My new laptop, Windows 7 Home Premium 64-bit, can print if connected directly to the printer, but, cannot connect to the shared device, probably due to it being shared on a 32-bit system.
When properly set up, a print server can run either an x64 (64-bit) or x86 (32-bit) OS, and systems running either type of client OS can access the shared printer. For example, I have several servers running Windows XP (32-bit) with printers shared. I am able to access these shared printers from any system on my network, including those running Windows 7/Vista x64.
The biggest problem in a mixed x64/x86 environment are the drivers. You can either install or supply the drivers locally, or have them installed on the server as "additional" drivers, where they will be supplied to clients when they first access the shared printer. As Microsoft states in the following document: Print Driver Setup: 64-bit Drivers and Platforms
"Printers sold today will be used in mixed 32-bit and 64-bit environments for many years, and printer manufacturers must plan accordingly. Printer vendors face some unique installation requirements due to the ability to share printers by using Point and Print. To support Point and Print to clients of different processor architectures, printer drivers may be loaded onto a non-native architecture platform. For example, an x64 print server may have x86 (32-bit) drivers loaded so that they may be installed on x86 clients during Point and Print."
That document goes on to explain how "additional" drivers for the non-native CPU architecture can be installed on the print server, so they can later be made available to clients who access the printer. However this does require the driver (more specifically the INF file) to be properly written, which may be a problem for some. Microsoft shows how to add drivers for client computers running 32-bit or 64-bit versions of Windows on the following articles:
HP also shows how to install additional drivers on a print server for mixed CPU environments in the following document: Print driver Client / Server Connections in a mixed 32-bit and 64-bit environment
If you cannot install the additional non-native CPU architecture drivers on the server, then they can be manually supplied on the client end instead. The best way to do this is to "trick" Windows into thinking that the printer is directly attached to the local system by adding the shared printer as follows:
First make sure that the printer is properly shared on the network, and that the server and all client systems that will access the server are using the same workgroup name (e.g. WORKGROUP).
To add the network shared printer on a client system, open the Control Panel; Printers and Faxes; double-click Add Printer, and then click Next.
In the Add Printer Wizard, click Local printer attached to this computer (this is the "trick", pretending it is directly connected), clear the Automatically detect and install my Plug and Play printer check box, then click Next.
Click Create a new port, select Local Port, and then click Next.
In the Enter a port name box type the shared printer name (e.g. \\Servername\Printername), then then click OK.
You will then be prompted to select the driver. Either select Have Disk to supply one directly, or scroll down the list of Manufacturers and Printers to select a driver for those that are preinstalled.
That's it, once the proper driver is installed you can print a test page to the newly added printer to insure that it works properly.
I do not want to lose the scanning capability of this device, so my question is, is there a networkable print server that will allow the scanning capability to still function...?
Yes, however scanning is generally designed to be done locally, so most do not support sharing. If the scanner unit and supplied drivers do not support sharing over a network, then you can use 3rd party utilities like RemoteScan
to share a scanner on a network. I have no experience with these utilities, so let me know how they work if you try them. Scott.