Printer not Compatible with Windows 7? No Driver

Dennis Faas's picture

Infopackets Reader Pat M. writes:

" Dear Dennis,

I just upgraded from Windows XP to Windows 7 Home Premium. Where can I find find drivers for my printer? My original CD ROM disc for printer doesn't work with Windows 7. "

My Response:

Unfortunately, this is a common problem when upgrading to a newer Windows Operating System. Some hardware device drivers are not compatible with Windows 7, and the hardware vendors do not release updated drivers, which renders the hardware unusable.

Making your Old Printer work with Windows 7

There are a few things you can do to work around the issue.

  1. First and foremost, go to the manufacturer's web site and try and find an updated Windows 7 printer driver. Often times the hardware manufacturer will release a driver on their website weeks or months after a new Windows release.
  2. Try and add the device manually from within Windows 7. To do this, click Start -> Control Panel -> Devices and Printers, then select the "Add a Printer" link from the top of the Devices and Printers window. Look for your printer in the list. Windows 7 may natively support your printer without the need for a driver CD.
  3. Use Google and search for "your printer model compatible driver". If you find one, use method #2 above to add the compatible driver to Windows 7, then try and print something.

Windows 7 Printer Driver: Workarounds

If no printer drive is available, you can work around the issue using one of the below methods:

  1. Hook up your printer to an old XP machine, and print from the XP machine (through the network, for example). Using this method, your Windows XP machine acts like a dedicated print server.
  2. Look for a wired / wireless print server device. Use the printer server instead of option #1 above. NOTE: print server must be compatible with your printer. Click here to see an example of a printer server device.
  3. Use Windows XP Mode with Windows 7 if your processor supports it. To be sure, run the tool here.
  4. Last but not least, buy another printer that is compatible with Windows 7.

Hope that helps.

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