Network printing from Win7 to XP.

You’ve probably wound up on this site after tearing your hair out for a bare minimum of half an hour trying to get a printer, attached to a Windows XP computer, to print a document sent to it by a Windows 7 computer.

First of all, can you see the printer?

Specifically, can you go via, network places (My Computer –> Network), locate the computer the printer is connected to and open the computer’s shared folders and printers in order to have the printer icon with the little pipe under it appear on your screen?

A common problem for this is having different workgroup names:

  • In XP, right click My Computer and go to properties at the bottom of the right-click menu then over to the second panel (Who’s name I can’t remember, please post in the comments.) and look for it in the lower half.
  • In Windows 7, it’s in the System Properties window found by opening My Computer and clicking the “System Properties” link below the address bar.
  • If they don’t match, you can find the relative buttons pretty easily.

Once you get those matched up, you should be able to see each other, if not, post a comment and I’ll get back to you.

I am assuming you can now see the printer over the network, but trying to connect to it will give you a driver not found error no-matter what to try and do.

First USB, then network.

Before we continue: If you can extract the driver and have the installer manually find it, you will probably be better off that what I am about to outline as this method will break if you change the XP machine’s network name. Though this may break it either way.

First we’re going  to plug the printer in and have it automatically add the printer. It may handle this with the in-built drivers, or you may have to download and install them yourself. In your own time, plug in and install the printer to your Windows 7 computer as you would normally. You can print off a test page if you’d like.

Then, unplug it and plug it back into your XP computer.

Next, go to the “Devices and Printers” window (Find it in the start menu.) and find the printer, it should be greyed out. Right click on it and go to “Printer Properties” and head over to the “Ports” tab. This is where the magic happens.

You want to click “Add port” and then “Local Port” (Not “Standard TCP/IP Port”.) and then click the “New Port..” button.

What you want to ender in the text field is an address that will look like “\\computer-name\printer-name”.
For instance, “\\fred-desktop\CannonIP4500″, this is not case sensitive and you get the names as follows:

Start –> Computer and click Network in the sidebar. The computer name, as it appears here, is the target computer’s network name, the first part of your printer’s address. If your computer’s name has spaces in it, you can find the “%40″ or similar used to replace a space.

Open up the target computer by double clicking it, and find the printer’s name, as it appears there, is what you want for the second part of the address.

Clicking “OK” should give you a new port in the Ports tab of Printer Properties. If it isn’t selected, select it, and you should now have a networked printer, just print a test page to find out.

If you found this useful..

please leave a comment. If it didn’t work or, better still, you found a better solution, please leave a comment and I’ll look into improving this for guide for everyone to use.

This entry was written by Fred , posted on Friday February 11 2011at 01:02 am , filed under Uncategorized . Bookmark the permalink . Post a comment below or leave a trackback: Trackback URL.

One Response to “Network printing from Win7 to XP.”

  1. Thanks, this helped so much. I was trying to get a Samsung ML-1710 on WinXP-Pro to print from my laptop running Win7. I followed your directions and everything worked except it would not print. When I clicked on the printer icon in the task-bar, I had to click on Printer and UN-check the use printer offline. then it worked fine.

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