You cannot set a redirected printer as the default printer in a Windows Server 2003-based terminal server session


Consider the following scenario:
  • You use Remote Desktop Connection to connect a client computer to a Microsoft Windows Server 2003-based terminal server.
  • One or more printers are connected locally to the client computer.
After you connect to the terminal server, you can see redirected printers in the terminal server session. However, the client computer's default printer is not set as the default printer in the terminal server session. Additionally, when you try to set a printer as the default in the terminal server session, the operation is unsuccessful.


This problem occurs if the following registry subkey is missing:
HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Windows NT\CurrentVersion\Windows
This behavior typically occurs if the default user profile on the terminal server is corrupted.


To resolve this problem, follow these steps:
  1. Locate the Default User folder on a working computer.

    • The working computer must be running the same operating system as the terminal server.
    • By default, the Default User folder is located along the following path:
      %SYSTEMDRIVE%\Documents and Settings\Default User
  2. Copy the Default User folder from the working computer into the following folder on the terminal server:
    %SYSTEMDRIVE%\Documents and Settings
    Note When you are prompted to overwrite the existing Default User folder, click Yes to All.
  3. Delete the problematic user profile on the terminal server. This generates a new user profile that is based on the default user profile that you copied in step 2.
  4. Log on to the terminal server again.