Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Printer Sharing Problems with Vista and Windows 7

I have one computer in the living room running Windows 7 Ultimate 32bit, and a notebook computer in the bedroom running Windows Vista Home Premium 64bit. I have a Brother HL-2140 printer connected to the Windows 7 computer. The computers are all on a wireless network. The Windows 7 computer is set to share the printer, and my Windows Vista system sees it on the network. When I try to install it, it complains about not having the correct driver. So I install the Brother driver on the Vista computer and set up a printer at LPT1: just to get the driver installed. When I tried again, I got the same thing. Numerous boards and a few Microsoft KB articles suggest creating the network port first, then install the printer to that port. When I try to create the port, Vista tells me that the access is denied.
I then use the CD supplied with the printer to install the driver and select the printer on the network using the Brother printer. This seems to work at first; I can print the initial test page just fine. However, when I send print jobs, the queue says "cannot connect, access is denied."
I had about given up entirely. I finally solved the problem by getting on the Windows 7 machine and installing the LPD Print Service component. Then, I went to my Vista computer and installed the LPR Port Monitor component. After that, I was able to install the printer successfully. I chose Local Printer, created a new LPR port, and entered the address of the Win7 system, and entered the share name of the printer.
It appears that the problem is caused by a mix of permissions changes to the Win7 spooler folder perhaps caused by an update, the Brother driver itself, and the mix of 32- and 64-bit systems.

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