This seems to be an extremely difficult problem—it has already defeated two other IT professionals, though I'm not sure if they've come as far as I have. I'm trying to get a SHARP AR-M237 printer to work with a computer running Windows 8 (64-bit). The printer works fine with Windows 7.
Clearly, in order to make the computer recognize it we need a driver. So I went to the company's website and tried a few different kinds of drivers: http://www.sharpusa.com/customersupport/productdownloads.aspx
There is no official driver for Windows 8, so the one I will be discussing here is the Windows 7 64-Bit PCL6 Driver for AR-M237. (Just select "Printers & Fax Machines" -> "Model Not Listed" -> AR-M237 -> "Driver" -> "Microsoft" -> "Windows 7 64-Bit" to download a copy for yourself.)
It seems possible to trick Windows 8 into using a driver made for Windows 7. I found the same tutorial from a couple different sources, so this appears to be the correct method for doing so: http://www.pcpro.co.uk/blogs/2012/08/06/getting-older-drivers-to-work-in-windows-8/
The tl;dr here is that we need to modify the driver's .inf file in order to make it work properly and then do some sleight of hand to make Windows 8 accept our modifications.
Only problem is that there is no .inf file for this driver. Instead, there is a .inx file, which apparently spits out a .inf file specific to the operating system that the driver is being installed on during setup. Makes you wonder why they even gave you a separate download link for each OS.
My immediate response was to try opening up Setup.inx in a text editor (tried Notepad first then Notepad++). That gave me a bunch of byte soup, which looks like so:
Incomprehensible, as if I'd just opened up a .jpg in Notepad.
Next I tried Adobe InDesign CS6, which is the program that .inx files are supposed to be compatible with. I got this error message:
Cannot open the file "Setup.inx". Adobe InDesign may not support the file format, a plug-in that supports the file format may be missing, or the file may be open in another application.
It didn't show me anything after that.
So then I tried Microsoft Visual FoxPro 9.0 after doing a little research. When I tried to open Setup.inx, I got a message window with the heading "Program Error". This was the text:
Unrecognized command verb.
It then showed me the byte soup I had seen when opening this file in a text editor.
Then I tried Microsoft Visual Studio, which gave the most promising results. When I opened Setup.inx in Visual Studio, I saw 16 columns of data (with a column of byte soup on the right), which looks like this:
74 C4 2C 84 E1 E5 D4 28 10 FB 00 20 3C 24 FB 4D
Maybe that's what opening a .inx is supposed to look like, but if so then it's really too low-level for me to do anything with it.
Looking again now, it seems that there is a setup.ini file that can be opened and edited in a text editor, but it doesn't seem to contain the kinds of information that the tutorials for modifying .inf files talked about. I could be wrong. Same thing with setup.sii. I'm not even sure what that setup.isn file is all about—it opens as byte soup in text editors too.
I don't know what move to make next other than Ask the Internet. A million thanks to anyone who can help me figure this out.