Tobold's Blog
Saturday, April 04, 2009
Sharing a printer between Vista and XP

Up to now I've been quite happy with running the new computer under Vista 64-bit. But today I encountered the first major problem: I can't share my HP Laserjet 1200 printer over my network any more. The printer is not a network printer per se, but has to be connected via USB to one of the two computers, one running under Vista 64 bit, the other running under Windows XP 32 bit. The printer always runs on the computer he is connected to, but I can't share him over the network.

The problem appears to be the drivers. Although the printer has been connected to both computers, and drivers thus have been installed, both computers instantly forget those drivers as soon as the printer is unplugged. And when trying to access the printer on the other computer, I get a message that I don't have the right drivers. Now on both operating systems there is a button on the printer sharing window with the option to install "additional drivers". But the options under Windows XP don't include Vista, and when I select "x86" under Vista, I only get another window asking me to browse for an .inf file. I downloaded the Windows XP drivers for the HP Laserjet 1200, but Vista refuses to recognize the hpbf311i.inf file.

So I'm stuck, and every time I want to print with another computer, I need to crawl behind my desk and plug the printer in the computer I want to print with. :( Anyone got a better idea?
Randomly searching the internet revealed this tip:

- On Vista PC go to "Control Panel" - "Printers" - "Add printer".
- Believe or not, click "Add a local printer" (I know you want to add a network printer but that way it doesn't work).
- Click "Create a new port" - "Local Port" - "Next"
- In the next box you have to enter a port name like this:
\\PC name\Printer name
where "PC name" is the network name of the XP PC or Network Share where you have the printer and "Printer name" is the network name of that printer. Be careful with this names. Check in your XP PC "Control Panel" - "Printers and faxes" - "your printer" - right click - "share" - "share resources name"
- Choose the manufacturer and printer model of the printer you are adding.
- Now the printer will be added and you can print a test page or print something to test it.

Basically, attach the printer to the XP computer, share it, then add a *local* printer to Vista, but put the network path to the shared printer instead. Might work, might not work.
Thanks, Rohan, that worked. I had searched the Internet for a solution, but hadn't found this one.
There is also the possibility of a small box which has 1+ USB ports and one network port to be plugged into your switch. that box shares the USB devices among all computers
So you're saying Blizzard nerfed your printer because of all the forum QQing by people that think network printing is OP? That sucks!
So you're saying Blizzard nerfed your printer because of all the forum QQing by people that think network printing is OP? That sucks!

I think he's arguing that printer companies shouldn't be catering to the 1% or so of hardcore printer users, but I could be wrong.
get a new printer at walmart for 20 bucks for the other computer?
dont print anything. Almost anything can be done electronically.
Unbelievably, it works. My printer is shared on an XP workstation and I was trying to connect with Vista. I was having the same issues with driver errors each time I tried to install the printer the "normal" way as a shared network printer. Setting up the local printer allowed me to choose local print drivers. I believe with the network setup Vista will only accept drivers from the shared print server.
Thank you very much. Makes "sense" logically once you type the path with the correct names.
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