I have Vista Business x64 installed on my laptop (not recommended btw) and our print server runs Windows Server 2003 x86. Our printers are typically initially installed using a vbs logon script that’s pushed via group policy. Well, that doesn’t work for my configuration for two reasons: 1) Vista account controls are are a complete pain in the a** (and no, I’m not referring User Access Control), and 2) because x64 drivers can’t be installed on a x86 server – well, not directly – and if they can’t be installed, they can’t be served up when an x64 workstation needs them. While trying to install our Oce CM4521 Office MFC, I finally got fed up and pushed to figure it out.

imageAt first, I tried to add the x64 driver to the 2003 server using the Additional Drivers button on the Sharing tab for the printer. Unfortunately, I get told that either this is the wrong hardware or that it can only be installed from a remote system running an x64 OS.

image

After much searching, I discovered that it was really much easier than expected. On my workstation, I went through the motions of installing the network printer. When I got to the point where it told me the the correct drivers were not installed, I downloaded and installed the x64 drivers. This got the printer installed – for me. In a ‘production’ environment of many x64 workstations the server has to push the drivers down…

imageSo anyway, like I said, it was easier than I thought. I simply went to the Sharing tab of the printer I installed and used the Additional Drivers button. (NOTE: That I did not actually share the printer.) Checking the x64 box here, pushes the x64 drivers back to the server making them available to other x64 PC’s.

I guess that’s exactly what the instructions told me in the first place, although only for this printer. The Dell printer (used in the example above) only told me that the driver wouldn’t work for the “requested processor architecture.” Go figure…