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Need to share a Printer from XP mode to Win7 without drivers

Posted on 2013-06-12
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Last Modified: 2013-06-27
A client has a $50'000 blueprint printer that prints on big rolls. It only has drivers for windows xp. He is now upgrading his machines and the company does and will not provide Windows 7 drivers.

I installed XP Mode on Windows 7 and configured it and put it on the same homegroup as all the other machines in the office. I installed the printer after attaching it in windows xp using drivers that came with XP. I can't seem to be able to figure out a way to get the other Windows 7 machines in the office to be able to add it as a printer and to print to it.

When I go to add network printer I see it on all the Windows 7 machines and try to add it. It starts contacting Windows Update looking for drivers, finds none, asks me for them then cancels out when I don't have them. I was hoping to be able to share the printer or setup some sort of redirection from Windows 7 to the shared printer in XP Mode. All the instructions I have seen so far seem to try to help people redirect the LPT port to a network printer shared in Windows 7. I need to do the reverse.

Is there some way to install a dummy printer and then when you select it as the printer redirect to a network printer? Is there a way to force the print rendering to be done in XP so that those drivers are used?
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Question by:AdminMonkey
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Assisted Solution

by:tailoreddigital
tailoreddigital earned 250 total points
ID: 39243379
In order for a OS to print to a shared Printer, that OS has to have the drivers installed for it.

Let's hope i'm wrong and another expert has something up their sleeve.


I really don't know that this could work, but i toss it at you to get us thinking about whether it could,
http://www.google.com/cloudprint/learn/

"Google Cloud Print can also connect to existing (classic) printers that are plugged into a Windows, Mac, or Linux computer with Internet access, using the Google Cloud Print connector in Google Chrome."
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Accepted Solution

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garycase earned 250 total points
ID: 39243426
"... Let's hope i'm wrong ..."  ==> You're not wrong.    While you can SHARE a printer on your network, any OS that wants to print to it has to have drivers for that printer.    Since the company does not provide Windows 7 drivers (and won't), you can only print to it from the XP Mode machine.

The only "workaround" is to put the files that need to be printed in a folder that's shared, and then access that share from the XP mode machine and print from there;  or print to a "pseudo" printer (e.g. something like Cute PDF) and then print the resulting output from the XP Mode machine.   [I suspect you can't print these large files to a PDF file, but it's worth trying.]

Note that you could also install XP mode on the other Windows 7 machines, and then print from THAT XP Mode machine to the one you've got the printer attached to (since you could install the drivers there).     But if your goal is to print from a Windows 7 application, you simply can't do it.
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Expert Comment

by:garycase
ID: 39243430
... one other thought:   Does the program that does the printing have any alternative output formats?    There may be an architectural page description language that you could print to, and then run a small utility in XP that would actually render it to the printer ... I'm simply not familiar enough with those applications to know if that's the case or not.
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LVL 23

Expert Comment

by:tailoreddigital
ID: 39243447
along the lines of what  garycase just pointed out,

I was thinking if you could save the file out to a shared directory, you might be able to use a utility like,   (on second thought,  i think garycase just said this)
http://www.lerup.com/printfile/
http://www.4-tech-engineering.com/software/autoprint/autoprint.htm

to auto print it from the XP virtual box.
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LVL 7

Expert Comment

by:eerwalters
ID: 39244194
Getting the other Windows 7 machines to be able to send jobs to the XP machine is not a problem.  But as you mentioned, getting the drivers for the Windows 7 machines is the issue.  
  What is the make/model of the blueprint printer?

  Since the customer has valid XP licenses, you could convert the existing XP machines to virtuals and just run a virtual machine for that application on each new Windows 7 PC.  Probably not what the customer wants, but it would work. (kind of what XP mode is doing now on the one machine)
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