Using WHS as a print server

Connect your printers to WHS itself.  By doing this, your other connected client PCs will be able to print if you’re “main” PC is off or inaccessible.  That is one of the benefits of installing your printers onto WHS, using it as a print server.

If WHS does not find the driver automatically try downloading Server 2003 drivers from your printer manufacture website as this is what WHS is based on. You may also try XP drivers in compatibility mode. Right click the executable, Select Properties, Select Compatibility, Select “Run this program in compatibility mode for” and Select Windows XP from the drop-down.

If this still does not work see if your printer manufacturer offers a trimmed-down basic driver as HP does for my HP DeskJet 990cxi printer.

If your driver came as an exe file you can also try to extract the inf files by using WinRAR. Right click the exe file, WinRAR then Extract. If no Extract option appears your final option is to use an exe extractor utility like Universal Extractor which will try to extract files from any type of archive allowing you to use device manager to locate and install the driver from the inf files.

Make sure WHS is assigning itself to the proper workgroup. Is it WORKGROUP, MSHOME or something else? Make you’re your server and clients match.

When installing a multi-function printer (MFD) on a server the only function supported is printing as the drivers for scanning/faxing will NOT work.

N.B. If you are using Windows Vista be aware that when you come to add your network printer drivers to your client machine that User Access Control (UAC) must be set to the default enabled. Otherwise the following error message appears “The specified print monitor is unknown”. This happens when the machine try’s to automatically install the printer drivers. With UAC disabled the printer drivers cannot be installed from the server.

To re-enable UAC, go to Control Panel Classic View, User Accounts and click on “Turn User Account Control on or off”. Make sure that “Use user Account Control (UAC) to help protect your computer” is ticked.

UPDATE: The following site has links to find drivers for almost any printer on the web.

UPDATE 2: 1) If your driver has an exe extension and none of the above works, then you can run the install program and the files will be extracted to the temp folder of your user profile. So go through the setup routine clinking next and keep looking within the folder above. The files should be in there own sub folder in that folder, but not always.

2) If you have a vista system that gives you an error about “being out of memory” when you try to add the printer there is a simple trick to fix this.  you will need to download the vista driver for the printer (duh) and install the printer as a local printer and simply select LPT1.  once the printer has been installed go into the properties and manually change the port to \\servername\printername\ from LPT1.  then you should be set.
TIP Courtesy of masteroffm from The Green Button Forums.

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  1. Vin says:

    I have a HP Laserjet 1018 which I would like to use as a shared printer from my WHS.

    I installed the Laserjet on my WHS using 2003 drivers from HP’s site.

    (All my client PCs are Vista Business Laptops.)

    I tried installing the Laserjet on my Laptop by adding a Network Printer. It was installed as a network printer successfully.

    When I try to print from my Laptop, the printer queue on the WHS immediately shows that it has one document to be printed, but it doesn’t print it.

    Any suggestions?



  2. Joel says:

    Reply to Vin’s post on October 29th:

    (I warn you, I’m from Sweden – my english is not perfect… :D)

    I had the same problem with my LaserJet 3600… The drivers on HP’s site doesn’t seem to work. Even if windows says that the pages are being successfully printed – they aren’t.

    How to fix it?
    Go to Control panel > System > Hardware > Device manager.
    Aha, in the “IEEE (blah blah) printers”-list there are a ! sign in front of the printers name. That means a conflict! Right-click on the printer i the list > Properties and click the button “Re-install the driver” or something similar (it’s the left button).

    GL HF,

  3. n00bert says:

    Hi, how do I setup the sharing that I don’t have to enter a password every time i want connect to the printer?

    And how can I connect from vista to the whs printer? Its says the drivers could not be downloaded …


  4. Nice blog about printer. I have a lot of problem with my office printer. I’m IT support and need to solve any problem. Do you have any suggestion about printer troushooting guide site? Thank you very much.

  5. Chase says:

    Thanx Aaron… saved me alot of trouble. Just one little check box 🙂

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