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Solved: VMware Printer Not Working

Posted by Devin Anderson on January 31st, 2018

For all the benefits of VMware, the shortcomings of things like printer redirection and location-based printing can create a fertile space for problems to arise. If your end users are having trouble printing or a VMware printer is not working like it should, chances are that the problem falls into one of a few categories.

VMware printers are not mapping correctly
VMware printing relies on the View agent and uninterrupted communication between the client and server. Should the View agent be unable to relay information between those two points, you might find that the VMware printer is not mapping properly and that the user is unable to print as a result.

Try reinstalling the VMware View agent. If that doesn't work, reinstall the View Client on the client workstation. In the event that still doesn't solve the problem with the VMware printer, try stopping and starting the Thinprint service manually. Things get a bit more complicated after that, including the delicate process of editing Windows registry values. That's beyond the scope of this brief overview, so you'll want to consult the VMware printing support documentation for precise step-by-step instructions.

A VMware network printer is not working on reconnect
When printer redirection fails, the symptoms can be anything from corrupted print jobs to printers that appear in a client's printer list but are inaccessible, all the way to jobs mysteriously vanishing from the print queue. Occasionally, everything will work fine when the user first initiates the session but then the client will be unable to map the VMware printer when the user reconnects.

There are known bugs in several VMware versions than can cause this problem, particularly when connecting over PCoIP. There are three possible solutions:

  • Change the default connection protocol to the VMWare Blast protocol.
  • Downgrade or upgrade to a VMware version (either a point release or full version) that is known to fix this VMware printing issue.
  • Use RDP instead of PCoIP to connect from the View Client to the desktop VM.

Errors using location-based VMware printing
If your users are experiencing VMware printer errors with location-based printing, there could be an issue with your GPO settings. Group policy is notoriously difficult to troubleshoot because it's a chain of contingencies that is unique to each organization. There could also be a problem with the location-based printing GPO .DLL file, which will result in an admin not being able to see the location-based printing settings in the Group Policy Editor and a VMware printer (or printers) not deploying correctly to end users.

The most common cause of this is a 32-bit GPO .DLL file on a 64-bit server. The fix is simple—just replace it with the 64-bit .DLL file. What makes it a little tricky is that both the 32- and 64-bit location-based printing GPO .DLL files share the same name.

Solving VMware printing problems with PrinterLogic
Instead of tediously troubleshooting every last obscure setting when you have a VMware network printer that's not working, why not take the proactive approach and implement PrinterLogic's next-generation print management solution? It integrates seamlessly with VMware environments to enhance your print experience on both the front- and backend. That means effortless location-based printing (without GPOs!), speedier logons, reduced WAN traffic, powerful centralized print management, intuitive self-service printer installation for your end users and much, much more. It's the most robust, cost-effective way to take the complexity and uncertainty out of VMware printing and retake control of VMware print management.

Devin Anderson
Devin Anderson
With nearly 20 years of experience in delivering market leading IT solutions to Fortune 500 companies, Devin prides himself on driving simplicity into products that solve extremely complex IT problems. For years he has been focused on the end-user computing devices and delivering technology that provides valuable services to the end-user which enable them to be their most productive self. As Vice President of Product Management at PrinterLogic, he focuses on increasing the value customers get from the company's Enterprise Printer Management solution.

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