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Slow/Delayed printing from Windows 2000/XP Professional

Added 4/17/2002 - Reviewed 12/21/2002 - Article ID#: K000036

With Windows 2000 and Windows XP, all MS-DOS printing is done through the Windows NT spooler system. In order to know when to send a job to the spooler, there is a time-out on the printer port. Once something has been printed to the port, if this time out passes with no more data presented to the port, the print job is sent to the spooler. The default time out is 15 seconds. Therefore, there will be a 15 second delay before the print job starts printing.   Microsoft had documented this issue in the following link:

http://support.microsoft.com/default.aspx?id=kb;en-us;Q101850

Every computer using any version of Windows 2000 or Windows XP will need the changes described below.  This includes the Windows 2000 data server.  If using Citrix or terminal services, the changes must also be implemented on the Windows 2000 server running Citrix/Terminal Services, as well as each workstation that uses the Windows 2000 or XP operating system.   

To decrease the time out use the steps below to edit the registry setting:

HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE
SYSTEM 
CurrentControlSet
Control
WOW
LPT_Timeout

WARNING:  Using REGEDT32 can cause serious damage to your operating system.  Make sure to follow these steps exactly.

  1. On the Windows 2000 or Windows XP machine where the printer is connected, click Start -> Run and type REGEDT32
  2. Bring up HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE on Local Machine
  3. In the header, click View and make sure to check "Tree and data"
  4. In the left hand pane, expand System -> CurrentControlSet -> Control -> WOW
  5. In the right pane should be a key "LPT_timeout".  Double click this key
  6. A prompt for a string with a default of "15" (seconds) will appear. Change this to 3 and click OK.  The screen should appear as below.
  7. Close RegEDT32
  8. Start RDP and test to see if the local printer now prints faster by using the F2-Print function from the RDP Menu.
  9. Repeat these steps for every computer running any version of Windows 2000 or Windows XP, including the data server, Citrix/Terminal Server, and all remote workstations connected via Citrix/Terminal Services. 

Troubleshooting - Windows XP Slow Printing

With Windows XP, Microsoft made a change that delays all DOS print jobs by 15 seconds. To accelerate printing, every computer using any version of Windows XP will need the changes described in the link below. This includes the Windows 2003 data server.  If using Citrix or terminal services, the changes must also be implemented on the Windows 2003 server running Citrix/Terminal Services, as well as each workstation that uses the Windows XP operating system.

Links to documents related to printing with RDP

Windows XP Users Must Be a Member of Local Administrator Group

Microsoft added significant local security to Windows XP.  A user with minimal rights does not have access to write files to the "C" drive or to re-direct printing to shared network printers, both of which are required for RDP software to function properly. 

To solve this problem, each user of a Windows 2000 or XP workstation must be a member of the administrator group on the workstation, which gives the user complete access and all rights for the local workstation.  

Note: network security is not compromised, since the user must only be a member of the local administrator group on Windows XP workstations.  All RDP users should not be a member of the domain administrator group.  To add a user to the local administrator group, see the link below:

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