Windows 7 - no driver available for printer

Trevor Local
Trevor Local used Ask the Experts™
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Hello

I have a printer (Okidata 420 - USB) that does not have a proper driver for Windows 7. The printer works with Vista. I'm wondering if a print server device is a solution for this. The site that is using it is all Windows 7. We're using Terminal Services sessions to print locally (Easy Printing). I brought in a Vista test machine and it works with that.
thanks for any tips.
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Top Expert 2008

Commented:
You could try adding the printer in Windows 7 but choose one of the built in printer drivers from Oki to run the printer on.  You will probably find that one of the other drivers will give the same basic print facilities.

Author

Commented:
This is true, I did try using a builtin driver, and it prints most things, however some forms come out horribly. And since this is printing legal contracts, we can't settle for that.
Network Operations Manager
Top Expert 2009
Commented:
Have you tried running the printer in XP Mode (only works for Windows 7 Pro and above).
Take a look at the videos at the bottom of this page:
http://www.microsoft.com/windows/virtual-pc/support/default.aspx
 
Bits ...
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Commented:
When you install the printer within win7, use the vista drivers , go to properties, click on compatibility tab and choose to install in vista mode.
Proceed from there.

Commented:
what centery said. Vista and 7 use the same drivers. If you can find a vista driver, you should be good to go.

I am assuming it is the microline 420 so here is the link on okidata website for drivers

http://my.okidata.com/home.nsf/SolutionsSupport?OpenForm

Author

Commented:
There's no downloadable driver for the ML420. It states that it's on the Vista DVD.

I don't have the "compatibility" tab. I'm wondering if it's because I've upgraded from Win 7 Home to Pro. I tried to enable it using the tips in this site:
http://www.vistax64.com/tutorials/182398-compatibility-properties-tab-restore-remove.html

Still doesn't show up. I tried the registry setting and group policy setting.
Commented:
Install the printer and let win7 try to find the drivers on the vista dvd.

Here's the xp driver if you should need it

http://www.lostmydrivers.com/driver/download/10935/OKI/Printers-Drivers/oki-printer-ml420-ml421-driver-windows-2000-xp.
BitsBytesandMoreNetwork Operations Manager
Top Expert 2009

Commented:
So .... why are you not using XP Mode? It is free......
Bits ...

Author

Commented:
Bits- in XP Mode, I would install the printer, but how would the Win 7 pc(s) print to that device without a proper driver? It appears to be just like printing to a VM, but I don't understand how that will help my situation.
Also, the level of users at the site is extremely low and any extra steps will seriously hamper their "ease of use". It would be easier for me just to install Vista.

thanks

Commented:
>the level of users at the site is extremely low .....
Do I ever hear you....

You can also try installing the xp drivers and then see if windows will search the net and upgrade.
Long shot.  Use sys restore first.
BitsBytesandMoreNetwork Operations Manager
Top Expert 2009

Commented:
delmarlocal,
Please take a look at the videos at the bottom of the page on the link I posted. This is precisely the beauty of XP Mode: it integrates "seamlessly" with Windows 7. In other words, you install the printer and Windows 7 will be able to use it.
This is another video explaining more on XP Mode (don't miss the ones above) :
http://windows.microsoft.com/en-us/windows7/help/videos/using-windows-xp-mode
 
Bits ...
BitsBytesandMoreNetwork Operations Manager
Top Expert 2009

Commented:
It shouldn't be a complication for the user. Once you install the printer in XP mode, you need to share it as a network printer and install it on the Windows 7 machine as a network printer either by IP address or by hostname....

Author

Commented:
Bits - it seems like it could be a good solution, but my problem is that I have limited time access to the pc's.  Is a hardware print server not a solution for this? There's no problem spending the money if it is.

Commented:
Look in Vista printer drivers server properties to see which drivers the printer is using and copy over.
BitsBytesandMoreNetwork Operations Manager
Top Expert 2009

Commented:
The hardware print server just makes it available across the network instead of it being available directly on the local machine, it eliminates the need of having the local machine "ON" to share it but it does not eliminate the need for drivers.
In other words, if you still have any machine on your network that has XP or Vista installed, then the fastest and cheapest way to share the printer over the network is to install and share it directly from the computer. If you want to eliminate the issue that the computer needs to be on, then a hardware print server would take the place of the computer.
Bits ...

Author

Commented:
Ok- I installed the XPMode and am trying to install the printer from the Win7 box. It sees the printer and brings up an authentication box. It doesn't like the XPMUser credentials, so I created a new Admin user as well, but it doesn't like those credentials either.
It states: "The credentials supplied are not sufficient to access this printer. Do you want to specify new credentials?"

I checked to see if it's permissions, but there's no security/permissions tab for the printer. I can create a folder within the VM and share it out and access it from the Win7 box.
BitsBytesandMoreNetwork Operations Manager
Top Expert 2009

Commented:
So let me see if I am following: ....you installed the printer on the XP Mode Machine. You also shared it. Once you shared it you went to the Windows 7 "Add Printer" and you specified and IP address and printer name or a hostname and printer name and it is asking you for credentials?

