Using an Old Printer with Windows Vista – and other Vista issues.

So, I bit the bullet and got a new PC with Microsoft Windows Vista.

Yes, like every informed geek, I expect a few issues.  However, sooner or later I will need to support Vista at client sites; besides, XP is getting on in years.

Today’s post is mainly about getting my old, but reliable, Brother HL-1030 to work in Vista.  The Brother laser printer is shared over the network by a Windows XP machine.

Some inter-related problems when trying to map this printer in Vista:

Immediately after trying to map the printer, this error comes up: “The printer driver is not compatible with a policy enabled on your computer that blocks NT 4.0 drivers”.  The Microsoft KB describing this, with no real work around other than “find a compatible driver”, is KB931719. Honestly, given the error message, wouldn’t you expect the KB article to provide a way to change the local policy?

Vista has no built in driver for my old HL1030, nor are there compatible drivers on the web.

On the driver front, a quick Google search told me that the built in Vista driver for the Brother HL-2030 would work fine.  But how do I use it? Every time I try the add printer wizard, it tries to install the incompatible point-and-click NT4/2K/XP drivers.

* Update – 2009-04: I had some intermittent problems with the HL-2030 driver, once in a while a page would not print completely and would cause the printer to require manual intervention to get it going again.  A quick search turned up this page which suggested using the Vista built in driver for the Brother HL-1430.  I’m trying that now.

So, I used an old trick. I faked a local port for the printer. I don’t remember the terminology, but I do recall this mapping system being common in the past – maybe with Novell or DOS?

Anyway, create a new local port using the share name, e.g. \\server\brother. You will be prompted to pick a driver. In my case, using the Brother HL-2030 driver does indeed work fine.

Some other Vista problems that I’ve had to resolve:

I’ve disabled User Access Control.  I can’t officially recommend this to other people, but it just doesn’t jive with me.

I’ve removed all but the US keyboard from my keyboard settings. Canadian PC’s (maybe it’s dependent on the regional settings?) have English, French and a “combo” keyboard mapping installed by default.  That’s fine until you accidentally hit the hot-key to switch to the French format – for some reason you do not get a confirmation prompt (!?!).  It happened to me on day two with this computer.  I’ve previously helped others fix this too.  While you’re at it, those with Intel Graphics, disable the hot-key that rotates the screen – everyone stumbles on that one eventually.

I had issues with an Access “.mdb” database on a network share that I use for tracking stuff. The resolution for that was to add the “serving” machine’s host name to my Internet trusted zone.  Adding only the IP address did not work, despite a MSKB Knowledge Base article I found.

I’m sure more Vista issues will pop-up.  But, so far, it’s been manageable.  I quite like the new 3-D flip task thing and the search tool.

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5 Responses to “Using an Old Printer with Windows Vista – and other Vista issues.”

  1. Kai Gossel Says:

    finally I came across a solution since I would have never figured the old-printer-problem on my own! :) thanks!

  2. pops Says:

    I too have a HL 1030 and cant get it connected to vista. I have no idea about networks and have tried the steps described but keep getting problems is there any chance a newby step by step account be be posted.

  3. CH Says:

    Gee. You rock.
    I had waisted 3 hours thinking it was my print server.
    The KEY is the driver HL-2030 Instead of using the HL-1040 like refered at other site on the web.

    THANKS……

  4. Phil B Says:

    To Install HL-1030 on vista, I did the following:-Add a printer~>Add local printer~>Use an existing port (USB002 virtual printer port USB)~>next~> pick Brother HL-2040~> Next……..This worked for me…..Thank you

  5. Brother Printer Drivers Says:

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