With every iteration of Windows, it seems that connecting up printers gets easier and easier. Generally speaking, that is.
I was at a client site installing a new Windows 8.1 workstation. They had a printer directly connected to a Windows 7 workstation, and it was configured as a shared printer. In fact, all of the other workstations were setup to access this printer.
But I was unable to add this shared printer to this new Windows 8.1 workstation. The shared printer was not showing up when I selected Add a Printer. I tried to add it manually (using \\computername\printername). It kept giving me either a Connect to Printer error, or the network could not find a driver. And that’s with me downloading the correct Windows 8.1 driver for this printer.
I then discovered a blog post from Brian Hitney that addressed this very issue. His blog post includes great screen shots and step-by-step directions. So, I will not repeat them in detail here. I’ll simply summarize the steps required:
- Go to Control Panel –> Hardware –> Devices and Printers, and select Add a Printer
- Select The printer that I want isn’t listed
- Select Add a local printer or network printer with manual settings
- Select Create a new port, and then set the type of port to Local Port
- In the dialog box that displays, enter the UNC of the shared printer (\\computername\printername)
- Next, you can choose the driver to use. I would suggest that you first click on the Windows Update button, and download the latest selection of printers and drivers.
- You can now search for and select your desired printer driver.
A big “Wahoo” to Brian for this information!