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We have several printers in the office - 2 are connected to the network via ethernet cables, and another is connected to our "server" (which is actually a Windows XP machine). The problem is that none of our windows 7 PCs can access the one that is connected to the server. When I go to add printers the one connected to the server does show up on the list of available printers. However, when I attempt to install it an error message appears saying "windows is unable to connect to the printer".

If I attempt to manually find the printer by typing in the IP address of the server it is connected to it claims that it cannot find it.

Has anyone else experienced this problem?


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How is your printer connected to server (usb, ethernet)? Is that printer installed on server? Which server system are you using? – week Dec 17 '12 at 11:59
It's connected via a printer parallel port. And the server is just a windows XP machine, not anything fancy like windows server. I believe it is installed on the server also. It's strange because all the XP machines on the network can access the printer - just none of the windows 7 machines. – user1578653 Dec 17 '12 at 12:07
Is that printer properly shared? Browse that server with unc path \\xpserver\ , and select Show remote printers, is printer listed there? – week Dec 17 '12 at 12:18
up vote 0 down vote accepted

Since the printer can be seen, here is what I had to do in the same situation;

  1. In Windows 7, from the Devices and Printers window, choose Add Printer.
  2. Select a Add Local Printer.
  3. Choose Create a New Port. Then select Local Port from the drop down. Click Next.

    enter image description here

  4. When prompted for the Port Name type path to the printer. It should be like //XPMachineName/PrinterName/.

    enter image description here

  5. Follow the remaining prompts to choose the print driver you need and let Widows 7 install it.

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Yes this is the answer! I did find this out several hours ago but it won't let me answer my own question because I don't have enough reputation! – user1578653 Dec 17 '12 at 14:26

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