Successfully share a printer between two PCs

December 2016



I took this morning helping a neighbor implement printer sharing in his home network where a Canon MP160 printer is connected to a Compaq Presario desktop PC running Windows VISTA Home Premium with SP1. He wanted to be able to print wirelessly from an Acer TravelMate 4000 notebook running Windows XP with SP3 in another room. If you follow these steps everything should work first time but be patient while Windows finds the new printer share.
  • 1. Right click My Computer and open Properties on the PC connected to the printer. Write down the Workgroup name on a piece of paper, or change it to a new name keeping this new name to something simple like DADSHOME. If you change the Workgroup name, you will need to re-boot the PC for the new Workgroup name to take effect.
  • 2. Go to the other PC or PC's - those without the wired printer connection, and from which you want to print remotely - and change the Workgroup name to whatever the Workgroup name is in Properties for the PC with the printer connected. In the example in 1. above, you would change each PC's Workgroup name to read DADSHOME. As in 1. above too, anytime you change the Workgroup name you must re-boot that computer for the changed Workgroup name to apply. When done, all your PC's in the home network will have the same Workgroup name, and this is a basic requirement for printer sharing to work.
  • 3. Now back to the host computer, the one to which the printer is hard-wired running VISTA, there are some more things to do on that box:
    • In your Network Connections click on Properties to bring up the adapters and protocols that Microsoft has installed. The box for File and Printer sharing for Microsoft Networks must be checked. Close Properties. If you have made any changes, Windows will probably ask you to re-boot your system for changes to take effect.
    • Second, in Control Panel look for Printers.You will find an option to add a printer. Here there are three details to pay close attention to.


In the Sharing tab, check the right to share printer box, and Apply the change, OK;

Make sure that you are automatically allowing any other remote PC that you are allowing to share this printer to load an identical printer driver to the one used by the host PC.

Uncheck the box nect to Printer-password access in VISTA to share the printer on the network.

This should take about ten minutes in total to complete.

Thanks to daibak for this tip on the forum.

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