Recently one of the user complained about not being able to print from remote desktop session to local printer, As a first step to check the issue we validated that the local printers are getting redirected to the remote server( In my case the local PC was MacBook OS X and the remote server was Windows 2008 R2). I found the printers to be redirecting fine.

How to validated that printers are redirected

1) On the remote server go into control Panel -> Printers (this could be named differently in different OS)

2) Here one should see the list of all the printers installed on the remote server

3) You should be able to see the printers connected/installed on your local PC here as well and they will say redirected in bracket.

So here, I was able to see all the redirected printers here (I had multiple printers installed on my local Mac), Incase you do not see the redirected printers here, then please follow our Troubleshooting Printer Redirection article Here also this other article may also be helpful in troubleshooting Printer Redirection Here.

Anyways, as here in this case the redirected printer were showing up fine, I went ahead and gave a test print and it came out of the local printer without a delay.  As always I gave a stare to the user, said from my eyes (what’s wrong), user was little perplexed and embarraced. I requested him to try to give a print, he went ahead and opened a PDF and tried to print it, I immediate pulled up the print queue (by clicking the printer icon in notification area at Bottom Right Corner), Wow the document started to Spool and the size kept growing. I think it went upto 150 Mb and obviously the printer wasn’t moving an inch. I informed user that the PDF is too big/image rich or richly formatted  to print and such prints should only be given remotely as they will take very long to spool over internet ( If you RDP to some remote server via Internet and use the redirected printers then the information has to travel all the way on internet to reach to your printer).

User was OK by my response but out of curiousity I checked out the size of the PDF document and it was merely 300 KB. This is when I started to research more.  I replicated the same issue from My mac on another Windows 2008R2 server with same and other PDF files and got the exact same print spooling and delayed printing results.

Upon further research I have came up with alot of information from here and there like the cause of the issue

Cause 

When you print a document that contains lots of raster data, the size of the Enhanced Metafile (EMF) spool file may become very large. Files such as Adobe .pdf files or Microsoft Word .doc/.docx documents may contain lots of raster data. Adobe .pdf files and Word .doc/.docx documents that contain gradients are even more likely to contain lots of raster data.

This problem occurs because Graphics Device Interface (GDI) does not compress raster data when the GDI processes EMF spool files and generates EMF spool files.

This problem is very prominent with printers that support higher resolutions. The size of the raster data increases by four times if the dots-per-inch (dpi) in the file increases by two times. For example, a .pdf file of 1 megabyte (MB) may generate an EMF spool file of 500 MB. Therefore, you may notice that the printing process decreases in performance.

 

Resolution

Step 1:

To resolve this problem, bypass EMF spooling. To do this, follow these steps:

  1. Open the properties dialog box for the printer.
  2. Click the Advanced tab.
  3. Click the Print directly to the printer option.

Note This will disable all print processor-based features such as the following features:

  • N-up
  • Watermark
  • Booklet printing
  • Driver collation
  • Scale-to-fit

Once EMF spooling is turned off, you can use the Application to perform any N-up printing needed.

 

Having said that, with a PDF source document, the generated print stream will probably be quite similar is size IF you use a PostScript printer driver, since PDF is based on PostScript (both ‘invented’ by Adobe)

Hotfix KB954743: After you apply hotfix 954744, printing performance may be significantly slower when you print documents by using Terminal Services Easy Print.

If you are having this issue I would suggest trying a few different print drivers on the client side and see which one gives you the best performance.

Just an update. Tried to change the drivers on another machine and it made no difference to the printing time. In the end I set the Group Policy for the Easy Print driver to Disabled. Then installed the actual print driver on the server. This increased printing time dramtically. Also in the event the correct printer drivers are not installed on the server it uses the Easy Print drivers by default. These steps are similar to disabling Easy Print the process for same is detailed here in this article.

Hope this article helps you fix the issue at hand, If further support is needed feel free to open a paid support ticket here

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An automobile enthusiast at heart and computer geek by profession, started my Career with MS in 2005.Left Jobs and started Pledge Technologies (the parent company to Grishbi) back in 2009.We have been providing IT consulting to various Small and Medium businesses across US and UK since then.Our company specialises in Microsoft Server technologies like AD, Exchange, the rest and with numerous Office 365 migrations under our belt, we quite an expert with that too. Whatever we learn in our day to day life, we share it back on Grishbi as a Thank for all the love and support our customers have given us.
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