Monday, May 01, 2006

Setting up a printer

As a consultant I'm constantly working from different locations and printing to foreign printers. For some reason, printers seem to be a black art to most of us who are otherwise quite comfortable working with technology. I too used to fear printers until Pat Sarnacke showed me the one true way to enlightenment: Printing to a Standard TCP/IP Port.

steps to printer nirvana:
  1. Print the configuration of the printer to get the printer's IP address
  2. Plug in to the same network the printer is on. (ping if necessary to find out)
  3. Open the windows add printer wizard
  4. Select "Local printer attached to this computer" AND uncheck "Automatically detect and install my Plug and Play printer"
  5. Select "Create a new port:"
  6. Set "Type of port:" to "Standard TCP/IP Port"
  7. The Add Standard TCP/IP Printer Port Wizard should appear, click Next
  8. Enter the IP address into the "Printer Name or IP Address" textbox
  9. Use the default "Port Name", click Next (The 2nd wizard should close)
  10. Select your printer from the list
  11. Give your new printer a name
  12. Do not share, print a test page, and click Finish because you are done.
You now possess the knowledge to print from any random printer your heart desires.


  1. I've known about this 'technique' for a while, but it's good to see the steps published. But I can't be the only one who thinks something is seriously wrong here. To connect a network printer you have to setup a local printer and make an IP address appear as a local port, but if you try to set it up as a network printer it almost certainly won't work.

  2. I've been trying to do just this -- with the exception of step 1. How does one print the configuration of the printer?

    I'm trying to set up the TCP/IP port to print to a printer (duh!) that is hooked up to a ethernet external drive w/USB printer port (Buffalo HD-H250LAN.) I actually did this once before -- I just can't figgure it out a second time.


  3. It depends on the type of printer. Usually the maker of the printer will put instructions on their website...

  4. Help !! Your advice is fantastic, I have tried to follow it but am slowly going insane, I have a HP 4050n printer and an XP windows computer, I have been running the printer via a USB port, but it is very odd, sometimes it works, other times it won't respond unless you unplug and plug in again.... it seems others have this problem with USB, I have tried to wire it via the ethernet cable as per your instructions above, I prinnted out the printer info and found it's IP address to be which i used as you instruct.... I get no response still, what am I doing wrong ?? I tried downloading the netwrok wizard from HP website but am unable to as they seem to have a problem with that page. I feel useless at not being able to do this and feel like throwing the whole lot away!! AGAGAGHHHH !! any advice gratefully recieved! Naomi,


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