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Beginners Guides: Printer Sharing on a Home Network

Beginners Guides: Printer Sharing on a Home Network - PCSTATS
Abstract: A quick and easy guide to networking your printer at home without having to buy any extra hardware for the job.
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Filed under: Beginners Guides Published:  Author: 
External Mfg. Website: PCSTATS Apr 13 2007   Mike Dowler  
Home > Reviews > Beginners Guides > PCSTATS

Alternate method of locating a printer

If you cannot find the printer by using the 'browse' option as described above, you can find the location directly by using this method. Type \\(computername)\(printername) into the 'network path' or 'connect to this printer' box. Where 'computername' is the name of the system attached to the printer (find this by right clicking on 'my computer,' selecting 'properties' then the 'computer name' tab) and 'printername' is the name you gave the printer when you shared it.

For example, if your printer was 'deskjet' and your computer name was 'mybox,' type \\mybox\deskjet into the search field. If this method fails, see the troubleshooting section below. Once you have located the printer on the network (and installed any necessary drivers) you are ready to test it. Go into the properties of the printer and print a test page. If everything works, you are done. If not, see our troubleshooting section for some common solutions to problems.

Troubleshooting: Windows XP security configuration

Due to the user-based security of Windows XP, you may run into difficulties accessing your printer from other computers. This can happen when the other systems are using older versions of Windows like 98 or ME, and it can also happen if you have disabled Windows XP's simple file and printer sharing system or the 'guest' user account.

The problem is that Windows XP will not allow access to the printer without a legitimate user account and password. If you are trying to connect to a shared folder over the network, you will get a dialog box which allows you to enter this information, but this will not work for printing. Every system that tries to send documents to your printer will need a user name and password that the XP computer attached to it recognizes.

XP contains a 'guest' account which will allow remote users 'anonymous' access to your shared printer, but on XP professional this account may be disabled. If you are having problems creating the network printer on your systems, or if you have already created the printer, but cannot print to it, follow these steps.

On the Windows XP computer attached to the printer, take the following steps:

1. Ensure that the 'guest' account is active (this is only necessary on XP Professional. The guest account is always active in XP Home):

Right click on 'my computer' and select 'manage.' Expand 'local users and groups\users.' Right click on the 'guest' account and select 'properties.' Ensure that the 'account is disabled' checkbox is clear.

2. Ensure that simple file sharing is enabled (again, this is only necessary with XP Professional systems):

Open 'my computer.' Select 'tools\folder options.' Choose the 'view' tab and scroll down until you find the 'use simple file sharing' checkbox. Ensure it is checked.

3. The final solution is to add a user account and password for every system in your network into the XP computer connected to the printer. For example, say you have two additional computers in your home, one running Windows 2000 with the username 'ricky' and the password 'trailer' and the other using Windows 98 with the username 'jim' and no password. You will need to create the user accounts 'ricky' and 'jim' on your Windows XP system, complete with the appropriate password (or lack of password).

When the other computers attempt to access your computer, they will present their current username and password as credentials. Since this will match with the accounts you just created on the XP machine, they will be able to access the printer.

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Contents of Article: PCSTATS
 Pg 1.  Beginners Guides: Printer Sharing on a Home Network
 Pg 2.  Drivers for other versions of Windows
 Pg 3.  Windows XP Firewall
 Pg 4.  — Alternate method of locating a printer
 Pg 5.  Troubleshooting Continued

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