Last week we ran into a bit of a snag… or several… while moving our printers from one server to another.
Problem #1: Finding the driver for the Xerox Phaser 8860MFP
Oh, we found the latest PostScript driver, of course; we also found that the latest driver did not have the right tray selection options or secure print options… *sigh*
I was confused by the lack of options: the driver on the old server said it was PostScript, but we installed the PCL driver, just for kicks. It had the tray options and the secure print options, so we thought we were set. The intern and I ran around setting everyone up with the new PCL printer, and I was relieved… until everyone started complaining that things were printing at a snail’s pace (about two pages per minute :P). One of the users noticed that the quality was super high, which was apparently the cause. Well, I knew how to fix that: there’s a quality setting on the printer properties – oops, not on the PCL driver!
So, back to PS… but we still couldn’t use the scaled-down version of the PostScript driver that we started with, which was the only one we could find on Xerox’s site. I discovered the Print Migrator Utility 3.1 to try to move the correct PS driver from the old print server – didn’t seem to work. 😦
After searching long and hard, I found that I was able to download the drivers and software version I needed (5.58.10) from the Web management page of the printer itself… go figure! Would have saved myself a lot of trouble to find that out in the first place. 🙂
There was much rejoicing… and I tried to install the driver. When I installed the printer manually, it would go offline after about 15 seconds; it had been doing this all through the ordeal, so I had been using the Xerox printer software installer, and I fell back on it again. It failed me… something about ‘invalid parameters’… the same no matter how many times I tried it. 😛 The only thing left was to completely remove the old driver before installing… but I didn’t know how.
Oh, by the way, the client computers had the same problem: they kept the old driver, rather than downloading the new one from the server… and the driver they kept didn’t even work! From Devices and Printers, it looked fine, but when you tried to select the printer from any Office application, it displayed ‘Unable to Connect’ and it was true to its word. When you tried to view the Printer Preferences from Devices and Printers, it popped up another error: ‘This action cannot be completed. (Error code 0x00000057)’
Problem #2: Figuring out how to uninstall the current driver so the correct one would be downloaded
This was actually really cool, once we figured it out. Everything about manually removing drivers referred to Print Management (like this: Update and Manage Printer Drivers); apparently, that’s only on Print Servers (I didn’t even have the role installed on the new server… although I did try it then, just to see if it helped)… and then I found this thread: “How do I remove printer drivers in Windows 7 without Print Management” – genius!
This got us started on the right track: printui /s /t2 is now on my list of favorite commands. 🙂 That opened up the printer driver list for the computer, and on most of the computers, we were able to delete the old driver and package, either immediately or after restarting the Print Spooler service.
There were a couple troublesome machines that kept saying the driver and/or package was still in use. I found suggestions online that it was caused by the printer being installed on other user profiles (deleted all other profiles – didn’t help), that I needed to delete INFCACHE.1 (C:\Windows\System32\DriverStore) – couldn’t do this due to permissions… even logged in as administrator – and that I had to restart the Print Spooler and delete the driver before the system locked it again (which is a matter of split-second timing). One guy (jjwink) scripted it, which was cool, but it didn’t work for me: Deleting printer drivers from Vista system
The solution on the stubborn machines was finally just to edit the registry and delete the driver. The first few computers I didn’t really know what I was looking for, so I just searched Xerox, skipped the other Xerox printer references and deleted anything related to the Phaser 8860MFP. There were a lot of references (registries are like that ;)), and after about the sixth computer, I found the only key I needed to delete: HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\ControlSet001\Control\Print\Environments\Windows NT x86\Drivers\Version-3\<driver name>
All printers are now reinstalled, and everybody is happy (especially me :))