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I've encountered issues with Remote Desktop Easy Print users trying to print to their GDI / host-based printers from Remote Desktop sessions. The printer objects get redirected into the RD session and report a "Ready" state when addressed from within Office applications. A submitted print job however is just swallowed by the system - nothing is ever printed to the local printer and nothing is logged to the application or system logs of either the server or client systems.

I only have HP printers to test this with and have encountered the aforementioned symptoms with the following models:

  • LaserJet P1106
  • LaserJet P1505 (USB-connected)
  • LaserJet P1606 with the original HP driver (seems to be GDI as well)
  • LaserJet 1022 (USB)

And in the case of P1606, which supports PCL5e as well, I could verify that using compatible PCL5e drivers (I chose a LaserJet 4000 PCL 5e) instead of the original HP GDI drivers fixes the issue.

To my understanding, Easy Print streams down an XPS job which is then fed into the RD client's XPS processor and printed through the local driver. Following this logic, the procedure should be entirely driver-agnostic, and at the very least not choke up on GDI drivers. Why does it in the end? Suspecting a client issue, I have tested against Windows XP SP3 with some related updates installed as well as Windows 7 SP1, but the issue pertained to all client environments.

Environment:

  • Server 2008 R2 Remote Desktop Session Host
  • Windows 7 SP1 client
  • Windows XP SP3 clients with KB946411 installed which is supposed to fix a number of Easy Print issues as well
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We worked with MS and they created a client hotfix that allows (at least HP) printers that use host based drivers to work with RDS Easy Print. This has been tested successfully in our environment.

The hotfix is available here: http://support.microsoft.com/kb/3005781

  • The KB "Symptoms" section seems to describe a slightly different problem, but I have seen several cases where the symptoms description has been far from comprehensive. Thank you for sharing the link, I am going to test the hotfix in our setup. – the-wabbit Feb 27 '15 at 9:57
  • I have had an ancient HP Laserjet 1022 shipped to my lab and could verify that the hotfix indeed did fix the issue for Windows 7 SP1 x86 (the platform I was testing with). Thanks a ton for letting us know. – the-wabbit Mar 19 '15 at 9:38
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I found 2 solutions that worked fine from Windows 7 clients (32/64 bits)

  1. Use the Universal Print Drivers PCL5 on your Windows client

    • remove the GPO that forces RDS Servers to use Easy print driver first
    • create a GPO for all domain users that use Easy Print Driver first

As a GPO:

Administrative Templates/Windows Components/Remote Desktop Services/Remote Desktop Session Host/Printer Redirection/Use Remote Desktop Easy Print Driver first:Enabled

Create a GPO for a security group (users that have a Laserjet 1022) that don't use Easy Print Driver first

Administrative Templates/Windows Components/Remote Desktop Services/Remote Desktop Session Host/Printer Redirection/Use Remote Desktop Easy Print Driver first:Disabled

After installing Laserjet 1022 driver on your RDS Server (2008 R2 64bits), the printer works fine

  • Thanks for sharing. I already notices that using non-GDI drivers fixes the issue, but some older printer models we are using do not have a PCL/PS emulation. I also would try avoiding installing GDI printer drivers on a RD session host - even if it would mean to phase out the GDI printers. EasyPrint seems to be meant for GDI printers, I wonder why it doesn't work with ours. – the-wabbit Feb 25 '15 at 15:59
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At first try to enable Easy Print on the Server GPO. The policy location is “Computer Configuration -> Administrative templates -Windows Components -> Remote Desktop Services > Remote Desktop Session Host -> Printer Redirection”. The setting “Use Remote Desktop Easy Print printer driver first” must be set to “Enabled” for Easy Print redirection, and it has to be “Disabled” for Legacy Print. For “Not configured”, Easy Print is chosen by default.

If the above don't work, you had to install the same version print driver on the server and the client computer. Once you install the driver you also need to change again the group policy to disabled at “Computer Configuration -> Administrative templates -Windows Components -> Remote Desktop Services > Remote Desktop Session Host -> Printer Redirection -> Use Remote Desktop Easy Print driver first" so it will map the driver on the client to the one on the server. Once that is done it prints fine.

  • Kalatzis, thank you for your effort. EasyPrint is of course enabled and in fact working for other printer queues with a PCL5, PCL6 or PostScript drivers. The GDI-driver queues are also mapped to an EasyPrint driver. It is just that they cannot be used. It is the fact that only client-installed GDI printers are not working (although Microsoft claims they should be) that's puzzling me. – the-wabbit Sep 11 '14 at 10:25

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