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I have a Buffalo LinkStation LS210D NAS connected to my router which serves several Windows-10 PCs on my home network. The manual for this LinkStation model advertises the ability to make a printer connected to its USB port available to network-connected PCs. For the record, I’m running Windows-10 Home 19043.1288 from 6/30/2021 and trying to connect an old HP Deskjet D4200 printer. The Buffalo Knowledge Base provides setup instructions here.

When using Windows Explorer to browse to \\192.168.1.202, in addition to displaying my NAS shares, a network printer device named lp is displayed as depicted in step 7 of the KB article. Windows properties for that icon display Computer type: Windows NT 4.9 Server. But, right-click Connect for that device fails as predicted in step 8 of the KB article -- though the connection failure alert displays an Add Printer title rather than the Connect to printer title shown in the KB article.

Microsoft appears to have modified Windows somewhat since the KB article was prepared, because the illustrations shown in the article for Windows’ Add printer dialog no longer match the actual Windows-10 UI. Step 12 directs selection of an existing port and shows several ports named with UNC-like syntax such as \\Support-LS420D\lp (Client Side Rendering Provider). On my PC, no such existing ports are displayed in the list of existing ports. My research (citation long since lost) indicates that Windows-10 now provides Client Side Rendering Support by default.

A conversation with Buffalo tech support recommended that I instead select Create a new port to create the necessary port. When I do that and then select Local Port, Windows displays a Port Name dialog directing Enter a port name. When I enter the UNC formatted port name \\192.168.1.202\lp (using the IP of my LinkStation), Windows responds Local Port – the parameter is incorrect.

If I select LPR port rather than Local port and enter the UNC same for Name or address of server providing lpd, Windows responds with The server name you specified could not be resolved. Yes, I have the Windows LPD Print service and LPR Print monitor features enabled.

These responses indicate to me that Windows is trying but failing to create an appropriate port. I could find nothing that might give insight into which parameter might be incorrect or how/where to provide a correct parameter or how to allow Windows to resolve the specified UNC address.

Buffalo tech support likewise had no further suggestions, saying only that I must have some “device compatibility issue” and further saying that this printer support feature has been discontinued on current LinkStation models.

I’d love to be able to use this feature if only I could get it configured properly. I don’t know if this is a Windows issue or a Linux issue. I don't even know which tags I should add to this post for maximum visibility. Can anyone offer any suggestions as to how I might pursue this?

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What you are trying to do is network the printer. That is indeed do-able and desirable.

It will be simpler (much), easier, and better to get a USB Print Server, put the Printer on that and it will be available to all devices, not just a couple.

If the printer has Air Print then it will also be available to your smart phones.

Something like this:

USB Print Server

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    Clearly, that is the easy solution, which I may end up with. But it would appear that the LinkStation itself is supposed to provide exactly that capability. So, before I shell out more $$ for yet another device, I'd like to pursue the Print Server the LinkStation is trying to implement. Oct 15, 2021 at 14:03
  • USB Network can be complicated or not even do-able for printers. Hence my suggestion above.
    – John
    Oct 15, 2021 at 14:07

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