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WinFax PRO and Windows Server 2003/Windows Server 2008 November 23rd, 2009
One of the main components of WinFax PRO is its printer driver, the printer driver allows you to fax from other applications. Without this driver, you cannot send faxes from other applications. WinFax PRO is crippled without the installation of the included printer (WinFax) driver, without it, all you can fax are single cover pages that are built into WinFax.
Windows Server 2003
The first problem with installation of WinFax PRO under Windows 2003 is that the printer driver support in the operating system was moved from kernel to user mode. The reason is that the use of kernel mode printer drivers can possibily cause a server to hang, result in a blue screen and require a reboot. This isn’t something you want happening on a server. Because of this possibility, Microsoft decided to block the installation of all kernel mode printer drivers in Windows 2003. During the installation of WinFax PRO, a kernel mode printer driver (also called version 2 printer driver) is added to your list of installed printers. By default, Windows 2003 won’t allow you to add this printer, and during the installation it is either ignored silently or a printer driver related error message is displayed. Fortunately, in Windows 2003 you can bypass this restriction. You can set a group policy in Windows 2003 to allow the installation of kernel mode printers. Once you’ve done this, you should be able to successfully install WinFax PRO under Windows 2003.
Windows Server 2008
Windows Server 2008 does not support Type 2/Kernel Mode printer drivers. While the installation of WinFax (may) appear to complete under Windows 2008, the installation will not include these printer drivers. WinFax PRO is not compatible with this operating system.
WinFax PRO clients with NET SatisFAXtion fax server software November 22nd, 2009
Notice to WinFax PRO users that are using WinFax PRO clients with NET SatisFAXtion server software and are considering upgrading to version 8.5 or 8.6.
FaxBack has recently released version 8.6 of NET SatisFAXtion server software. WinFax PRO client support has been completely omitted in the documentation of versions 8.5 and 8.6. The last version that mentioned the ability to connect WinFax as a client was version 8.1.
We couldn’t find any upgrade warnings in the 8.5 or 8.6 upgrade or administration documentation for users that could possibily upgrade only to find they now have a bunch of client software that won’t connect to NET SatisFAXtion anymore.
It’s obvious that the WinFax client feature has been depreciated since version 8.1, but it’s possible that WinFax PRO clients are still “unofficially supported” in versions 8.5 and 8.6 with use of the latest WinFax Connector.
If you have any additional details regarding compatibility with these versions please let us know. We contacted FaxBack directly and received a reply that WinFax PRO connector had not been supported since version 8.0 (while we found a WinFax Connector update released about 2 years after the release of 8.0? and 8.1 mentions it in the documentation.
We do know that NET SatisFAXtion version 8.0 will be retired December 31, 2009.
In this article I will describe some of the challenges of installing WinFax PRO with a Windows 2003 Server, and also the use of Terminal Services/Remote Desktop Services.