Configuring new printer on W2003 small business network – Computers & Technology


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What is the procedure to add a new printer to my Windows 2003 Small Business Network.

The first one is an HP 5si that is connected to parallel port #1 on an Intel Netport. I have assigned an IP address to the port. Now I need to get the server to add that printer to the list of existing printers, identifying it by its IP address.

The second is an HP 2035N printer. It is connected to the nework via a Cat 6 cable, but I don’t know how to get the server to recognize, and to list it in the printer list on our PC workstations.

Thank you for your advice and instruction.


The printers’ documentation is the best source for installation instructions. I haven’t installed either of those particular printers, but the general gist of a network printer installation is:

1) Configure the printer or the print server the printer is connected to with an ip address, netmask, and default gateway for the network they are to be connected to. Usually this is done from the control panel of the device or by a software utility supplied with the device.

2) Connect the printer or print server to the network.

3) Then on each PC that will be using the printer, install the printer driver. For some drivers, there is a setup utility that detects the printer and does all the work for you, others require using Windows Add Printer wizard and pointing the wizard to the driver .INF files. During the Add Printer wizard there is a choice for Local printer or Network printer, usually Local printer is chosen (counter-intuitive, huh?), and then a Standard TCP/IP Port created where the IP address configured in step #1 is entered. Some printers and multiport print servers don’t use the Standard TCP/IP port and require setup of their own type of port as part of the driver setup package.

4) Another option that generally isn’t used with printers that have native network capability is connecting it via parallel or USB cable directly to a workstation computer (or server) that “hosts” it on the network via Windows File and Printer sharing. For this scenario the Network option in the Add-Printer wizard can be chosen and the hosting computer and printer browsed for. But, generally it is easier to choose Local again and create a Local Port and specify the hosting computer in \ComputerNamePrinterShare format. If the printer is later moved to another computer, the new port can be added and the port simply changed in the printer’s properties without going through wizard again. The local port exists at the machine level and the printer will be present for any new user accounts created. Done the other way by browsing, the printer is mapped at the user account level and any new accounts that are added to the computer will need the printer setup again for the new account.

For all of the above a user account with Administrative Rights is required for recent Windows versions. If you have a large workstation base and a homogenous Windows network, printers can also be deployed to workstations through Group Policy or logon scripts.

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