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printer drivers -- local COPY / PASTE ?

Posted on 2015-01-13
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Last Modified: 2015-01-28
I have an old printer locally installed on a windows 8 machine and want to install the same drivers on another windows 8 machine, then format the machine that currently has the drivers.

I tried to get the drivers from the web, but they no longer exists and GENERIC drivers do not work.

Where are the LOCAL drivers stored so I can copy / paste onto a different machine, add a new printer, type the IP address, and select the drivers I copy over ?
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Question by:finance_teacher
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Kimputer earned 125 total points
ID: 40546690
While the drivers are on the PC, they're fixed in their spots, and reassembling them will be difficult.
Hopefully, you have the full install folder still intact. Look in the main drive (Like c:\hp laserjet\ etc) or a subfolder from the Program folders.
If it's not there, the files are in C:\Windows\System32\spool\drivers and probably C:\Windows\System32\
The problem is, they all got there from ONE installation folder (with an *.inf file, which tells Windows where to put all those files).
Because you're trying to get the files AFTER the install, you have to trace it all back (and maybe you're not even able to).
Basically, installing a printer with only one copy/paste from a machine that's already installed is not possible (unless you point it to a real installation folder, which not all drivers do during installation)
Of course you might think, I'll share it, then disconnect it, but those network share drivers are slightly different, and using it locally on that second PC will fail once more.
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by:Spike99
Spike99 earned 250 total points
ID: 40546712
You could share the printer on the old Windows 8 machine.  Then, from the new Windows 8 machine, browse to the shared resources on the old machine using the UNC path in Windows Explorer:
    \\OldMachine\

Now that the printer is shared, it should show up in the list of shared resources on the old machine. Just double click on the printer. It should prompt you to install the driver.  As long as both machines are the same architecture (32 or 64 bit), it should work.

You can also run the add printer wizard to connect to the shared network printer using the UNC path (\\OldMachine\SharedPrinterName), but using the UNC path in Windows Explorer is the fastest way to do it.

Once the driver is installed, you can remove the shared printer from the new machine.  Then, re-add the printer manually using the IP address and the driver you just installed.
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by:hdhondt
hdhondt earned 125 total points
ID: 40550156
Printer drivers cannot just be copied to a new PC. They need to be installed.

The easiest way is to share it from the other PC, as Alicia described. However, that will only work if both PCs have the same OS (e.g. both Win 8 64 bit). If one is 64 and the other 32, then you need different drivers.

What is the printer model you are having trouble with? If it is installed on one Win8 PC, then the drivers exist somewhere. Someone may be able to tell you where to find them if you tell us the model.
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by:Spike99
Spike99 earned 250 total points
ID: 40551460
HDHondt is correct: it would be helpful to know the exact model of the printer & whether or not you're using the 32 or 64 bit version of Windows 8.  I should have asked that.

If the driver is a MS driver, you can download it from the MS update catalog:
https://catalog.update.microsoft.com/v7/site/Home.aspx

you can check the exact driver version & the provider by looking at the list of drivers in the print management console. In Windows 7, you could find that in the Administrative Tools folder in the control panel.  In Windows 8, the easiest way to get to it is just by typing in the name of the tool in a cmd prompt:  printmanagement.msc

Here's a screenshot of what the print mgt. console looks like on my system, which is 64 bit Windows 7 pro (the highlighted print driver is provided by MS):
Print Management Console
What do you have listed for the name, environment, version & provider for the driver you want to install on the other PC?
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