How to Install a Print Server

A print server can be wired or wireless (or both, as in the case of our example). It’s a small device that connects your printer to your network. In this way, the printer is not physically connected to a PC; it’s simply “on the network”. Important: Print servers do not work with “multifunction” or “all in one” machines. These printer/fax/scanners are quite common, but unfortunately you’re out of luck if you have one. It’s been said that “sometimes” they work, but you sacrifice the fax/scanner capability, and the machine then becomes “just a printer”. While testing for this section of the guide, we tried a Lexmark X125 all-in-one with both a Linksys and a DLink print server. No luck – the print spooler crashed. We ended up just getting a plain printer. Here’s the general order of things: 1. Make sure the printer works when directly connected to your PC 2. Determine the default IP address of the print server 3. Change the IP of the print server to your subnet, if necessary. 4. Install the “new” printer wired first, then wireless

We chose a DLink DP-G310 print server, capable of wired or wireless, with a single USB port. Since this is going to be on the network, you should be thinking one thing: What is the IP address of this print server? The IP address is vital. Without it, you can’t access the setup pages. According to the directions, the DLink print server is factory set to an IP of This conflicts with my current home network, which is on the subnet. The directions wisely offer advice on how to temporarily change my PC’s IP address to be “in tune” with the print server. Once I access the print server, I can change its IP to conform to my home network.


Here, I’ve changed my “obtain automatically” settings on my PC to have an IP that will be able to communicate with the print server. Essentially, I’ve just added 1 to the last number in the IP address of the print server. Again, the subnet mask in all cases on all devices will be I’ll hit OK for the changes to take effect. Lesser operating systems will need a reboot, but not XP.

Because of the change in IP address, I’m booted off of my home network and unable to surf the web, but at least I’m able to access the print server setup pages. I need to look for the place where I can change the IP of the print server. As with all setup and configuration, this is done via a web browser by typing in the IP address of the print server, just like your home router.

Here is a browser window that opened the main page of the print server configuration. Note I’ve typed in the IP of the print server, and it reports that the current IP is manually assigned as I’ll click on the configuration tab and change the IP scheme to be compatible with my home network.


Once I hit Apply. Along the left (not shown). I don’t need to bother with the DNS server addresses. This is the Network section. my PC will no longer be able to communicate with the print server. which I’ll click to apply the changes.Here. there are 5 buttons to access the various sub sections of the Configuration tab... Time to put the PC back on the network! 3 . What happens next? What we’ve done is changed the IP of the print server. I have the opportunity to change the IP. as well as add a default gateway. There’s an Apply button below (not shown). Note that I’ve added my router as the default gateway. since when does a print server need to surf the web? I’ve typed in the IP values that will allow this print server to communicate on my network. which of course will be the IP of my router.

I’ll set the IP address of the PC back to “obtain automatically”. which means I’ll be able to access the print server at its new IP of 192.10.168. cmd) and do an ipconfig /renew. shown below.x” IP from my router.1. I can open a DOS window (Start.168. 4 . To avoid a reboot.RUN. I’ve obtained a “192..1.

I’ll need to type this value in manually with the printer setup. Note I’m on the Configuration tab. An excellent XP installation guide (with screenshots!) was provided. With XP Pro. To install the printer. and on the left I’ve selected the System subheading. 192. Of vital importance is the “Port Name” of PS-536575-U1. then “get fancy”. Presumably. this time using the new IP address.10. 5 .1. I went to Start.To confirm connectivity.168. those with lesser operating systems would have had to run the setup CD. you’ll have a Printers and Faxes icon right off the Start bar. Note how I haven’t even bothered with wireless yet – this is connected via Cat5 to the router. I’m back at the config page.Control Panel: This is XP Home. Get things working first. It looks like XP has the native ability to connect to this type of printer on its own..

6 . click “Add a printer”. Under Printer Tasks on the left.Click on Printers and Faxes (Classic view).

it will all make sense. Select Local Printer and click Next. I know what you’re thinking – “Why local? Why not a network printer?” Don’t worry. I’m a professional. 7 . Make sure “Automatically Detect” is unchecked.Click Next through this standard “Welcome” box.

Now it’s almost as if we’re starting fresh. Click Next. Click Next.Select “Create a new port” at the bottom and choose “Standard TCP/IP Port” from the drop down menu. 8 .

As you type. which is PS-536575-U1. Click Next. a Port Name will be automatically filled out for you below. Simply accept the default Port Name that gets typed for you. This Port Name is not the port name of the print server. and it complains that the port name is already is use. If this is your second attempt.Type in the IP address of the print server in the top field. and then click Settings. Click on the Custom radio button. 9 . just add an “a” or a “b” to the port name. we’ll do that later.

Under Protocol. At the top. the Port Name and IP were already filled out. I left the lower boxes unchecked. 10 . Click OK. Essentially. we can now click Next. Back to the previous dialog. I selected the LPR radio button.This is where the specific directions for your print server really come in. and typed in the Port Name specified at the print server under “Queue Name”. the Port Name of the DLink print server translated to the “LPR Queue Name” of XP. as the directions specified.

