Driver Issues with Shared Printers

Once you’ve installed a printer and shared it, you need to give some thought to the operating systems that will need access to the device. Assuming that you’ve shared the printer from a Windows XP system, the required driver files for Windows XP and 2000 clients will be made available by default – all these systems will need to do is connect to the printer and they’ll download the driver automatically.

Of your network includes Windows 9X or ME clients, however, you’ll need to install the appropriate drivers for them to use the printer. These drivers are installed on the Windows XP system from which the printer is shared, and once available will also be downloaded automatically the first time Windows 9X or ME clients connect to the printer.

To install the required drivers for operating systems other than Windows XP and 2000, open the properties for your shared printer under Printers and Faxes in Control Panel. On the Sharing tab you’ll find a button marked Additional Drivers. If you press this button the Additional Drivers window opens, and lists which drivers are currently installed for your printer.

Check the checkbox next to Windows 95, 98, and Me to add the drivers for these operating systems. Once you click OK you’ll be prompted to specify the location of the driver files, which are usually accessible from the CD that was included with your printer (you can also download them from the manufacturer’s web site if necessary). Once supplied, you may also be prompted to insert your Windows 9X or ME CD, so it’s a good idea to have it handy.

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.