The forum has hosted a lot of questions about WIN7 connecting to a networked printer, especially if WIN7 is 64-bit and the printer is hosted by an XP 32-bit system. I'm in exactly that position and none of the answers to the others' questions take care of my problem.
I have a new WIN7 64-bit system connected to a long-established home network with mostly XP 32-bit machines. One XP machine has an old HP-5 LJ that is shared, and my WIN7 system saw it, connected to it, and can print to it. One XP machine has a Canon i950 attached to it. The WIN7 sees the Canon but then goes off to Windows Update looking in vain for a driver. When I connected the Canon to the WIN7 directly by USB the printer drivers installed and I was able to print. I reattached the Canon to the XP system and the WIN7 machine still goes off to WU looking for a driver. There must be a valid driver on the WIN7 system (since it could print locally) but I can't find it to install it manually. I downloaded and installed the Canon "add-on" for 64-bit windows in the WIN7 system, but it simply fills a directory with some .dll files and a setup.exe. The WIN7 manual driver install requires an .inf file.
My next step was to focus on the XP system. Under printer sharing for the i950 it offers the option of hosting drivers for remote systems. I was able to get it to list XP 64-bit as one of the drivers it could host. Unfortunately it says the driver is not installed, and search as I might on Google and Canon I was not able to find an .inf file to plug in here, either. I'm stumped.
Clearly this should work, but I keep hitting dead ends. Any advice would be much appreciated.
The way I heard it explained to me by Scott Meuller on a recent Computer America podcast (Monday Sept, 13th show) is that you need to go get the Win 7 64-bit drivers for the printer and install then locally as if the printer was attached to the Win 7 system. In other words do not tell the Win 7 system that it is a networked printer.
Then, when its time to print, the port you want to use is the network path and name of the shared printer.
I haven't tried this myself because I keep everything 32-bit, but I don't see any reason why it shouldn't work and Scott knows that which he speaks of.
When I went directly to the Canon USA site and searched for drivers for the i950, none were presented. I am unsure why. Some 3rd party driver sites do include drivers for Win 7 64 Bit, but not the Canon site. This si strange. I had problems with my Canon Pixma MP620 with linux, but not Win 7.
One can also try, browsing to the host machine, select the printer, and right click and use Connect.
This has worked on many different networks, different printers hosted on a XP and 32 bit OS's, and printing from Vista and Windows 7 32 and 64 bit clients.
Since I was able to print to the printer locally via USB I'm assuming the 64-bit printer drivers are actually installed in the Win7 machine. The problem is getting the system to recognize that it can print to the remote 32-bit machine. There is no way I can specify the printer when it comes time to print a document unless it has been previously "connected".
I have tried connecting the printer both by using the "add a printer" feature of the devices and printers applet and by using explorer to open the remote system, find the printer, and use its context menu to connect. Both approaches lead to the same dead end of Win7 going to Windows Update and searching in vain for a driver.
The printer driver on your Windows 7 machine is one provided by MS and would be a stripped down driver that does not fully support the printer and all its possible functions. So you get just basic printing out of it. As to the XP 64 bit driver to install on the i950 in Post 1, it will not install on an XP 32 bit machine and will not be compatible with a printer requiring a Win7 64 bit driver attempting to access the printer on the network.
You're close if you found and have the 64-bit drivers installed on the 64-bit Win7 system. I'm not sure but you might even temporarilly connnect the printer to the Win7 system and get it all working (not sure about that part). Then, with the printer hooked up to the XP system and shared and all that, you need to go into the properties of the printer on the Win7 system and change the port to the network path and name of the shared printer.
I'm not exactly sure how that's done on Win7 but its super easy in XP under properties>>ports to add a port.
This is all predicated on there being 64-bit drivers installed for the printer on the Win7 system. If there are no 64-bit drivers for the printer then this is a no go all the way around.