A computer running Windows XP SP3 32-bit edition had a special printer physically connected to it for printing checks.  Had some issues recently with this particular printer and Great Plains so in an attempt to troubleshoot the issue, thought I’d try to make this printer a network printer.  This turned out to be more of a challenge than I originally thought but like always–I figured it out.

What I Did on the 32-bit Print Server…

Figured a step-by-step guide would be more appropriate than a narrative (almost failed at resisting this temptation).  So here it goes:

  1. The printer is an old HP LaserJet 2200 so I went out to HP’s website and downloaded BOTH the 32-bit drivers for Windows XP and the 64-bit drivers for Windows Server 2008.  The Server 2008 drivers are required because this is the O/S of the server that I wish to print from.
  2. The drivers are both the exact same PCL6 Universal Print Drivers which is important.
  3. After downloading both of the packages I extracted them to a shared folder on my local machine.  Extract them wherever you’d like just make sure that they are accessible from both the 32-bit and 64-bit machine.
  4. On the 32-bit machine go to Printers and Faxes > File > Server Properties > Driver tab.  Click the Add button.   This will launch the Add Printer Wizard so install the drivers (hint: click Have Disk).
  5. Since this particular printer already had a driver installed, I went into the Properties of the printer and switched the driver to the Universal Print Driver PCL 6.

What I Did on the 64-bit Machine…

The following are the simple steps performed on the Windows Server 2008 machine:

  1. Logged into the server running Windows Server 2008 R2.  Clicked Start and entered the UNC path to the Windows XP computer (e.g. \\XPCOMPUTER).
  2. Click the View Remote Printers button.
  3. Click the Server Properties button > Drivers tab > Add button.  This will launch the Add Printer Wizard on the XP computer.
  4. While in this wizard install the 64-bit version of the Universal printer drivers.

The most important thing to note is that both the 32-bit and 64-bit versions of the drivers must have the same name in order for this to work.  I found this out the hard way.

Now you should be able to connect to the shared printer and have the appropriate 64-bit drivers installed automatically.