Printers and Windows XP Professional x64 Edition.

There have been a lot of questions on the Newsgroup about what printers are supported in x64. And while there is no comprehensive list all in one place, HP deserves kudos for transparency across their entire printer line. Check HP Printer Support for XP Professional x64 Edition for a complete list of where they are with printer support for x64.

Beyond what’s officially supported, however, there are a whole range of printers that work quite adequately in x64 Edition, even though there aren’t any official drivers yet. They may not include all the functionality of specifically engineered printer drivers, but they will be able to perform basic printing functions. The first thing to understand is that there are two basic printer control languages — “Printer Control Language” (PCL) and Postscript. PCL has been the core of the HP line since the earliest days of Laser Jets Basic printing functionality with PCL will support virtually all HP laser printers. If your specific model isn’t there, just choose the closest model that is supported

Postscript is more than just a printer language, and has been primarily used by Apple and high end graphics and design users because of it’s wealth of very high quality fonts, and platform independent support. This platform independence continues into the x64 world, with excellent drivers for Postscript printers built into the OS. The specific driver for your model printer may not be there, limiting your choice of controlling which paper tray is used, and possibly which fonts are available, but if your printer supports Postscript, you’ll be able to print.

On connectivity — I strongly believe that TCP/IP is the way to go for printer connectivity. If you are buying a printer, make sure it has a network card in it. If you already have a printer, take a look at one of the many TCP/IP network print server appliances available today, including wireless ones. If you use TCP/IP to connect to your printer, you again gain platform independence.

Finally, in my next post I’ll cover how to add x64 support to your existing 32–bit print server (well, if it’s running Server 2003, at least.)

Charlie Russel
Microsoft MVP for Server, Security and Tablet PCs
Windows Expert Zone Columnist and author of >25 books on computers, operating systems and enterprise environments

5 Responses to Printers and Windows XP Professional x64 Edition.

  • Andre says:

    Finally a write up this! Thanks Charlie

  • Erik says:

    The HP link you’ve cited doesn’t make any mention of the EXTENSIVE line of LaserJet products. My LaserJet 1320 works reasonably well with the LaserJet 1200 drivers built into the x64 OS distribution, but I’d much rather have a full printing solution for my printer: I like to use my duplexer and the extra features such as low toner and paper warnings are quite nice. I wish HP would post information about their timeline for providing LaserJet drivers for a broader range of their LaserJet line.

    In the meantime, I would suggest that you edit your blog, since

  • from HP Support says:

    Thank you for contacting HP Customer Care.

    Basic support (printing and scanning) for your HP product is planned and will be available later this year through the HP Web site. There are no Windows XP Professional x64 drivers or Windows 2003 Server 64bit Editions available for download at this time. The 64-bit printer drivers currently available on HP.COM are engineered specifically for the Itanium 64-bit chipset.

    You can however, sign-in on our driver and support update Website to receive an alert when support is available.

    For more information, please refer to the following URL:

    We apologize for the inconvenience caused.

    Once again, thank you for contacting HP Customer Care.

  • SimpleSimon says:

    HP deserves kudos? For what? Raping it’s users?

    My Photosmart 1115 printer looks and prints like new. Just because I didn’t buy my printer two weeks ago is NOT a good reason for HP not to write an x64 driver.

    My next printer will NOT be an HP.

  • DANSB says:

    I have thousands of dollrs invested in HP Laserjet products that simply do not work in the 64 bit environment I just installed. My next printers WILL NOT be HP.