Dell Photo Printer 720 driver will not work in a terminal services session

Last week, I had a very hard time getting a Dell Photo Printer 720 to work for a customer who had to VPN to the office from their home. The intention is to be able print to this printer at her home, while connected via remote desktop to her office computer.

Her home computer runs Windows XP Home Edition and the office computer runs Vista Ulimate 32bit. The printer does not has Vista drivers installed by default so I followed instructions that I posted here in order to install the equivalent Dell drivers for a Vista OS // Doing this didn’t work and I consistently kept getting prompted to accept a Dell agreement everytime the remote desktop/terminal services session is initiated.

The next thing I tried was to use a different printer driver. I followed this article that I posted previously to setup a custom INF file on the Vista computer // Doing this allowed me to emulate other printer drivers that might work with the Dell Photo Printer 720. I tried HP Laserjet 5, HP Laserjet 4, HP Laserjet II, and HP Bubblejet Inkjet 3000. I didn’t get any prompts to accept Dell agreements but none of these emulated printer drivers worked. Sending test print jobs would send a signal to the printer and appears to start to print but it doesn’t.

I spent 4 nights working on this with the customer, for an hour each night. We used Adobeconnect // to make it easy me and her to get a resolution to this. However, at this point, I was convinced the issue is with the printer driver. I recommended we purchase a replacement printer. An HP 3050A All-in-one printer was purchased and that worked with no issues.

Lesson learned: Do not shy away from suggesting a different printer to get printing to work. Printers are cheap and time spent troubleshooting an alternative solution is just not cost effective for the customer.