PC can have many printers installed but only one is the default printer in Windows, to which OS prints by default unless other is selected. Printers can be installed as a local peripheral to PC or as network printer.
As Local Printer
Local printer can be installed as per the different interface on PC and on printer which could be FireWire, USB, or wireless connection. Steps for Windows operating system is
- Install the printer driver software before connecting the printer or connect the printer before installing the driver software as per the printer documentation. Wireless printer needs wireless connection software on PC and connection to be enabled.
- Connect the printer to the port on PC. Infrared printer should be placed in line of sight of the infrared port on PC.
- Power on the printer.
- Printer setup program detects the printer.
- Choose to make the printer to be default printer or not after which setup program completes.
- Print a test page to test printer and its connectivity.
As Network printer
A printer can be used on a network by sharing or if it is a network printer having a network interface to connect directly to the network.
Sharing a printer –A shared printer uses network interface of PC to which it is connected and is available to all users of network. But, sharing of local printer needs the PC should be power on with printer sharing option enabled and other PC on the network have printer drivers installed . Steps to share a local printer in Windows XP
- Enable file and printer sharing on PC to which printer is installed if disabled
- In control panel click on printer and faxes.
- Right click and select properties on the printer to be shared
- In the Sharing tab click share printer and change the share name of the printer if needed.
- Printer drivers to network PC using other OS, click Additional Drivers to select other OS.
- Test the printer from a network PC after printer driver install, by printing a test page.
Install a Network printer – Network printer with network interface connects to network without any PC and is identified on the network by its IP address. Network printers come either with pre-configured IP address or it takes an IP address by DHCP. Steps to install are
- Connect the printer to network by wired or wireless connection to router or switch of network and power on the printer.
- All network printers can print a configuration sheet by its in-built menu options, listing its network configuration and of which IP address is needed.
- Next steps are for the PC on network which want to use the network printer and are same as that of adding a local printer but without connecting to the printer
- Click on Start, Control Panel and then click on Printers and Faxes there. Click Add Printer.
- The Add Printer wizard will start. Select Local printer attached to this computer and uncheck automatically detecting the printer for stand-alone printer. Select a network printer for either a printer connected to another PC or a printer on a print server.
- Click Next and select the Create a new port option and choose Standard TCP/IP Port.
- Click Next and add a TCP/IP printer port wizard starts. On the main wizard screen click Next. In the first text box, Printer Name or IP Address, enter the IP address.
- Click Next and depending on the printer, one or more dialog comes before the end of the wizard. If the network card for the printer cannot be identified, the wizard will ask to choose the card type. Leave the default of “Generic Network Card” and click Next.
- Click Next and click Finish. Then continue with the Add Printer wizard and choose the printer from the list of manufacturers or click Have Disk and insert your printer driver CD.
- Click Next and give a name for printer and click Yes radio button to make it default printer.
- Click Next and select no to share the printer.
- Click Next and click Yes to print a test page and make sure that PC and printer can communicate.