Sometimes, depending on the driver, if you try to add a 32-bit driver to a Server 2008 R2 print server, you might receive this message. If you try to provide the path to the file the print server is prompting for (ntprint.inf), you will just end up getting the same message over and over again. This problem occurs due to misconfigured INF file provided with the driver from the printer manufacturer, or missing ntprint.inf in the 32-bit architecture drivers.
In this blog post, we will look at how to circumvent this problem, and actually install (certain) 32-bit printer drivers on a 2008 R2 print server. Because without the 32-bit drivers, users on 32-bit clients will not be able to print.
1. Problem Outlined
1.1 You open Print Management, add your print server, right-click Drivers, and choose Add Driver
1.2 You choose to install 32-bit drivers
1.3 You browse for the 32-bit drivers
1.4 You choose the printer you want to install 32-bit drivers for
1.5 But you end up getting a message box that wants you to provide the path to windows media (x86 processor)
1.6 Even if you do provide the path to the file that’s being asked for (ntprint.inf), you just end up at the same message box over and over again.
2. Solution I
Try adding the x86 driver from a 32-bit Windows 7 client.
2.1 On a 32-bit Windows 7 client, start Print Management Console
2.2 Right-Click Print Servers, choose Add/Remove Servers
2.3 Write the name of your Server 2008 R2 print server, and then click Add to List. Finally click Apply, and OK.
2.4 Locate the printer you want to add the 32-bit driver for, and open its properties sheet.
2.5 Since there are no 32-bit drivers installed for that printer yet, following message box appears. Click No.
2.6 Browse to the Sharing tab, then click on Additional Drivers
2.7 Choose x86 as well, click on OK
2.8 Provide the path to the x86 driver, and then click OK
2.9 Files Will be copied, and you will be back at the Sharing Tab
2.10 Click on Apply and OK
2.11 Check the Drivers section of the Print server, and you will see that 32-bit drivers have indeed been added
3. Solution II
If you like, you can just copy the folder that contains the x86 ntprint.inf file from a 32-bit Windows 7 Pro/Enterprise client, to your 2008 R2 print server, then point to that folder, when you are prompted to provide path to x86 ntprint.inf
3.1 On a 32-bit Windows 7 client, locate the following folder
3.2 Copy its contents to a folder on the Server 2008 R2 machine. Call the folder whatever you like, such as x86NtPrint for example.
3.3 Add the 32-bit driver on the 2008 R2 Print Server, and when you are told to provide path to Windows media (x86 processor), browse to the folder you created in step 3.2 (x86NtPrint, if you called it that)
3.4 The 32-bit driver should be added just fine