64-bit Printer Drivers on Windows 2003 R2 Std x64

By jaymen ·
Greetings, all.

I can't seem to install any 64-bit printer drivers on a Windows 2003 R2 Std x64 server. Regardless of the driver source (CD vs. download vs. built-in), I get the following error when I try to add a new printer:

Printer driver was not installed. Windows cannot install this printer until your system administrator first installs a new driver for it on the print server. Or, to install a driver on your computer without the assistance of your system administrator, run the Print Troubleshooter and select the option that contains this message:

"The current printer driver is not compatible with a policy enabled on your computer that blocks Windows NT 4.0 or Windows 2000 kernel-mode drivers."

If I try to install a 64-bit driver through Server Properties --> Drivers, I get the following error instead:

Unable to install HP Color LaserJet 3600, Windows XP and Windows Server 2003, x64 driver.

Factors to consider:

1) I am logged on as the domain admin (this is the DC in a single server domain).

2) This server is also the Exchange 2007 Hub server with Edge Transport.

3) I have tried drivers for several different manufacturers, including the Generic Text Only printer.

4) I have changed both the Default Domain and Local policies as follows:
A) Computer Configuration --> Administrative Templates --> Printers --> "Disallow installation of printers using kernel-mode drivers" = Disable.

B) Computer Configuration --> Windows Settings --> Security Settings --> Local Policies --> Security Options --> "Devices: Unsigned driver installation behavior" = Silently Succeed.

C) Policy changes have been followed up with gpupdate /force and reboots.

5) All Microsoft Critical Updates are applied.

6) Help in Print Troubleshooter was of no help.

7) I have tried LPT, COM, and IP ports, with no change in results.

I exhausted HP Level 2 technical support.

Any advice or pointers would be highly appreciated.


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All Answers

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Is the server a print server and running the spooler service?

by ManiacMan In reply to 64-bit Printer Drivers on ...

I know it's a stupid question to ask of you, but you'd be surprised how many people try to install drivers on a server when the spooler service is disabled or not running and then run into issues like this.

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Server has Print Server role installed

by jaymen In reply to Is the server a print ser ...

Yes it is, and I've verified that the spooler service is running in the Services applet. I've also tried removing and re-adding the role via the "Manage my Server" wizard.

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Have you tried installing the 32 bit version of the drivers?

by ManiacMan In reply to Server has Print Server r ...

If your workstations are running 32 bit version of XP, then you'll need to install the 32 bit version of the printer driver, even though the server is running a 64 bit OS. Always look at the printers from the point of view of the desktops and what's compatible with them.

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32-bit drivers work

by jaymen In reply to Have you tried installing ...

I've successfully installed the 32 bit drivers, but as far as I know (and if I'm wrong, please tell me) you can't install/share a printer unless you have drivers compatible with the hosting OS.

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Let me rephrase that answer

by jaymen In reply to 32-bit drivers work

I can install the 32-bit drivers within File --> Server Properties --> Drivers.

I cannot install the printers using the Add Printer wizard. If I try this I get "The specified location does not contain a compatible software driver for your device. If the location contains a driver, make sure it is designed to work with Windows for x64-based systems" as an error message.

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One update

by jaymen In reply to 64-bit Printer Drivers on ...

Just for hoots I tried installing a locally-attached Ricoh Aficio MP 161 on a USB port using the downloaded drivers. It worked like a champ.

Is it possible that the previous drivers were somehow corrupted and are stuck in a cache somewhere? If so, can I somehow delete or clear out this cache?


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Problem with specific drivers?

by jaymen In reply to 64-bit Printer Drivers on ...

If it makes a difference, the drivers that I've been fighting with have mostly been HP, the 3600n and 4350tn to be exact. Again, I've tried installing drivers for other printers with no success (with the Ricoh exception mentioned above).

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Also have the same problem with Windows Storage Server 2003 R2 SP1 x64 Ed.

by cas.vogel In reply to 64-bit Printer Drivers on ...

I also have the same problem with a relatively new Windows Storage Server 2003 R2 SP1 x64 Edition. Any attempt to install an x64 print driver for any make or model whether pre-loaded with Windows or downloaded from a Vendor, viz. HP, fails every time. However, I was able to install an x86 print driver which is not much use because if you can't install an x64 print driver you can't add a printer.

At the moment this problem has me stumped. Any ideas anyone has for a solution to this problem would be greatly appreciated.


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Fixed it! Fixed it!

by Richard Kirk In reply to 64-bit Printer Drivers on ...

It is indeed a corruption of drivers.
1) In Printers window right click and select server properties
2) check there are no drivers installed - if so delete all
3) stop spooler
4) delete all files in C:\WINDOWS\system32\spool\drivers\x64 (but leave the 3 folder
5) delete all files in C:\WINDOWS\system32\spool\drivers\x64\3 (but leave the 3 folder intact
6) Start the spooler
7) Add a printer
Smile smugly ;&gt



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by jaymen In reply to Fixed it! Fixed it!

Just when I had thrown up my hands in despair, this solution worked perfectly. Thanks a ton!

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