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Mapping Client Drives and Printers with RDP

Q: I've heard that RDP for Windows 2000 Server Terminal Services can map client drives and printers the way ICA does, but I can't figure out how to make it work. Can you explain?

RDP for Terminal Services has many more features than older versions, but many of those features aren't like what you might be accustomed to with ICA. Some of the new abilities include automapping for client drives and printers as well as load balancing, remote control, Web-enabled application deployment, COM port mapping, LPT mapping, and clipboard mapping.

To access a device, such as a drive or printer, attached to a client terminal in a Terminal Services session, you must use the Uniform Naming Convention (UNC) name of the client share, just as you do with any other remote shared object. To share a drive or printer, you use the built-in net share and net use commands to connect to the client device.

To make a client's local drives available, log on to the client computer, and go to the root of the drive you want to make available. Create a new share, and assign permissions to it. Then log on to the Terminal Services session and map the new share.

Included with the Windows 2000 Server Resource Kit is Drive Share, a tool that automatically makes client drives available within a client session. Drive Share is a command line tool supported on Win2K and Windows NT clients, and it requires a few registry changes on the client and the server to make it work. Drive Share automates the Net Share and Net Use commands so that they run automatically upon client connection for every local drive on the client computer. If you can't connect through a network share, however, you won't be able to connect with Drive Share either.

You can also map a printer as a network resource, but the mapping only works for a printer that is locally attached to a client's parallel or serial port. You can't map to a client printer shared from another network resource.

To automatically attach to a client printer, you configure the printer on the client computer running the Terminal Services client, then install the print driver locally and make the shared printer the default printer. Make sure the RDP protocol is configured to automap the client printer in the Terminal Services configuration. Under Connections/RDP-Tcp/Client Settings, choose "Connect Client Printers on Logon" and "Default to Main Client Printer." By default, these boxes should be checked, but if the printer doesn't map, these settings are the first place to check. You can check to see whether it worked by checking the Printers folder in the Terminal Services session to see that the default local printer is automatically added as the default printer in the Terminal Services session.

Unlike automapped drives, automapped printers are automatically added for Win2K, NT 4.0 Workstation and Server, Windows 9x, and Windows Millennium Edition (Windows Me) if you use the Win2K Plug and Play (PnP) feature and if the printer is a model for which a driver is already installed or supported.

When a printer is automatically created, it is registered in the server's HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Control\DeviceClasses\\{28d78fad-5a12-11d1-ae5b-0000f803a8c2\}\##?#Root#RDPDR#0000#\{28d78fad-5a12-11d1-ae5b-0000f803a8c2\} registry subkey.

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