Easier Win2K Network Printer Installation

In Reader to Reader: "Win2K Network Printer Installation" (July 2001, InstantDoc ID 21105), Michael du Bruyn explains how to copy driver files to the server to enable point-and-print functionality for Windows 2000 clients when a Window NT 4.0 print server hosts a printer. The Microsoft article "Overview of Fixprnsv.exe" (http://support.microsoft.com/default.aspx?scid=kb;en-us;q247196) offers an alternative solution to Michael's problem.

Microsoft's solution uses fixprnsv.exe, which is on the Win2K Server CD-ROM in the Printers folder. Run this executable file on your NT 4.0 print server, with the /fix switch, to replace non—Win2K-compatible drivers with Win2K-compatible drivers. You can then point and print from Network Neighborhood to install drivers on Win2K or NT 4.0 clients without needing a driver disk. I thought this solution was great until I discovered that the NT clients that I used the Microsoft-supplied Win2K-compatible driver to install didn't properly render bullet points on Microsoft Word 97 documents I printed on my company's Hewlett-Packard (HP) LaserJet 4050. The only remedy for this problem seemed to be to revert to the HP-supplied NT 4.0—only driver.

A better, although counterintuitive, solution is to open Network Neighborhood, double-click a shared printer from a Win2K Server machine to install the printer, then browse to the Win2K driver files that you already downloaded from the vendor. Open the NT-hosted printer's properties from the Win2K server, go to the Win2K version of the Sharing tab, click Additional Drivers, and select Windows 2000 from the list. The system will then ask you to supply the driver files' location. The NT 4.0 machine will still host the printer but will include Win2K drivers. You will be able to see the Win2K drivers from only the Win2K client printer Properties screens, not from the NT 4.0 printer Properties screens.

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