Windows Legacy OS forum


One user can't connect to networked printer

I have a Win 7 machine and a Win XP machine in my home network. The Win 7 machine has a printer attached to it, and I tried to set the XP machine up to use this printer as well so my kids can print off their homework and so on. It almost worked - the admin account and two of the three kids' (limited user) accounts can all see and use the printer. However, one of my kids can't use the printer from her account. It shows up, but always with status 'Unable to connect', and all printing jobs from her account fail.

Naturally the one who can't use the printer is my eldest, who's in her first year of high school and therefore has much more need to print things out than her younger sibs!

Historical detail follows, but that's the gist of the problem. Any ideas?

I initially had some trouble setting up the printer; I started by adding it on the admin account, but then none of the limited user accounts could see it, nor could they add it because the printer already existed on the system. Then I tried it the other way (removed it from all accounts, then set it up on a limited account first) - but no matter how I varied it, whichever account I set it up on first was the only one that could see it, and no other account could add it.

Eventually (thank you Internets) I managed to get the printer installed for everyone by using a printui.dll command and adding it as a per-machine connection. As I said, this works perfectly for nearly all of us, but for some reason fails from one account. I'm at a loss as to where to look to start tracing the issue.

Discussion is locked
You are posting a reply to: One user can't connect to networked printer
The posting of advertisements, profanity, or personal attacks is prohibited. Please refer to our CNET Forums policies for details. All submitted content is subject to our Terms of Use.
Track this discussion and email me when there are updates

If you're asking for technical help, please be sure to include all your system info, including operating system, model number, and any other specifics related to the problem. Also please exercise your best judgment when posting in the forums--revealing personal information such as your e-mail address, telephone number, and address is not recommended.

You are reporting the following post: One user can't connect to networked printer
This post has been flagged and will be reviewed by our staff. Thank you for helping us maintain CNET's great community.
Sorry, there was a problem flagging this post. Please try again now or at a later time.
If you believe this post is offensive or violates the CNET Forums' Usage policies, you can report it below (this will not automatically remove the post). Once reported, our moderators will be notified and the post will be reviewed.

All Answers

Collapse -
Two ideas

In reply to: One user can't connect to networked printer

First I suggest you consider upgrading the XP PC. XP and Windows 7 don't discover each other very well, and XP is rapidly becoming unsupported and obsolete. MS will be pulling the plug on the last remnants of support in April. Download the free Windows 8 upgrade advisor from the MS web site and see if your XP PC can handle Windows 8. If so you can get Windows 8 in stores for $100 to $140. Of course there's the new PC option too.
The other thing you can try is Network Magic which always worked for me. You can't download it from Cisco any more, but there are other places you can get from if you do a Google search.
Good luck.

Collapse -

In reply to: Two ideas

The funny thing is that I am planning on upgrading it to 7 (I have a family pack of 7 Home Premium), and yes, it should be much simpler after that. But I'm still trying to sort out my main computer from the Win 7 upgrade (no, Microsoft, I don't happen to have the installers lying around for every game and other piece of software I've accumulated over the last 16 years and still use) so I don't want to start another one yet.
I'll have a look at Network Magic though, thanks for the tip.

Collapse -
Try another account.

In reply to: One user can't connect to networked printer

Collapse -
Unfortunately it didn't work

In reply to: Try another account.

I tried creating another account, but the new account also couldn't connect to the printer. Cue another round of uninstalling and reinstalling the printer, trying to get things to work, etc. to no avail.

I've asked the kids to save any files they want to keep; I'm going to just blow away the XP installation and put Win 7 on there. Hopefully that will sort things out!

Collapse -
A couple of things

In reply to: Unfortunately it didn't work

Make sure your Window 7 machine is set up in a workgroup and not home group. Why that fixes some network issues, I don't know. Another thing to try is to elevate the troublesome account to admin status and install the printer at a higher level. Test it, and if it works, reduce the account to limited. The setting should stick. I set up PCs in a school for multiple users and starting everyone as admin saves a lot of headaches later. Good luck.

Collapse -

In reply to: Unfortunately it didn't work

Why? Because they can't install printers, drivers and more.

In this case you start with the full admin account and after it works you change the account to a limited account.

I make no apology about this one. It's a Microsoft design here and you get to jump through hoops.

There are other issues but the limited account use is limited and should fail.

Collapse -
And then we get to talk more about accounts.

In reply to: A LIMITED ACCOUNT won't work.

The machine that shares the printer also plays into ACCOUNTS. Repeat it till it hurts -> ACCOUNTS <-

Let's say that SAM is the name of the account on the XP PC.

That means that there is also a SAM account on the PC that hosts the printer.

Of course there are ways to get away from ACCOUNTS but in short if SAM does not have an ACCOUNT on the server then Windows denies SAM printing and more.

Here's the other way around accounts at reduced security. ->

Popular Forums

Computer Newbies 10,686 discussions
Computer Help 54,365 discussions
Laptops 21,181 discussions
Networking & Wireless 16,313 discussions
Phones 17,137 discussions
Security 31,287 discussions
TVs & Home Theaters 22,101 discussions
Windows 7 8,164 discussions
Windows 10 2,657 discussions


This one tip will help you sleep better tonight

A few seconds are all you need to get a better night's rest.