So, how do you share a printer that is on another computer located on a home wired or wireless network? I actually received this question from an old friend on Facebook.
MY DISCLAIMER: This article is intended to be a guide on how to properly set up a networked printer. Before you proceed, please understand that I take no responsibility for any use, misuse, or errors caused by performing the steps outlined in this article.
The process of setting a computer up to share a printer is not usually a difficult task. I will go over a few steps on how to accomplish this task and you will be printing in no time! One important thing to know about using a shared printer however, is that the computer the printer is directly connected to for sharing MUST be turned on and LOGGED IN whenever you want to print from any other client printers.
Before you start, you should locate your printer driver disk, or download some updated drivers from your printer manufacturer’s website. You will need to install these on the client computer to connect to your printer on the last step.
Before we begin setting a printer up to be shared, you need to make sure your two computers can communicate with each other. The menus and directories may slightly differ between XP and Vista, but this should work on both. STEP 1: You need to make sure your computers are on the same WORKGROUP. You can check this by right-clicking on My Computer or Computer (vista) and scrolling down to “Computer name, domain, and workgroup settings.” Generally, the workgroup will be WORKGROUP, or MSHOME – both computers MUST have the same workgroup displayed.
FILE AND PRINTER SHARING MUST BE ENABLED
If the shared printer is on a Windows XP computer, this is a simple config. Click on Start>Control Panel and go into your network connections. Right-click on the network connection you are using and click properties. You will see a bunch of checkboxes next to different listed items. You want to make sure the box for “File and Printer Sharing for Microsoft Networks” is checked. For vista, you will get to your network connections by going Start>Control Panel>Network and Sharing Center – then click the “Manage Network Connections” link on the right.
SHARE YOUR PRINTER
On the print server computer, you want to go to your control panel and open your printers folder. Right click on your printer and select “sharing.” Set up the shared printer name, etc… click apply (if applicable) click save or ok. Now that your printer is shared, you need to connect to it from your other computer.
CONNECT TO YOUR PRINTER
First you need to find the computer name of the print server computer by right-clicking on my computer and scrolling down to “Computer name, domain, and workgroup settings.” Now, to connect to you”r printer from your client computer, pull up the RUN command line: Start>Run OR Hold Windows Key and Press R.
Now that your RUN command line is up, you want to type: “<name of print server>” without the quotes. You should either see a folder pop up with a folder inside that says printers, or you will receive an error. If you have an error, check your network and sharing settings, otherwise, double-click on the printers folder. Right-click on the printer you want to connect to and click “connect.” If all goes well, your client computer should have connected to your print server computer and it will generally ask you to install printer drivers for the printer you are connected too.
Set your network settings, set up file and printer sharing, set up sharing on your printer, connect to your printer, install drivers, and print!
TROUBLESHOOTING CONNECTION PROBLEMS
If you have a firewall enabled on either the server or the host, it may interfere with your ability to connect. If you are experiencing connection problems, disable your firewall software on both the server and any client computers. For safety reasons, remove any internet connection before you take down your firewall guard.
If you would like to learn more about repairing your own computer, etc… Check out this e-book
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