Adding 32 bit print drivers to 64 bit Windows Server 2008 fails

shawnsouthern used Ask the Experts™
We have a new 64 Bit server running Windows Server 2008 (which we were able to download from per our agreement with Microsoft).

This server will be providing print services, replacing an existing 32 bit Windows 2003 server.  The old server has the 32 bit drivers & the 64 bit drivers installed.

All of our printers are installed with the 64 bit drivers.  The issue arises when we attempt to make the 32 bit drivers available for Point & Print functionality. (Additional Drivers on the Sharing tab)

The 2008 server, when I attempt to install the 32 bit HP printer drivers, fails to install the drivers.  It asks 'Please provide path to Windows media (x86 processor)'.  It is apparently looking for ntprint.inf.  I've searched various XP, Vista and 2008 x86 discs to no avail.  I tried using the ntprint.inf from a x86 Vista system, and that failed.

I have Canon ImageRunner copiers that successfully installed the 32 bit drivers on the 64 bit server.
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John Gates, CISSPSecurity Professional

Are you extracting all available files from the drivers bundle and pointing the path to them?


As in from the HP driver package?  Or is there something I need from a 32 bit 2008 CD (I've attempted to point to Vista, XP & 2008 discs and the install has failed each time)?
John Gates, CISSPSecurity Professional

In the HP package.
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Yes, I've extracted the entire package.  The 64 bit drivers (from the 64 bit package) install fine.  When I attempt to add the 32 bit drivers from the 32 bit package as an "Additional Driver" to support my 32 bit clients, it fails while trying to find ntprint.inf.

I've successfully done this with all of our Canon products.  This affects only the HP products.
John Gates, CISSPSecurity Professional

Have you tried the HP universal driver?


I've tried the drivers for the individual printers (a Colour LaserJet 3600N & a LaserJet 2430TN - two of each printer) and the Universal driver.  When attempting to add the 32 bit Universal driver, I get:

'The selected driver must be installed remotely from an x86 computer using Type 3 (User mode) drivers."

A Google search for that message brings up a lot of the reverse of my situation (64 bit drivers on a 32 bit server), but nothing for 32 bit drivers on a 64 bit server.

I really don't care which drivers I end up using - as long as they work.
Has anyone come up with a solution to this problem?
John Gates, CISSPSecurity Professional

HP will need to be contacted to attain "Signed" print drivers for the printer in question.  
I get the same problem on all x86 drivers I try to install.
John Gates, CISSPSecurity Professional

You are not going to be able to install any 32 bit drivers on the server for server use if you are running 64 bit.  If you are installing printers you *should* be able to add additional drivers for 32 bit clients that will connect.  I have tried and I cannot get the same errors....  I have gotten LaserJet 4100, 4L, 5 32 bit drivers to install so that is why I have not come back to add to the question.

How do I install inbox drivers though? Say I use the built in Dell or Lexmark print driver and I want to install the x86 version of the inbox driver using the additional drivers window? I cant seem to find them anywhere.
John Gates, CISSPSecurity Professional

Well you can start by creating your own question... I did not notice that you hijacked this thread.

Distinguished Expert 2018

shawnsouthern, I am having the same problem but reverse: Server 2008 (RTM) 32 Bit should get additional drivers for x64.
Here's how I solved it: I installed the x64 drivers from remote from a vista x4 machine.
The way to do it requires that the share print$ is activated on the server which is included in the instructions (1):
open regedit
Right-click a blank area in the right pane
Click New
Click DWORD Value
Type: LocalAccountTokenFilterPolicy
Double-click the item you just created
Type 1 into the box
quit regedit, restart the server
-Logon to a vista x64 computer with an account that is member of the group print operators -> print operators group on the server of course<- You might have to add your user to that group first.
-In network neighborhood, select the server and double click the printer in question
-select "additional driver" and do your thing :)

By the way, I have exactly the same problem, ask for CD when trying to add drivers.
HP D7460, shared from W2K8 x64 to Vista x86 and x64 clients.
Add drivers option is greyed out when opening printer properties from x86 and x64 Vista (running elevated).
I'd be happy to give my points for an answer, if that that is possible?
Distinguished Expert 2018

ptr727, did you follow my instructions?

Hi McKnife, yes I did modify the registry.
From both x64 Vista and x86 Vista clients the additional drivers option is greyed out.
I did access options by right click on printer, run as admin, properties.

I tried to install the drivers directly on the x64 W2K8 server by using drivers installed on x86 Vista.
I copied the directory contents of the x86 machine to the x64 server at C:\Windows\System32\spool\drivers\W32X86, rebooted the server, unfortunately this did not work either.

Fyi, see:
It talks about the permission problem, but does not mention W2K8.

