Network printer driver

Posted on 2014-10-10
Last Modified: 2014-10-17
I want to print to a network printer which is attached by USB to one of the network computers running Windows 7.  The computer I want to print from is running Windows XP.

When I go to "Add a printer" on the XP machine, I find the network printer, but then it tells me there is no driver for that machine (HP 1530). I try to download a driver to the XP machine from HP, but it says it can't find the printer.  Which driver (print only)do I  need, and where does it need to be installed in order for the Windows XP machine to find it?

Sorry for such a stupid question, but I'm flummoxed.

Question by:Charlie Weston
LVL 35

Expert Comment

ID: 40373226
Go to here:

Then on the plus sign: Driver - Product Installation Software  and again on the + for Basic Drivers. When you download it, it will unpack in a folder. It's this folder where you have to point the Add a printer wizard to (You might have to try several downloads, as there are 4 basic drivers. You can also still try the full download.)
LVL 25

Expert Comment

by:Fred Marshall
ID: 40373308
I wouldn't call this a "network printer" even though it's accessible via the network.
I'd call it a "shared printer".
Picky I know, but here's the difference:

A network printer is connected to the network itself - with no supporting computer.
So, it presents itself to each computer "bare".
That means that a driver can be installed on each computer to use the printer and that is all that's required.

A shared printer is connected to a host computer (as in with USB).
It is communicated with by that one host computer which must have a driver installed that's compatible with its operating system.  And, this installation must be recognized by any computer being set up to use that printer!!

Now, the host computer may have drivers stored for other computers and operating systems (32/64, Win 7, Win 8.1, etc.)
And, other computers can make use of this .... maybe.

A small "glitch" in the scheme (which I hope by now is fixed but I don't know .. as there are so many printer manufacturers involved) is this:
The drivers are contained in .inf files.  The .inf files contain the model / name of the printer.  The .inf files for each operating system are sometimes unfortunately *different* and this difference includes the model /name of the printer.  So when a computer with a different operating system goes to connect up a printer that's shared, it goes looking for the "wrong" name and fails.  As far as I know, only editing the text in the .inf files can fix this - as I've had to do in the past.
Well, perhaps my explanation is a bit coarse because it's been some time since I've encountered it.

THIS MAY BE what you've run into!

For this reason and others, I try to avoid shared printers.  But obviously, not everyone has network-capable printers and sharing becomes a necessity.
LVL 16

Expert Comment

ID: 40374031
what's the exact model of the printer? Is an HP DeskJet 1530 or the HP LaserJet Pro M1530?  If it's the LaserJet, I wouldn't run it off the Windows 7 PC, I would just put it on the network using a network cable and then any PC can connect to it using the IP.  So, the drivers installed on the host PC wouldn't matter.  

If it's the DeskJet 1530, you are stuck with sharing it off a PC since it isn't capable of being networked.   So, the drivers on the host PC do matter.

You can add XP drivers to the Windows 7 print "server" so those drivers are available for the "client" XP machines.  Basically, download the drivers for XP on the Windows 7 & then go to the printer's properties. Go to the "Sharing" tab & click the button for "Additional Drivers..."

Using that drivers wizard, you can add drivers for x86 machines, like XP.

This page has screenshots to help:

Author Comment

by:Charlie Weston
ID: 40374110
@Alicia My printer is a Laserjet 1536dnf MFP.  Everything's OK until I click on "Additional Drivers", and specify x86 Type 3.  It then asks me for a source where it can find that driver, and I don't know where to tell it to look.

Should I have downloaded it prior to this step? Where do I find the XP driver for this printer?  I'm afraid if I download the whole huge suite of software for this printer, I'll overwrite the drivers I need to use it under Windows 7, plus I'll reinstall a lot of other software that isn't required just to print invoice copies!

I would run on the network cable, except that I haven't got any more available ports on my router. Maybe I should buy a cheap switch in order to share one of those ports?
LVL 16

Accepted Solution

Spike99 earned 500 total points
ID: 40374141
I found the downloads for that printer on this page:

I would choose XP in the drop down list for the drivers. What you want to download is the "Basic Print & Scan Drivers."  You can download & extract them on the Win7 machine. Then, point to that folder when you run the wizard to add the x86 drivers on Windows 7.

If you don't want to mess with all of that, I would just get a small network switch & connect the printer to the network.

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