Enabling USB & TCP/IP Network Printers for Terminal Server

By Chris Blackburn

The problem with using a printer that isn’t direcly connected to your computer via a traditional parallel port is the method of port emulation that Terminal Server (both on Windows servers and Windows workstation OSes, such as xP & Vista).

The following “trick” will fool the Terminal Server to see that you’re using a standard printing port for your printer, but using printer pooling to “load balance” the job. Printer pooling allows you use multiple ports for a single printer, and when one isn’t available, it goes to the next available one.

In the following example, say you have an HP LaserJet 4000 network printer. You are using a standard TCP/IP port to print to the device, whose IP address is 192.168.1.2. Since the terminal server cannot emulate these port types, having LPT2 checked will allow the terminal server to see this port and pass the job to the printer on your PC, yet the TCP/IP takes over again and spits out the job.

Here is how to setup printer pooling:

  • Open up the properties to your printer.
  • Click the on the Ports tab.
  • Place a check beside “Enable printer pooling” at the bottom,
  • In the list of ports above this option, place check beside LPT2
  • Click OK.

Log into Terminal Server, and you’ll see your network printer listed.

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