Terminal Services 2008: When its not your print job

I got wind of an interesting problem at work recently. I wasn’t involved in troubleshooting it at the time, but I still think it’s worth a post in case it ever comes up again for someone.

We’ve been rolling out the pilot of our Terminal Services 2008 remote access solution and are now doing the necessary tweaks and repairs that come from having people actually work the system. All our users (terminal services or otherwise) get an automatically mapped printer that emails the user a PDF of whatever they printed. Some users had reported they weren’t getting their PDFs delivered via email and others were getting PDFs that didn’t belong to them.

Turns out there is a known issue with Vista and Server 2008 where “print jobs may have incorrect owners” when using a shared printer. As stated in the KB article, every print job that is sent from this print client has the same owner in all print queues. The owner is the first user who sends a print job from this client after the printer server is restarted. The problem occurs because the print job is sent in the wrong remote procedure call (RPC) context.

While this usually isn’t a big problem (outside of others potentially being able to manage another person’s print job), but when it came to our PDF printing process the owner of the print job is used to determine the email address of the recipient. The knowledge base article includes a link to request the hotfix and applying it did solve the issue.

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