Changing a Printer Driver through the Printer Properties, Advanced Tab, can have unexpected results

Article ID: 2009820 - View products that this article applies to.
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Summary

Changing a printer driver from a Printer Properties, Advanced Tab, Driver drop down list,  can have unexpected results if a non-compatible driver is selected.  This method of changing a driver is not the recommended method for changing printer drivers.

More Information

This option is provided for changing drivers to compatible drivers which are specifically designed for this same printer, for setup prior to hardware arrival, or for troubleshooting purposes. For example it can sometimes be used as a means to creating additional queues using drivers that try to detect the device on queue creation if the device isn’t yet available. If you already have the driver installed on the computer, you can sometimes do this by creating the additional queue(s) using a very basic placeholder driver such as the ‘generic / text only’ driver, then swap the queue to the new driver.

However, if a non-compatible driver is selected in this method, then it is possible that different printer features and parts may not be functional anymore until the correct driver is returned.

When one switches the driver for a printer, the system and driver (if it is designed to do so) attempts to merge the printer preference settings for the old printer driver with the printer preference settings for the new printer driver.  This is to try to preserve the user's printing preference settings. However, if some settings from the old printer driver are not supported by the new printer driver, this approach can lead to inconsistencies.

Upgrading a driver on a queue from one version to the next of the same driver is the recommended approach, since the newer version of the same driver is expected to be compatible with its older versions. Changing drivers within a family (e.g. Model 1000 pro to Model 1000 pro plus) also should work fine, but is not guaranteed all the time. Some setting could be lost in this case, or the default settings could be different from what would be on a new queue. If changing the driver completely, either to a different vendor, class of device or even from an in-box driver to an IHV-provided driver, the recommended method is to create a new queue and delete the old one.

 

Note This is a "FAST PUBLISH" article created directly from within the Microsoft support organization. The information contained herein is provided as-is in response to emerging issues. As a result of the speed in making it available, the materials may include typographical errors and may be revised at any time without notice. See Terms of Use for other considerations.

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Article ID: 2009820 - Last Review: December 22, 2009 - Revision: 1.0
APPLIES TO
  • Windows Vista Enterprise
  • Microsoft Windows XP Professional
  • Microsoft Windows XP Home Edition
  • Windows 7 Enterprise
  • Windows 7 Home Basic
  • Windows 7 Home Premium
  • Windows Server 2008 Enterprise
Keywords: 
KB2009820

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