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Installing Additional Drivers on an older version of Windows

When you create a network printer, and the printer is shared from a Windows operating system in the NT family (e.g. Windows NT 4, 2000, XP), the printer driver can be automatically installed on the client from the print server.  This is part of the feature called Point and Print.  In many cases, the operating system version of the client computer is not the same as that of the print server hosting the printer.  In these cases, the printer driver for the client operating system must be added to the print server as a Additional Driver.

The dialog for adding Additional Drivers this has a fixed idea about what other operating systems exist.  So, if your client is Windows XP and the print server is NT 4.0, you can't add an Additional Drivers for a printer for your client using the dialog on the Windows NT 4.0 print server.  However, you can install Additional Drivers for Windows XP clients on the Windows NT 4.0 or Windows 2000 print server from a Windows XP computer.

The same applies to installing Additional Drivers for Windows 2000 clients on a Windows NT 4.0 print server.

Note that it doesn't matter what edition of the various operating systems are on either the client or server (e.g. the client could be Windows 2000 Server and the server could be Windows NT 4.0 Workstation).

Basically, what you do is, on a client workstation that has the "new" OS, temporarily add a local printer on a convenient port (e.g. lpt1) and install the Windows 2000 or XP printer driver.  Then you connect to the Printers and Faxes (or Printers) folder on the print server from that same client and install the just installed driver as an Additional Driver.

Here's the details.  These instructions are for adding a Windows XP printer driver to Windows NT 4 print server.  If the client is Windows 2000 or the print server is Windows 2000, the actual dialogs may be slightly different, but the process is essentially the same.

  1. Logon at a client computer with a user account that has administrative rights and permissions on the print server computer.
  2. Click Start, Printers and Faxes
  3. Right click in an empty space in the right pane and select Add Printer
  4. Click Next
  5. Select the Local Printer… radio button, remove the check mark from Automatically detect and install my Plug and Play printer; click Next
  6. Leave the LPT1: port selected; click Next.  You will be adding the printer as if the print device is on the local computer’s parallel port, then deleting the printer later.  This is just a way to get the XP driver installed, which is a pre-requisite to adding it as an Additional Driver on the server.
  7. If you are going to use the printer driver delivered with Windows XP, select the appropriate make and model.  If you have downloaded a printer driver from a web site or have the driver on a floppy or CD, click Have Disk, Browse and navigate to wherever the driver is.  Depending on how the driver is packaged, you may get a list of several printer models; in that case, select the appropriate printer model.
  8. Follow through to the end of the Add Printer wizard (don't share the printer and don't ask for a test print)
  9. Delete the local printer you just added; the printer driver is now installed and will NOT be deleted when you delete the local printer
  10. Click Start, Run
  11. Key \\printservername and press Enter
  12. Scroll down in the left pane and click Printers and Faxes in the Windows Explorer window that opens
  13. Right click on the printer you want to add the Additional Drivers for and select Properties
  14. If you get told that a suitable driver has not been installed on your computer for this printer, click Yes and navigate to the same folder you used in step 7.  If there are multiple printer models in the list, select the same you used in step 7
  15. Select the Sharing tab
  16. Select the Shared radio button
  17. Click the Additional Drivers button
  18. Add a check mark to the Windows 2000 or XP item in the list; click OK
  19. If you get a dialog box asking you to insert disks, click the Browse button and navigate to the same folder you specified in step 7; click OK
  20. If you get a message box saying that “… the operation could not be completed…”.  Click OK to clear the message box.  Go back to step .  For some unknown reason, this process sometimes fails the first time, but succeeds on the second attempt.
  21. Click Close


Last Updated 30 Dec 2004

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