Printing woes on XP
September 3, 2007 3:40 PM   Subscribe

Apple Airport wireless printing problem: I am able to print wireless from my MacBook to our printer (via our Airport). My girlfriend, on the other hand, cannot. She has XP.

I have read old AskMe threads and followed those instructions (like setting up printer sharing on her computer) but nothing has worked. When we try to print from her laptop, we get a dialogue box reading "the printer is offline." I am no Mac expert but I am DEFINITELY lost on how to deal with PCs. Thank you.
posted by sneakin to Computers & Internet (8 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
Well, I've never tried to print to an Airport from Windows. If it looks like a standard Internet Printer Protocol device, you have to add a "port" in Windows; you do this during printer setup. You tell it "Standard TCP/IP Port", and tell it the IP address and port of the router: that'll be wherever the Airport is, and usually port 9100. It then creates the virtual port. You then choose a printer model to 'connect' to that virtual port. Instead of LPT1, the printer is on the port, say, IP_192.168.0.10.

If you can't figure out the port thing, another workaround might be to connect to the printer from your Mac, and share it. Then connect to the Mac's printer share from Windows. That will mean you'll need both computers on for the Windows box to print, but it'll probably be easier to configure.

Have you checked the Apple support site? They're not too into Windows, but I can't imagine that this is terribly uncommon.
posted by Malor at 4:34 PM on September 3, 2007

Set up a TCP/IP printer in Windows XP. You'll need the TCP/IP address for the printer, and the port numbers it uses. For common HP printers running on Ethernet interfaces, such as internal JetDirect cards, this will be TCP/IP port 9100.

If you have some other printer, provide details, for additional help.
posted by paulsc at 4:34 PM on September 3, 2007

Oh, note that I'm using 'port' in a confusing way. That's because it can mean two things. You have physical ports on the back of a computer, like LPT1 and COM1. Then you have TCP/IP ports, which are local attach points for services. HTTP, for instance, usually runs on port 80, where SSL is usually on port 443.

There's two basic ways to use a network printer; either connect to some other machine and have it handle everything (printer sharing), or else talk to the printer directly over the network. If you go the second route, you create a virtual physical port (the first sense of the word). You're connecting it to an IP address and port... in the SECOND sense of the word.

Hopefully that will be a little clearer. I'm finding this surprisingly hard to explain.
posted by Malor at 4:44 PM on September 3, 2007

try this page - it helped me.
posted by ascullion at 6:37 PM on September 3, 2007

Best answer: apple has this neat little protocol called Bonjour... it lets anything with an IP address talk to anything else with an IP address without having to configure anything. macs have it natively installed and integrated into the OS... windows needs a little help.

Here is the link.
posted by hummercash at 8:18 PM on September 3, 2007

2nding Bonjour for Windows - after dicking about several times with getting various printers connected directly to Macs or Airports working from Windows, I learned my lesson and now just install and run the Bonjour Printer Wizard.

It Just Works.
posted by Pinback at 2:59 AM on September 4, 2007

Response by poster: Thank you everyone for your help. I will be trying this all out in the next day or two when I have a free moment and might post followup questions in the thread if I am still too challenged to make it work.
posted by sneakin at 6:50 AM on September 4, 2007

Response by poster: Wheeee! We can print! Bonjour rules! And so does anyone who helped us with this.
posted by sneakin at 6:55 PM on September 4, 2007

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