If you can’t find your printer. 11 .We’ve added the port. and then select the model on the right. Select the manufacturer of the printer on the left. which means the printer would have had to be installed locally first. The Windows Update and Have Disk options almost never work – you’ll need to have the exact printer in this list. Now we’ll have to install the printer driver itself. Click Finish. Click Next. this printer was under “HP”. Note how I have “HP” and Hewlett Packard available. make sure that it prints when directly connected to your PC.

and it wants to name this one a “copy”. Click Next. Since we already installed this printer locally. 12 . and we’ll keep the existing driver.It recognizes that the driver is already installed (a good sign). a duplicate printer name exists. Feel free to change the name to something more appropriate.

Click Next. Click Next.“Networked HP” makes sense. and I’ll use this as the default printer. 13 . we won’t share this printer. You’ll find later that sharing out a printer is a convenient way to give the printer driver to another PC. For now.

We’ve completed the wizard. click Finish.We’ll print a test page for good measure. Click Next. 14 .

when the print server is connected to your router via a CAT5 cable. The printer itself is old. the printer driver was unavailable to choose from. it’s assumed that you can print to your networked printer through one PC. The IP of the print server 2. it’s all about the following items: 1. You can disconnect the printer from the print server and install it locally to each PC. 4. by sharing out the networked printer from the first PC. 15 . This will allow Windows itself to transfer the driver over the network. Oops! One option doesn’t work: It turns out that we tried option #3 in the lab. This can be done in the following ways: 1. The exact port name as specified by your print server instructions 3. however when we tried to install the printer on the second PC via the TCP/IP port. and Windows will have the driver anyway (unlikely) 2. a test page should now be printing. then install that shared printer on your other PC’s. If your having trouble. Make sure the printer works when attached locally to your PC!!! Getting other PC’s to print to the networked printer Before going through the next steps. which will get the printer to show up in the driver list (a bit tedious). Share out the networked printer on the first PC. This was successful in terms of being able to print to the printer. Obtain drivers off the web and have them available when the install asks for them. The printer was mentioned by exact name when you searched for the driver by manufacturer / model number. Make sure the driver exists on the second and any other computers you want to print to the networked printer. then connecting to that shared printer via the first PC.In theory. 3.

and didn’t bother telling my where to find the .So what does work? We’re down to two options: Installing the printer locally via the USB port. because the install CD that came with the printer just wanted to run through a “next next next” setup.inf file during the network printer install. which suggest that the executable will expand into the needed files. Going to hp.inf file. I download the (It’s a Hewlett Packard 3845 printer). I want to select an . Ideally. I also find some directions. I was a bit leery about going to the web to get the drivers. An inf file is a “pointer” that tells the PC to install the drivers. or downloading the drivers off the web. I find where to download the XP driver: Two choices. and not force me into some kind of 16 . I always go for the simpler one.

I downloaded the file into a folder called “driver” on my desktop. Once clicked on. Armed with the location of the driver. Presumably. this can also be done on your first PC. it expands into various folders and files within the folder I downloaded it to. Remember that this is the second PC I’m trying to connect. careful to select the correct port name supplied by the print server. I begin the TCP/IP port install just as with the first PC. We’ll click Have Disk and point it to the location of our driver that we downloaded. 17 . That type of “Welcome to your printer setup. It’s not on the floppy. when the install gets to this point: You may be able to click Have Disk and browse to your install CD on D drive (or another letter).full screen graphical setup. but this tutorial assumes you bought a print server for an existing printer. this will install Printer X on your PC” is of no use when you’re trying to connect to a networked printer. However. One of those files is our magical “inf” file. so click Browse.

There are a few subfolders. 18 .inf Click Open. the “full path” of the inf file is represented. but you can see I’ve found the inf file: hp3840p. Click OK. Now.“Drill down” until you get to exactly where you extracted the driver files.

and then click Next. even though it did not show up in the driver list.Highlight the printer in blue. 19 . I had already installed this printer (see the “Oops” on page 15). I’ll keep the existing driver.

20 .10. and locate the wireless setup area. and let it go wireless. because the print server and the PC had their gateways set to 192.1 – they looked to the router to find out how to connect. It’s a bit irksome that this did not work for the wireless PC. with a successful test page.1. but to my surprise this did not work until I unplugged the CAT5 cable from the print server. Access your print server via its IP address. and the rest of the install goes exactly like the first. Enabling Wireless on the print server The DLink G-310 is capable of going wired or wireless. I expected the wireless PC to be able to access the print server by going to 192. Actually.168. our second PC above was wireless.I’ll supply a name. It’s something to be aware of. and I had to enable the wireless aspect of the print server.1.168. My first wired PC was still able to print to it.

since we have a central wireless point (our wireless router). You’ll have to bring your router down to WEP to make this work with encryption. which is “linksys”. Note how “Link: Yes” is a good sign. Much like a wireless router. I typed in the SSID of my router. channel.The connection mode will be Infrastructure. The channel is 6. If you find you really can’t get wireless to work. If you do go with WEP. then work your way back up with security settings. Note this does not have WPA support. and WEP match EXACTLY what your wireless router has. remove the barriers: Disable all encryption (WEP or WPA) Go back to broadcasting the SSID at the router Once you establish connectivity. 21 . make sure the settings on all of your wireless devices match what’s on your router. the print server also has a wireless status page. Make sure that your SSID. and WEP is disabled.

The printer driver available on your PC 22 .To summarize. if necessary) 2. here’s what you’ll need to get a print server up and running: 1. The IP of the print server (change it to be on your network. The exact port name as specified in the print server instructions 3.

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