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Networking three PCs using XP

Posted on 2003-12-07
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Last Modified: 2010-03-19
I have two new PCs running Windows XP, another PC running Win2000, one printer, and a new Linksys wireless router.  The printer is physically connected to the PC running Win2000.  My goal is to have all three access the printer by using the network.  How can I do that?  I spoke to the morons at Dell (the maker of the WinXP PCs) and they claim it can't be done, but they also couldn't tell their rear from a hole in the ground.
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Question by:m_lind
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Jusnetworx earned 250 total points
ID: 9895010
Yes what you want is possible.  Under Printers and Faxes, right click the printer and select sharing.  (Assuming that file and printer sharing is enabled - on by default)  You can keep the printer share name that is listed or change it to suit you.  

Because you are running NT instead of Win9x, you will need user permissions for printer.  The easiest way is to have the same username and password login for all 3 machines.  If you don't - all is not lost.  On the Win2k box, right click 'My Computer' on the desktop and select 'Manage'.  This opens the Computer Management MMC.  Expand the Local Users and Groups menu.  Under users, add the same user names and passwords that you use to login on the XP boxes.  

Lastly, add the newly shared printer to the WinXP machines.  Again, goto the Printers and Faxes control panel.  Add a new printer.  Select Network Printer.  The easiest way to add it is via UNC path (\\computername\sharename).  For example if the Win2K machines netbios name is Windows2k and the printer sharename is lj4000, then enter \\windows2k\lj4000  Repeat this process on the other XP box and you are set... if you want to check your work, print a test page from each machine.

-HTH
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by:FishMonger
ID: 9895239
The metdod that Jusnetworx describes, is the most common but it has a downside.  In order for any of the others computers to be able to print, the computer that the printer is attached must be turned on.   Instead of attaching the printer to the W2K computer, attach it to a dedicated print server which is connected to your router; this in my opinion is the best method.  The print server that I use most often is the Netgear PS101 (they also have a wireless model PS111W) http://www.netgear.com/products/printservers/printservers.asp, but there are a number of other brands and models available.  This is a small device that you attach to the printer and run an ethernet cable from it to the router.
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