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Solved: Win7 & XP in network with 2 printers

Discussion in 'Networking' started by john8418, Aug 31, 2011.

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  1. john8418

    john8418 Thread Starter

    Aug 31, 2011
    I work in a small print/copy shop. For some time we've had a simple system: a single XP machine printing to a couple of printer/copiers connected by ethernet cable.

    The XP often needed several reboots a day: a lot of the problem came from having to run too many programmes at once. Word, Excel, Firefox as standard, then probably Photoshop, Illustrator, Quark. Then somebody comes in and wants a Publisher file printed, or a 500mB Photoshop file, and everything grinds to a halt.

    The work started picking up recently and we decided it was time to invest in a new, faster PC: a nice Win7 x64 with loads of memory and a terabyte of disc space. I knew there were networking issues between win7 & XP, but I've always managed to figure things out eventually.

    It's been three weeks :(

    The problem really began the day before the new machine was delivered. The XP got hit by a really nasty virus. No matter how much I cleaned it off, it kept coming back. Eventually I gave up and reinstalled Windows. And lost connection to both printers. I did manage to get the new machine connected to the main printer/copier, so we were still in business while I figured out the rest.

    Internet access has to be via the XP. We're on TalkTalk via a Speedtouch 330 modem. No drivers available for Win7 x64... I've managed to get the two machines connected and using the shared internet link, but it's flaky. Every couple of days the Win7 machine decides it's on two networks, not one: the Private network I've set up, and another, Public network that it seems to pluck out of thin air. When this happens I lose internet sharing from the XP, though file sharing is still enabled.

    I'm hoping I can figure that one out. It's the other problem that has me beat. I now have two computers, two printers, all on a cabled ethernet network. From any machine I can ping all the others. From the two PCs I can "see" both printers, at least to the point of being able to query their configuration & setup. From the PCs I can print to the main machine: a Xerox 242 colour copier/printer. Can't print to the other: a Canon 3035 black&white copier/printer. Not even a Windows test page.

    Here's how things stand at the moment:
    XP - DHCP disabled, IP
    Win7 - DHCP enabled (auto IP), alternate configuration IP
    Xerox242 - DHCP disabled, IP
    Canon3035 - DHCP disabled, IP

    I've tried various combinations, starting with DHCP enabled for all machines, then DHCP disabled for all machines. This is the only setup I've found which gives internet sharing from XP to Win7, plus printing to the Xerox. So why won't it print to the Canon?

    Any thoughts? Sorry this is such a long post, but I've tried to trim out most of the angst :(
  2. Courtneyc


    Dec 6, 2003
    If I were you, I would make a couple of investments (all less than $100). Dump the USB modem. Get an ASDL modem with an Ethernet port. Also, purchase a SOHO router (like a Netgear, Linksys, Dlink or Belkin). Just about any one will do. Follow the instructions on setting up the devices. You will find that the router will hand out IP addresses in a specific range. Note that range.

    Now you have a DHCP server on your network and you don't need software to connect. (I.e., it doesn't matter what computers you have on your network; everything will work via TCP/IP). Change all of your computer devices to DHCP. Change all of your printers to a static address, but this is important.

    Using the range you recorded in an earlier step, manually assign addresses to the printers that are NOT in the range of the router. For example, if the router assigns addresses from to, sent the printers to and 201. Remember that you normally cannot use .1 (the router itself) or 255 (a broadcast IP).

    Now, on all you computers, you want to install the printers locally, but assign them to a TCP/IP port. Remember, these are NOT network printers (Microsoft definition), they are local print devices, connected via network.

    Using this setup, you don't need to do anything special to the computers, they will work right out of the box. You also don't need any additional drivers and you even have a firewall (of sorts). This setup also has the advantage of not relying on any individual PC or printer. XP failing will have no effect on the Windows 7 machine or vice versa. One or the other doesn't even need to be on.
  3. john8418

    john8418 Thread Starter

    Aug 31, 2011
    Thanks, Courtney. I'm going to take your advice and get a new ASDL modem. It's a bother having to turn on the XP just to give internet access on the new machine, and a constant worry that one day the old faithful is going to die, leaving no internet at all. Having both machines independently online makes a lot more sense.

    I've solved my other problem, so I won't be needing the SOHO router for now, though I agree it would be a good idea and I'll probably do it when we have some spare cash.

    The problem connecting the Canon 3035? While I was playing about with the settings, I clicked "yes" to "permitted IP range" and then didn't fill anything in. So the printer was simply rejecting everything that came in. <where's the red-face smiley when you need it?>

    Thanks again
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