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Printer Sharing under Windows Home Server RRS feed

  • Question

  • I am attempting to share a Lexmark Z52 connected to my Windows Home Server computer. Sharing works under XP and Vista however when I attempt to connect Windows 7 I get a message telling me it doesn't have a driver installed. I have looked through the Windows 7 Built In Printer Drivers and I've found the one it needs. However WHS doesn't allow me to properly install an x64 Windows 7 driver.

    I'd hate to think Microsoft current generation Windows Home Server product isn't compatible with their brand spanking new Windows 7.

    If Microsoft spent a little more time making their ____ work together it would make our lives a lot easier. But no they have to change something in every version ever so slightly so that it is no longer compatible. Well if your going to do that then at least make the latest generation of each product work togther. WHS, Windows 7, Windows Mobile should all work together perfectly.
    Wednesday, September 2, 2009 3:42 PM

All replies

  • You need to install the Windows 7 driver (if available; it's entirely possible that Lexmark won't support that discontinued model on Windows 7 at all) on your Windows 7 computer. If you are familiar with configuring shared printers in a Windows Server environment, you can perform an administrative installation of the printer driver (and only the driver; please don't install the rest of the bloatware that comes with the printer) on your server and it will be provided automatically when you try to connect to the printer. But honestly I don't recommend you bother trying to sort that out; it's primarily of interest in an environment where you have a lot of computers to connect to a shared printer, and 10 (the maximum number of connected PCs that Windows Home Server will support) is not "a lot". 

    As for compatibility, Windows Home Server has been in the market for 2 years now, and Windows 7 wasn't even available as a beta when Windows Home Server was released. Windows Home Server will support Windows 7, but I don't think you should expect it to do so before you can even buy the latter.

    I'm not on the WHS team, I just post a lot. :)
    Wednesday, September 2, 2009 3:55 PM
    Moderator
  • The printer is directly supported within Windows 7 Lexmark provided a driver that ships and is included in the C:\Windows\System32\DriverStore\FileRepository directory under Windows 7.

    The Additional Driver box under Printer Sharing in WHS is a exactly like that of Server 2003. It doesn't allow me to correctly add a driver for Vista or Windows 7 x64. It lists an XP x64 Choice however the Windows 7 driver is incompatible.

    Wednesday, September 2, 2009 6:02 PM
  • I believe this blog post (found on the first page of this Google search) will be of some help. However, I still don't understand why you want to perform an administrative installation of the driver, as you're not going to see a significant benefit.

    Also, you need to be aware that not every printer is going to work in the environment you've described. In particular, inexpensive consumer printers such as the one you're trying to set up are likely to be problematic. They often use a deprecated printer driver technology (GDI printing, also referred to as "Winprinting") which makes it difficult or impossible to share them from Windows Server 2003 or Windows Server 2008.

    I'm not on the WHS team, I just post a lot. :)
    Wednesday, September 2, 2009 9:33 PM
    Moderator
  •  I still don't understand why you want to perform an administrative installation of the driver, as you're not going to see a significant benefit.

    I will see significant benefit if I can use my printer with my Windows 7 x64 Computers. X64 being the key word here. Unfortunatally it seem that using the Printer Managment MMC from within Windows 7 doesn't match the security of WHS. Every time I attempt to add the drive it simply says Access Denied. I also don't have a printer listed on my server under the printers subgroup.

    I only have problems printing to this network printer with Windows 7. I have no issues with Vista x64 or x32 or Windows XP.
    Thursday, September 3, 2009 12:01 AM
  • I'm a little confused. I'm saying that, if you can get this printer to work with your Windows 7 computers at all while it's shared from your server, you don't need to perform an administrative installation of the Windows 7 drivers to your server. The only advantage that gives you is that the drivers, which you say are inbox in Windows 7 already, will be installed automatically from the server when you connect to the printer. That's a big advantage in a corporate environment, where dozens of computers might otherwise require the printer driver individually installed. At home, it's not needed; installing the printer driver on the few PCs in the average home that actually need it is a matter of a few minutes work.

    You also appear to be saying that you can't get Windows 7 to recognize the printer which you have already shared from your home server. Unfortunately, printer sharing is not supported in Windows Home Server; nothing which requires a Remote Desktop connection to your server, or logging in using keyboard, monitor and mouse, is supported (only actions you can perform through the server console applicaiton, in other words). Often, one can get it to work, but not always. And sometimes you will find that an inexpensive consumer printer will perform poorly, or malfunction, when shared from your server.

    In general, my advice when someone wants to share a printer from their server is to look into an inexpensive network-aware multifunction printer. For home use, they're much more functional than any shared printer. They usually include the ability to scan and copy, and sometimes to fax as well.

    I'm not on the WHS team, I just post a lot. :)
    Thursday, September 3, 2009 4:42 PM
    Moderator