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Installing an XP Printer

Friday, February 16th, 2007 by | Filed Under: Printing Help

Installing an XP Printer

Have you recently bought a new printer for your computer? Are you having trouble installing it? Does your computer use Windows XP? If you answered yes to all of those questions, then I’ve got something you’re really going to love. Let’s check it out!

Believe it or not, but Windows XP actually makes installing a printer a relatively easy and painless process. There is no need to even turn the computer off. In fact, if your printer connects using a USB port, you can simply plug in the printer’s power cord and plug the printer cable into the USB port on the computer and power it up. Windows XP will then use what is known as the “plug and play” technology to access the printer. This process will detect the printer as “New Found Hardware” and it will automatically install the correct drivers so that you can begin printing right away. Awesome, huh?!

If your computer is unable to detect the new printer, you can use the “Add Printer Wizard” or “Found New Hardware Wizard” to install your printer instead. The “Add Printer Wizard” will walk you through installing either a network or local printer and if there are any problems, Windows XP will open the “Found New Hardware Wizard” to help troubleshoot and fix them.

So, let’s start with the “Add Printer Wizard.” Go ahead and click the Start button, then Printers and Faxes. If you don’t see Printers and Faxes, you may need to go into the Control Panel first (the classic version). Go to Start, Control Panel, Printers and Faxes.

In the task pane to the left, click Add a Printer and then hit the Next button to open the wizard.

If you are setting up a printer that is connected to your computer, click the “Local printer attached to this computer” option button and then click Next.

Check the “Use the following port” option and make sure the recommended port is selected in the list box. Click Next when you’re done.

Scroll down the list box of manufacturers until you find your printer’s manufacturer name. This may be HP, Lexmark or others. It just depends on what you bought. Once the correct manufacturer is selected, you can pick the printer model name from the Printers list box. Click on the printer name once you find it and then click Next.

Now, you can name the printer and set it to be the default printer for your computer. The name should be less than 31 characters. If you have access to other printers on a network, you will also want to give it a descriptive name so that you know, at a glance, which printer you are using each time in the future.

If you are not on a network, click the “Do not share this printer” option button. If your computer is on a network and you would like to share your printer, you can do so by giving it a share name. Click Next when you’re all set.

If the printer came with a disk, you will need to insert it now. The computer will search for the appropriate driver on the disk and install it. Click Next and Finish to complete the wizard. You can print a test page at the end of the wizard to verify that the printer is functioning normally.

There you have it. A printer installation that just can’t get any easier!

~ Katherine Bennett

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