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Installing TCP/IP shared printers


Modified 12/21/2002 - Article ID#: K00069

The simplest way to connect a printer is to use a standard parallel cable and connect the printer to the LPT1 port on a workstation. This printer can then be shared with Windows print sharing so that all RDP workstations can use the printer.    This procedure is document in: Installing and troubleshooting printers.

It is possible to connect some printers to the network hub using an Ethernet cable and then use TCP/IP to print directly to the printer.  To use TCP/IP printing the following items are required:

The printer must be capable of TCP/IP printing.

Not all printers can be connected directly to the network hub to use TCP/IP printing.  RDP support has successfully tested two Hewlett Packard printers, the HP4M and HP4500N.  Other HP printers using HP Jet Direct technology should also function using the procedures described in this document.  Generally speaking, if your HP printer includes an Ethernet port, it is capable of TCP/IP printing.  

The printer must be installed and tested outside of the RDP system

The printer must be installed and tested on the network before attempting to configure the printer in the RDP system.   This can be a complicated procedure.  The steps below provide an overview.  If you encounter problems installing your printer, please call the printer manufacturer, not RDP.  

  1. Connect the printer to the network Hub using a standard Ethernet cable.  

  2. Install the printer based  on the Network Printer instructions, for a Windows 2000 data server.  RDP does not support TCP/IP printers, or any other printer, using a Novell Network print queue.  RDP suggest that all customers currently using Novell Netware migrate to Windows 2000.

  3. For HP printers, the printer can be configured using HP Jet Admin Setup software, which is usually provided on a CD shipped with the printer.  The configuration software is also available from www.HP.Com.  As of 12/16/2002, the current file was "JA256EN.EXE'.  At a minimum you will have to assign an IP address, subnet mask, and gateway to the printer.  The printer IP address should be in the same internal subnet as all RDP workstations that will use the printer.  For example, you may have:

    Internal Subnet IP range: 192.168.43.1 to 192.168.43.255
    Printer IP Address: 192.168.43.9
    Subnet Mask: 255.255.255.0
    Gateway: 192.168.43.1
    Windows 2000 Data Server 192.168.43.4
    Workstation #1 192.168.43.10
    Workstation #2 192.168.43.11
    Workstation #3 192.168.43.12
  1. After configuring the TCP/IP information as above, the printer drivers must be installed.  To work with the RDP DOS programs, a networked RDP workstation running Windows 2000 or XP must be used.  

  2. From a Windows 2000 or XP workstation, select Start | Settings | Printers.

  3. Select the option for "Add Printer and "Next" to continue.

  4. Select the radio button for "Local Printer" and de-select the option for "Automatically detect and install my Plug and Play printer."  Choose "Next" to continue.



  1. At the "Select Printer Port" window, highlight the radio button for "Create a new port".  From the drop down box, select the new port type as "Standard TCP/IP Port", and then "next" to continue.

  1. The "Add Standard TCP/IP Printer Port Wizard launches, click "Next" to continue.

  2. Enter the printer's static TCP/IP address from step #1.  Windows should fill in a default port name.  Keep this default.  The screen should appear as follows:

  1. Select "Next" from the screen above.  A review screen should appear.  Select "Finish" to complete the installation.

  2. Make sure the printer works from the Windows level by printing a test page. 

Installing additional workstations to print directly to the TCP/IP printer

At this point the TCP/IP printer is installed on one workstation, for Windows based printing. For other workstations to print directly to the TCP/IP printer using Windows based programs, such as RDP Reporter (for Crystal Reports), or RDPWin (RDP's new Windows based software), or Microsoft Word, the printer driver must be installed on the workstation.   The most efficient way to do this is to install the TCP/IP printer driver directly on any workstation that will use a Windows based program to print to this printer.  Repeat the procedure  above.

Warning - Printer must be shared for RDPDOS printing:

A TCP/IP printer cannot be used by RDPDOS programs without sharing the printer, as defined below. A given workstation using the RDPDOS property management system can print to any shared windows printer without installing the printer driver on the workstation.  

Create Windows Shared Printer on a workstation running Windows 2000 or XP Professional 

For RDPDOS programs to print to a TCP/IP printer, a shared print queue must be used.  This queue must be established on a Windows 2000 or XP professional workstation with the steps defined in the section above.  The printer must be shared.  Printing from RDPDOS occurs as follows:

  1. Workstation "A" is configured to print directly to the TCP/IP printer using the steps above.  This workstation must use Windows 2000 or XP professional.

  2. The printer installed on workstation "A" is shared at the Windows Level.  For information on creating a shared windows printer see "Installing and troubleshooting printers".

  3. The shared printer is added to the RDP system with RDP096.  See  "Installing and troubleshooting printers".

  4. Workstation "B" will see the shared printer created with RDP096 as a valid printer in the RDP printer list. When this printer is selected, the RDP system issues the "Net Use LPT1: command to redirect the output from workstation "B" to the shared print queue on workstation "A".  Workstation "A" then forwards the print file to the print queue inside the TCP/IP printer.  Workstation "B" can use Windows 98, 2000, or XP. 

Managing an HP TCP/IP printer with Jet Administration Software

Hewlett Packard provides excellent tools for managing an HP TCP/IP printer with a browser, using their Jet Administration software.  While this software is not required for RDP to print to the HP TCP/IP printer, it can be useful for printer administration.  The HP Jet Administration software is usually provided by HP on a CD with the printer.  However, it can also be obtained from www.HP.com.  The file name as of 12/21/2002 was HPWJNT.EN.EXE.  

Proper security established on all workstations printing to the Queue

For RDP printing to work correctly on a TCP/IP shared printer, or any other shared printer, proper security must be established.  Additionally, changes to the registry on all Windows 2000 and/or XP workstations are required.   Please see the troubleshooting notes below.

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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