Legacy printer driver on modern clients

Copper Contributor

Hi everyone. 

I am trying to set up an old printer that unfortunately is not compatible with recent operating systems (support goes up to Windows Vista). I created a virtual machine with Windows Server 2003 R2 installed (compatible with the printer drivers), which I correctly installed. However, when I try to add the printer to a Windows 11 client, it tries to install the printer drivers, but they are not compatible (in fact, I get an error back saying that no drivers were found for the operating system).

 

How do I use the server as a print queue and avoid having to install drivers on the client?

3 Replies

Hi @devistollon,

the solution to set up a legacy printer on a modern client is to use a print server.
A print server is a computer that manages printers and makes them available to other computers on the network.

To set up a print server on Windows Server 2003 R2, you can follow the steps:

  1. Install the Print and Document Services role.
  2. Add the printer to the print server.
  3. Create a print queue for the printer.
  4. Share the print queue with the client computers.


Once you have set up the print server, you can add the legacy printer to the print server and create a print queue for it.

 

To add the printer to the print server, follow these steps:

  1. Click Start, click Control Panel, and then click Printers and Faxes.
  2. On the File menu, click Add Printer.
  3. In the Add Printer wizard, click Add a network, wireless or Bluetooth printer.
  4. In the Find a printer dialog box, click Browse for a printer.
  5. In the Browse for Printers dialog box, select the print server and then select the printer.
  6. Click Next, and then follow the instructions in the wizard to complete the installation.

To create a print queue for the printer, follow these steps:

  1. Click Start, click Control Panel, and then click Printers and Faxes.
  2. On the Action menu, click Server Properties.
  3. In the Print Server Properties dialog box, click the Drivers tab.
  4. Click Add.
  5. In the Add Printer Driver Wizard, click Have Disk.
  6. Browse to the location of the printer driver files and then click Open.
  7. Click Next, and then follow the instructions in the wizard to complete the installation.
  8. Click the Queues tab.
  9. Click New.
  10. In the New Print Queue dialog box, type a name for the print queue and then select the printer that you want to use.
  11. Click Next, and then follow the instructions in the wizard to complete the installation.

You can then share the print queue with the client computers.
To share the print queue with the client computers, follow these steps:

  1. Click Start, click Control Panel, and then click Printers and Faxes.
  2. Right-click the print queue that you want to share and then click Properties.
  3. In the Print Queue Properties dialog box, click the Sharing tab.
  4. Select the Share this printer check box.
  5. In the Printer name box, type a name for the printer that the client computers will use.
  6. Click OK.

To add the printer to a Windows 11 client, follow these steps:

  1. Click Start, click Settings, and then click Bluetooth & devices.
  2. Click Printers & scanners.
  3. Under Add printers & scanners, click Add device.
  4. In the Find a printer dialog box, click Add a network, wireless or Bluetooth printer.
  5. In the Find a printer dialog box, click Browse for a printer.
  6. In the Browse for Printers dialog box, select the print server and then select the printer.
  7. Click Next, and then follow the instructions in the wizard to complete the installation.

Please note that you may need to install the printer driver on the print server, even if the printer is not compatible with Windows Server 2003 R2. The print server will use the printer driver to convert the print jobs to a format that the printer can understand.

 

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Kindest regards,


Leon Pavesic
(LinkedIn)

@LeonPavesic 

Thank you for the response. I've correctly installed the Print Server role and the printer drivers on my Windows Server 2003, however I'm not able to find the Print Queue section that you mentioned.

Could you please send me at least a screenshot of the section and from where to click it?

 

Thanks

Hi @devistollon,

thanks for the Update.

The Print Server Properties dialog box is not very intuitive, and it is located in a different place than the printer properties dialog box.

Here is a more detailed step-by-step guide on how to find the Print Queue section and create a new print queue:

  1. Open Printers and Faxes.
  2. On the File menu, click Server Properties.
  3. In the Print Server Properties dialog box, click the Queues tab.

If you do not see the Queues tab, then you are probably looking at the wrong dialog box. Make sure that you have opened the Print Server Properties dialog box, and not the printer properties dialog box.

To open the printer properties dialog box, right-click on the printer icon in Printers and Faxes and select Properties.

Once you have opened the Print Server Properties dialog box, click the Queues tab.

To create a new print queue, click the New button.

In the New Print Queue dialog box, type a name for the print queue and then select the printer that you want to use.

Click Next.

Select the Local printer attached to this computer option and then select the Use the following port option.

In the Port drop-down list, select the port that the printer is connected to.

Click Next.

Select the Share this printer check box and then type a name for the printer in the Printer name box.

Click Finish.

I don't have this environment to test it, but as far as I can remember those settings where there.

Install and configure a file and print server - Windows Server | Microsoft Learn

Please click Mark as Best Response & Like if my post helped you to solve your issue.
This will help others to find the correct solution easily. It also closes the item.


If the post was useful in other ways, please consider giving it Like.


Kindest regards,


Leon Pavesic
(LinkedIn)