printer sharing : Java Glossary


printer sharing
If you have a LAN (Local Area Network), other computers on the LAN can use a printer locally connected to one of the computers. I have found that in a mixed W95, W98, Me, NT, W2K, XP, W2003 and Vista LAN, it works best if you attach the printer to a Vista machine. One of the reasons this works best is Vista can dispense W95, W98, Me, NT, W2K, XP, W2003 and Vista printer drivers whereas if you put it on your W2K machine, it will dispense only W95, W98, Me, NT and W2K drivers.

You also want to choose a machine that does not hibernate for your printer server. Hibernating computers ignore requests to print.

The tricks to making it work are:

  1. In the usual way, install the printer locally attached to the server, the machine with printers, not to be confused with a computer that serves web pages to the Internet. For a USB (Universal Serial Bus) Plug & Play printer, all you need to do is plug it in and Windows finds and downloads a driver automatically.
  2. You should set up an account on the server for all the people who will use them. It need not be the same userid and password as their normal logon account, but it will be simpler if it is. If you have a large number of people using the printers, you might make up a common account called for example printers with low privileges.
  3. On the server, click Network ⇒ Network and Sharing Center ⇒ Network Discovery On ⇒ Apply ⇒ Printer Sharing On ⇒ Apply ⇒ Password Protected Sharing On ⇒ Apply. If you don’t click Apply, your changes will be ignored.
  4. On the server, click Control Panel ⇒ Hardware and Sound ⇒ Printers ⇒ select the printer of interest ⇒ right click sharing… ⇒ Security ⇒ Set up permissions for what each user or user group is allowed to do with the printer. You can only set up permissions for accounts on the server. You can’t add permission for a remote account.
    Anyone wanting to use the shared printer must have an account on the computer with the printer, or at least must know some user-id/password combination on the server to connect to the printer with.
  5. On the server, go into Settings ⇒ Printers (or in Vista click Control Panel ⇒ Hardware and Sound ⇒ Printers ). Select a printer and right click Properties ⇒ Ports ⇒ enable bidirectional Support ⇒ If the printer is an older model, this option may be missing.
  6. On the server, go into Settings ⇒ Printers (or in Vista click Control Panel ⇒ Hardware and Sound ⇒ Printers ). Select a printer and right click sharing ⇒ tick Render print jobs on client computers. This will enable clients to have access to all the fancy features of the printer.
  7. On each machine, including the server, go into Network (Neighbourhood) and make sure you can see all the other computers. If you can’t, that is a problem too complex to tackle here. Get that the basic connectivity working first before you worry about printers.
  8. On each machine, that wants to use a remote printer, go into Network (Neighbourhood) ⇒ navigate to the desired printer and right click connect. On Vista click start ⇒ control panel ⇒ view network devices ⇒ right click open on the computer with the printer ⇒ right click on the printer ⇒ click connect. It will likely ask you to logon/connect to the printer. Sometimes it is smart enough to use to try the current user-id/password automatically and thus not pester you to provide them if they match a user-id/password on the server. Logon with some userid and password on the server machine. It knows nothing about your local userids and passwords. If you set up a matching account to your local id/password on the server, this will be less confusing to the end users. You may have to repeat this procedure if the printer later stops working. Sometimes you have to do it on every reboot.
  9. On each machine, including the server, go into Settings ⇒ Printers (or in Vista click Control Panel ⇒ Hardware and Sound ⇒ Printers ⇒ ). Select the primary printer andright click Set as Default Printer. If there is only one printer, this option may be missing.
  10. Test by printing something with a browser or word processor. This is a stronger test that printing the Windows test page.
  11. If a printer stops being accessible after working fine, try rebooting the remote computer and/or the server and repeat step (8) to restore the connection and if that does not work, verify that all settings are still intact.

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