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Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Connecting to a printer, shared on Windows 32-bit, from Windows 7 64-bit

Mapping a printer being hosted by a computer running 32bit Windows OS on a VISTA/Windows 7 64bit machine is a bit tricky.
You cannot do it by simply adding Network printer as you do it usually - via searching AD or directly by name - it will say that driver is not available even though you have it installed already e.g. by connecting similar printer locally. Windows will suggest you to browse your computer for .inf files and even if you know where they are (C:\windows\inf folder) or you have printer's CD it will still say driver is not available and will not present you list of available printers to choose from.

First, you need to know exact name of shared printer (what you see in Windows 7 when you search for network printers is not really printer shared name but description which could be different)

On the host computer:
Start > Settings > Printers and Faxes > Right click on the shared printer > Properties > Sharing tab > write the name down
On the Windows 7 / Vista 64bit computer:
Start > Control Panel > Printers > Add printer > Add a local printer > Click on ‘Create a new port’ > ‘Local Port’ > ‘Next’.
Type the port name like this: "\\Computer name\printer shared name", click ‘OK’.
After that continue installation as you would do it normally. You can either select the make and model of your printer from the lists (for Windows 7 it will most likely be there) or use your printer installation disk.

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