Adding workgroup shared printer to windows 8.1 workstation

I have a home network with 3 windows 7 workstations (1 desktop, 2 laptops)and 1 windows 8.1 workstation (laptop). I have a Dell B1160 USB printer connected to one windows 7 workstation (desktop) and it is shared. I can add that printer to the other 2 windows 7 computers however when I add it to the windows 8.1 computer it shows as installed but when I try to print it says the printer is "in an error state" and the print job stays in the print queue. I have downloaded the installation files and drivers for 8.1 from the Dell site but that does not solve the problem. I can connect the printer directly to the 8.1 and it works ok.

I have tried installing the printer creating the port, adding the UNC path and letting windows choose the printer but all result in the same error state.

Thank you for your replies.
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Joe Winograd, Fellow&MVEDeveloperCommented:
Have you tried putting all of the computers in a homegroup? If not, here's a Microsoft tutorial on it:

Regards, Joe
dashmanAuthor Commented:
yes I have tried both with and without a homegroup. It did not appear to make any difference.
TemodyPickalbatros, IT ManagerCommented:
Try to connect the printer directly to windows 8.1 and the share it to other windows 7
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Joe Winograd, Fellow&MVEDeveloperCommented:
Check the firewall settings on the W7 desktop and the W8.1 laptop. Maybe one or the other is blocking access — more likely to be the W8.1 firewall, since the W7 laptops can get to the printer on the W7 desktop.
dashmanAuthor Commented:
as stated I did directly connect the printer to 8.1 and it worked. However I cannot leave this configuration because 8.1 is the only machine that I remove from the house and I need to print from the remaining devices.

I checked the firewalls and 8.1 is using Norton and I disabled the firewall and it did not resolve the issue.
Joe Winograd, Fellow&MVEDeveloperCommented:
Try disabling the firewall on the W7 desktop (just for troubleshooting, of course).
Double check the version of the drivers on the windows 7 system to make sure they match the windows 8 supported option.

It sounds as though you have a mismatch.
Is the windows 7 system like the windows 8 a 64 bit version?

Under the printer share, there is a section dealing with drivers, make sure you have both versions of you have a mixed 32/64 bit systems.

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JohnBusiness Consultant (Owner)Commented:
What about getting a USB Print Server box for the printer and put it on your network. This much more likely to work because you can match the driver to the machine operating system and no particular machine needs to be attached or even turned on.  Works much better.
dashmanAuthor Commented:

You got it! the windows7 was a 32 bit version and of course the windows 8.1 was 64. I had to download the installation and driver package from Dell and install it on the 7. It actually installed a second printer but under additional drivers it had the 64bit package. I shared that and then installed that printer on the 8 laptop and now I can print.

Thanks for you help.
Joe Winograd, Fellow&MVEDeveloperCommented:
Good call, Arnold! When dashman said that the printer works fine if connected directly to the W8 machine, I figured that the driver was not the issue. But I guess what happens is that the host machine serves up the print driver to the client machine even if the client machine already has a driver (and the right driver) on it, so the host machine needs to have all versions for all clients that connect. Makes sense — I just never thought of it that way. Learn something new every day here at EE. Well done, Arnold! Regards, Joe
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