Author

Commented:
that's right. But it actually won't let me install it by IP, but it will with the hostname. It tells me it's not found when I try by IP. I get the same problem when trying to install it from my Vista laptop (credential problem)
BitsBytesandMoreNetwork Operations Manager
Top Expert 2009

Commented:
It's probably a setting in Control Panel\All Control Panel Items\Network and Sharing Center\Advanced sharing settings .... Most likely in the "Homegroup Connections" you have it set as "Allow Windows to manage homegroup connections" .... try changing this to "Use user accounts and passwords to connect to other computers"....
Bits ...
BitsBytesandMoreNetwork Operations Manager
Top Expert 2009

Commented:
Also test with the "Password Protected Sharing" located in the same "Control Panel\All Control Panel Items\Network and Sharing Center\Advanced sharing settings"

Commented:
You can disable Homegroup in Folder Options/View

Author

Commented:
Ok I tried the "Allow Windows to manage...", as well as toggled the password protected sharing setting, same result. I also switched the profile from Public to Work on the Win7 box, thinking that may have had something to do with it- same problem though.
BitsBytesandMoreNetwork Operations Manager
Top Expert 2009

Commented:
I wish I could test it for you but all my printers work in Windows 7 (they have drivers).....
I read this article (attached) but it isn't really clear if you can share from Windows 7 to the XP Mode Machine (which wouldn't make any sense) or if you can share a printer installed on XP mode to the Windows 7 machine.
Bits ...

WXPMode-HowToGuide-RC.pdf
BitsBytesandMoreNetwork Operations Manager
Top Expert 2009

Commented:
delmarlocal,
I was just analyzing the situation and I believe that my advice of using XP Mode will not work..... after some reflexion, XP Mode is basically another computer, yes virtual but still another computer so if it follows the rules of any computer that is sharing a printer on a network, when another computer on the network wants to use it, the sharing computer has to provide the drivers so the other computer can use the printer .... so, based on this, it won't work.
My advice at this point .... if you really don't want to loose this printer would be to install it on a computer that does have a printer for it, XP or Vista and create a shared folder where people can place the files they want to print using this printer. It's a hassle but otherwise.... I don't see a way out since sharing it in any way would require that you be able to provide the drivers for the computer that wants to use it.
Bits ...

Author

Commented:
Hi Bits - yeah, I thought about that as well. Not really sure why I can't attach to the shared printer from XPMode, but I was able to fire up an RDP session to the main site and use the redirected printing from within XPMode. All the printed forms look OK (just need to tweak the printer settings a little). I'm just apprehensive about the tech level of users that will need to use the virtual machine with the RDP client inside.

I did notice that I have the "compatibility" tab within some windows, but not within the printer properties, where I need it the most...

By the way, I had a database vendor RDP into my network and use their own printer (same model) on their Win7 machine, same problem- the printing is messed up.

Commented:
Hate to repeat myself but have you tried using the drivers off of the vista disc?
I believe this printer uses generic IBM printer drivers.

Also, MS lists the printer as compatible with win 7 on their list. Go figure.

http://www.microsoft.com/windows/compatibility/windows-7/en-us/Details.aspx?type=Hardware&p=Oki%20Microline%20420%20Printer&v=Oki&uid=62418701&pf=3&pi=8&c=Printers%20%26%20Scanners&sc=Other%20Printers&os=32-bit 
BitsBytesandMoreNetwork Operations Manager
Top Expert 2009

Commented:
centerv: Hey buddy .... sorry .... you said cheers above and I was so involved in figuring this out that it might have seemed I ignored you.... I'm always glad to see you in the threads..... (by the way ... I might be older than you...lol)
delmarlocal: don't underestimate centerv's advise... he has proven himself over and over ( I didn't dig into it because he had already mentioned it and I assumed you had tested)....
Bits ...

Commented:
Hey Bits... Happy Feb and hopefully a good day to get this resolved.
BitsBytesandMoreNetwork Operations Manager
Top Expert 2009

Commented:
Centerv: I agree .... likewise .... You must be on the other side of the world? Correct.... ? I'm inferring this from the word "Cheers" .....
delmarlocal: My last thoughts on this situation is that you install XP Mode on "all" the Windows 7 machines and share it among them .... or .... create a shared folder on a Vista or XP machine where people can drop the files they want to print and then either walk to it or remote desktop to it and print.... I know.... it sounds like cr..p...
Lastly ... is buying a new printer an option..? You could also call the manufacturer and raise hell.... they might take it in as a trade in....
Bits ...

Commented:
Just a greeting I picked up over time that seems to fit....
NE US

Author

Commented:
Hi Guys- I've had limited access, so haven't done much more. But we're able to RDP in to the corp. site successfully within the XPMode, and print all the forms from the local Oki 420. I've trained one user how to go through the process, so I think I'm calling it good at this point. The vendor of the database (who sold us the printer) is alerted of the issue.

One thing I found was there's multiple Terminal Services ports being created, and doesn't look like they are being reset. For example, when I RDP in to the Win 2008 server at corp., and get the properties for the redirected printers, it shows "TS350" port is being used, as well as the other 349 TS ports as being "Inactive TS Port". Shouldn't those unused ports time out and drop off, so there's not hundreds of them?
BitsBytesandMoreNetwork Operations Manager
Top Expert 2009

Commented:
That is a good subject for another question. Honestly I have no idea of why they don't time out. Make sure you ask it as a "Related Question" so experts can read on the background of the question.
I'm so glad you finally decided to take the XP Mode route. It is an extra "click" and I "know" how much of a pain it can be to train users on something so minimal from my perspective but so complicated from theirs.
 

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