Setting up x86 print drivers on a 64bit Windows Server 2008 R2

IT

Setting up x86 print drivers on a 64bit Windows Server 2008 R2

I recently ran into a problem with getting x86 drivers installed onto a Windows Server 2008 R2 Standard 64bit server.  I was able to open the devices and printers and right click on the printer then go to properties.  From there I could look at the sharing tab and click on the Additional Drivers… button on the bottom and see the x64 option checked with the Installed status as Yes.  I went on to check the X86 option and browse to and then select the x86 drivers but I ran into a problem where Windows was looking for the ntprint.inf files.   I was unable to find them in the default Windowssystem32DriverStoreFileRepositoryntptint.inf_xxxxx folder. 

After much research I found the solution.  It is copying the ntprint.inf_xxxxx folder from a Windows Vista or Windows 7 x86 machine to the server and then pointing the request to that copied folder.  Once that was done I was able to install the x86 version of the drivers without a problem.  Why Microsoft didn’t see fit to install this folder into Windows Server 2008 64 bit when they still promote x86 workstations is a mystery to me.  Also with the readings I found I couldn’t tell if the printer manufacture making the drivers was still using an older way to setup/install the x86 version of the drivers since there were several articles I found that said slightly updated or newer drivers fixed the installation problem. 

Another work around I found, but haven’t tested is connecting to the print server from one of the x86 workstations by going to Start>Run> PrintServer (replacing it with the name of your print server) to display your printer shares.  Click on and install the printer onto the local machine.  Once it has installed select properties then go to the sharing and additional drivers.  Check the box for the x86 drivers and let them install/pull files from the x86 workstation onto the print server.

More About the Author

Richard Clapp

Systems Engineer
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