Point and Print fails after switching drivers in Windows

Applies to: Windows 10Windows 8.1Windows 8

Symptoms


The following error is displayed when attempting to print from a client to a shared network printer hosted on a Windows-based print server.
 
The server for the <queue name> printer does not have the correct printer driver installed. If you want to search for the proper driver, click OK. Otherwise, click Cancel and contact your network administrator or original equipment manufacturer for the correct printer driver.

 

Cause


This problem can occur if a print queue was switched from one driver to another, leaving an invalid CopyFiles key in the registry.

HKLM\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Control\Print\Printers\<queue name>\CopyFiles\

Resolution


To work around this issue, use one of the following methods:

  • Back up and delete the invalid CopyFiles registry key.
  • Use the Network Printer Installation wizard from the Print Management Console (printmanagement.msc) to add print queues to a Windows Server.
  • Use a script to install printers, such as those provided in the "%SystemRoot%\System32\Printing_Admin_Scripts" folder, and then specify the correct printer driver to use when the queue is created.

More information


Don't switch print queues from one driver to another without first verifying the drivers are compatible and support this operation, as follows:

  • Use the Add Printer wizard from Devices and Services to configure new print queues on a Windows Server. It could automatically select an initial driver for you that may not be compatible with the driver that you want to switch it to.
  • Change a printer driver through Printer Properties > Advanced > Driver. In this case, if an incompatible driver is selected, you can experience unexpected results.

    Note

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

    However, if an incompatible driver is selected in this method, then different printer features and parts may not be functional any longer until the correct driver is used.

    When you switch the driver for a printer, to preserve your printing preference settings, the system and driver try to merge the printer preference settings for the old printer driver with the printer preference settings for the new printer driver. However, if some settings from the old printer driver aren’t supported by the new printer driver, this approach could lead to inconsistencies.

    Upgrading a driver on a print queue from one version to the next of the same driver is the recommended approach, because the newer version of the same driver is expected to be compatible with its older versions. Changing drivers in a family (such as from Model 1000 pro to Model 1000 pro plus) should also work fine. But it's not guaranteed always. Some setting may 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.