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Windows 7: W7 x64 & XP x86 printer networking

27 Dec 2009   #21
art in WPB


OK, folks, I solved this SPECIFIC problem, and there may be a general solution here but I don't have the equipment or the inclination to experiment further.
The situation was that I could not share an HP deskjet 5550 connected to my Windows 7 x64 laptop with another computer running XP x32. No matter how I tried neither W7 nor XP could find an appropriate driver even from the original install disk. When I set up sharing on the W7 system I tried to make an x86 driver available, but none was available. I started this effort exactly a week ago.
What I finally noticed was that on the W7 system the printer was known as "hp deskjet 5550 series (HPA)". I found the appropriate driver INF file, HPF5550K.INF, was on the original install disk at \ENU\DRIVERS\WIN2K_XP. In that INF file were the following three lines:
"hp deskjet 5550 series"=hp_Install,LPTENUM\HEWLETT-PACKARDDESKJ55500000
"hp deskjet 5550 series"=hp_Install_PnP,USBPRINT\HPDESKJET_5550A851
"hp deskjet 5550 series"=hp_Install_PnP,LPTENUM\HPDESKJET_5550A851
I took an educated (50 effing years of experience, not one day of exaggeration) guess that the "(HPA)" part of the name on the W7 system was the reason this INF file wasn't considered appropriate for my hardware, so I copied the entire directory \ENU\DRIVERS\WIN2K_XP from the original install CD to my desktop (on the W7 system), and added the following three lines right above the three lines mentioned:
"hp deskjet 5550 series (HPA)"=hp_Install,LPTENUM\HEWLETT-PACKARDDESKJ55500000
"hp deskjet 5550 series (HPA)"=hp_Install_PnP,USBPRINT\HPDESKJET_5550A851
"hp deskjet 5550 series (HPA)"=hp_Install_PnP,LPTENUM\HPDESKJET_5550A851
I then tried adding an x86 driver through the "printer properties – sharing – Additional Drivers" mechanism. When I pointed at my modified HPF5550K.INF, the next screen asked for "Windows media (x86 processor)" and suggested D:\i386. I put my XP install disk in the CD drive, but it asked for the same thing again, and again, and again. The result with the Windows 7 32-bit install disk was identical, so I backed off and took another tack.
I moved the WIN2k_XP directory with the modified HPF5550K.INF file to my XP desktop. I then added the printer as a NETWORK printer just as I would have if it were on another XP system. In the process, I was asked for the location of an appropriate driver, so I pointed to the WIN2K_XP directory on my desktop. A minute later I was able to print a test page on the printer. Frankly, I was so stunned (as I said, I've been working on this for a week) I had to check the USB cables to make sure the printer really was connected to the W7 system.
I'm not going to speculate on why the name of my printer has changed over the course of time (my original install disk is dated March, 2002), but I'll bet mine is not the only printer for which this mechanism is keeping people from sharing W7 printers with XP systems.
This worked for me. Your mileage may vary.

My System SpecsSystem Spec
05 Jan 2010   #22

Windows 7 Professional x64

I can't get any x86 HP LJ1200 driver to install on any system: XP x86 or W7 x64.

I can install a network printer driver for the LJ1200 when my W7 rig is running Linux! It was really simple...while XP & W7 networking printer sharing is impossible!

so art in WPB .. all you did was edit the OEM XP drivers to the W7 network share name?


I got the drivers from Windows Update Catalog, "HP LaserJet 1200 Series 5e" for Windows XP x86 English. I edited the INF file from "HP LaserJet 1200 Series 5e" to "HP LaserJet 1200 Series 5" (notice that the 'e' is missing). From XP browse to my W7 & 'HP LaserJet 1200 Series 5' share, open it, browse to the edited INF..and BLAMO IT WORKS!!

edit2: I wonder if it would be EZ'er to rename the W7 share name to what is in the XP drivers. It would be much EZ'er to do that then edit the INF file...hmm. Gona give that a try next time.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
06 Jan 2010   #23
art in WPB



It's not the Windows 7 share name that you have to edit, but the printer's Model name, which in turn is the name of the W7 driver. I'm not sure where you could go to edit the model name. It appears in the registry, but I was happier writing a custom driver CD than experimenting with the registry. If you're going to try that, be sure to create a restore point before you begin.
My System SpecsSystem Spec

07 Jan 2010   #24

Windows 7 Professional x64

I did not experiment with the Registry, I just edited the XP INF file to match the W7 printer name.
My System SpecsSystem Spec

 W7 x64 & XP x86 printer networking

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