Monday, October 1, 2012

Windows 7 x64 and printers hosted on Windows server 2003


The first obstacle which I've had to overcome that was worthy of a post is regarding network printer installations on a Windows 7 64 bit client. Nice and easy you say, however our printer servers are running Windows server 2003 32bit and when I try to connect to them from a Win7 client, it tells me no drivers are available and that's that.

Well I found an easy solution to allow Win7 clients to install these printers ok and avoid having users go and browse for drivers etc. Users are stupid and if you give them a choice, they will pick the wrong one.

Here's what I did

Jump onto your Windows server 2003 box and open printers and faxes
Right-Click on one of your network printers and properties
Click on the Sharing tab
Click on the Additional Drivers button
Tick the box for x64 (see below)
Now browse for your Windows Server 2003 x64 drivers (which you downloaded in advance!) and let the server install them.

Despite those being drivers for Windows Server 2003 x64, my Windows 7 x64 clients happily installed the printer and are able to print just fine.  We use leased Toshiba e-Studio multi function printers which are a great idea for cost effective communal office printing rather than operating expensive individual laser-jet printers but this is a blog topic for another day.