Showing posts with label printer. Show all posts
Showing posts with label printer. Show all posts

2014/10/24

4 different ways to share a printer or photocopier on a network

At work or at home it could be useful to share one printer with several devices (tablet, notebook, smartphone, PC) both to save money and to gain more efficiency.
To connect a printer to the local network, in order to print with the LAN (Local Area Network) connected PCs, there are several options, depending both on the printer’s characteristics or on the printer (or all-in-one device) itself, and on the user’s needs.
First of all you have to verify the printer’s characteristics, if it has already an internal network interface controller (Ethernet or Wi-Fi) and if it is predisposed for a LAN connection, or if it has just a USB port  (or an old parallel port). 
Then you have to consider if it is destined to a domestic use (few users that use it occasionally) or to professional purposes (many users that need it always on and ready  to use).


1) If the printer has already a built-in ethernet network controller
Usually  you should just connect it to the network switch or to the router and assign it a free static IP address (such as 192.168.x.y) or you could even use the dynamic IP configuration (DHCP) service, which dynamically and automatically assigns an available address. Generally, every kind of router (included the ADSL one) can give a DHCP service or at least it has to be enabled to function as SERVER DHCP, whereas the printer becomes a CLIENT DHCP.
Then you should install the printer driver related to your printer model on each PC on the network
In case of  Wi-Fi connection you should follow the same advices.

2) If you’re not so lucky and you have to use a USB or Parallel connection, then you should directly connect the printer to a  PC of the network (e.g. the network "SERVER") installing the printer driver on it. Then you should share it with all the other PCs and install the driver on them. Here, the printer is available through the SERVER, thus this computer must always be on and working in order to allow the users to print!

Share files and printers on Windows 7
Click the Start button, then Control Panel and open Advanced connection settings. Type network in the search box, click on Network and sharing center, then select  Change advanced connection settings in the left box.
Click the down arrow button to expand the current section.
If printer sharing is off, turn on printer sharing  and click Save changes.

Then you have to share the printer
Click Start and select Printers and devices. Right-click the printer you want to share and click Printer properties.
Click the Share tab and select the control box Share the printer.

3) If you don’t want to set apart  a PC for the printer or to leave always the sharing PC on, you can buy  a print / printer server, in other words a usually small and low energy consuming device, which incorporates an internal network interface card and one or more USB/parallel ports. By this device you can connect one or more printers to its ports and connect it/them to every PC of the network by the LAN. Of course it has to be configured by following the advices by the device’s manufacturer.

4) If you have an ”evolved” ADSL router with a USB port and you can activate it as "printer server" then you can connect the printer to the ADSL router and share it with the whole LAN. Even in this case you don’t need to set a PC apart, it is sufficient to leave the ADSL router on and connected to the LAN switch. For a domestic use, if the ADSL router has more than one Ethernet port, it could also substitute the network switch; it could be even “underused” as printer server and switch (avoiding to use it as a system to access to the internet by ADSL).
For instance, in the ADSL router  "ALICE GATE 2 PLUS WIFI" or "ALICE GATE VOIP 2 PLUS WIFI" you need to access to the router IP address (the default one is 192.168.1.1) by a web browser, type the password (default "admin"), move to the section relative to " USB Port ", activate "USB Printer server" and assign a name to the device. You have to connect the printer to the master USB port of the router. Finally,  you need to add a new device "printer" specifying the pathway, the name of the router (\\alice gate) or the IP address, and the device name on every Windows PC that  is to be connected to the printer. Finally, you have to choose and install the correct driver relative to the printer model used.


PERSONAL EXPERIENCE:
If you use either Windows or LINUX, the sharing of peripheral devices is within everyone’s reach; you have just to remember that the sharing PC (that is physically connected to the printer) may suffer the extra-work due to print spooling
On the other hand, true "print servers" (e.g. D-LINK DP-300U with 2 parallel ports and 1 USB) may be very useful in a company, where they need to be H24 available. 
Finally, I would underline that ADSL routers as printer servers  may result in higher efficiency, compatibility and performances if compared to other solutions.
In detail, if you want to share an all-in-one photocopier equipped with one USB only, (e.g.: KONICA Minolta Bizhub 163) you can use an  ADSL ALICE GATE VOIP PLUS WIFI router (Pirelli) configured as printer server, with the further advantage of allowing not only LAN but also WIFI sharing!!! 
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2014/09/02

And now, ladies and gentlemen, the HP printer will not print any more!

Problem: Sometimes some models of HP Laserjet printers suddenly end up producing prints while being turned on and online



Cause: Probably in some cases it may happen that the document sent to the printer "clog" the print queue or otherwise create problems in the printer driver or in the "spooler" Windows printing. These are the "software components" that manage printing. 

