the (virtual) printer using the Remote desktop view of the server and the printer is gone. Then we ask the customer to look at the printers folder in the local computer.
There are several possibilities:
- The printer is there, but the driver is mysteriously changed in the drop down to MDX something; we have the customer select the other (proper) Brother driver, and all is well again, as now after the change, the virtual printer in the server (which now matches the local printer) appears again, and so printing can resume.
- A “copy” of the printer mysteriously appears in the local printer’s folder and after we delete it the virtual printer in the server appears again and so printing can resume.
Note that in both case 1 and 2, the server sometimes sends the print job elsewhere, to some other local computer. Meanwhile in the log file, endless errors are reported and the server eventually crashes, sometimes twice a day. I’m puzzled what changes the local printer driver and I’m puzzled what loads the copy 2 or copy 3 of the printer in the local printer folder. This entire description randomly occurs on any of 40+ local computers in eight different locations in different ISPs, all sharing one Domain.