Your Windows PC or laptop may be configured to print to several printers. Some printers may be connected directly to your computer, while others are attached to the network. On each computer, one printer is defined as the default printer. The default printer is typically the printer to which all programs (Word, Excel, QuickBooks, etc.) print by default. Continue reading
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In the Windows 2003/Windows XP days, printing on a Remote Desktop server was limited to those servers who have drivers for that particular server. Drivers for any locally attached printers would not only have to be installed on the PC that they were attached to, but also on the server you were remotely connecting to.
Now with Windows 2008 R2, Remote Desktop users have the ability to use printer redirection using Microsoft’s EasyPrint. Basically EasyPrint is part of Windows Server, and allows print jobs in a Remote Desktop session to be sent to the client for print job handling, instead of trying to print the job itself. While this is slightly slower than the old method, it allows for a much larger number of compatible printers without the need of installing drivers on the server.
Which printers will work? Well most printers that work with Windows 7 will work with Microsoft’s EasyPrint technology. If you are planning on purchasing a new printer and want to ensure that it will be fully compatible with any Remote Desktop servers you are connecting to, then check out Microsoft’s Windows Catalog database.
Any new printer you are considering should be certified for Windows 2008 R2 to fully ensure it will work well with a Remote Desktop server.
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Often times printers do not work the way we expect them to. Sometimes when print jobs get stuck in the queue or cause the Windows printer spooler service to crash we need to step in to help. Here are a few quick steps that will take care of most scenarios that a simple reboot won’t fix.
On a side note, it is usually best if your computer is running the latest driver software from your printer’s manufacturer. This can generally be downloaded from the manufacturer’s website.
- Disconnect the printer from the PC. As long as Windows sees the printer connected it will try to print any jobs in the printer’s queue, including the job causing the problem. You can accomplish this by unplugging the printer’s data cable (usually USB) from either the back of the computer or from the back of the printer.
- Restart the Print Spooler service. Open a command prompt (with admin rights if using Windows 7) and type the following command followed by the <Enter> key:
net stop spooler & net start spooler
The spooler service should restart and bring you back to the command prompt.
NOTE: For more on this step, see my post on How to Open the Command Prompt with Admin Rights.
- Open the printer’s queue and delete any stuck jobs.
- Reconnect the printer to the PC. Windows will reconnect the printer and make it available. Try printing a test page to make sure it is working OK.
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