This article was previously published under Q156082
This article addresses the following questions regarding the Windows printer drivers:
Who writes Windows printer drivers?
Where are the printer drivers available from Microsoft?
What if Microsoft does not have the printer driver?
Who Writes Windows Printer Drivers?
Windows printer drivers are developed through the cooperation betweenMicrosoft and the independent hardware vendor (IHV) that manufactures theprint device. Microsoft's role is to assist IHVs with programming andtesting of the printer driver's interaction with Windows. The role ofthe IHV is to assist Microsoft in addressing either the general featuresor the entire feature set of the print device.
Where Are the Printer Drivers Available from Microsoft?
Windows supports all print devices listed in the latest HardwareCompatibility List (HCL). A copy of the HCL is located in the Supportdirectory on the Windows compact disc. For additional information about the most recent HCL, click the article number below to view the article in the Microsoft Knowledge Base:
131303 Latest Windows 2000 and Windows NT Hardware Compatibility List (HCL)
If a print device is not listed in the HCL and there is a high demand forprinter support in Windows, Microsoft can work with the IHV to make theprinter drivers available. To make your need for a particular driver knownto Microsoft, please see step 3 in the "What If Microsoft Does Not Havethe Printer Driver?" section below.
For a list of the latest Windows NT 4.0 drivers, click the article number below to view the article in the Microsoft Knowledge Base:
Change to the Softlib/Mslfiles folder, and then get filename.exe.
Microsoft's World Wide Web Site on the Internet
On the www.microsoft.com home page, click the Support icon, click Knowledge Base, click to select the product, type kbfile filename.exe, and then click GO! Open the article, and click the button to download the file.
If the printer drivers are not on the locations listed above, determine ifthe print device supports PostScript. Nearly all PostScript print devicesship with a PostScript Printer Description (PPD) file that can be used toadd support for the print device. Microsoft does not support PPD filesfrom OEM vendors. Contact your manufacturer for information about PPDfiles for your postscript printer.
For additional information about how to install a PPD file in Windows NT 3.51, click the article number below to view the article in the Microsoft Knowledge Base:
142057 How to Install PPD Files from PostScript Printer
What If Microsoft Does Not Have the Printer Driver?
If Microsoft does not have the printer driver:
Find a printer driver emulation that can provide the correct output. If your printer is a new model, you may want to try the driver for the previous model.
Contact the printer manufacturer to see if they have a Windows printer driver. Some printer manufacturers do develop drivers forWindows.