Sometimes, unfortunately, turning off and on the PC and / or the printer, the problem persists! On Windows, the printer seems online, but already by clicking on the icon, you will see a yellow triangle that indicates the problem.
Solution 1: 
  • Press the power button (which will become lit green) to turn on the printer. 
  • Open the Properties window. 
    • With Windows XP: Click Start -> Printers and Faxes, right-click the right mouse button on the printer and click Properties. 
    • Windows Vista: Click on Windows -> Control Panel, click Hardware and Sound -> Printer, then click with the right mouse button on the printer and click Properties. 
  • In the Properties window, click the Ports tab, then Enable bidirectional support and then Apply. 
  • In the Properties window, click the Configure tab, select the status On and then Apply. 
  • Unplug the power cord from the electrical outlet and from the back of the device. 
  • Disconnect the USB cable from the computer and then reconnect it. 
  • Reconnect the power cord to the back of the product and then plug it into an electrical outlet. 
  • Press the power button to turn on the printer 
  • Try again to print.

Solution 2: 
  • Click Start -> Settings -> Control Panel 
  • Open Administrative Tools and then Services 
  • Look for the Print Spooler service, and click 2 times on 
  • Press the Stop button and stop the service (if it is not already stopped because of the problem) 
  • Now click on Start -> Run 
  • Write the command cmd and press the Enter key 
  • A window will open the DOS prompt (black) in which you must type the following commands: 
  • Navigate to the root folder with: cd \ 
  • Navigate to the folder spooled with: CD Windows \ system32 \ spool \ printers 
  • Delete all of the contents of this folder with DEL *. * 
  • Restart the Print Spooler service by clicking 2 times over and pressing Start
  • Try printing

Solution 3: 
Download the HP Print Diagnostic Utility (HPPDU.EXE) which performs a series of checks and can also automatically fix this specific problem, indicating that the print queue has pending "works" to be deleted. In addition, this software analyzes and solves a number of other errors and problems that can occur with both HP printers connected via USB or via Ethernet (LAN)

Update of 17/09/2012: The HP site appears to have eliminated this particular tool from its servers but you can still find it on the network (for example here). In compensation HP has released some new tools for verifying hardware and software problems of its products, namely the HP Diagnostic Tools


Note: sometimes the problem is much more simple and crude and just check that the print spooler of the printer in question has not been inadvertently put in "sleep". 

Check to see if the menu item "Printer" have a check mark in "Pause Printing" and if there were, deselect it


Of course, this type of error is not unique to HP printers but is common to all brands as it depends on the user's carelessness !!

PERSONAL EXPERIENCE: 
In the past I have had problems in particular with the HP Laserjet P1006 and 1022, the operating system used was Windows Seven
In at least one case the error message concerned the Print Spooler service that was not running. The software HPPDU HP has solved the problems immediately and automatically. 
In the case of HP Laserjet 1020 and 1022 (and other printers Host based) as reported in the HP support blog, sometimes by printing PDF documents containing scanned images, HOST based printer drivers do not process the job properly and block the spooler. Also in this case we can use the solution 2 to unlock print spooling. A definitive solution seems be to adopt the PCL driver of a printer oldest such as the classic HP LaserJet III.

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2014/08/05

Windows 7 64-bit does not install printers shared from XP 32-bit? Here is the solution!

When a LAN (Local Area Network) has many Personal Computer (PC) associated with different operating systems (Windows XP, VISTA, SEVEN) may arise some problems with the printer drivers. When S.O. is part of the 32-bit and 64-bit part, it may cause incompatibility problems between printers, when you try to put them into sharing. 
In the Windows world for "shared printer" refers to a printing device is physically connected to a PC, but visible and usable by other PCs on the common local area network (LAN). 
Specifically, if a system with Windows 7 64-bit you try to install (with the classic "Connect") a shared printer that is physically connected to a PC using Windows XP 32-bit, usually the process does not go to successful, and it appears the error message "No driver found". 

In essence, the printer is not correctly detected when you mix Windows drivers of 32 and 64 bits! 

As long as it does not receive an official solution (patch) from Microsoft, here is the solution provided by Arthur Xie on Technet, to be taken on a PC that uses Windows SEVEN 64-bit

1. Click Start, click Control Panel and double click Devices and Printers.
2. Click Add a Printer. 
3. Select "Add a local printer". 
4. Select "Create a new port". Choose "Local Port" as the type of the port.
5. In the box "Enter a port name", type the address as the following format.
\\[IP address of the host computer]\[The Share Name of the printer]
Then click Next, (for example, \ \ PC1XP \ hplaserjet).
6. Click the button Windows Update, wait for the process finishes and then look for the driver again.
7. Finish the installation.

PERSONAL EXPERIENCE: 
Printer sharing with the combination Windows SEVEN 64-bit + XP 32-bit gave me a lot of problems with printers of different brands. 
While Windows 7 32-bit + 32-bit XP normally not one problem. 
Of course the real network printers, ie those that have a built-in Ethernet port and can be configured with a specific IP address, of course, are immune to this problem! 
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