My company has a virtual machine running Windows 7 Professional 64-bit. The VM belongs to a Windows Small Business Server 2011 domain. We have a remote contractor who connects to the VM via Microsoft Remote Desktop Connection from a laptop running Windows 8.1 64-bit.

The contractor has a local wireless printer (HP Officejet Pro 8610) connected to her laptop, and she needs to print documents from the VM on this printer. I have installed the latest software and drivers for this printer from HP's support website on the VM, and the contractor has installed the software and drivers on her laptop from a disk that came with the printer.

Currently, when the laptop connects to the VM (redirecting local printers to the remote session), the printer appears in the list of printers available to the VM. When printing a document, say a test page, from the laptop, the result is a typical test page. When printing the same document from the VM, however, the result is a descending series of unintelligible black spikes of ink resembling a wave form.

My question is: What might be the cause of this discrepancy between the locally printed image and the remotely printed image?

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    From your post, I understand you have a newer drivers on the VM than on the laptop. Did you try matching the drivers? Did you try with no special drivers at all on the VM so as to make use of EasyPrint (or whatever they call that these days). – ETL Feb 12 '15 at 17:58
  • Did you check the driver on the redirected printer to see if it is the correct driver? – joeqwerty Feb 12 '15 at 18:01
  • @ETL I failed to think of comparing the drivers on the two systems the last time I had access to the contractor's laptop. She does not come into the office often, so I will have to wait until the next time she does (or has time for a remote help session). I will update with new information when I can. Thank you for the suggestion. – kvndrsy Feb 12 '15 at 18:32
  • @joeqwerty By the driver on the redirected printer, do you mean the driver used by the local instance of the printer, or the driver used by the remote instance of the computer? If the latter, then I know I installed the correct software/driver package from HP. Before installing this, I was not even able to see the printer as a redirected device. Is there anything in specific about the driver that I can check out to make sure that nothing is amiss with it? – kvndrsy Feb 12 '15 at 18:42
  • @ETL Before installing the software/driver from HP's support website, the printer did not even register with the VM as a redirected printer (despite that the RDC session specified local printers to be redirected). Would that be an indication that the printer is incompatible with EasyPrint? – kvndrsy Feb 12 '15 at 18:46

There are many things that can effect EasyPrint. EasyPrint streams an XPS print file to the RDC client which then prints it on the appropriate printer via it's native driver.

If you want to use EasyPrint then make sure that the printer that shows up in the VM is using the EasyPrint driver, not the HP driver, and that you have the latest HP drivers on the laptop. I've had issues with HP's GDI drivers over EasyPrint, so try a PCL or PS driver if the printer supports it.

You can also disable the EasyPrint driver and use the legacy system. You will have to install the HP printer drivers on both the VM and laptop. You will also have to disable "Use Remote Desktop Easy Print Driver First" in group policy.

As @joeqwerty said, EasyPrint is only included in Windows 7 Enterprise / Ultimate. Your VM needs to be one of those two versions.

  • I'm fairly certain that Easy Print is only available in Ultimate and Enterprise Editions of Windows 7. The OP is connecting to Windows 7 Professional. – joeqwerty Feb 12 '15 at 21:29
  • @joeqwerty Your right, i must have missed that when reading the OP's question. – TriadicTech Feb 12 '15 at 21:56

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