Vista and Printers makes me insane!

Are any of you out there struggling as much as I am with Vista and printers? Especially when you are running Vista in a business environment and you are using Server 2003 as a print server. Vista has had this problem to connect to the server’s printer drivers and I cannot see that it has been fixed in Vista SP1.

But let me sketch the scenario for you. We have a Server 2003 box on which all our networked printers are connect and linked in Active Directory.  Using Windows XP to connect to this Server 2003 box and install the printer driver is no problem. When however you want to do the same with Vista, it’s a totally different ballgame.


You get errors about not enough memory and such.  Obviously it’s not memory seeing as I have 2GB memory installed and no programs running.

After some research I’ve found that Vista’s IRP stack size is in error ( .This didn’t work for me, but it might work for you. Searching for a day or two I still couldn’t get it work. One of our older techies asked me if I have tried to connect to the printer using the old Windows 98 method of “capturing port” using LPT1. Unfortunately Vista doesn’t have an option like that, but it made me think. There was another way connecting and YES, it worked!!

Here is my solution to the problem and I’ve never had an issue afterwards.

1.       Remove all the drivers from your computer for the printers you want to install.

2.       Install the latest drivers for the printer only on your local computer. If it asks you to connect a printer, don’t, just skip that step.

3.       When the drivers are installed, go to your run command (windows key and R) and type “cmd” enter. This will open your command prompt window and type this in (where “server” is your computer sharing the printer and “printer” is the printer share name):


4.       Go to you printers and faxes screen. Right click on the newly installed printer and choose properties. You should get a screen like this. Click on the top tab that says “Ports”.


5.       Next tick the box next to LPT1: (in my case I’ve used LPT2).

6.       Click the OK button and do a test page. This should be it.

You can of course use the “net use” command to connect to LPT2 and LPT3 as well.

Hope this helped you as much as it has helped me.


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