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people versus people: How the f&^% do you install a 32-bit-only printer driver on a 64-bit system?

Queer things said straight


Thursday, February 24, 2011

How the f&^% do you install a 32-bit-only printer driver on a 64-bit system?

Well...my dad got me a new HP All-In-One (ignoring my plea for Lexmark). OK...My old HP just turned 7 and I didn't have any major problems. But that is not an excuse for the horrible HP Support.
The main problem: I still use XP and, even though it's sooo old, they made a driver for the 32 bit version but not for the 64 bit one. So my new printer is not compatible with my Windows (and the salesman is an illiterate idiot).

What's the main difference? Well, simply put: if I have 6 gigs of RAM, a 32-bit system won't recognize more than 4.
Why won't I upgrade to Vista or Win 7? It's in my conservative nature (I still think that XP is the most stable Microsoft OS)

But let us return to our problem: how do we install the fucking printer (or any device) without changing our Operating System?
And here comes the epiphany
The shining beauty sitting at my right made me realize one thing: ingenuity in soft/hardware problems comes after some serious research. :))

So...I chose the "play within a play" solution. I installed another OS (XP 32 bit - told ya I'm very fond of XP) which can run simultaneously with the previous one (in my case: XP Professional x64). You can do the same thing with all the OS (say...installing Linux, Win NT, Win 2000, Vista or Win 7 to give them a try) without formatting or changing a thing in your current configuration.

This may be done using a Virtual Machine:

A virtual machine (VM) is a software implementation of a machine (i.e. a computer) that executes programs like a physical machine. Virtual machines are separated into two major categories, based on their use and degree of correspondence to any real machine. A system virtual machine provides a complete system platform which supports the execution of a complete operating system (OS) (Wiki)

How to do this:

- download vmware player 3.0 (don't worry, it's free and small)

- make sure you've got an installation CD or an ISO of the new OS you wanna try
Running vmware player should not be a problem as the interface is very intuitive. After a couple of clicks you get to install the new system.






At last, I was able to install my printer on the compatible OS.

When the printing/scanning is done, all you have to do is shut down the "little windows within the windows" and continue your work or whatever you were doing :P




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