Printer Sharing – Using One Printer With Many Computers

Printer Sharing for Windows XP Printer sharing is a great tool when you have several computers but only one printer. With printer sharing, you can have your printer connected to only one computer, and allow all computers on the network (computers connected to the router) the ability to print to the printer. Not only will computers that are hardwired into the network be able to print, but also if you have a wireless router, those computers with wireless cards both desktops, and laptops can print “wirelessly” to the printer as well. Your Windows XP based computer has everything you need to do this already built in.

Step 1.

Share the Printer

You will need to get onto the computer that has the printer connected to it. On that computer, simply go to Start –> Control Panel –> Printers and Faxes.(You may have to enable classic view in order to view this icon) Here you will see a listed of installed printer imaging devices attached to your computer. If you have more than one printer attached to the computer, such as an inkjet printer and a laser printer, you will see a black circle with a white checkmark; this indicates which printer is set as the default. Right click on the printer that you want to share, then click on properties. When the new window appears, you want to click on the “Sharing” tab at the top of the window. You will notice two radio buttons, you will want to click the radio button that says “Share this printer”. Once that button is pressed, the “Share name” box will automatically appear with a name that will refer to your printers shared name. I would recommend changing this to your printer brand with a space and then its model number, for example BROTHER 7820. Once your printer has been shared, and given a shared name, click apply at the bottom of the window.

Step 2.

Connect to the shared printer.

Once the printer has been shared, you can now get onto your other computer that you want to be able to print from. Now we need to install the printer on the computer that it is not connected to. On the computer that is not connected to the printer, go to Start –> Control Panel –> Printers and Faxes. In the blue pan to the left, you will see a box that the top that says Printer Tasks, and below that is Add a printer. Click on Add a printer, and this will show the Add Printer Wizard, and click next at the bottom of that screen. On the next screen, you want to select the option “A network printer or printer attached to another computer”, and click next. The next screen asks, what printer do you want to connect to, and keep the option selected on Browse for a printer, and click next. Now, if you properly shared your printer in step 1, it should appear with the name that you gave it, and the printer that it is connected to. Simply select the printer, and click next. The computer will now attempt to install the drivers for your printer, if it does not have the drivers available, you will need to download them, or insert your installation cd, and point the installer were to find the printer drivers. Once the drivers have installed, you will see a screen asking if you want this new installed printer to be the default printer, it more than likely will be.

Step 3.

Test the printer

Since you have now connected to the shared printer, you should test the connection and make sure everything is installed correctly. Go again to Start –> Control Panel –> Printers and Faxes and right click on the shared printer you just installed, and click on properties. You will see a button just above the Ok and Cancel buttons, which says Print Test Page. Go ahead and click on that, and it as long as everything is setup properly, you will have a test page laying in your printers output tray.

Making The Case For Proactive Support

The truth is that nothing remains in the same condition very long. A new car may be in an ideal condition when you drive it off the dealer lot, but it’s not going to remain that way. This is true for bodies, houses, horses, fences, children, marriages, rocks, mountains, our planet, solar system – anything at all. It is equally true for your business and the computers it uses. A business requires goals, strategies on how to achieve those goals, adequate planning, intelligent coordination and supervision to make it grow. It will, otherwise, contract. Computers get fragmented and this slows them down unless they are routinely defragmented. They are vulnerable to dust, power outages, power surges, what software your employees might put into them and to sinister little pieces of code floating around in cyberspace that were designed to penetrate your business sphere and do some damage. Those computers must be cared for in the same way that you would take care of anything that you want to last.

If you only brought your car into the shop when something breaks, the maintenance method would be purely reactive. On the other hand, if you brought your car to the shop for regularly scheduled oil and lube changes, tune-ups and the manufacturer’s recommended mileage check-ups, the maintenance method would be proactive. If you only engaged in reactive maintenance, two things are very likely: (1) your car will not last as long as it could have lasted, and (2) your car will become problematic, unpredictable and financially burdensome.

Conversely, if you engaged in proactive maintenance with respect to your car you would find that (1) only rarely does anything go wrong with it, and (2) it lasts its full life expectancy. Whereas it may seem like this proactive method would cost more than you would have otherwise had to pay, you need only look at what you didn’t have to spend to keep fixing it.

IT service providers offer reactive support and proactive support for IT infrastructures. Some businesses want only a quick fix when something breaks or starts malfunctioning in some way. This is a break-and-fix (reactive) operating basis and is not the most optimum solution to managing your network. I’m writing this article right now because I want you to know this as well.

A more complete solution – not the ultimate solution but an interim step – is proactive and reactive support (when reactive is required – except that it will be required LESS with this particular combination). Proactive support is done remotely. A technician plugs into each computer via the Internet and ensures that its software is kept patched and updated, its hard drive(s) defragmented, scanned and cleaned of new spyware or other malicious software that has happened to make its way into that system since the previous proactive session. Its system is kept optimized for maximum performance.

With this combination, you will discover soon enough that you need to call a technician to come out less and less and less. In this way, the proactive support begins paying for itself. The return on your small investment in proactive support comes in the form of less cash outlay for break-and-fix support.

The IT infrastructure of your business, even if only 5-10 workstations and a server, is vital to your business. That’s where the company’s memory lies. It only makes sense to ensure it is properly cared for.