I've finally made the jump to 64 bit computing by adding some Windows 7 x64 machines to my environment. However, I do not have any 64 bit servers, so I wasn't sure if I was going to be able to use my existing Windows Server 2003 print server to share out 64 bit drivers for printers. Well, the answer is that you can, but without a good set of instructions it can be a little messy. Hopefully with the steps below you too can share your 64 bit drivers from a 32 bit print server.
In my situation I am working with Server 2003 SP2. If you're running R2 the steps may be different, and I'd imagine 2008 is completely different. You need your 32 bit server, and you also need your 64 bit machine. Both of them have to be used in order to load both sets of drivers. You can't load 64 bit drivers from your 32 bit server, and vice versa. The other thing is that the drivers have to be named the same. The easiest way to make sure of this is to download both the latest 32 and 64 bit drivers from the manufacturer's website and use those. That may mean you will be updating existing 32 bit drivers, but you're better off doing that than trying to get the new 64 bit driver to work with an older 32 bit driver. I currently have Sharp and HP printers printing from my Windows 7 64 bit machine through our Server 2003 32 bit server as well. In my instructions I'm going to assume you already know how to install a printer. Here's how I got it to work, and I'll use a Xerox printer for the example.
1. On your 32 bit print server, download the latest 32 bit driver for your printer
2. On your 64 bit machine, download the latest 64 bit driver
3. On the printer server go ahead and start installing the printer. Your setup may differ than what I have in the screenshots, but I'm installing a networked printer that has an IP address of 192.168.1.65
4. When asked for the print driver, click on "Have Disk...". Now navigate to the location when you downloaded your 32 bit print driver and select it. You may have to unzip the driver package you downloaded if you haven't already.
5. Pick your printer from the list included in the driver. In my case there's only one option
6. Name your printer and click Next
7. Choose to share the printer and give the share a name, then click Next
8. Fill out the location and comments boxes if you want, then click Next
9. Print a test page if you'd like, but it's not required. Then click Next
10. The printer should install and then you can click Finish
11. Now hop on your 64 bit machine and open up printmanagement.msc. If you don't know how to do that, check out my other post.
12. In the tree on the left, open up Print Servers and open your print server. Go to the Drivers section, right-click, then choose Add Driver
13. When at the Processor and Operating System selection screen, uncheck the x86 box and check the x64 box instead. Then click Next
14. Click on "Have Disk..." and browse to the location where you have the 64 bit driver that you downloaded in step #2. Again, you will have to unzip the downloaded driver file prior to being able to select it here.
15. Repeat step #5 to select your printer and click Next
16. Click Finish. This should install the 64 bit print driver on your 32 bit server
Now you can double-check to make sure it worked. As long as the printer drivers are named the same it should have. To check, log back in to your printer server. Right-click on the printer you installed and go to Properties. Go to the Sharing tab and click on Additional Drivers.
If done correctly you should see that the x64 and x86 boxes are both checked, which means the printer is being shared using both drivers.
It took some trial and error in the beginning, but this method has been working for me and I hope it works for you too. Good luck!