How to Share a Printer between PCs

Dennis Faas's picture

Infopackets Reader Sally B. writes:

" Dear Dennis,

We purchased an HP OfficeJet 8500 Pro printer to replace an older HP OfficeJet 7200. The 7200 was connected via USB cable to the server computer [and thus, all print requests were sent via the server]. We have been unable to get the Officejet 8500 printer to work on the network. Any tips? "

My response:

This is one of those questions that could be a "1 in a million" reasons as to why it's not working, but I'll give you a quick checklist of things you can try so you can at least guess where the problem lies:

1. Unplug the old printer and uninstall the old printer driver via Control Panel -> Add/Remove programs. If it's not listed there, look in the Start Menu. Even if you can't uninstall the old printer driver, proceed to Step #2.

2. Decide where to install the new printer. Most new printers can plug directly into the network (using a wired or wireless connection) without having to be attached to a PC in order to receive a print request. If there is no networking hardware with the printer, you need to hook it up directly to your server PC. Consult your printer manual for more detail.

3. Install the printer driver via driver CD that came with the printer. The driver you choose to install depends on how the printer is hooked up (via network or connected to your server PC) -- so make sure you choose the correct driver and configuration options.

4. After the driver is installed, go to Control Panel -> Printers. Your new printer should be listed there. Right click the printer and select "Set as Default Printer." If the printer is connected directly to your server PC, right click the printer and select "Share." Follow the on-screen instructions.

5. Load up Notepad or MS Word and attempt to print a small document. The printer should print. If it does not, you need follow the above steps again using different options.

6. If the printer did print a page, you can now attempt to get it working on the other networked PCs. Go to your other PCs and install the printer driver using the driver CD. Pay attention to your installation options as they may be different from the first installation (depending on your configuration).

7. On each network PC, go to Control Panel -> Network and see if your new printer is listed. If so, right click the printer and choose "Set as Default Printer."

8. Attempt to print a document on your networked PC. If it does not print, you need to follow steps 6-7 again.

Good luck.

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