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Summary:

Before I switched to a Mac, I had a home network set up so that I could print and share files without many problems. Having a networked printer is great for anyone with a laptop. My wife’s computer at home is a PC (not for long, […]

Before I switched to a Mac, I had a home network set up so that I could print and share files without many problems. Having a networked printer is great for anyone with a laptop. My wife’s computer at home is a PC (not for long, though) and the printer is hooked up to it. We do have a network set up and we constantly transfer files back and forth between our computers.

I want to be able to print at home without disconnecting everything from her computer and connecting it to my MacBook. I have heard that it is super easy to add printers in OS X, but haven’t tried to add one on a network yet. I have, however had excellent success adding printers anywhere else, especially if they are IP printers.

It started off well enough, I selected “add new printer,” then chose “more printers” and chose Windows printing.

Network Neighborhood worked instead of Workgroup for our XP network. I connected to the network, authenticated, and then tried to print. No dice.

I didn’t know what to do, and I couldn’t find any helpful resources on the internet. So, I decided to try turning on file and Windows sharing in the sharing preference pane.

I will spare you the frustrations that entail when adding the printer 15 times and authenticating with different passwords. Let me digress here and say that I am shocked that when I was trying to add my printer, there was no search box that allowed me to type in part of the printer number and narrow the search down. Instead, I had to scroll through that list for a long time trying to find the browser. And, besides, nobody owns or uses the things at the top of a long list. People always use what is the third or fourth one from the bottom (maybe I should start looking at the bottom, instead of the top).

What finally worked was authenticating through the add printer dialog as my wife’s username and password. Well, at least I thought that would work. That spit out 20 blank pages and 5 gibberish pages. But at least the connection was not refused as it had been so many times before.

Back to the drawing board. Another search led me to Gutenprint, so I tried to add the printer again after installing that. That worked! Kind of.

Gutenprint only kind of worked because it didn’t have my printer model number: HP PSC 2355xi all-in-one. I had to choose a lower model number (HP PSC 2210) and that one printed out my document correctly.

I decided that I would try to install the specific printer driver again, and see if that worked. I had already done this, but for some reason, my specific printer model never showed up. I installed it, and my printer driver never showed up. So, I guess that I will have to stick with a lower model number than my printer’s model number. I can live with that.

I still had a question, though, what about Windows sharing? I know that is for Windows users to be able to print to a printer connected to my Mac. I disabled that and file sharing and it worked just fine.

This took me a long time to figure out, and it was very frustrating. I am happy to say that it is pretty much the only frustrating thing that has happened since I switched to a Mac. Frustration was a weekly theme when working with my PCs in the past.

So, in summary, to add a printer via the network your Mac that is connected via USB to a PC on your network, download Guten-print and be sure to authenticate as a real user of that PC.

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  1. Couldn’t you have downloaded bonjour for windows and connected to the printer that way?

  2. @dendon
    Not all printers support bonjour. At least from what experienced.

  3. @ipodrulz
    Don’t all mac compatible printers support bonjour? I am guessing here…not too sure though. ” want to be able to print at home without disconnecting everything from her computer and connecting it to my MacBook.”

  4. I sometimes take my MacBook to work. When I connected to our HP laser printer (with Bonjour), I was surprised to see that the printer icon wasn’t a generic one, but was a perfect representation of that particular printer model. Cool!

  5. @dendon

    That’s not how Bonjour on Windows works. It only allows you to CONNECT to a Bonjour printer, not SHARE a printer with Bonjour.

  6. couldn’t you have spared us all of the ways it wouldn’t work and just cut to the chase with:
    So, in summary, to add a printer via the network your Mac that is connected via USB to a PC on your network, download Guten-print and be sure to authenticate as a real user of that PC.

    And that, ladies and gentlemen, is why I will never own a mac! (Ever wonder why you can’t buy a ‘Mac simulator pgm’ for PC? Because a PC can already do everything a Mac can do, and cheaper, and more simply!)

  7. Wow… amazing. A PC can’t even begin to come close to doing what a MAC will do. The best solution is to get rid of all PCs and stick with the best – MACs.

  8. I am running a IMac, OSX Leopard as my main tool for work and is connected via usb to a Canon iP4200 printer and works fine. I have tried to connect my PC laptop (runs XP) to this printer via my LAN that includes both computers but the printer refuses to print from the laptop. The PC laptop finds the shared Canon ok on the network and is set as its default printer, and even says it is printing but doesn’t. Any ideas would be appreciated

  9. Dont think this will work with printers connected to a windows PC, this is only for Direct USB and IP Printers, am i correct?

  10. gwenannwilson Thursday, April 22, 2010

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  11. “So, in summary, to add a printer via the network your Mac that is connected via USB to a PC on your network, download Guten-print and be sure to authenticate as a real user of that PC.”

    That sentence makes no sense.

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