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Windows 2003 Server and NT4 Printer Drivers

Posted on 2004-03-23
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Last Modified: 2007-12-19
We have a Windows 2003 Server configured as a Print Server. We are trying to load additional NT4 drivers for an HP Laserjet 4600DTN (Windows 2003 having loaded the 2000/XP drivers without a problem). However, whenever we try to load the NT4 drivers, we get an error message stating "Windows cannot locate a suitable printer driver". This happens regardless of whether we use the drivers bundled with the printer (which are working on our existing NT4 Print Server) or the latest drivers from the HP website.

Some workarounds I have already been given include using the Windows 2000 driver (the NT4 client complains that "the server on which the printer resides does not have a suitable -x- printer driver installed"), editing the NT4 driver so that it is exactly the same as the W2K driver (makes no difference) or installing the NT4 driver on each NT client in the domain (not an option).

I understand that this is a problem that affects various printers (we have various HP models from Laserjet 2100 upwards) and is causing us real difficulties. Any help would be much appreciated.
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Question by:DJKeenor
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Expert Comment

by:Netman66
ID: 10660118
Do this from an NT4 machine.

Type \\servername at the Run box (where servername is the W2K3 server)
Right-click on the Shared Printer, select Open.
From the Printer Menu select Sharing
On the Sharing tab there should be a button for Additional Drivers
Add the NT4 drivers here - make sure you have the drivers on the local NT4 box so you can surf to them.

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Author Comment

by:DJKeenor
ID: 10665536
This doesn't seem to work.

When you connect to the W2K3 server from the NT4 client and try to open the Shared Printer the following message is displayed: "Before you can use the printer -x-, it must be set up on your printer. Do you want Windows to set up the printer and continue this operation?". Clicking Yes generates the following error message: "The servre on which the printer resides does not have a suitable -x- driver installed. Click on OK if you want toinstall the driver on your local machine". Clicking OK allows you to browse to the location of the driver but, when you select it to install, the following is displayed: "Printer driver setup error: The printer driver is unknown". This is regardless of which version of the drivers are used.

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Expert Comment

by:Netman66
ID: 10669531
Ok..install this printer on LPT1 on an NT4 workstation first.  This will install the driver base and can be deleted later on.

Attempt my instructions again from this workstation.

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Author Comment

by:DJKeenor
ID: 10675951
Netman,

Thanks for your comments, but neither really helped. After much research, the problem appears to be with the printer drivers that are bundled with W2K3. It is because of a mismatch between version 2 (kernel mode) and version 3 (user mode) drivers that the problem is arising.

The problem occurs when you try to add an NT4 driver to a printer initially installed with the MS-bundled W2K/XP driver. Once I'd deleted the MS-supplied drivers and reinstalled the printer using with the latest W2K/XP from HP's website, I was then able to add the NT4 driver. Since doing this, I have successfully connected to W2K3-hosted printers from XP and NT4 clients.
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by:Netman66
ID: 10679720
Good.
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