In general, printers that use USB ports are automatically-detected Plug and Play printers, whereas printers that use serial or parallel ports are not Plug and Play or are manually-detected Plug and Play printers that require that you use the Add Printer wizard to install them. To install printers, you must have administrative privileges.

Some printers require drivers that are not included with Windows 2000 Professional. If you are using a Plug and Play printer whose drivers are not included, you must use the Add Printer wizard, which allows you to provide printer drivers from sources such as floppy disk, a network share, or the printer vendors Web site.

If Microsoft does not supply a driver for your printer, ask the printers manufacturer for a printer driver. To ensure quality, use drivers that have passed Windows Hardware Quality Labs (WHQL) tests. Microsoft Product Support Services does not support systems with unapproved drivers. For more information about approved printer drivers, see the WHQL link on the Web Resources page at .

You can also e-mail to suggest support for a driver or feature. Please include the following information about yourself in your request:

  • Name

  • Business name

  • Phone number or e-mail address

  • Printer manufacturer

  • Printer model

  • Request (feature request or driver request)



This does not guarantee that Microsoft will write a driver for your printer. File

When a Plug and Play device is installed, drivers are loaded from the file, if they are available.

Windows 2000 uses a cabinet file (.cab) called This file is installed on Windows 2000 computers and is accessed as needed. The .cab file contains thousands of the most commonly used files, such as drivers, application extensions, and color profiles. These files enable Windows 2000 to work with a broad range of hardware devices and applications.

Installing as part of a standard installation of Windows 2000 avoids the need to provide the Windows 2000 operating system CD every time you want to install a new device.

Windows Update

If the drivers you need for a device are not available in the version of Windows 2000 you have installed, you might be able to get that driver from Windows Update. Windows Update updates your system with new Windows features, including device drivers and system updates.

To access Windows Update