The problem(s): Oh, the problems. Out of the last 3 RDS deployments on Windows Server 2012 R2 I’ve been involved with, precisely all of them have had problems with network printers. Some of the issues you might face;
- Printing from Adobe Reader will occasionally give users the following error
- Duplicate printers which you cannot remove
- You can set the default printer, but it will not display the default printer ‘tick’ icon
- The default printer setting may not be retained, or the printers may not map correctly for all users on logon
The solution: The amazingly in-depth post from this human may help you;
In the cases I dealt with, unfortunately these steps did not do the trick. Some of the steps fixed a couple of the issues; putting in the script to clear all default printers at logoff fixed the issue with the default printer tick not appearing, and stopped the Adobe Reader issue from occurring for most users. If you get a user who doesn’t log out for a while, however, and you do not have Group Policy configured to log off idle sessions, they will likely run into the issue again.
In the end, I decided to install local printers on each of the Remote Desktop servers, and use the Security settings to make sure each user only sees the printers they require.
There were also a couple of other steps needed to completely get rid of the duplicate printers. My process is below;
- On your print server, edit the properties for all of your printers and ensure that the following option is NOT ticked
- Log all users out of the RDS server, apart from yourself of course
- Stop the Print Spooler service (command: net stop spooler)
- Open regedit and go here
- HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows NT\CurrentVersion\Print\Providers
- It will probably look a lot like this
- Back up the ‘Client Side Rendering Print Provider’ key and then rename it, adding ‘_old’ to the end
- Create a new key in its place called ‘Client Side Rendering Print Provider’ – this will be left empty
- Open Devices and Printers, and remove any duplicate printers that appear under your administrator account (Right-click > Remove Device)
- Start the Print Spooler service back up (command: net start spooler)
- The new ‘Client Side Rendering Print Provider’ should begin to repopulate. Once you have confirmed printing is working OK, delete the old ‘Client Side Rendering Print Provider’ key
Those pesky duplicate printers should now be gone, and should stay gone so long as you don’t have ‘Client Side Rendering’ enabled on your print server.
Note: The advice in this article is given as is with no guarantees of any kind. Be careful when delving into the registry and make sure you have backups of anything you change.