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Changing the name of a shared printer to hide which computer it's shared via

Posted on 2007-04-04
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Last Modified: 2008-11-11
Gday experts.

Our company has a windows program which requires us to have a printer with an exact name, for the printing features of this program.  In this case the printer MUST be called "HP LaserJet 4V".  The actual printer is irrelevant, as long as the drivers are correct and the printer is named the above the program will happily print.

My problem is this, up until now we've had an IP printer, we simply add a TCP/IP port pointing to it's IP address and name it HP LaserJet 4V, no problems.  However, we now have to move this printer to a different area of the company and replace it with another printer which does not have IP capabilities, only Parrallel.

We've connected this printer to a local machine, and shared the printer as "HP LaserJet 4V" on the domain.  However, when you add this printer to a machine on the network, it's referred to as "HP LaserJet 4V on EFP-014" (which is the machine name hosting the printer).  Due to the nature of the program we're using, it will fail on this name.  (Tested and confirmed).

I need to know if there is a way to stop windows referring to this printer by the host pc.  IE can I call it purely "HP LaserJet 4V".  The usual attempting to rename the printer doesn't work, as in the properties the printer is called HP LaserJet 4V.
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Question by:jerkady
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Expert Comment

by:hdhondt
ID: 18856974
One way to solve it would be to create a local printer with the correct name, printing to a file (by creating a new Local Port with the path and filename). Then use a utility like PrintFile to automatically send it that file to the networked printer. See, for example:
http://www.lerup.com/printfile/descr.html
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hdhondt earned 2000 total points
ID: 18856982
BTW, the local printer would use the HP LaserJet 4V driver, and be named as needed. PrintFile and the remote driver will not process the output any further, but just pass it on to the printer.
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Author Comment

by:jerkady
ID: 18861883
Thanks for the suggestion, I'll give it a shot when I get back to work on Tuesday!

The other alternative i've been mulling over is setting up an TCP/IP print server on the Windows machine connected to the printer.  That way I could set it up in the same way I had previously.  Has anyone had any experience doing a similar thing?
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LVL 39

Expert Comment

by:hdhondt
ID: 18863226
If the printer is connected via LPT1 you can't use a TCP/IP port to connect to it.
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Author Comment

by:jerkady
ID: 18879820
Thanks for the idea hdhondt, i'm accepting the solution as it does do exactly what you have indicated and i'm sure it will help someone in a similar situation.

The solution that I have ended up going with, was to purchase a "print server adapter" by Netgear (NS101) which acts as a tiny TCP/IP print server and translates directly to the Parrallel port of the printer.  In this manner my users continue printing the same way they always have.
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Expert Comment

by:hdhondt
ID: 18881220
Thanks for the points, jerkady. Of course your solution works too, but I assumed you wanted the printer to stay connected to the remote PC
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