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connecting 3 laptop computers to one printer

by hamilton2 / January 23, 2009 11:58 PM PST

I have 3 Dell Inspiron laptops. Whilst they do have wireless cards installed, I do not have access (as yet) to a wireless network.

What is the simplest way of connecting the laptops to say an HP all in one either using cables,USB Ports, or a non wireless printer router. Is it a simple idea to plug into the printer to a usb hub and then 3 cables from the usb hub and install the HP software from the printer disc on all the 3 laptops, or if in the future I do on broadband with a BT wireless hub is it difficult to tie up the laptops through that.


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No soup for you!
by R. Proffitt Forum moderator / January 24, 2009 1:51 AM PST

"Does the Print Server Function as an Access Point or Use Ad-Hoc Mode?

No, you'll have to use an access point or wireless router to do wireless printing."

This is what I'm seeing on most wifi print servers. HOWEVER if this was me I could go get a wifi router anyway then use that to build the usual network. What many don't understand is you can use a wifi router without connecting it to the usual internet connection.

This is not an offer to teach networking. Only to share a problem with adhoc and most print servers.

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connecting a network with printer
by hamilton2 / January 24, 2009 5:29 PM PST
In reply to: No soup for you!


Your comments are most useful. For some reason I simply could not get my head around the router/internet problem. I think your explanation suggests that if you have a printer which has a wireless router such as HP, then the printer talks to the router via a cable, and the router connects(if the laptops have inclusive wireless cards thus allowing printing (subject of course to the network card being configured properly).Thanks once again


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Reducing it down to one line.
by R. Proffitt Forum moderator / January 25, 2009 12:10 AM PST

"then the printer talks to the router via a cable, and the router connects(if the laptops have inclusive wireless cards thus allowing printing"

That works when:

a) The printer has an ethernet connection.
b) The router has some printer server feature to support the printer.


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printer to several laptops
by hamilton2 / January 25, 2009 5:56 PM PST

Thanks Bob, that solves the problem.

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i can connect three other printers on my ntwork
by okanisebastine / June 16, 2009 4:02 AM PDT

my three pcs which runs on window XP could not access the central printer in my network.HOW CAN I SETUP THEM UP TO USE ONE PRINTER

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General Networking Procedures
by Grif Thomas Forum moderator / June 16, 2009 4:22 AM PDT

The procedures can easily be search for on Google, but for basic steps, see below:

1. Plug router into the modem, then connect all computers to the router.. Make sure they all have an internet connection..

2. Create the EXACT same username on all computers, with the same password, and give that user administrative privileges.

3. On all computers, using the new username, change the "Workgroup" to be exactly the same.. (RIGHT click on "My Computer", choose "Properties", then click on the "Computer Name" tab. When that opens, click on the "Change" button next to "To rename this computer or join a domain". On the next window, place a dot/tick in the "Workgroup" selection and give the the workgroup a name..) Make sure both computers have the same workgroup name.

4. Make sure all computers have "File and Printer Sharing for Microsoft Networks" enabled. Open the Control Panel/Network Connections icon, then RIGHT click on the "Local Area Connection" icon, choose "Properties". When that window loads, make sure the box next to "File and Printer Sharing" has a CHECK mark in it.

5. On computer 1 which has an operational printer connected to it, share out the files, folders and printers by opening Windows Explorer, RIGHT click on the C: drive, choose "Sharing and Security", then click on the line that says: "If you understand the risk but still want to share the root...". At the next window, in the "Network Sharing and Security" section, place a CHECK mark in the "Share this folder on the network", then follow the prompts to share the drive. Click on Apply, then OK.. Perform the same thing on computer 2.. You should now be able to see and share folders and printers between computers.

Please note, sharing the entire C: drive per the instructions above is not safe.. IF you're going to share files between computers, it's best, after following the above instructions, to then share out a single folder, such as the "My Documents" folder.. Once the "My Documents" folder is correctly shared, you can then return to the C: drive and "unshare" it.. After doing so, the "My Documents" folder will remain shared but the entire C: drive will be invisible.

Once all of that is done, then simply open the "Printers and Faxes" folder, RIGHT click on the printer you want to share, click on "Sharing", then share the printer will everyone on the network. Make sure the "List in Directory" box is CHECKED so all can see it.

Hope this helps.


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