Failure to connect to XP printer with Windows 7: NT 4.0 policy problem


Well-Known Member
Hi Folks:

I'm trying to connect to a network computer on an XP computer, using Windows 7.

Windows 7 will find the printer on the XP computer okay, but when I right-mouse click and attempt to connect, it says "Windows cannot connect to the printer. The printer driver is not compatible with a policy enabled on your computer that blocks NT 4.0 drivers."

I have found instructions on the web to get around this in Vista, which involve accessing the MMC (Microsoft Management Console). But Windows 7 has a different layout, and I don't see any helpful postings for this.

Can someone help?

Thanks very much,


Hi there.

Sounds like you should install the Windows 7 version of the driver for the printer, on the Windows 7 computer. If there is no 7 driver available from the manufacturer, use Vista.

That should solve it for you, but should also update the XP driver on the XP system, for the printer. If it currently is using a 4.0 driver, that's incorrect.

XP = NT5.1


Noob Whisperer
As TorrentG explained, acquiring the proper Win7 drivers specific to your printer model from the manufacturer's website will resolve this issue. However; if no such drivers exits, then you can try a couple other steps to get past this issue, often Windows 7 has native driver support for some of the older printer so you might try this
Open Devices and Printers
Select add printer near the top menu bar
Select add local printer
Choose Create a new port and local port from drop down arrow Click Next
In the enter a port name do one of the following
1. \\MachineNameHostingPrinter\Printer'sShareName or
2. \\ipaddressOfMachineHostingPrinter\Printer'sShareName
In the install printer driver dialog box do one of the following
1. In the left panel select your printer manufacturer and in the right panel select your printer model (to use Win7 native drivers) or
2. Select the have disk button and direct the install process to the folder where you have download and extracted the Win 7 drivers for your printer. (if you were able to download Win 7 drivers for your printer)
Failing all the above, if the option is available to you, physically connect the printer to the Win7 machine, see if the printer will work with the physical connection and use the Windows Update Feature to see if there are any additional (Optional) drivers available through Windows Update. Then when you re-attach the printer to the Windows XP machine, during the install of the network printer back on the Win7 machine, during the prompt for driver you should receive a prompt to keep existing driver, just choose that and see if that works. Hope this helps and keep us posted.


Well-Known Member
Hi TorrentG and Trouble:

Thanks very much for your suggestions.

The printer in question, which is attached to the XP computer, is a HP Laserjet 3150. It's fairly old, and the last driver update for this was 2001 (for XP, not Vista).

First, there is no Windows 7 driver available. Second, I followed Trouble's suggestions and was able to succesfully point to the printer. At that point I downloaded and tried installing the XP driver, but it was rejected by Windows 7.

I am still interested in the idea of suspending the NT 4.0 policy, which was how they got the workaround in Vista (see my original post). The explanation of this is here:

NT 4.0 Printer driver is not compatible with a policy enabled in Vista PC | Sysprobs

... However, this is the MMC (Microsoft Management Console) in Vista, and the layout is different in Windows 7.

Any idea how to do this in Windows 7?

Thanks very much,



Noob Whisperer
If you look into the native drivers built into Windows 7, you may want to try the one called HP LaserJet Family Driver PCL5 or the good old stand by HP LaserJet III, sort of a default fall back driver that should give you some functionality.
Did you try connecting it directly to the Win7 machine to see if you could get it up and running that way?
As far as the MMC you are referring to that is the Local Group Policy Editor Microsoft Management Console and can be invoked by typing gpedit.msc into the search or run dialog box. Unfortunately, your ability to use this console depends on the version of Windows 7 you are using, I believe it is only available in version Pro, Enterprise and Ultimate so if you are running Home Premium, HOme Basic, Starter, etc. you won't be able to use the Group Policy Editor and will need to find the equivalent registry value and edit it manually. Wish I could be more helpful, but that's one I'm not familar with.


Well-Known Member
Hi Trouble:

Thanks again for your suggestions. Unfortunately neither of the drivers you mentioned seems to be in Windows 7. I may try one or two others, though. I'll also look around, and see if I can find anything about unblocking the NT 4.0 policy in Windows 7.

If I have any success, I'll be back.



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