Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Installing 32 Bit Printer Drivers on a 64 Bit Windows 2008 Server

So here is a really dumb situation I found a resolution to after an hour wasted scratching my head. When installing an older printer on a Windows 2008 64 bit server and attempting to add some x86 drivers so that 32 bit workstations can print to it, Windows displays an error and asks for the "Windows Media (x86)". No CD or DVD I had contained what it was looking for... it turns out the solution was to install the printer with just 64 bit drivers, connect to it from a 32 bit windows 2008 server, and install the 32 bit drivers when prompted. After that, go to the properties of the network printer, click additional drivers, and check off the x86 box. It will upload the drivers to the 64 bit server for you. Detailed instructions below:

I created a queue for a new printer, installed the 64bit drivers and sent a test page. All was fine, so I decided to add the 32bit drivers so that some XP workstations would be able to print to it.

Each time I ticked the box, it would come up saying “Please provide path to Windows Media (x86 processor)” asking me for the ntprint.inf files from the i386 folder of the Windows media CD. Being 64bit Windows 2008, it doesn’t have an i386 folder on the media.

If you are having this issue with Windows 2008 64bit and HP drivers, here is the fix that I used below.

1. Go to a 32bit Windows Vista or 32bit Windows 2008 system and log on a user with admin rights on the print server.

2. Download the 32bit drivers you require for your printer and extract them.

3. Click on Start – run then type \\printserver (replace “printserver” with the name of your print server) and then double click on the printer, and install it. When prompted for drivers, point them to folder where you downloaded the drivers.

4. After it installs on the 32bit system, go into the local printers, right click on the network printer you just installed and choose properties, sharing, additional drivers and tick the x86 box. Click OK and the x86 drivers will upload to the server.

Credit for this one goes to: http://www.shnake.com/blog/?p=228