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What utilities allow remote users to print from their home PCs?

We have three terminal servers in our domain, all in different sites. The problem I have is with remote users working from home. Not every printer the remote users have is supported with Terminal Services 2003 drivers. The printers supported with TS 2003 drivers have no problem mapping their printers. Are there any utilities or a third-party tool out there that will allow remote users to print from their home PCs using Windows XP drivers?

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If your goal is to use the Windows XP drivers in the session, then I'd try triCerat's Simplify Printing tool, which creates a virtual driver on the terminal server for that session's use. If your goal is just to eliminate having to install drivers on the terminal server, then there's a host of third-party tools that will allow you to avoid using a driver on the terminal server, among them RDP Engine by Thin Print and Print2RDP by BlackICE.

One question, though: you're sure that no printer drivers are available? I ask because you say that the clients are running Windows XP. I'd be surprised if a printer with support for Windows XP didn't have support for Windows Server 2003 -- you may need to download the driver from the Web site. It's possible, I suppose, and you may not want the hassle of supporting those individual printers.

This was first published in August 2006

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