Windows 7 Cannot Add network printer


New Member
I have a W7 workstation connected to a LAN domain server on SBS2003. This maching was just upgraded from Vista and the shared printer worked fine prior to the W7 install. The workstation is connected to a SBS2003 domain controller and all other features other than the shared printer seem OK. All network drive shares OK, logon OK, etc. There is one shared printer listed in Active Directory on the server which is connected at another XP workstation. I can see the printer from the W7 workstation but I cannot connect to it, nor can I reinstall it. When I look for it from the W7 machine using the Add Printer, it says no printer found. Is it because the W7 is going to require a new W7 specific printer driver? I would think it would at least be able to locate it, even if it couldn't necessarily use it. I also notice that the W7 Add Printer has only one network printer option which automatically looks for the printer in an Active Directory, as compared to previous OS which have the additional Add Printer option of looking for a specific printer in a specific location. That is a very handy feature when Active Directory has pruned or otherwise delisted a printer for some reason because you can still connect to it by drilling down the Network.
Often a Get around for these Printer problems is to add the Network printer as "a Local Printer".

On your Workstation in the Add printer wizard use Create Local Port.

If your remote printer is on say computer zogzilla and the shared printer name is stoopidprinter then create your local port as \\zogzilla\stoopidprinter

Now add the print driver FOR YOUR WORKSTATION (I.e your Windows 7 machine).
You'll find the printer works fine.

What you are doing here is to get the LOCAL machine to actually format all the printer stuff and then just chuck out RAW data in the correct format that the remote printer will print.

This is actually this is the ONLY way you can get 32 bit machines such as XP to share printers with 64 Bit machines such as Vista or W7 X-64. The method works both ways so it doesn't matter if the printer is physically attached either to the XP machine or the VISTA/ W7 machine.

Now if you are using a Network printer with an IP address (rather than sharing a printer connected to a computer) then still make the printer a Local printer but create a TCPIP port with the printers network address. Add the drivers as before.

The trick is to "poodlefake" the system into thinking the remote printer is locally attached to your workststion --then you can use the driver on your Workstation and you don't have to worry about the driver in use on the remote device.


Last edited:
Sounds doable, thanks. In respect to a Win7 anomoly, I am wondering why the Win7 machine just can't seem to locate the remote printer in the Active Directory. If it did, but wouldn't not work, then the workaround you've suggested would seem in order. But if the Win7 machine is not seeing the printer in the AD, it makes me think there is a networking issue, at least in the beta.