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Article ID: 264039 - Last Review: March 21, 2013 - Revision: 4.0

This article was previously published under Q264039


In Microsoft Windows 2000 Terminal Services you can redirect clients local printers when they log on to a Terminal Services session with the Microsoft RDP 5 Terminal Services client. The redirection of local printers is a default behavior.

When clients connect to a Terminal Services session and the clients have network printers configured, the client's network printers are not redirected. This behavior is by design. Microsoft does not provide support for redirection of network printers in Windows 2000 Server or Advanced Server. This functionality requires a 3rd party add-on product.

If terminal services users need to print to a network printer, the client may set up the network printer on the Terminal Services computer through the Add Printer Wizard and enable users to select and print to that printer. In cases where this is not an option, it is sometimes possible to map a local port (LPT) on the client side to the network path and install a printer driver to print to that local port. This workaround will automatically redirect jobs to the local printer, and the output sent to that printer will then be redirected again to the network printing device. This workaround is not a design feature of RDP 5, and it will not work in all cases.

The information in this article is provided as informational and not as a supported implementation of Terminal Services redirected printing.

More information

If there is a special circumstance where the user needs to redirect a network printer, you can map the network printer to a local port.

For Windows 2000 and Microsoft Windows NT, you can use the following command:

net use lpt3 \\servername\printer /persistent:yes
This command maps the network printer to the local port LPT3. The user can then install the correct drivers for that printer as though the printer was installed on LPT3. If this is done, the printer on LPT3 is redirected when the user connects to the Terminal Services session. This also works with LPT1 and LPT2, as long as there is not a local device on either of these ports.

For Microsoft Windows 95, Microsoft Windows 98, and Microsoft Windows Millennium Edition (Me):

Right-click on the network printer in the printers folder and click Properties. From the Details tab in the Printer Properties box, click Capture Printer Port. This action can enable you to select the LPT port that you want to map to this network path.

The preceding workaround is useful in environments when a user opens a session to a Terminal Services computer on a remote network (for example, across the Internet) and wants to print back to a printer shared on the local area network (LAN).

An alternative way to work around this is to install the remote desktop connection client, which is compatible with the latest version of the Remote Desktop Protocol (RDP) protocol and is compatible with Windows 2000 terminal services. This client is included with Microsoft Windows XP.  For additional information, click the following article numbers to view the articles in the Microsoft Knowledge Base:
309825  ( ) How to securely copy and paste files between the Terminal Services client and the Terminal server in Windows 2000
278139  ( ) Rdpclip and Drmapsrv are unsupported with Terminal Services Advanced Client

Applies to
  • Microsoft Windows 2000 Server
  • Microsoft Windows 2000 Advanced Server
kbinfo kbnetwork kbprint KB264039
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