Here is a very roundabout way to solve the problem:
Install Windows Server 2008 x86 (on VMWare).
Open the printer shared from Windows Server 2008 x64 on the x86 Server.
When prompted for the x86 driver point to the driver install folder.
Open the printer properties.
Add the x86 driver, the drivers will automatically be added.
Distinguished Expert 2018

Sorry if I ask again, but are you sure you really did all the steps? Before I realized I had to be a member of "print operators", it was greyed out for me, too.
Your roundabout is just what I described in my first posting. Haven't tried it the other way roud, though.

McKnife, I used the Administrator account to access the server, surely that has sufficient rights?
Since I cannot delete the drivers once installed (can't uncheck, or don't know of other way), I can no longer test explciitly adding the admin account to the print operators group.
If I have time I'll play with various combinations on VMWare, for although my current problem is solved, I'd like to know what to do when it happens again.

There was a distinct difference between using another W2K x64 box and a Vista x86 box, W2K8 worked, Vista did not.
Distinguished Expert 2018

"surely that has sufficient rights" - no, it has not. The group print operators is empty by default if I remember correctly.
You need to go to a 32-bit Vista workstation Start\run> \\Printserver and display your shared printers. Double click a printer & wait for it to install. After it installs on the workstation go into the local printers, right click on the network printer you just installed. Select properties, sharing, additional drivers and select the x86 box. Click OK and the x86 drivers should upload to the server.

I think I just found the answer to this problem.

I added the Print Server role to my 2008 64bit server. Once that was done I did the following:
Print Management -> Print Server -> <my server> -> (right click properties) -> Drivers tab
I then clicked the Add button and only checked x86, not x64. I then did a Have Disk and located where I extracted my drivers to.

The server has installed the drivers, and I am going to go test them out on an XP machine.

I have it the other way around. We have a win2k3 x32 printer server. We now need x64 drivers to add the win2k3 printer server printers to a new Windows 2008 server. There aren´t  any x64 win2k8 driver downloads for the Laserjet 4 / 5 / 1100 and many other older ones on the HP website. How does the HP Universal Print Driver work? I once tested this driver, but it had terrible status notification pop up screens appearing. What HP x64 driver works as a substitude for the Laserjet 4, Laserjet 5, Laserjet 1100, Laserjet 1300?
Distinguished Expert 2018

These drivers are not present at HP because 2008 should have them builtin. Did you try? Vista x64 has drivers for at least LJ4 and 1100, I use them myself. 2008 x64 should use the same.

I have 64-bit Windows Server 2008 and 32-bit Windows XP Pro clients.  I can share my HP printers via the server but the clients cannot connect and find a driver.  I could add the drivers steps in the above post (Print Management) but that didn't work for me.

I came across this article and this guy is a lifesaver!

I was reading through the HP Universal Print Driver documentation, when I found your replies to my post in my mailbox. Add a New Local Port is a life saver indeed :-)))))
Local port: \\x32_servername\printer_sharename select the build in HP driver and bingo!
This way you can indeed select the Windows server 2008 build in x64 drivers and they all work so far.
Great, thanks!

We have them all printing now. For the HP 1022n and HP 1300 the build in 1100 works fine. For the HP 1010 the build in HP 1015 does the job. For the Canon iR C3080 the build in iR5570 is compatible.
I solved the issue here. We had the following situation:
 Printer Server Installed on W2K8 64-bit
 Clients are all WinXP 32-bit

Got prompted for driver installation when adding printers on alll clients.
Could not install the x86 driver on the 64-bit server using any of the methods above, always got this error: 'The selected driver must be installed remotely from an x86 computer using Type 3 (User mode) drivers."

1. Install W2K8 32-bit
2. Install Printers using x86 drivers
3. Go to Admin Tools->Print Management
4. Choose x86 server
5. right click->Export printers to a file...
6. go through the export
7. connect to x64 server
8. choose x64 server
9. right click->Import printers from a file
10. go through the import

This got the x86 drivers installed on the 64-bit Server, and the 32-bit clients can now connect to the printers without being prompted for drivers.

Interesting, "Export printers to a file" "Import printers from a file". I have not tried these options.

We now have a new x64 windows 2008 printer server. We used the HP Universal Printer Driver on the server, both the PCL5 and PCL6. Some older HP printers needed the PCL5 version. We installed the driver on the clients using: "Install /gdssnp /dm /q /npf /nd /h" to get rid of the HP UPD popups. On the server we installed the x64 HP UPD pcl5 and pcl 6 driver and added the x86 version drivers. We had to ad a missing an empty registry key on the printer server "HKEY_USERS\S-1-5-18\Printers\Connections" to solve error compatibility popups.

