Friday, November 16, 2007

Installing a networked printer in Windows Vista

I recently purchased a laptop which came with Windows Vista Home Premium. The server in my home is a Windows XP machine running a Epson Stylus CX4800 printer (which is connected to the server via a USB cable). There are two other XP machines that connect to that machine and installing the printer on those machines involved just browsing the network neighborhood, drilling down to the server and dragging the printer on to those machines.

Unfortunately, installing the printer onto my new Vista machine wasn't as straight forward.

Keep in mind that what I had to do was for an Epson Stylus CX4800 machine, but the solution should work on any network where you are able to browse to server that hosts the printer and you are able to see the printer in the network.

Here are the steps.

  1. I installed the printer locally.
    a. Go to Control Panel -> Printers
    b. Right click and choose "Run as Administrator->Add a Printer"
    c. Choose "Add a local printer"
    d. Choose "Create a new port" and set the type of port as "Local Port"
    e. When you hit next, you will see the Port Name dialog.
    f. Enter the name as \\ServerName\PrinterName\. In my case the name was like \\myServer\EpsonSty.
  2. Next you will have to select the printer driver
  3. Now make sure that the new network port you specified is being used:
    Right click on the printer and choose properties
    Make sure the network port is the one that is selected (notice that it is a Local Port, but points at a network printer)
  4. Once that was done, I was able print a test page and voila - it worked!
    Open up the properties for the printer and choose "Print Test Page"

I am not sure why installing the printer in the traditional manner does not work and after almost a day of trying various steps - I stumbled upon some tips that pointed me in this direction and it works great. So I am not complaining no more.

No comments: