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bbear2
Premium
join:2003-10-06
94045
kudos:5

USB001 Virtual printer port / driver

A client wants to use a USB port on their router as a USB printer server. The printer is an older HP but it is on the list of supported devices. I configured it on one PC and it worked fine. Then I connected it to another PC (wireless) but it would not work. I was able to determine that the second PC did not have the USB001 Virtual printer port. Both PCs are Win7

After a lot of researching, I figured out a work around. The USB001 was created when the USB printer was hardconnected to the PC. In the case of the second one, it was never so; hence it didn't exist. So when I connected the printer to the second PC hardwired, voila, USB001 was created. The problem is, I need to do this for other PCs and it's not always possible to connect them even once to the physical USB printer hardwired.

Does anyone know a way to get the USB virtual printer port installed when networked without having to physically connect the USB printer?



Kilroy
Premium,MVM
join:2002-11-21
Saint Paul, MN

You shouldn't need to create a physical port.

net use LPT2: \\Router\Printer

Where Router is either the IP address of the router or the name and Printer is the name of the printer share.

That is off the top of my head so it may not be totally correct, but I don't have the batch file I created previously to do something similar on hand.



wayjac
Premium,MVM
join:2001-12-22
Indy
kudos:1
reply to bbear2

What is the make and model number of the router with the print server.



billaustin
they call me Mr. Bill
Premium,MVM
join:2001-10-13
North Las Vegas, NV
kudos:5
reply to bbear2

It should be easy with Windows 7. Just go to Printers and Devices, and tell it to add a Networked Printer. Windows will search the network and bring up a list of available printers to select from.

The manual for the router should outline the correct process for connection, which will vary somewhat depending on the version of Windows being used.


bbear2
Premium
join:2003-10-06
94045
kudos:5
reply to Kilroy

said by Kilroy:

You shouldn't need to create a physical port.
net use LPT2: \\Router\Printer
...

I think that would be a good idea if it were an Ethernet printer. But because it's a USB printer, I couldn't figure out how to address it in the manner that you suggested. i did try though.

bbear2
Premium
join:2003-10-06
94045
kudos:5
reply to billaustin

said by billaustin:

It should be easy with Windows 7. Just go to Printers and Devices, and tell it to add a Networked Printer. Windows will search the network and bring up a list of available printers to select from. ...

See that's just it, it's not really a networked printer. It's a USB printer and they have this custom USB Printer Controller (pretty cool actually) that is installed on the client to make it work - and that does work fine, once you have the virtual USB driver installed. I did try your suggest at first too, and Win7 could not find it as a networked printer

To wayjac's question, I don't remember the model number off hand but it was one of the TP-LINK dual band routers. There are only a few of those and I think they are all pretty similar.


wayjac
Premium,MVM
join:2001-12-22
Indy
kudos:1

said by bbear2:

See that's just it, it's not really a networked printer. It's a USB printer

If you connect the usb printer to one computer and share the printer from that computer.
That computer will become a print server for the network that will supply the printer driver to any computer that will share the usb printer.

bbear2
Premium
join:2003-10-06
94045
kudos:5

I tried that too, just to see if it would load the USB virtual driver, and it didn't. That still would only be a work around as the requirement is that each computer needs to have independent access; hence the print server function on the router.



shdesigns
Powered By Infinite Improbabilty Drive
Premium
join:2000-12-01
Stone Mountain, GA
Reviews:
·EarthLink
·Comcast
·Atlantic Nexus

The print server in the router makes it a networked printer.

In the add networked printer, if it can not find it, you can add the port in the manual settings.

I have had to set printers up locally, then change the port assigned to it in the printer port settings tab. You can create one there if needed and make it an network port. You will need to see what port the router uses (lpr or cifs).
--
Scott Henion

Embedded Systems Consultant,
SHDesigns home - DIY Welder


cramer
Premium
join:2007-04-10
Raleigh, NC
kudos:9
reply to bbear2

You aren't tell us jack about the PRINTER. Once it's plugged into the router USB port, it is then a network printer. All that's happening when you connect it to a local PC is a printer is created and driver (descriptor file) gets installed. (unless we're talking about a "printer" -- like the HP 3100 that has to be locally connected to it's software ("driver") on a PC.)

