MyHomeServer Tutorials – Sharing a Printer using your HP MediaSmart Server
Using your HP MediaSmart server to share a printer is simple and easy to do, it’s just not supported by HP. Keep in mind that some multifunction printers will not be fully functional in this scenario. They will print, but you may not be able to use scanning software, etc.
Before you begin, we must warn you that you could screw up your server if you don’t follow this tutorial properly. You’ll also need your Windows XP printer driver handy. Again, we are not responsible if you screw up your server or have problems with sharing!
STEP 1 – Move the printer driver over to your MediaSmart Server - Copy your Windows XP compatible printer driver files over to the MediaSmart server. We copied it over to the shared folder for software on the MediaSmart
STEP 2 – Using Remote Desktop to login to your MediaSmart Server - Now that we have the printer driver copied over to the MediaSmart, we can login to the server with Remote Desktop. In order to login, you need to start a remote desktop session. Using the same laptop/desktop you used in previous steps, click Start, Program files, Accessories, Communications and select REMOTE DESKTOP CONNECTION and you will see a screenshot similar to the one shown below:
Using the internal IP to connect to the MediaSmart with Remote Desktop
STEP 3 – Connecting to the Server using Remote Desktop - You now need to know either the internal LAN IP address of the MediaSmart server, or the server name such as HPServer, or in our case, we called it MyMediaSmart. Using either the LAN IP or the server name, enter that into the remote desktop connection dialog as shown in one of the two screenshots below:
STEP 4 – Logging into the Server using Remote Desktop - You should be see the login for the MediaSmart server using remote desktop as shown in the screenshot below. Use the administrator account and password for the MediaSmart server and it will log you into the desktop of the MediaSmart
Logging into the HP MediaSmart server with Remote Desktop using the administrator account
STEP 5 – Plug the printer into the MediaSmart – Now you should be logged into the desktop of the MediaSmart server. CAUTION: You can really screw things up here if you don’t know what you are doing! We are not responsible for you screwing up your server! Plug in your USB printer into a USB port on the back of the MediaSmart.
STEP 6 – Installing the printer on the MediaSmart - This will bring up a a dialog explaining that new hardware was found. You should then follow the prompts and eventually point to your printer driver that you put on the MediaSmart. Your printer will be installed and you should perform a test print to make sure the printer is installed and working properly.
Step 7 – Sharing the printer on the network - We now need to make sure that the printer is properly installed and shared on the network. To make sure the printer is shared, click on Start, the select Printers and Faxes. Once the Printers and Faxes window is open, you’ll see the printer you just installed, in our case, a Brother multifunction printer as shown below:
Checking that the printer is installed and shared on the HP MediaSmart server
Step 8 – Checking that the printer is properly shared - Right-Click on your printer and select PROPERTIES. You will then see the dialog as shown below. Click on the SHARING tab to check that the printer is shared properly on the network.
Getting to the printer properties on the HP MediaSmart server
Step 9 – Reviewing the printer sharing information - Now that you are on the sharing tab, make sure “Share this Printer” is selected and input your desired name for the shared printer. The printer will show up on the network as this name. We named our shared printer to be “Printer” on the network as shown below. You can adjust security if you want to tweak who can and can’t use the printer by clicking on the Security tab. Otherwise, click OK to complete the printer sharing and disconnect your Remote Desktop session to the server.
Sharing the printer on the network using the HP MediaSmart server
Step 10 – Installing the printer on other PC’s – The printer is now shared and ready to be accessed by other PC’s on the same network. To install the printer, do the following on each system you wish to print from:
- Click Start, Control Panel and find Printers and Faxes
- Under Printers and Faxes, click ADD PRINTER
- Select “A Network Printer, Or a Printer attached to another Computer”
There are a few ways to find the shared printer and install the driver, select one of the 3 methods below:
- If you know the IP address and printer name, you can input \\LANIPAddress\PrinterName
- If you know the Server Name on the network and the printer name, you can input \\ServerName\PrinterName
- You can select “browse for a printer” and then browse on the network to find your shared printer.
Using the MediaSmart Server Name to install the shared printer onto the client system
Once you find the shared printer using one of the above methods, double click on it and you will be asked if you wish to install the printer driver on the PC. Click YES to install the printer. Once the printer is installed, you will be asked if you wish to make this the default printer. Click yes if you would like to have all print jobs be sent to this printer by default.
That’s it! You should repeat installing the printer on each system that you wish to have print to the shared printer.