I have been having problems getting printers to work. The particular bad thing that happens is the XP "add printer" Wizard is hanging right at the end of the install, sometimes producing one of those "Windows must quit this due to internal error, please click to send report of this problem to Microsoft" (or something like that) windows.
I have not figured out exactly what the cause is, but it is very repeatable and for different sorts of printers. The one common element "seems" to be that the problems always start when I add a new driver (neither of my printers have a driver on the XP CD I have); I got one printer working with an old driver and it seems to be going fine. I did manage to get one new driver to install via the HP website "driver update" tool, but then after that when I added another printer it crashed ... so it seems like the start of the problem is installing a new driver.
This could in theory be a pure XP problem, but what I am doing seems to be such a common thing that I don't understand how it could be crashing like that. My current workaround is I am using an older driver which works for one printer, but the other one fails on the older driver so it is not working.
Printing in general I found a pain to set up, I use my computer sometimes on a fixed IP and sometimes on a DHCP network and so setting Fusion in bridging mode is a pain to use, thus I had to use NAT networking setting in Fusion and then use the IP printing method which is not the best way to talk to a printer.
The first thing I would check is before installing the printer driver, can you ping the network printer from the XP box?
Second, I would always use the latest stand alone printer driver / printer software from the manufacturor. Often they will have setup procedures that preclude the Windows "AddPrinter" wizard.
Thirdly, have you been able to create the TCP/IP printer ports to talk to the printers? Those can and will exist separate from the printer driver itself.
The first thing I would check is before installing
the printer driver, can you ping the network printer
from the XP box?
Yup, thats not a problem. In fact it almost completes adding the printer, the icon shows up etc.
Second, I would always use the latest stand alone
printer driver / printer software from the
manufacturor. Often they will have setup procedures
that preclude the Windows "AddPrinter" wizard.
Both are HP printers and I tried all the approaches on their website, both downloading drivers and installing as per their instructions ("use the wizard"), and using their own web-based driver updater tool. The latter actually worked and it printed, but then it crashed the next time I tried to add a printer with the Wizard.
Thirdly, have you been able to create the TCP/IP
printer ports to talk to the printers? Those can and
will exist separate from the printer driver itself.
I'm not sure what you are asking but I have no problems talking to the printer if I don't try to install updated drivers. It prints fine and everything if I use a related driver (to be precise the HP LaserJet 2200 driver works on my 2300; the problem comes when I try to install the 2300 driver; my HP Color LJ 3500 on the other hand doesn't seem to work with any drivers on the XP CD, it throws an error). I didn't check to see if any connectivity was lost after the crashes -- I just reverted to a sane snapshot. My guess is I could telnet to the printer without any problem since the problem "seems" to be something with the Wizard. The particular error says something about the print spooler crashing, so it seems like it is something more on the process management side of XP/Fusion (or a bug in the Wizard or in the filesystem).
Ah, I see. That was what I was in fact trying to do to set up the printer but I checked the "not local" option in the wizard and then I added it as an Internet printer (to the http port instead of another port I guess?). Since that worked I didn't look for how to do it the other way (why is non-local TCP printing listed as a "local" printer anyway????)
Now, this time instead of loading the new driver from disk, I noticed a new button there called "Windows Update", and upon clicking that my drivers list got much more complete, AND adding the printer actually worked wiht the right driver! The http method of adding a printer doesn't seem to support Windows Update, the button doesn't appear when adding that kind of printer.
So, the manual adding of the driver still could be broken, but I have at least found a workaround now! My 2300 prints fine and I will try my 3500 (home) printer tonight.