Conflict between shared printer 32-bit and 64-bit drivers


  • Windows 2003 SBS with 32-bit Windows XP Pro & 64-bit Windows 7 Pro clients. Dell 2335dn Ethernet printer

    For ease of administration, I normally install all IP-based printers to my Windows 2003 SBS server, share them, then run a batch file that uses the PrintUI API to push the shared printer to the workstations. This way, they are available to all users of the computer without requiring me to log onto each computer individually to add the IP port and printer driver. This has worked flawlessly with purely 32-bit, Windows XP Pro client computers.

    Relatively recently, though, I have added 64-bit Windows 7 workstations to my network as I have replaced oldercomputers. I can add my 64-bit printer drivers on the server via printer properties -> Sharing tab -> Additional drivers button, where I add the Dell 64-bit Windows 7 driver. I can then use the same PrintUI to push the driver to a 64-bit Windows 7 client, and it can print correctly.

    However, after the 64-bit Windows 7 client sends a print job through, the next print job from a 32-bit Windows XP client seems to hang, and vice versa. After a successful print job from a 32-bit Windows XP client, the next print job from the 64-bit Windows 7 client seems to hang.

    My description of the problem is somewhat anecdotal in that I was not in the office when the problem happened, but it did occur immediately after the setup indicated above, and both the 32-bit and 64-bit users reported the apprently hung or lost print jobs. I did not really have time to do any empirical testing, as they needed to be back in production immediately, so my resolution was to remove the shared printer from the 64-bit Windows 7 station and add the IP port and printer driver directly to the workstation. This solved the problem immediately but requires me to install the printer to each workstation individually.

    True testing, of course, would involve removing the printer from the 64-bit client, redistributing it as a shared printer from the server as I did initially, and sending alternating print jobs from the 32-bit and 64-bit computers. I am not certain, however, that this would do anything but confirm the users' reports of the behavior; I might at least find out if the print jobs are being ignored or just stuck in the queue--but this all has to be done after hours to avoid interfering with their work.

    So, before I try all that, I am posting here. Is this a known issue? Is it just my specific printer model? Is there a fix or a workaround? Are there more detailed diagnostic tools?

    Tuesday, June 07, 2011 3:03 PM

All replies

  • Hi!

    A tip is to step up to SBS2011. Here you have the printer management service to install that can handle drivers much better. Otherwise you have to install the printer directly on TCPIP port on your 64 bit clients. You can also try to unc to the server and choose printers, the client user must have printer rights then you can choose server properties from the client and try to add the driver.

    But 2003 starting to get really old.

    Best regards

    Jimmy Svensson

    MCTS SBS Server Configuration
    MCTS Windows 7 Configuration

    Please remember to click “Mark as Answer” on the post that helps you.

    Thursday, July 07, 2011 8:11 AM