Win7 can be a bitch to get any printer setup. We've had unending problems here in the office with printers and win7 -- even after it's installed and working, it'll magically stop working for no reason.


bbear2
Premium
join:2003-10-06
94045
kudos:5
reply to shdesigns

shdesigns - I am tending to agree with you, however if this is a networked USB printer now, all of that seems to be masked to the user because of the little client utility that must be run on the system that wants to print. It is called "TP-Link USB Printer Controller". And from there, once you have the USB001 configured with the right printer, the utility takes care of everything else. So in that sense, it's pretty easy. However, if you don't have a USB001 port already installed on the client PC, then you can't use the utility to install USB001, even though the utility does see the printer, Win7 won't make the connection. Hence the comments in my initial posts.

The router mfgr pointed to the printer mfgr stating they need to be able to do a remote install of their driver. I also agree with this. And in the router config, there's a binary option, print server on/off. No other configs or info available that I've been able to find. Again, pointing back to that neat little utility that makes the connection for you.



billaustin
they call me Mr. Bill
Premium,MVM
join:2001-10-13
North Las Vegas, NV
kudos:5

Save yourself a lot of headaches and get a jetdirect print server. If the printer does not have a slot for an internal card, then get an external unit (170x should work).

Good routers that will share a printer have the networking features included so that Windows can easily find and connect to it. Anytime you have to load software from the router manufacturer on each PC, you are headed down a dismal road. I would tolerate that in a home with a couple PC's, but not in a business environment where there are many users needing to share the printer.


HarryH3
Premium
join:2005-02-21
kudos:3
Reviews:
·Suddenlink
reply to bbear2

said by bbear2:

It is called "TP-Link USB Printer Controller".

There's your problem right there. Take the advice that billaustin offered and get yourself a quality print server. You'll be glad you did.


Kilroy
Premium,MVM
join:2002-11-21
Saint Paul, MN
reply to billaustin

said by billaustin:

I would tolerate that in a home with a couple PC's, but not in a business environment where there are many users needing to share the printer.

You're a lot more tolerate than I am. If it is supposed to work like a print server and doesn't, back to the store it goes. I think a large part of the issue is bbear2 See Profile doesn't understand how a network printer should work. I believe RTFM (Read The Fine Manual) might be of assistance, of course it is probably poorly translated from an Asian language.
--
“Progress isn't made by early risers. It's made by lazy men trying to find easier ways to do something.” ¯ Robert A. Heinlein


wayjac
Premium,MVM
join:2001-12-22
Indy
kudos:1
reply to bbear2

You must install the printers driver before you can use the printer with the router.
The driver will install the usb port.

I have installed usb printers without physically connecting the printer.

I think the "TP-Link USB Printer Controller" is nothing more than a port monitor.


bbear2
Premium
join:2003-10-06
94045
kudos:5
reply to Kilroy

You might be right about my experience with print servers as this is the first one I have set up. However, I have read all the manuals from TP-LINK on the topic and none of them explain it any further. Nor did tech support when I called them. And the English in the manuals is not a problem at all. If you were following the thread, you'd realize that getting the print server to work is not the issue.


bbear2
Premium
join:2003-10-06
94045
kudos:5
reply to wayjac

said by wayjac:

You must install the printers driver before you can use the printer with the router.
The driver will install the usb port.

Yes. I completely agree and my experiences have proven as such.

said by wayjac:

I have installed usb printers without physically connecting the printer.

I tried everything I could think of to do so. How were you able to do it? This is the key I am looking for.

said by wayjac:

I think the "TP-Link USB Printer Controller" is nothing more than a port monitor.

I bet you're right about that too.


wayjac
Premium,MVM
join:2001-12-22
Indy
kudos:1

said by bbear2:

I tried everything I could think of to do so. How were you able to do it? This is the key I am looking for.

Install the printer driver on the computer then you can configure the tcp/ip port.