How to Troubleshoot a Shared Network Printer

 

This networked printer problem is broken down into two main troubleshooting areas: Hardware and Software. The following procedure assumes a networked client machine is trying to connect to a shared printer that is physically installed on a networked host machine.

 

Hardware: Verifying the Physical Connection Points

  •  Disconnect the printer from the host machine and then re-attach it.
  •  Check the power cords on all relevant devices and establish that the units in question are turned on.
  •  Ensure the network cables are plugged in and power lights are lit.
  •  Ensure the printer is stocked with paper in the relevant trays.
     

 

Software: Check the Following

 

Verify your computer’s File and Printer Sharing for Microsoft Networks is enabled:

 

Windows XP


From the Windows desktop, click Start and then click My Network Places.

1. From 'My Network Places," on the left hand side, under the section labeled Network Tasks, click View Network Connections.

2. Right click your active Internet connection and then click Properties.

3. In the list that appears, verify that File and Printer Sharing for Microsoft Networks is present. If not, proceed to the next step.

4. If "File and Printer Sharing for Microsoft Networks" is not listed, click Install below the list.

5. From the window that appears, click Service and then select AddOn the next screen, select File and Printer Sharing for Microsoft Networks and then click OK.

6. From the Windows desktop, click Start and then click My Network Places. Establish that the host machine and printer appear on the Network Neighborhood. Verify that the printer is properly shared as a network resource and that there are no Permissions Restrictions on the host machine.

7. Check to ensure the printer is properly installed. From the Start menu, click Control Panel, click Printers on the client machine, and verify that the client machine can print a test page.


Windows Vista

1. Open 'Network and Sharing Center" by clicking the Start Button, clicking Control Panel, clicking Network and Internet, and then clicking Network and Sharing Center.

2. If network discovery is off, click the Arrow Button to expand the section, click Turn on network discovery, and then click Apply. If you are prompted for an administrator password or confirmation, enter the password or provide confirmation.

3. If file sharing is off, click the Arrow Button to expand the section, click Turn on file sharing, and then click Apply. If you are prompted for an administrator password or confirmation, enter the password or provide confirmation.

4. If Public folder sharing is off and you want to share files by placing them in the Public folder on your computer, click the Arrow Button Picture of the Arrow Button to expand the section. Click Turn on sharing so anyone with network access can open files or Turn on sharing so anyone with network access can open, change, and create files, and then click Apply. If you are prompted for an administrator password or confirmation, enter the password or provide confirmation.

5. If printer sharing is off, and you have a printer you want to share, click the Arrow Button to expand the section. Click Turn on printer sharing, and then click Apply. If you are prompted for an administrator password or confirmation, enter the password or provide confirmation.

 

If you're still having trouble sharing files or a printer on a network, make sure Windows Firewall is not blocking File and Printer Sharing.

  1. Open Windows Firewall by clicking the Start Button, clicking Control Panel, clicking Security, and then clicking Windows Firewall.
  2. Click Allow a program through Windows Firewall. If you are prompted for an administrator password or confirmation, enter the password or provide confirmation.
  3. In the Program or port list, make sure the File and Printer Sharing check box is selected, and then click OK.
     

Windows 7

1. Open Advanced sharing settings by clicking the Start Button, and then clicking Control Panel. In the search box, type network, click Network and Sharing Center, and then, in the left pane, click Change advanced sharing settings.

2. Click the chevron to expand the current network profile.

3. If printer sharing is off, under File and printer sharing, select Turn on file and printer sharing, and then click Save changes. If you are prompted for an administrator password or confirmation, enter the password or provide confirmation.

 

Then to Share your printer, follow these steps:

Windows XP

1. Open Printers and Faxes by clicking the Start Button, clicking Control Panel, and then clicking Printers and Faxes.

2. Right click the printer you wish to share, and then click Sharing.

3. On the Sharing Tab, click Share this printer and then enter a share name for the shared printer.

4. Click OK.

 

Windows Vista   

1. Open Printers by clicking the Start Button, clicking Control Panel, clicking Hardware and Sound, and then clicking Printers.

2. Right click the printer you wish to share, and then click Sharing.

3. On the Sharing Tab, click Change sharing options.

4. Check Share this printer and then enter a share name for the shared printer.

5. Click Apply and then click OK.
 

Windows 7

1. Open Devices and Printers by clicking the Start Button, and then, on the Start menu, clicking Devices and Printers.

2. Right click the printer you wish to share, and then click Printer properties.

3. Click the Sharing Tab, and select the Share this printer check box.

4. Click Apply and then click OK.

 

Lastly, to add a network printer from a workstation, follow these steps:

Windows XP

1. Open Printers and Faxes by clicking the Start Button, clicking Control Panel, and then clicking Printers and Faxes.

2. On the left under Printer Tasks, click Add a Printer to open the Add Printer Wizard, and then click Next.

3. Click A network printer, or a printer attached to another computer, and then click Next.

4. Click Browse for a printer, and then click Next.

5. Click the printer in Shared printers, and click Next

6. Follow the instructions on the screen to finish connecting to the network printer.

Windows Vista

1. Open Printers by clicking the Start button, clicking Control Panel, clicking Hardware and Sound, and then clicking Printers.

2. Click Add a printer to open the Add Printer wizard.

3. Click Add a network, wireless or Bluetooth printer.

4. Select the printer you wish to install from the list of available printers, and then click Next.

5. Follow the instructions on the screen to finish connecting to the network printer.


Windows 7

1. Open Devices and Printers by clicking the Start Button, and next on the Start menu, clicking Devices and Printers.

2. Click Add a printer to open the Add Printer wizard.

3. Click Add a network, wireless or Bluetooth printer.

4. Select the printer you wish to install from the list of available printers, and then click Next.

5. Follow the instructions on the screen to finish connecting to the network printer.