Missing Windows 7 USB Printer Support


  • Question: When will Windows 7 provide support for a USB printer that is physically connected to another computer on a home network?


    Problem: Laptop (i64) on home network with Windows 7 does not support printing to a USB connected printer (HP Deskjet Pro 8500 A909a) that is physically connected to a XP Pro desktop on the same home network.  The printer Properties window for the Ports tab displays “USB002” for the Port and “Virtual printer port for USB” for the Description, but is "grayed-out".


    Note: Windows Vista and XP computers on the home network do support this printing configuration.


    Apparently, the only Windows 7 print options that will work are that the printer must be physically connected one of the following two ways:


    1. The printer must be directly connected to one of the Windows 7 computer’s USB ports, or
    2. The printer must be connected to the home network via the printer’s Ethernet port.


    Option 1 above is not practical because the i64 laptop is not always connected to the home network and other computers on the home network (desktops) must have 24 x 7 access to the printer.


    Option 2 above does not work because there are no available Ethernet ports on the home network's 4‑port Router.  This option would work if I added Ethernet ports to the network by either: (1) purchasing a new Router with more than 4-ports, or (2) purchasing an Ethernet Switch and connect it to the network.

    • Edited by Rick Flack Monday, December 14, 2009 4:52 PM Correct typing error.
    Monday, December 14, 2009 4:37 PM

All replies

  • But they do

    Quote from "Jimbo45" on Windows 7 forum...


    I've posted on this before but to share Printers attached to XP computers with either X-64 or X-32 versions of W7 is SIMPLE. These instructions are for the Printer attached to the XP machine (but works in reverse as well).

    ("Stand alone" Network printers can be done slightly similarly BTW).

    assume the computers are call XPMACHINE and W7MACHINE.

    1) Ensure Printer on XP machine is shared - assume it's called SHAREDPRINTER.

    2) On the Network Browsing on your W7 machine ensure you can "See" the Printer share.

    Now on the W7 machine do the following (doesn't matter if it's X-86 or x-64).

    3) Control Panel==> add LOCAL (Yes LOCAL) printer. I know it's on a Network but hold your horses -- what we are actually doing is "Poodlefaking" the W7 machine into thinking it's running the printer.

    4) Create NEW port==>Local port


    6) Now W7 will load a driver and you'll be able to print on the XP machine.


    (For a "Network stand alone printer") at 4) chose TCPIP port
    and at 5) enter the IP address.

    If the printer is on the W7 machine and you want to print on the XP machine then do the same instructions on the XP machine -- 
    port name in this case will be \\W7MACHINE\SHAREDPRINTER

    Monday, December 14, 2009 6:40 PM