How to add Additional 32bit Drivers on 64bit print server

I’ve had this problem with our print server in my office for a while and just figured out the solution…. and I’m sharing it here. Essentially when I share a printer on a network, I can not install additional 32bit (x86) drivers on my 64bit (x64) printer server. Every time I try to load the additional 32bit drivers on the printer… it error’s out. The solution I found out is you have to load the additional drivers on the server from a 32bit client… I’ll semi-spoon feed you if you still don’t understand, as admittedly i did not til’ I figured it out on my own… I’ll assume if you got to this page your semi-familure with sharing printers on a server and connecting them to clients.

THE TRICK…

Install the printer on your server…

Go to the printer properties by right clicking it in your devices…

Click the “sharing” tab, and at the bottom you will see the button “Additional Drivers”

—This is where you usually have problems… after clicking the x86 box and browsing to the 32bit drivers, it usually gives an error. If it doesn’t… then why are you still reading… if it does as continue

The solution is to now go to a 32 bit client and browse to your print server and double click to install the the printer… it will say it does not have the correct driver, and in which case should prompt you to install it manually. You should follow the prompts and manually install the driver, but just for this one machine… once its installed on the 32bit machine… from the 32 bit machine

Go to the printer and devices

Find the network printer shared by your print server you just installed…

Go to the printer properties by right clicking it in your devices…

Click the “sharing” tab, and at the bottom you will see the button “Additional Drivers”

— Now from the 32 bit client you should be able to push the 32bit drivers to the printer on the server. Now the next 32 bit client you want to install the printer on, you should be able to just double click the on the server’s shared printer and the 32bit drivers will automatically install like it does on the other 64bit machines.

 

_____UPDATE______

So I’ve gotton some emails and comments asking for step by step… i thought it was above, but after reading it I realize it is a bit confusing. I don’t have time to re-write the post above, but here are more or less the same step re-written that may help, or atleast be a little clearer.

Basically you can’t install 32 bit driver from the 64bit print server, but you can install it on the 64, map it to the 32, then from the 32 add (“push”) the 32 bit driver back to the server for future 32bit installs.

1. So what you have to do is install the printer mapped thru your 64bit print server on the 32 bit machine.
2. It will prompt something about not having correct drivers and you will have to manually locate and install them this once on the 32 bit.
3. Once the mapped printer is installed on the 32bit, goto printers -> printer properties -> Sharing Tab (at top) -> Addtional Drivers button (lower right of menu)
4. The Additional Drivers button will give you popup window… check off the x86 option and click OK.
5. After you click OK it will push the 32bit driver from the machine you just installed it on to the 64 bit server.
6. Now any future installs of this printer on 32 bit machines will go faster because the 32bit drivers were pushed to the 64bit server and it won’t prompt for a manual install of the 32bit drivers.