Up to now the server works like a charm.
here is the official way to do it (per a paid support incident)

For this we need a 32 bit Vista ultimate or Vista Business Machine in a domain (32bit win7 works too):

Install your printer(s) driver(s) locally as if they were connected to LPT1. (to get the right drivers installed and ready)

On the Vista machine open RUN prompt and type MMC. This would open the management console. Then:

1.      Click on File¿Add/Remove Snap-in
2.      Select Print management from the list and click Add.
3.      This would prompt you to enter the Server name. You can either type the name or just browse through the server on which you want to put the 32 bit drivers.
4.      Then click on “Add to list”.
5.      Click on Finish.
6.      Now you can access all the printers and drivers on the 2008 64 bit box.
7.      Navigate through the tree structure. Expand “Print Servers” ¿”Server Name”¿Printers.
8.      On the right window you should find all the printers.
9.      Right click the printer for which you want to install the 32 bit drivers.
10.      Printer ¿Properties¿Sharing¿Additional drivers¿Check the box that says x86. This would automatically install the 32 bit drivers for the printer on the 2008 Machine. (by using the driver you installed to LPT1)
11.      In some cases it may ask you for the disk of the printer.
12.      The Same process applies for installing a 32 bit driver for shared fax printer on a 2008 Server.

This was 2 years ago, maybe the manufacturer has fixed this driver bug by now. We have replaced older printers that don't support 2008 / Vista / 7.

Our problem was that importing additional server 2k3/2008 32 bit server drivers to a x64 2008 printer server, using the x86 driver checkbox (and delecting the x64 box, that is defaultly selected) would end in error. XP drivers mostly worked fine, we started using the HP universal printer driver, that also solved alot of errors. The HP UPD v5 update has also fixed alot if issues.

We have jumped Vista and are mirating to x64 Windows 7, which also works fine.

All these "solutions" are a waste of time. Build a 32 bit system and a 64 bit system and move on with you life.

My issuse:
2008 R2 64bit Server, Windows 7 32bit and WIndows XP 32bit clients. Printer in Question: Zebra Z4M PLUS

Tried everything above, and found the "Import and Export" Method using Printer Management worked.

Went to Windows 7 32bit client. Installed printer, ran Printer Management export of drivers.

Took exported printer file to 2008R2 64bit server, ran Printer Management, imported the file, and it worked!

And AMC80112, some people don't have extra server licences lying around and your keen sence of life direction. Hopefully what I posted above will help the next guy out.

Here's my contribution to this discussion.  (I didn't resort to the exporting and importing of drivers described above, because the following worked for me:)

I was trying to install 64-bit and 32-bit print drivers on our new Windows 2008 R2 server, specifically for an old color HP Business Inkjet 2800

1. Downloaded HP Universal Print Driver package for Windows Server 2008 R2 and installed it on the server.  During the install, it directed me to install a printer, so I pointed it to the IP address of the HP business inkjet 2800.  Make sure to set it as a shared printer!

Note 1: Now, you might be tempted to open up "Print Management" on the server, and select "Manage Sharing..." and "Additional Drivers..." on the printer you just installed.  But if you attempt to select the x86 drivers box, you won't be able to find the drivers.

2. Went to one of our Windows 7 32-bit machines, and downloaded the exact same HP Universal Print Driver package, except this time for 32-bit Windows 7.  Installed it just like I did on the server above, for the same printer even.

3. At that Windows 7 32-bit computer, went to the Start Orb > In search box type "Print Management" and open up print management.  Right click on "Print Servers" and "Add print server..."  Type in the name of your server and click "Add to list", then OK.  Now you should be able to control the Windows 2008 x64 print server settings from the 32-bit box you're sitting at.

4. Expand the folder tree for the 64-bit print server you just added, click on "Printers" and right click on the printer you added in step one, select "Manage Sharing..." then click "Additional Drivers..."  NOW you can click on x86 and click OK and it will automatically install the 32-bit print drivers on to your server's print server.
Been banging my head on the wall for over a month on this one (even the Xerox solution didn't work).  But I tried KTN-IT's solution, and it worked like a charm.  Thanks!

excellent, had some issues with my xerox 7435 but KTN-IT solution worked a treat!!

many thanks!
We had the same problem, moving from 32 bit server to 64 bit servere. There were big problems getting 32 bit drivers on the 64bit server (Windows 2008 R2)

Since both servers (the old32 bit and the new 64bit) were available we could from the "Print management" on the 32bit server just add the 64bit server under "print servers" and then add 32 bit drivers to the 64bit server. (Everything done from the 32 bit server)
espo_nyIT Manager


Thank you very much. Your solution worked like a charm.

Wow i struggled with this for too long. My issue was trying to add the 32bt driver to the "additional drivers" on the 2008R2 print server.

I tried all the suggestions above but to no avail.

I decided to delete the printer from the 2008R2 64 bit print server and start over, using the HP Universal print driver. When i did this, i noticed that both the 32 and 64 bit drivers were installed by default. This was for the PCL6 driver. Hopefully there is no problems with funcionality here.

Now to setup a PostScript printer the same way (crossing fingers) seems i didn't read KTN-IT's post. My bad.


Same solution as ID: 37758522

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