NT 4.0 Printer driver is not compatible
When you try to connect a shared printer in earlier versions of operating system from Windows Vista, you may receive the following error message, “The printer driver is not compatible with a policy enabled on your computer that blocks NT 4.0 drivers”.
This problem mostly occurs when you try to connect old printer with old print drivers from Windows Vista PC. Windows Vista does not support ‘kernel mode printer drivers’ for installation.
For more information on this NT 4.0 Printer driver is not compatible with Vista issue from Microsoft.
Windows Vista supports ‘user mode printer drivers’ only, Microsoft explains as below,
“try to obtain and install a user mode printer driver on the Windows NT 4.0-based computer. If you cannot obtain the particular user mode printer driver, try to obtain a user mode printer driver that is compatible with the kernel mode printer driver that is hosted on the Windows NT 4.0-based computer. To obtain an updated printer driver for the print device, contact the printer manufacturer.”
So, if the Windows NT 4.0-based computer which is sharing the printer is having the User mode printer drivers or Windows Vista can map for user mode printer in the printing sharing computer, then the printer driver installation will be succeeded. Otherwise it fails with the “The printer driver is not compatible with a policy enabled on your computer that blocks NT 4.0 drivers” message.
How to Install NT 4.0 Printer Drivers in Vista
As mentioned in the error message itself that ‘policy enable on your computer that blocks NT 4.0 drivers, we can disable the policy in windows vista computer.
Follow the steps to disable NT4.0 drivers policy.
1) Go to Run (or Start Search) type ‘ mmc ‘, press Enter. Continue for UAC.
2) Click on File and Add/Remove Snap In, as shown below.
3) Select ‘Group Policy Object Editor’ in left side and Press Add Button.
Leave Local Computer in Next screen and Click Finish and OK.
4) Then Expand to ‘ Local Computer Policy’ -> Computer Configuration -> Administrative Templates and Click on Printers.
5) Look for “Disallow installation of Printers using kernel-mode divers” in right side and double click on it.
6) Select Disable and Press OK. Close the console also.
After disabled this policy to allow NT 4.0 kernel mode printer drivers, you vista computer can have old network shard printers.
Note: Be prepared to receive Blue screen error on your Vista computer after this policy enabled.