Installing an “Old” Printer in Vista

I have a couple of questions for you today! Have you ever tried connecting your old printer to your new Windows Vista computer? Ever had to face a “PCL6 Driver Not Compatible” error message in Vista? If so, read on, because I have some good news for you!

When installing your still functional legacy printer (like the NEC SuperScript 1450, for example) onto your new computer system with Windows Vista, immediately, you’ll be struck with an incompatibility issue. An error message like this will probably pop up on your screen: “PCL6 driver was not compatible with a policy enabled on your computer.” After getting that error message, you’re basically unable to use your old printer. But, like I said before, there’s a quick relief. Here’s what you can do:

The error message clearly says there’s a problem with the policy. Hence, when the same policy is changed, you’ll be able to get your printer up and running. All you have to do is this:

1.) Go to Start.

2.) Type in “gpedit.msc” (without the quotes) and then hit Enter. That will launch the Group Policy Object Editor.

3.) Under the Computer Configuration section, double click on Administrative Templates and then select Printers.

4.) In the right pane, find the policy named “Disallow Installation of Printers Using Kernel-mode Drivers” and double click on it.

5.) Set its status to Disabled.

By disabling the disallow policy, you enable the use of kernel-mode drivers, which is what you need to be able to use your old printer. When you’re finished, click OK to close the Group Policy Editor. You’ll then need to reboot your computer for everything to take effect. That’s all you have to do. Now, you can enjoy your favorite printer with your new Windows Vista computer. Yes!

~ Ramachandran Kumaraswami