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Sharing a Printer on a Wireless Network

by Geneva732 / November 7, 2004 8:57 PM PST

I can't seem to get 2 other computers to share a printer on my network without a print sever. Both the laptop and the desktop have access to the Internet, so I don't believe it is a connection problem. I was told by salespeople that a print router wasn't necessary.

I've searched endlessly through Microsoft help, but nothing seems to work. I understand that my PC, Descktop A, needs to be on to print. The laptop seems to try to print, but just fails. I can't even set up the other desktop, Desktop C. I get an error message saying that it doesn't have access rights.

Here are the facts regarding my system:

Desktop A:
Compaq running Windows XP Home Edition
Directly connected to cable internet and wireless router
No print server
Norton anti-virus
Zone Alarm Fire wall
Spy subtract anti-spyware

Laptop B:
Running Windows XP Home Edition
Wireless card
Norton anti-virus
Norton firewall
Spy subtract anti-spyware

Desktop C:
Running Windows 98
Wireless connection
Zone alarm firewall
Spy subtract anti-spyware

Any help will be appreciated.


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Re: Sharing a Printer on a Wireless Network
by Kees Bakker / November 8, 2004 5:33 AM PST


You certainly tried to be clear, but I still I don't get it.

First, the router (WAN-port) should be connected to the Internet and PC A, B and C can each be connected hardwired (LAN port) or wireless to the router. I can't follow what you write about A.

And you should know there are two kinds of printer. First a normal one, which you connect to the parallel or USB port of a computer. Of course the computer has to be on to be able to use the printer. You might call that computer a 'printer server', if you like.
Second the printer with its own Network Interface. It can be coupled directly to the router, like an ordinary computer. Then you have A, B, C and P connected to the router.

Then, for security sake, disconnect from the Internet (just power down or disconnect the modem from the cable/telephone line) and disable your firewalls. They might be interfering.

Now setup the home network, so that A can see files on B and C and the other way around. You need file sharing enabled on the target computer.
Then, on the computer with the printer (assuming it's not a Network printer) enable printer sharing.
Then, on the other computers, install that printers printer driver (early in the install process you must choose between local or network printer, and of course it isn't local) and give it a nice name (like printer_on_computer_A, or my_big_laser).
Then you should be able to use it.

Then limit the file sharing to what you need (although you should be reasonably safe behind a router), and retest printer sharing.
Then enable the firewall again, and tune its settings so that both the file sharing and the printer sharing keep working.

Then connect to the Internet again.

Hope this helps, and tell where it goes wrong.


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Re: Sharing a Printer on a Wireless Network
by Geneva732 / November 11, 2004 9:27 PM PST

Thanks for the reply.

Computer A has both the cable modem/wireless router and the printer directly plugged into it. Your response seems to suggest a fourth PC be used.

I'll try your plan this weekend and see if computer A can handle both the router/modem & the printer I want to share.

Thanks again for the response. I'll let you know how it goes.

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by Kees Bakker / November 11, 2004 10:47 PM PST


This is the configuration I meant.

- Internet (Cable/ADSL-modem) connected to the WAN-port of the router.
- Your computers A, B, C connected to the LAN-ports of the router (most home-routers have 4 ports), or the wireless equivalents (doesn't make a difference).
- Printer connected to A. Printer sharing on A enabled.
- Printer drivers installed on B and C also, pointing to 'remote' printer on A (printer setup feature). You can name that printer as you like, such as 'printer_A' or 'central laserprinter'.

And, presto, B and C should be able to print.

Hope this helps, and let us know.


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Re: Sharing a Printer on a Wireless Network
by glb613 / November 8, 2004 6:54 AM PST

I have three computers on my network and two are wireless. All three can print as long as the main computer, the one connected to the printer, is on. What I did was network the computers, made sure they could "see" each other, shared the printer, then used the add a printer wizard on the two wireless notebooks. Once the drivers were installed, they were both able to print. I also had to configure Zone Alarm's firewall to allow the network through. I use a Linksys router, access point and notebook card. The other notebook has the wireless built in. Hope that helps.

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Re: Sharing a Printer on a Wireless Network
by Geneva732 / November 10, 2004 1:23 AM PST

Sounds very much like my situation. I've installed the drivers and the wireless connections are working. I'm pretty sure I've told Zone Alarm to allow the network, but I still can't print.

Maybe I'm not getting the other PC's to "see" the one that has the printer directly plugged into it, but I'm not sure. The desktop with Windows 98 "sees" the computer with the prints; it just says it doesn't have rights. The notebook also knows that PC is there, but printing just fails.

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Re: Sharing a Printer on a Wireless Network
by glb613 / November 10, 2004 4:24 AM PST

Did you run the network wizard to connect your computers? You can make a floppy with the computers running XP and use it on the one with Windows 98.

Recheck Zone Alarm. Open the program, click on firewall then zones. If your network is listed as internet, you don't have it configured correctly. Left click on the word internet and change it to trusted. Repeat this for each computer.

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