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Installing a printer for print server use RRS feed

  • Question

  • I got thru all of the setup on the eval version including MyMovies and Magicjack, but am stuck at the one part I didn't think woudl give me a problem.  The printer I have (HP Deskjet 2300) doesn't have Server 2k3 drivers.  I can't extract the XP drivers from the EXE they have on their site because of some special software they run to make sure you have everything hooked up correctly.  I have no idea what to do next.  VM an XP machine on it and install drivers there?  that seems wasteful.

    Is there a cheap printer that you guys use that would have driver support for WHS?
    Monday, February 16, 2009 7:27 PM

Answers

  • Using WHS as a print server seems like an obvious extension of the server, but it's unsupported, I'm afraid. There is so much variation in printers and drivers that it's really not possible for Microsoft to build a driver installation tool into the WHS Console, and in any case the printers that consumers will want to use with their servers (inexpensive consumer printers) are usually a poor choice for the application, because of the driver architecture that they tend to use.

    The best I can do is suggest you browse the software and hardware/installation forums for anecdotal evidence that particular printers work. Alternatively, you can purchase a network capable multifunction device, which will give you scanning, copying and (usually0 fax capability in addition to printing. And it won't need to be connected to your server.

    I'm not on the WHS team, I just post a lot. :)
    Monday, February 16, 2009 9:00 PM
    Moderator

All replies

  • Using WHS as a print server seems like an obvious extension of the server, but it's unsupported, I'm afraid. There is so much variation in printers and drivers that it's really not possible for Microsoft to build a driver installation tool into the WHS Console, and in any case the printers that consumers will want to use with their servers (inexpensive consumer printers) are usually a poor choice for the application, because of the driver architecture that they tend to use.

    The best I can do is suggest you browse the software and hardware/installation forums for anecdotal evidence that particular printers work. Alternatively, you can purchase a network capable multifunction device, which will give you scanning, copying and (usually0 fax capability in addition to printing. And it won't need to be connected to your server.

    I'm not on the WHS team, I just post a lot. :)
    Monday, February 16, 2009 9:00 PM
    Moderator
  • Thank you for your response.  I will look in the forums for working setups.  I will, however, express frustration at such a simple thing.  I've been running a PC on XP that happily serves as a print server for over a year.  Even my NAS drive supports this function!  The NAS drive has no way of getting a printer driver installed on it, yet it works fine.  So I find that to be a weak excuse as to why it doesn't work.

    I appreciate your input and will follow your advice.  Thank you kindly.
    Tuesday, February 17, 2009 1:48 AM
  • Probably your NAS device acts as a hardware print server. This exposes your printer on your network via TCP/IP, and allows you to install drivers on desktop computers that talk to the printer as though it was connected locally.

    Windows Home Server is built on Windows Server 2003, and offers (in an unsupported fashion) the same features that that OS has in this area. This includes print queueing, automatic driver downloads, etc. but really requires that the printer be a fairly robust unit, usually designed for at least light business use. The drivers distributed with cheap consumer printers, for example, often can't be installed in administrative mode, sometimes because they're wrapped in a huge application suite, sometimes because they just won't install under Windows Server 2003. Microsoft really has no control over this, and as I said previously the huge variation in drivers and installation methods makes it impossible to build a tool that would deal with this automatically for you.

    If you really want to try to install the printer drivers for that printer on your server, you can try running the installer in Windows XP compatibility mode. That may work, or it may not. I don't recommend it; I think an inexpensive multifunction is a much better solution for most families. But it's a possible option.

    I'm not on the WHS team, I just post a lot. :)
    Tuesday, February 17, 2009 4:35 PM
    Moderator
  • I use an Edimax wireless print server on my network, and there are many other brands costing around $60 USD.  Edimax's driver (which installs a printer port) worked fine on WHS (if you wish to print from WHS desktop) and my all my XP machines.  You don't even need a fixed IP address, my WRT54G assigns dynamic addresses to the print servers (I have two).  I have a cheap Samsung laser on one and a Canon inkjet on the other, never had a problem going on three years now.  After you install the printer driver on the client (pretend it's local), just change the port (under the printer properties in Windows) to the new print server port.  Even if you change printers (sometimes cheaper than buyer toner!), you keep the print server as-is and just install the new print driver.
    Tuesday, February 17, 2009 5:12 PM
  • Thanks, I'll see if I can find the Edimax server around on the net. 
    Tuesday, February 17, 2009 5:14 PM
  • Here's what I am using for USB printers.  I saw them for around $57 on shopping search engines.
    Edimax PS-1205UWg .
    Tuesday, February 17, 2009 5:33 PM