Windows XP and IPP printers



I really like printers with their own built in print server. They can be plugged into the network and some operating systems can just find them. Unfortunately most of the time Windows doesn’t just find an IPP printer. One tool that can be handy for such a time as this is a free tool like softperfect network scanner or you could substitute your own tool in to find where the printer is on the network. If you’re lucky enough to have designed the network or setup the printer yourself, you may know. But, in my job I may have information on some parts of a customers network, but many times I’m called in after the fact and get the “I need that network printer to work on this desktop” kind of assignment.


Now, we should all be so fortunate that the disc is available that came with the printer and it can automatically find and setup your printer in just 3 clicks, but it doesn’t always work that way. In my case I used a network scanner to find machines that were up on the network and try to decide which was the printer. Usually network printers these days have a web interface, so on finding an up IP, I plugged the address into the web browser and was right on my first guess (most other machines on the network had a Windows machine name show up which eliminated them from the running.) Now, if I had been onsite, I could have just checked the setup on a working machine, but unfortunately for this I was logged in remotely to the machine needing to hookup to the printer.

Anyway, after finding the printer (and finding out the address for IPP printing was http://printeripaddress:631/printer) I was in good shape. The only thing was that XP gives it an UGLY name…. IPP PRINTER on http://ipaddress… yuck. I tried renaming but couldn’t. (Network printers can’t be renamed in Windows (XP at least.) So, I finally added a new LOCAL printer and connected it to the http://ipaddress port that the network printer setup had created and then went back and deleted the “ugly” IPP printer on http:// item in favor of the “pretty” name that actually had the make of the printer in it. Small touch, but I suspect it will make life easier for whoever uses that machine.

Now how many people wish that you could just have windows scan for network printers and ipp protocol would be detected and auto-setup (with the identifier of the printer name.) Well, we can hope.

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