Sunday, January 24, 2010

Adding printer drivers to a Windows 2008 64bit server

Adding printer drivers to a Windows 2008 64 bit server is a bit more tricky because of the fact that users are almost always using a 32 bit operating system and grab their drivers from the server. Because of this, you have to install identical drivers for both 64 bit drivers and 32 bit drivers. However, for older printers, there may not be Windows 2008 64 bit drivers and you have to trick them to install.

Be sure to download the SAME version of the driver for both. For example, if you download a PCL6 for x64, you must download PCL6 for x86. It is also important to note the version of the driver.

In this example, we will be adding a driver to SERVER1. We have to download the drivers to separate folders. This is an especially tricky one because it is an old driver and does not have a Windows 2008 64 bit driver, so it will need to be tricked to install.

1. Download the Windows 2008 64 and 32 bit version of the driver and save it to a folder on the server. In this case, I had to download the Windows 2003 64 bit version. In my example, this is an OKI490 driver, so I am going to name the folder OKI490 then I will give it 2 subfolders, one called x86, one called x64. I will download the Windows 2003 64 bit drivers to that folder just as I would if I were downloading Windows 2008 64 bit. For the 32 bit drivers, you will need to download the Windows XP 32 bit drivers.

2. Now is time to unzip the drivers. Unzip them to the same folder they were downloaded to. Often the drivers are packaged in a self extracting exe file and will extract to a folder that you choose. However, HP drivers will try to run through a full install. This this case I have found it is best to rename those files to a .zip so they do not try to install on their own. If they try to install on their own, they will error out when they detect the OS is the incorrect version.

3. On the server, open Server Manager and navigate to Roles => Print Services => Print Management => Print Servers => ServerName => Drivers.

Right click on “Drivers” and select “Add Driver”.

Click Next.

Make sure “x64” and “x86” are selected and click Next.

Click “Have Disk”

Click Browse

Navigate to your driver folder, first the x64 folder

Now the path of the driver is there and click “OK”.

Select the desired driver, and click “Next”.

Now click “Finish”. Next you will be asked for the x86 drivers.

Repeat the process described above for x86 drivers.

4. Now change the driver on the printer properties.

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