Due to some unforeseen issues with our 2003 R2 print server, I decided it was about time to build up a new print server. The old print server was built up by another person and it was never very stable so this was a good time to start with a clean slate.
Our old server was a Dell Poweredge with a 32-bit proc. This time, we are going to use our new VMWare ESX environment to stand up a 2008 Server in 64-bit.
Everything went well until I got to our Dell Printers. I added the 64-bit drivers and setup the printer. All was well. I went to the sharing tab in the printer properties to add x86 (32-bit) support. I checked the box and got an error:
Install Components from Windows Media
Please provide path to Windows media (x86 processor).
Type the path where the file is located and click OK.
After searching around, I came across this page on Technet. At the very bottom, I found the solution. Basically, here are the steps involved:
- From a 32-bit OS (I used 32-bit XP Pro)
- Browse to: \%servername%Printers and Faxes
- Right click the printer you want to add 32-bit support to and select properties
- It will tell you the 32-bit drivers are not installed and ask for the installation disk. Browse to the 32-bit drivers and hit okay. If you say No, you will not be able to complete the steps below.
- Once the printer’s properties are displayed, select the Sharing tab and click “Additional Drivers”
- Check x86 and press OK
- Browse to the 32-bit drivers and it will copy the 32-bit drivers from the local folder to \%servername%print%W32X86
After getting past this hurtle, I ran across it again. Except this time, the Dell drivers were updated enough that I received a decent message:
The selected driver must be installed remotely from an x86 computer using Type 3 (User mode) drivers.
If you receive that message, it is basically telling you to follow the steps I outlined above. It’s a bummer MS couldn’t have included the sub-system to support the required backward compatibility often necessary in the enterprise. At least the workaround is simple enough.