Friday, April 3, 2009

Sharing a printer between Vista and XP

Up to now I've been quite happy with running the new computer under Vista 64-bit. But today I encountered the first major problem: I can't share my HP Laserjet 1200 printer over my network any more. The printer is not a network printer per se, but has to be connected via USB to one of the two computers, one running under Vista 64 bit, the other running under Windows XP 32 bit. The printer always runs on the computer he is connected to, but I can't share him over the network.

The problem appears to be the drivers. Although the printer has been connected to both computers, and drivers thus have been installed, both computers instantly forget those drivers as soon as the printer is unplugged. And when trying to access the printer on the other computer, I get a message that I don't have the right drivers. Now on both operating systems there is a button on the printer sharing window with the option to install "additional drivers". But the options under Windows XP don't include Vista, and when I select "x86" under Vista, I only get another window asking me to browse for an .inf file. I downloaded the Windows XP drivers for the HP Laserjet 1200, but Vista refuses to recognize the hpbf311i.inf file.

So I'm stuck, and every time I want to print with another computer, I need to crawl behind my desk and plug the printer in the computer I want to print with. :( Anyone got a better idea?

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