Installing Alternate Printer Drivers on Windows XP

Installing additional print drivers (beside those installed by default – typically Windows 2000 and XP drivers for the Intel platform) can be handled on a per-printer basis from the Sharing tab in the properties of a printer. Clicking the Additional Drivers button will open the window of the same name, as shown below. By checking the checkboxes next to the client platforms you need to support, drivers for those systems will be installed. It’s worth noting that you’ll need copies of the drivers for these platforms available, for example stored on your hard disk or via the CD that shipped with the printer. Just know that you may need them and be prepared to supply them when asked and you’ll be fine.

One of the advantages of being able to install additional drivers on a per-printer basis is that it allows you to control which printers a client can use. For example, you may have one printer that you want Windows 95/98/ME users to be able to print to, but have another that only Windows XP or 2000 users can use. Of course, any combination of drivers can be installed according to your needs, but it’s up to you to specify and install the necessary drivers for everything to work correctly.

Author: Dan DiNicolo

Dan DiNicolo is a freelance author, consultant, trainer, and the managing editor of He is the author of the CCNA Study Guide found on this site, as well as many books including the PC Magazine titles Windows XP Security Solutions and Windows Vista Security Solutions. Click here to contact Dan.