Windows XP Home to Vista printer sharing problem

HP OfficeJet V40 on Windows XP Home. Vista laptop. Let’s share the printer. Should be easy enough.

Surprisingly, it is. Especially once you remember to put both machines in the same workgroup. Vista’s default workgroup is WORKGROUP and XP Home’s default workgroup is MSHOME.

I shared the printer on XP and gave it a name (“Margaret?”). I accessed the share on the Vista machine, connected to the printer and Vista installed the drivers and tells me that the printer is ready to go. Splendid.

So, test page time. The test page says it’s printed, it appears in the print spooler, says it’s printed and disappears from the spooler. But here’s the small caveat: when I get upstairs to the printer, nothing has been printed. Yet there are no error messages or error events on either the Vista machine or the XP Home machine. To the contrary, the Vista print spooler reports the page printed fine.

The print job just vanishes into the ether. Spooky. Sorry, wow.

Fortunately, Google came to my help and pointed me in the direction of this post at Consider It Fixed: Printer Sharing Problem in Windows Vista. He reports on a solution found on the Windows Help forum which also takes you to this post on the Windows Users Group Network.

Those posts gives these steps and fixed my problem of disappearing print jobs. It also fixes “Access Denied” problems when you try to install a printer on Vista shared from an XP machine. Read all the instruction first.

  • Add your printer (in my case an Hewlett Packard OfficeJet V40) as a local printer on your Vista machine. Open Control Panel/Printers/Add a Printer/Add a Local Printer and “Use the existing port LPT1:”. Then select the make and model of your printer, etc. Do not set up the new printer as a network printer yet.
  • After Vista has finished installing the driver, right-click your new printer and open the “Properties” window. Select the “Ports” tab and click “Add Port.”
  • Make sure that Local Port is selected from the list and then select “New Port”. When the “Enter a Port Name” field comes up, manually add a new Local Port as follows: \\computer_name\shared_printer_name as the port name.
    For example, if the computer name for the Windows XP PC sharing the printer is “SlimmPC” and the shared printer is “v40” enter \\SlimmPC\v40 then select “OK”.
  • Now return to the port list and select the newly created port as the active port for the printer.
  • To test the printer, open Word and print to the newly created printer.
  • If that works, go to some of the above web posts and add your appreciation in a comment or mark the posts as helpful.
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21 thoughts on “Windows XP Home to Vista printer sharing problem

  1. Thanks for some other informative blog. Where else may I am getting that kind of information written in such an ideal manner? I have a undertaking that I am simply now running on, and I’ve been at the glance out for such information.

  2. Maggie Schultz :
    Whilst the information seemed extremely useful at first , we still did not manage to get our Dell 3110 hocked up. Any information regarding networking a Dell network printer withing VISTA ?

    The very first step is to make sure that both computers are in the same workgroup, especially if you have a Vista / XP combo on your home network. You might have missed that in the 2nd paragraph.

    I know that this issue got me twice. Once with a laptop with Vista trying to share a printer connected to a desktop running XP.

    Vista had the workgroup named “WORKGROUP” and XP had it named “MSHOME”.

    I changed the XP machine to join the workgroup named “WORKGROUP”, restarted the XP machine and I was able to connect and share printers, folders, etc.

    Make sure you try that first and see if it works, if not then try the tricks in the rest of the article.

    Hope that helps someone

  3. Whilst the information seemed extremely useful at first , we still did not manage to get our Dell 3110 hocked up. Any information regarding networking a Dell network printer withing VISTA ?

  4. Thank you, Fixed – over a week talking to Microsoft including over a day talking to 2nd line support with remote online support on my pc and they couldnt fix this. But you did. Well Done and thank you for helping all of us!

  5. I’m pulling my hair out. This works great…. until I reboot. I can go through these steps again and it’ll work until I shut down.

    Everything else works: file sharing, internet, etc.

    I’m starting to think it’s a router issue.

  6. Thank you so much. i had almost given up on getting this to work, but now thanks to your help….IT WORKS. thank you thank you thank you :-)

  7. thanks!!!!
    i have tried several methods to try and fix this problem on my network. this was a new idea and i gave it a try.
    It worked… thanks again.

  8. Great! really useful

    a week I have tried but no work, but when I found this way

    just an hour to solve it. Greatttt!!!!

  9. Thank you so very much for the helpful hint. I have been trying to get my printer to work or find a solution to this problem for almost 1 year now. Many thanks.

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