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Planning Use of Peripheral Hardware

Updated: March 28, 2003

Applies To: Windows Server 2003, Windows Server 2003 R2, Windows Server 2003 with SP1, Windows Server 2003 with SP2

You can use desktop peripherals such as bar code readers, scanners, or card swipes with Windows Server 2003 Terminal Server if your line-of-business application requires them. You can use peripheral hardware attached to serial and parallel ports of the client computer. You can also use printers attached to the client, as well as network printers, with Terminal Server. Peripherals that connect to the local computer through a specialized third-party hardware card are not recognized by the RDP-based Remote Desktop client, but they might be available using third-party software. For more information, see Peripherals that affect performance in Help and Support Center for Windows Server 2003.

Port Redirection

Terminal Server supports port redirection in Windows Server 2003. Using port redirection, applications running within the Terminal Server session have access to ports on the client, enabling you to use devices like bar code readers or scanners with Terminal Server. Test your devices for use with Terminal Server before deploying your solution in the production environment.

By default Windows Server 2003 Terminal Server enables LPT and COM port redirection. If you are not planning to enable these types of peripherals, you might want to disable them so that the client computer is not vulnerable to security threats that could access your computer through those ports. You can disable LPT and COM port redirection by using Terminal Server Group Policy or TSCC. For more information, see "Designing the Terminal Server Configuration" later in this chapter.

By default, Terminal Server does not allow redirection of FireWire (IEEE 1394) ports with Windows XP and Windows 2000 clients. However, you can enable FireWire port redirection on these clients by enabling all ports to be redirected by using the following procedure to modify the registry on the client computer.


  • Do not edit the registry unless you have no alternative. The registry editor bypasses standard safeguards, allowing settings that can damage your system, or even require you to reinstall Windows. If you must edit the registry, back it up first and see the Windows Server 2003 Resource Kit Registry Reference on the Windows Server 2003 Deployment Kit companion CD or at http://www.microsoft.com/reskit.

To filter ports for redirection

  1. On the client computer, in the Run dialog box, type regedit, and then click OK.

  2. Locate the following subkey in the registry and select it:

    HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Terminal Server Client\Default\AddIns\RDPDR

  3. On the Edit menu, point to New, and then click DWORD Value.

  4. Type FilterQueueType, and then press ENTER.

  5. With FilterQueueType selected, on the Edit menu, click Modify.

  6. Type FFFFFFFF, and then click OK.

For more information about port redirection, see article 302361, "Multifunction Printers That Use DOT4 Ports Are Not Redirected By Using Remote Desktop." in the Microsoft Knowledge Base. To find this article, see the Microsoft Knowledge Base link on the Web Resources page at http://www.microsoft.com/windows/reskits/webresources.

Printer Redirection

When the user logs on to the terminal server, the server detects the client’s local printer and installs the appropriate printer driver on the remote computer. If multiple printers are connected to the client computer, Terminal Services defaults to routing all print jobs to the client computer’s default printer. Only printers whose drivers are available on the Windows client computer appear as available in a Remote Desktop session for local redirected printers (server-side printers are always available). If the driver for your printer is not included with the client operating system, you must manually install it on the server.

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