Windows 7 64 bit printers - emulate 32 bit drivers?

willp2 used Ask the Experts™
We have a bunch of Windows 7 64 bit Pro PC's and need to run an older application on them that is choking on the printer drivers. The app works fine if we switch to something like the built in XPS Document printer.

Anyone know a way to make the printer look like a 32 bit driver to the application?

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Please explain little further...


Sorry that this wasn't clear. The PC's are running Windows 7 Pro - 64bit. The application is a small vertical app for real estate management. When we try to run the app, it gives an error about the printer and crashes. Its a very generic error. When I switch the Windows default printer to the XPS Document Writer, the program opens OK.

We've tried different printers but all do the same thing. Support is nonexistent on the application, but from what I have heard, success with 64 bit OS’s is hit or miss because of the printer issues.

So what I am hoping to do is make the printer appear to the application like it is a standard 32 printer driver.

Does that make sense?
Rob HutchinsonTech Lead, Desktop Support

can you load the 32bit version of the printer driver and use that?
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I was under the impression that I couldn't do that with a 64bit OS? Is wouldn't take the driver that the server tried to share to it for instance.
Map that printer as a Local printer on one of your windows 7 machine, when it asks for driver, give the 32 Bit driver, if it installs you should be good to go ;
the following solution is basically a step by step to map the network printer as a local printer on windows 7 so you can try the followin and feed the 32bit drivers when it asks, if it accepts the drivers then it will be ok.
The solution to link is as follows:

("Stand alone" Network printers can be done slightly similarly BTW).

assume the computers are call XPMACHINE and W7MACHINE.

1) Ensure Printer on XP machine is shared - assume it's called SHAREDPRINTER.

2) On the Network Browsing on your Windows 7 machine ensure you can "See" the Printer share.

Now on the Windows 7 machine do the following (doesn't matter if it's X-86 or x-64).

3) Control Panel==> add LOCAL (Yes LOCAL) printer. I know it's on a Network but hold your horses -- what we are actually doing is "Poodlefaking" the Windows 7 machine into thinking it's running the printer.

4) Create NEW port==>Local port


6) Now Windows 7 will load a driver and you'll be able to print on the XP machine.


(For a "Network stand alone printer") at 4) chose TCPIP port
and at 5) enter the IP address.

If the printer is on the Windows 7 machine and you want to print on the XP machine then do the same instructions on the XP machine --
port name in this case will be \\W7MACHINE\SHAREDPRINTER


Worked perfectly. Thanks!

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