Tip: How to reinstall Microsoft XPS Document Writer Driver

    General discussion

  • Folks,  I wish to share this solution for the search archives for future poor souls who might come across this situation. 

    On a newly installed 2003 enterprise machine (and new AD controller), the Microsoft XPS Document Writer printer was accidentally deleted (I was preparing the machine over RDP and I guess I was too fast with clinks).  Suggestions researched on how to reinstall was unsuccessfully.  Microsoft information has been to install the XPS Essentials Pack for XP and 2003.

    Download details: Microsoft XML Paper Specification Essentials Pack

    That was tried but the installer failed at some point - 3 times repeated saying some program failed to complete. I figured it was a AD security thing, but I found error log file C:\WINDOWS\XpsElog.log with:


    0.156: 2011/02/16 03:07:19.031 (local)
    0.156: c:\4be88b1c7aed8825a139f60d\update\update.exe (version
    0.328: Hotfix started with following command line: /q /z
    0.328: C:\WINDOWS\system32\XpsSvcs.dll is Not Present
    0.328: Condition Check for Line 1 of PreRequisite returned FALSE
    0.328: XpsEP Setup encountered an error: XPS Essentials Pack 1.0 cannot be installed because XML Paper Specification Shared Components are not installed.
    0.344: XPS Essentials Pack 1.0 cannot be installed because XML Paper Specification Shared Components are not installed.
    0.344: Update.exe extended error code = 0xf0f4
    0.344: Update.exe return code was masked to 0x643 for MSI custom action compliance.


    The machine already had a printer installed for my HP laser jet and I noticed on the properties advanced tab, the selected HP driver also included the Microsoft XPS Document Writer driver. That was not unexpected since it was already installed and the files were already under the C:\WINDOWS sub-folder.

    So I tried the following and it worked.  

    I added a new printer for the HP Laser under a different name "Laser for XPS", then I edit the properties advanced drivers and changed it to Microsoft XPS Document Writer and PUFF, it installed and also renamed the printer to "Microsoft XPS Document Writer."

    A printer "Test Print Page" opened up save dialog for a *.XPS file to save :)

    Since this is a non-user server machine there was no need to install the viewer on this machine which required that .NET 3.5 be installed and that isn't required for the AD machine. Automated XPS documents will be created and save on disk for remote download and viewing.

    Hope this helps others who might come across this.

    Hector Santos,
    Via Wildcat! Live Exchange NNTP Gateway
    Wednesday, February 16, 2011 10:30 AM

All replies

  • Follow up related TIP:  Once you have a Microsoft XPS Document Writer printer on a machine, you can shared it for the network and other machines can add it.   This worked nice for OSes that did not have it and/or have problems installing the XPS Essentials Pack.


    Hector Santos,
    Via Wildcat! Live Exchange NNTP Gateway
    Thursday, February 17, 2011 3:55 AM
  • Really?

    I tried sharing from my 2008 SBS, so I could use it on my 2003 Win2k3 server & it tells me sharing is not supported...

    Monday, October 31, 2011 10:08 PM
  • This was back in Feb/2011, so I don't recall the details but it worked for me as described. I suspect its Microsoft doing special specific with 2008 - i.e. its really not the same as XP, 2003, etc, and its definitely more of a PITA when it comes to security, including file locations, and especially over the network.
    Hector Santos,
    Via Wildcat! Live Exchange NNTP Gateway
    Thursday, November 10, 2011 4:53 PM
  • Thank you man, it was the only thing that solved this issue. Very easy though... I really appreciate your help.

    Keep up!!! :)

    Monday, July 09, 2012 1:12 AM
  • Thank you. This really helped me......
    Thursday, July 26, 2012 6:25 AM
  • Thank you! I was having issues reinstalling the printer with Group Policy Preferences. I ended up having to use PowerShell.

    Here is how I did it:

    If my answer helped you, check out my blog (and subscribe):

    Friday, April 12, 2013 10:07 PM