Installing Network Printer to Windows Server 2012 Essentials

These are my abbreviated notes on setting up a network printer on W2012E, with both 32-bit and 64-bit drivers installed. My thanks to a fellow MVP’er, Robert Pearman, who did the real work and has it fully documented on his site (click here).

All steps take place on the Windows Server 2012 Essentials console. In my case, W2012E is running in a guest VM on a Windows Server 2012 Standard Hyper-V parent. I will be installing drivers for an HP LaserJet 4100 printer.

Section 1 – Prerequisites

  1. Go to your vendor’s web site and download the appropriate x86 and x64 print drivers. For my needs, I downloaded the drivers for Windows 7 (32bit) and Windows 2012 (64 bit).
  2. Next, extract the driver files to subfolders. In my case, the HP files I downloaded are self-extracting files. But be sure you uncheck the option to run the install immediately after extracting the files.
  3. Finally, before proceeding, make sure you know the IP address of your network printer.

Section 2 – Add the Network Printer

  1. Go to Control Panel –> View Devices and Printers (under Hardware)
  2. Click on Add a Printer. It will scan for new printers, and we should expect that it will not find any. 
  3. Click on The printer that I want isn’t listed link.
  4. On the next screen, click on the Add a local or network printer as an administrator link.
  5. The scan will run again, and (again) we will click on The printer that I want isn’t listed link.
  6. Select the Add a printer using a TCP/IP address or hostname option, then click Next.    
  7. On the next screen, enter the printer’s IP address in the Hostname or IP address field, and click Next.
  8. Wait while Windows looks for the printer. If the printer has a built in network adapter, you should see an appropriate Printer Class Driver selected.
  9. However, in my case, the Laserjet 4100 is connected to the network via a D-Link print server adapter. Windows lists it as a generic network port and ask that I confirm that I had entered the correct IP address. Let’s click Next and it will rescan that IP address again.
  10. This time it will ask me to identify the type of printer. I scroll through and locate the HP Laserjet 4100 Class Driver
  11. Be sure to select Do not share this printer for now and click Next. We can share the printer later on.
  12. Press Finish.

Section 3 – Install the required Print Drivers

  1. Open up the Devices and Printers window, select your printer, and then click on Print server properties
  2. Click on the Drivers tab, and then click on Change Driver Settings. The window will refresh.
    == Install the x64 (64 bit) print driver ==
  3. Select the Printer we are installing, and then click Add.
  4. This will start the Add Printer Driver Wizard. Click Next.
  5. Select the x64 box (leaving the x86 box unchecked) and click Next
  6. Click Have Disk… and then click Browse… and locate the x64 print driver folder. For this HP printer, there was a list of .inf files available I followed Robert’s suggestion, and selected the first one in the list (immediately below the Drivers folder)
  7. I then select the HP Universal Printing PCL 6 driver, click Next and then Finish.
  8. But wait, we still have to install the 32 bit driver in a similar fashion!
    === Install the x85 (32-bit) print driver ===
  9. So repeat steps 3-7, but check the x86 box and install the x86 driver.

Section 4 – Change the Selected Print Drivers

  1. Return back to the Devices and Printers window
  2. Double click on your printer, and then double click on Customize your printer
  3. Click on the Advanced tab, and change the print driver to the one we just installed.
  4. If you wish, you can also click on the Sharing tab, and make the printer available.

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