Installing 64 bit print drivers on a 32 bit server

Blog Post created by toleary on Aug 2, 2013

Pharos Client Installation Packages created on a 32-bit server OS can be created to include both 32 and 64 bit drivers. In order to do this you will first need to install the 64-bit driver onto the 32-bit operating system.

Once the drivers are installed Pharos can make use of both 32 and 64-bit drivers when creating client  installation packages.

NOTE: While this article specifically describes the addition of a 64-bit driver to a 32-bit Windows server for 64-bit client support, the process for adding a 32-bit driver to a 64-bit Windows server for 32-bit client support is the same. Further, if the client operating systems are a mixed bag of XP, Vista, and Windows 7, utilize the Windows 7 version of the driver, if available.

Provided your server runs at least Windows 2003 Server with Service Pack 2, installing 64-bit printers is a simple process. You must observe the following prerequisites, however:

  1. The 32- and 64-bit drivers must share the same Printer Description Language (PDL). For example, you must use a 64-bit PCL5e driver with a 32-bit PCL5e driver. You cannot mix-and-match PostScript 3 or PCL6 (PCL-XL) with PCL5e.
  2. The 32- and 64-bit drivers must be the same version number. This may require going to the manufacturer's web page and downloading new 32- and 64-bit drivers.
  3. The 32- and 64-bit drivers must have the same name. If the 32-bit driver installs as "Manufacturer Model PCL5e (x86)" and the 64-bit driver installs as "Manufacturer Model PCL5e (x64)" you will not be able to make this work. Contact the manufacturer for further support.
  4. The 64-bit driver must install using the INF file. If the driver can only be installed using SETUP.EXE or other "external to Windows' Add Printer wizard" method, you will not be able to make this work. Contact the manufacturer for further support.

Also, please note that this procedure only needs to be performed once for each printer driver installed on the print server. Any other queues that use the same driver will automatically attach the 64-bit driver.

Once this has been verified, proceed with the following steps. For a visual explanation, you may also review the movie (AVI format) found at the link below.

  1. Verify that the 32-bit printer driver and queue are current and configured for sharing.
  2. Go into Properties for the queue.
  3. Click the Sharing tab.
  4. Click the "Additional Drivers" button.
  5. Check the box next to "x64" and click the "OK" button.
  6. Use the "Browse" button in the resulting Windows dialog box to go to the location where the 64-bit driver was extracted.
  7. Select the INF file and click the "Open" button.
  8. Click "OK" to accept the file location. The files will begin to add to the server.
  9. When the file installation is complete, you will be returned to the Properties page for the printer. If you wish to verify the addition, click the "Additional Drivers" button. You will see a check mark next to both the x64 and x86 options.
  10. Click "Close" to exit Properties.

Now, build or re-build the Pharos Installation Package normally and both 32/64-bit options will be available.