Last week, I finally had chance to upgrade my laptop to Windows 7 Ultimate 64-bit from RC that I had been using since it’s released. Everything runs perfectly, except that I couldn’t find a compatible 64-bit driver for my 5+ years old printer, Konica PagePro 1350W.
I do need to print occasionally and I do need 64-bit version to fully use my laptop resources. What options do I have to meet both needs? One option I was approaching is to use Windows Virtual PC.
The latest Windows Virtual PC offers USB support that users can access USB devices attached to the host directly. These devices include printers, scanners, flash memory/sticks and external hard disks, digital cameras, etc. The easiest way is to use XP Mode so I can have a XP-ready virtual machine right away.
But, instead of using a pre-load XP Mode, I fired up a XP virtual machine that I previously built on Virtual PC 2007. Because of that, it doesn’t have USB support included. I had to follow these steps to upgrade this virtual machine in order to get the USB support.
Now, every time when I need to print, I fire up my virtual machine, attach the printer from USB menu at the top tool bar, and print. It works quite seamlessly so far.
It’s definitely not perfect and I still prefer having the ability to print anything locally from my main desktop. But at least for now, it offers a workaround that meets my two needs.
So if you run into the situation like mine, give Virtual PC a try and you may be surprised for what you get.