The option "A network printer, or a printer attached to another computer" is missing in the Add Printer Wizard.


Symptoms


The option "A network printer, or a printer attached to another computer" is missing in the Add Printer Wizard.

When a user tries to add a network printer using the Add Printer Wizard they will notice that the option to do so is missing in the UI.

However they will be able to add the printer using Point and Print and also from the Active directory list.

Cause


 

This may happen due to one of the following reasons.

  1. If the network provider for the spooler(win32spl.dll) is not present under the network providers.
  2. If the OS network providers are not being recognized.
  3. Registry corruption for the "ProviderOrder" in HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Control\NetworkProvider\Order.

 

Resolution


To resolve this issue follow the steps below.

1. Verify that the print providers are present. To do so browse to the following location in the registry.
  • HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Control\Print\Providers
  • The following should be present by default.
     a.  Internet Print Provider
     b.  LanMan Print Services
2. Verify that the network providers are present and getting recognized. To do so check the following.
  • Start – run – NCPA.CPL
  • Advanced- advanced settings.
  • Confirm that the tab “Provider Order” is present and the provider order is correct.
If this tab is missing then users will face the issue as described in the Symptoms.
Confirm the following in the registry.
  • HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Control\NetworkProvider\Order
  • The “ProviderOrder” should be of the type REG_SZ (any other string type will not work).
  • The following values are present by default: “RDPNP,LanmanWorkstation,webclient”. We may see additional values depending on the providers installed on the machine.
  • If any of these providers are corrupt then the tab will be absent.
  • Test by removing the providers from the registry value one at a time starting from the end of the list.

Confirmation does not require a reboot.