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I have a Windows Server 2008 x86 Application server. Upgrading is not an option at this point. I have clients connecting to the remote application and trying to print. The x86 users have no issue but the x64 customers cannot see the printers listed in their print dialog box.

Is there a way around this? I assume it is due to them being x64 machines?

How do I get my customers printing?

  • Are these all printers attached to their PC or network printers? Are they the same or all different models? – Grant Mar 21 '14 at 21:47
  • The printer vary, it's whatever the client has sitting at their desk. The printer can be shared from their computer or on the network. Whatever it takes to get this to work. – JohnDoe Mar 21 '14 at 21:54
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I am assuming you need to install the x64 bit driver.

On your print server, go to Printer Properties, then click the Sharing tab. Click Additional Drivers.... When you download the x64 bit driver from the manufacturer's web site, you'll want to make sure the driver name matches exactly the same as the x86 driver and you should be good to go from there.

I've seen issues like having a HP LaserJet xxxx PCL6 x86 driver, and then they have the HP LaserJet xxxx PCL 6 driver. That extra space is a killer.

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    For some manufacturers you should be able to find universal PS drivers that work for both x86 and x64 architectures. – Byron C. Mar 21 '14 at 20:43
  • I'm familiar with adding the printer to the server, that's how we get the printers to work typically. Though, I am confused as to how you find the right driver when most of the installations are now executables and want to install once you download them. How do I know which to grab? – JohnDoe Mar 21 '14 at 20:51
  • @JohnDoe - most home installation package are executable but more business/enterprise type equipment also have available enterprise packages which are not executable. I have no problem doing my printers install in both 32 and 64 bit except for home equipment. – ETL Mar 21 '14 at 22:46
  • @JohnDoe usually those .exe files that you download from the manufacturer are actually .exe compression files. Programs like 7zip will let you extract the files, including the .inf files you would need to only install the drivers. – Nixphoe Mar 24 '14 at 14:04
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This Microsoft article has some relevance on how to setup your terminal server: http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/library/cc753853(v=ws.10).aspx, so make sure you've at least followed it's instructions.

Basically, you need to make sure drivers are available on the terminal server (of the correct version and bit-ness) for every printer people are using. Yikes! If you're lucky, they have mostly the same printers. If not...

To get the drivers, most printer manufacturers have several available driver packages. Look for ones that say something like "minimal", "network install", or "basic driver". HP for example has "full feature software and driver" or "Basic Driver".

These ones are usually either ZIP files or self extracting EXE files that will give you the real .inf and associated files that you can add to the server.

If those aren't available, you can either run the full installer on the terminal server (but that will also install all the printer helper program stuff, which you almost certainly don't want), or start the setup, then look in %TEMP% for the files it extracted there, copy them elsewhere, and cancel the installation.

Alternatively, you can use something like ThinPrint which doesn't require unique drivers for each printer. But it does require that the ThinPrint client be installed on the computers of everyone connecting. (This is not necessarily a recommendation for ThinPrint...there are also other ones that do the same thing, which might be better. I've used ThinPrint before, and it does work.)

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