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Installing Printer Drivers on 2008 Server


In the process of migrating our servers from 2003 to 2008 and 2008 R2 we have started migrating our print server.  When you bring online the print server we downloaded the 32bit and 64bit drivers for each printer.  While most of our systems are still 32bit the new print server is a 64bit server, hence needing both drivers.

Installing the 64bit drivers was fairly straight forward but allowing 32bit machines to print via this server you also have to add the 32bit drivers as well.  In the past this has been the reverse but the process is the same.. Add and Share the printer then go back in to the Printer Properties and on the Sharing tab add the driver for the other, in our case adding the 32bit drivers for the guests.

When adding the 32bit drivers we ran into some issues.  Since a lot more printer drivers are shipping with windows in 2008 Server the wizard that adds the printer wants to install the OEM driver.  Which we found would print just fine from the server but give us one of two errors when we tried to add the 32bit driver.

The first 32bit driver error:


This error is a result from attempting to install a 32bit driver that doesn’t match the 64bit driver that the printer is currently using.  This is most likely caused by installing the printer with the OEM driver for that printer that came from windows update or shipped with Windows Server.  This is an issue because the Printer name in the OEM.inf and the .inf file provided by the vendor for the 32bit driver is somehow formatted differently … ie: ‘PCL_6’ might be ‘PCL6’ or some other slight variation in the printer name in the .inf file. 

The two solutions are to:

1. Find the oemsetup.inf file and edit the printer name or change the 64bit driver that the printer is using. 
2. The easier of the solutions is to change the 64bit driver from the OEM driver to a downloaded 64bit driver supplied from the vendor.  Once you change the driver or add the manufacture’s driver the install of the x86 driver will not be an issue.

The second 32bit Driver Error:



This occurs when the driver doesn’t match the formatting in the 64bit driver as above, but the issue isn’t resolved when using a vendor supplied 64bit driver.  You can attempt to find the differences between the two vendor supplied drivers as mentioned in issue 1 or take the following steps to install the 32bit driver.

1. Login as an Admin on any  client machine running 32-bit OS (it can be W2k3, XP, Vista doesn’t matter)
2. Access the print server PrintserverName and choose Printers and Faxes
3. Select the printer you would like to add the 32-bit driver
4. Go to properties
5. Sharing Tab
6. Additional drivers
7.Check the box for x86 for windows 2000,windows xp and windows 2003
8.click ok
9. The driver will be installed from the included drivers on the 32bit OS or it will prompt you for the location of the driver. 
8.Once the driver is installed you can check the server and the X86 box will be enabled.


  • Reply Jeremy |

    You rock – other solutions for the 2nd 32 bit error require a 32 bit Vista or Win7 PC or install disk – this is a much more elegant solution. Thanks!

  • Reply Gunther |

    you can unplug the ptenrir and wait about a minute, re-plug it and turn the ptenrir back onalso check to see that your ptenrir is set as the default, the ptenrir will be inflicted with a check mark next to it.

So, what do you think ?