Is it possible to add a printer via direct ethernet cable/port?

Posted on 2006-07-09
Last Modified: 2010-04-12
I have a Dell laptop/WindowsXP Pro and an HP LaserJet printre.  

I do not have a parallel cable--only an ethernet cable--an really don;t feel like buying one.

Is it possible to connect the printer to the 'puter via ethernet port?  


Thank you
Question by:medvid
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LVL 95

Expert Comment

by:Lee W, MVP
ID: 17068907
Sure it is.  IF your printer supports ethernet - since you didn't post the model of the printer we have NO IDEA if yours supports it or not.  If it doesn't you can buy a $60-100 print server AND a parallel cable and turn it into a network printer.

Otherwise, you can buy a $10 printer cable and connect it that way.  

If it DOES have a network port, then you just need to set static IP addresses on both the printer and the computer and use a cross-over cable or a network switch connecting the computer to the switch and the printer to the switch.  

But your CHEAPEST option, assuming you don't have a crossover cable and/or network switch and cables, is to buy and parallel printer cable.

Author Comment

ID: 17068951
it is a HP deskjet 4050
yes, it has an ethernet port

"then you just need to set static IP addresses on both the printer and the computer and use a cross-over cable or a network switch connecting the computer to the switch and the printer to the switch."

i searched for instruction to set manual Ip addresses...I could not find.  Would you please elaborate?
static ip?
switch? is this a "hub" (i have one...and two ethernet cables)

excuse my naivete....

LVL 95

Expert Comment

by:Lee W, MVP
ID: 17068961
A switch is not a hub.  A switch is more advanced than a hub and provides potentially faster network connections.  But if all you have is a hub, that will do.

Which is it?  A DeskJet 4050 or a LaserJet 4050?
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Author Comment

ID: 17068971

sorry for the misinfo above.  it is a LASERJET 4050N
LVL 95

Accepted Solution

Lee W, MVP earned 125 total points
ID: 17068985
For setting the IP address, review the EIO Menu documentation in your manual - pages B21 to B22.  If you can't find your manual, you can get it from here:

If you have a cable/DSL router and it serves DHCP, then you can leave the printer set to DHCP and print a test page to determine what the IP Address is.  (Reference Page B4)

Once you know the IP Address of the printer, you need to install it in Windows.  Somewhat counter-intuitive, you are NOT connecting a network printer as far as Windows is concerned.  You need to add a TCP/IP Port - see:

Author Comment

ID: 17069061

typical what could be a very simple explanation, MS has you go here and there to get what you need.  UGH!

But, viola...i achieved the objective.  Thanx leew

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