I'm running a 64 bit Windows 7 / Windows 2008 R2 workstation that I just installed. I need to add a printer that is shared on the network from a 32bit Windows 2000 print server.

This is an HP LaserJet 5Si printer, the drivers for which HP tells me are automatically built into Windows 7/R2. However, whenever I connect to the printer or try to add it, I get the following screen:

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Upon clicking OK, I get this screen asking me to locate the driver:

enter image description here

How can I possibly locate a driver that is SUPPOSED TO BE NATIVELY SUPPORTED on Windows 7/R2? The tough part is that this printer is one of many shared on a server and does not have a direct IP address. Even worse: I have no access to the print server so I cannot put the 64 bit drivers on there.

Any ideas?


HP doesn't make a Vista driver either. It claims it is natively supported by Vista and 7, which is true because I am able to create a local printer on a fake tcp/ip port and Windows lets me pick the proper driver. However, when adding from the network, Windows does not let me select a driver and demands an INF.

I tried searching the entire sub-structure of the C:\Windows directory and could not find any INF files that contain HP information. The INF might be located somewhere in the Windows installation DVD, but all the files on the DVD are compressed and unrecognizable.


I installed the proper printer driver as a local printer (with no printer attached) and it installed. However, this did not change the fact that it STILL asks me to provide drivers when connecting to the networked printer.

  • What's your printer's exact model? There are several HP LaserJet 5Si.
    – harrymc
    Oct 23, 2009 at 14:48

4 Answers 4


This is basically a 32-bits/64-bits problem: The printer is on a 32-bits server and is being accessed by a 64-bits client. Any attempt to install this printer fails because the driver being offered by the 32-bits print server is incorrect, since it's offering a 32-bit driver.

See this article for installing 64-bits drivers on the client machine:
How to Install HP Printer Drivers In Windows 7 - Inbuilt Drivers

The idea is to install a fictional printer on Windows 7 using the correct 64-bits driver, then convert it to a network printer. You should proceed as follows:

  1. Install 64-bit printer driver for the client machine, as in the above link, as a local (not network) printer. If, during installation, you are prompted to connect the printer to your computer, choose the option to proceed with installation without connecting the printer. Install to LPT1 (default) only. (port change is done after install completes in Steps 5 & 6)
  2. After installation completes, open the Printers applet from the Windows 7 Control Panel.
  3. Right-click on the new printer and choose Properties.
  4. Go to the Ports tab.
  5. Click Add Port…, select Local Port, then click New Port…
  6. For the port name, enter exactly the network path and share name of your printer. For example \\Windows2000\HP LaserJet 5Si, Click OK, and double-check that this new port is selected with the checkbox next to it.
  7. Click OK to close the printer properties.

The above was written with a Vista machine in mind, so please adapt the procedure to Win7 wherever necessary.

  • This only shows how to install a local printer, not a network printer. This technique could theoretically work for an IP-based network printer. However, my situation involves a shared printer from a print server. Oct 23, 2009 at 20:12
  • I added more details to my answer.
    – harrymc
    Oct 23, 2009 at 20:28
  • It worked! Man, what a trick! Windows 7/R2 gets a tsk tsk for this one! Thanks a bunch! Oct 26, 2009 at 6:50
  • Great and unintuitive hack (especialy 6.)! It ugly part of windows 7. Apr 10, 2011 at 20:38

I also used the Vista driver for my printer. In windows 7, if you add the printer as a shared printer on a remote machine, does it not allow you to cherry pick your own driver/inf?

  • see update in Q Oct 23, 2009 at 6:16

Yeah, HP is pretty clueless when it comes to Windows 7 and Server 2008 R2.

For the HP printer I had to add to my Windows 7 machine, I just used the Vista driver, and it works just fine.


I didn't notice before, but it looks like the printer is using a PCL driver. I found this page on HP's website advising that you use the XP driver. Ugh.

HP LaserJet Support Doc

  • see update in Q Oct 23, 2009 at 6:16
  • Updated my answer.
    – Chris
    Oct 23, 2009 at 14:43

Download the Windows 7 64 bit driver package. Begin the install and it will stall at "Connect via USB"... AFTER it pre-loads the drivers. Cancel the loader. Go to Add Printer and add a local printer. When you get to the drivers, the 2600n will be listed in the HP drivers available.

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