Printer sharing with Windows 7 64 bit - revisited


  • Hi everyone!

    First let me describe the situation....  A new Windows 7 64 bit system is installed in a network consisting of Windows XP 32 bit systems.  The new Windows 7 64 bit system has two printers attached to it, and each printer has a Share so that it can be seen by the older XP systems.  I'm sure you know the problem - the driver for the XP 32 bit systems is not present on the Win7 64 bit system, so the XP systems cannot print using the shares of the 64 bit system.

    I did the search of these forums and found the solution proposed earlier here:   And I agree that that approach will work.  BUT.......  It requires that someone visit each XP 32 bit system and install the printer drivers for each.  A time consuming process and I would not trust the rather non-technical uses of our systems to such a task.  So it becomes the job of the IT professional running/managing/maintaining the network to visit each of the 32 bit XP systems and do the installation.  As you might guess, this can quickly become unworkable.

    On the other hand, connecting to a Printer Share offered by a system is a fairly straightforward task that even the non-technical can master.   So, my question for the experts is how to make the offered Share approach work on a 64 bit system.  This comes down to getting the 32 bit printer drivers onto the 64 bit system.  A way to do this seems to be provided, but I'm at a loss on how to make it work.

    On the Windows 7 64 bit system, if I open the properties of the printer in question and open the Share tab, there is a button below that is named "Additional Drivers...".  Clicking that button will open a window and its easy to see that there is an x86 driver not installed.  Selecting that helpfully opens a window to allow one to name a directory with the CD containing the driver. 

    Now let's presume that the CD containing the driver for this printer is lost with no hope of recovery.  We can, of course, go to the manufacturer and download installers.  But an installer running on a 64 bit system will qute reasonably provide a 64 bit driver, and not a 32 bit driver, even if that is what is needed for the share.

    So my question is, where do I find the 32 bit drivers to add to a 64 bit system for sharing purposes - given that original CD containing those drivers is lost?




    Tuesday, September 21, 2010 3:39 PM


  • You could try downloading the drivers from the manufacturer's web site, then use a program such as 7Zip, WinZip, or WinRAR to expand the file. Then find the 32-bit folder and copy it to the Windows 7 machine. I've used this method with video drivers, and it has worked for most of them.

    SC Tom
    -There's no such thing as TMI when asking for tech support.

    Tuesday, September 21, 2010 10:35 PM