Question about print drivers, use 2008 drivers on 2003 32 bit print server and Windows 7 64 bit client

Print server = Windows 2003 32b
Client = Windows 7 64b

I have had problems getting the Win 7 drivers loaded on the server because HP deemed it necessary to not allow you to download them and use windows update form the client, this is a pain because I need the drivers on the 2003 32b server. I followed the link below to try to update the drivers on the server and it worked for a HP LJ 4000 driver but a few others did not work like a 2300 and a 4700 drivers. Trying to connect to the queue from the desktop would not work and kept kicking up a connection error when it tried to install the driver.

On the 2003 32b print server I loaded Windows 2008 32b and 64b drivers to a queue I was testing and now the Win 7 machine can connect fine and appears to print a test page although I can't physically confirm it at the moment.

The meat of my questions are...
Will the 2008 64b drivers work fine for the Windows 7 64b desktop machine?
Are the drivers the same for 2008 and Windows 7?

When the Windows 7 machine connects to the queue on the print server does it actually download the driver on the server or does it use Windows update like if you install the printer locally?

If I were to update the server with the 2008 drivers is there still a need to install the printer locally on the Win 7 machine like MS suggests even though I wouldn't follow the rest of it to put the driver on the server?

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Tony GiangrecoCommented:
I have run into the same problem with Win7 64 bit workstations in a Windows 2003 32 bit domain. What I did was create a set of shared folders containing the 64 bit drivers for each network printer. When I add a printer, just click the shared 64 bit printer driver folder on the server and install from there.

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if it's a 2008 R2 driver then yes it will work for Windows 7 x64, but not necessarily 2008 (non R2).  If you connect to a print queue then it will download it from the print server and not Windows update.  To answer your last question...the driver does need to be installed on the client.

If you get a connection error when trying to install the driver then you may want to look at your permissions on the print server where the drivers are stored.  By default this is in "C:\WINDOWS\system32\spool\drivers" unless someone changed it.
Also, keep in mind print driver installation requires admin rights even if you're pulling them from the print server.  Something you could try doing for troubleshooting purposes is pre-staging the print driver on the client.  If the client already has the driver it won't try to download it from the print server.  You can use PnPUtil to pre-stage drivers.  Probably not something you would want to do for every client, but sometimes it helps just to see what actually works when troubleshooting.
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REIUSAAuthor Commented:
Part of the problem is all in all this will be for about 500 servers and 10k - 15k clients. That's good to know about the R2 version.

Something else I thought about doing is install all the queues locally on a Win 7 box, let it update automatically and then take the drivers off the box and copy to a network share. Is there a way to copy drivers off of a PC that you can use to install a queue on a server?
Your situation is all a little confusing to me.  Not sure I follow your logic or what that accomplishes for you.

"Is there a way to copy drivers off of a PC that you can use to install a queue on a server? "

You could probably just copy that same directory structure to the server off the client that has the print drivers installed. ("C:\WINDOWS\system32\spool\drivers").  Then when you go to install the driver on the print server browse to the copied driver folder.  Sounds messy though.

If I was you I would try to accomplish this with group policy.  These instructions are for Win7/2008 R2.  Since you're running 2003 you'll have to use a Windows 7 machine to administer group policy.  Should work just fine.
REIUSAAuthor Commented:
I'm just trying to see if it would be possible to install the queue locally on the win 7 machine and auto update like MS and HP say you need to do for the Win 7 driver and then copy those drivers to a central location so that we can point to it from any of our print servers instead of going through all the steps to connect to the queue on the win 7 box from the server and then delete the queue.
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