Monday, March 22, 2010

Configuring USB printers to Apple Airport Base Station with windows 7

From the previous post:

After troubleshooting an entire day, I was able to connect a HP PSC 2110 printer plugged into an Apple Airport Base Station (wireless router/hard drive) and print from an old Dell running windows XP, and a new MacBook Pro running windows 7.

The Apple laptop (while running Mac OS 10.6) printed as soon as I joined the wireless network, so I knew the network, printer, and computer were operating properly.
However, booting the Apple laptop into windows 7 (ultimate edition) was a different story.
The machine failed to see the printer; it would surf the net fine, but no printer.
The same held true for the Dell (windows XP); surfed OK, no printer available.
After Googling around for a  quick  fix, I began to troubleshoot:

This is the result of that nightmare...

windows 7:
Click to configure USB printers to Apple Airport Base Station with windows XP.

[SECTION 1]  Preliminary.

If using multiple computers, work with one at a time.

Verify you have web connectivity. (If not, correct this before proceeding.)

Install the printer directly to the computer following the printers directions; run the disk, or download the software from the manufacturers site. (This insures the drivers are resident on the machine.)

Print a test page.
Printed?  Good.

Take a deep breath.
Unplug the printer USB cable from the computer, and plug it into the Airport Base Station.

Disable your firewall software. (EX: Norton, McAfee, windows, etc... This is temporary.)

[SECTION 2]  Adding the printer.

Click 'Start' (windows marble),
Select 'Devices and Printers',
Click 'Add a printer'.

The Add Printer Wizard starts up,
Click 'Next',
Select 'Add a local printer', (Yes, Local. NOT network, wireless or Bluetooth.)
Choose 'Create a new port', and select 'Standard TCP/IP Port'

Click 'Next',
Enter the Airport Base Station's IP Address (Default is,
Choose a port, and change the Port name to reflect the new port (9100, 9101 worked for me, or 9202),

Click 'Next',
Select 'Custom', and Click 'Settings',
Change the Raw Settings Port Number to your selected port,

Click 'OK',
Click 'Next',

[SECTION 3]  Installing the printer driver.

Select your printers manufacturer from the list at left.
Select your printers model from the list at right.

(If the model isn't listed, Click the 'Windows Update' button to download more from the web; be patient, this may take several minutes, depending on internet and processor speed....)

(If the model still isn't listed, pick the closest one; this will be replaced later with the pre-installed one.)

Click 'Next',

(If asked to choose whether to keep existing driver, or replace, keep existing, unless your compelled to choose otherwise.., and Click 'Next')

Change the printer name.   EX: yourprintername (Wireless)
Select default or not,
Click 'Next'
Select 'Do not share this printer' (as it will be networked),
Click 'Next', continue on to...

[SECTION 4]  Tuning the printer driver.

Click 'Print Test Page';

-Prints?; Yes? Click 'Finish' (or 'OK'); continue at [section 7].

No test print?; Click 'Finish', (or 'OK'),
Click 'Start' (windows marble)
Select 'Devices and Printers'
Right-Click your new printer icon, and select 'Printer Properties',
Choose the 'Advanced' tab,
Look at the listed Driver:

Does it match your printer's model?
If YES; the listed driver matches your printer model, continue at [section 5].

If NO, select the printer from the drop-down list,
Click 'OK',
Click the 'General' tab,
Click 'Print Test Page'; -Prints?; -Yes? Click 'Finish' (or 'OK'); continue at [section 7].

No test print?; Continue on to...

[SECTION 5]  Tweaking the printer driver.

Click the 'Ports' tab,
Uncheck 'Enable bidirectional support',
Click the 'General' tab,
Click 'Print Test Page',

     Prints?; -Yes? Click 'Finish' (or 'OK'); continue at [section 7].

No test print?; Click the 'Ports' tab,
Check 'Enable bidirectional support',
The highlighted port in the list should be your newly added port,
Click 'Configure Port',
Change the port number to 9100, or 9101, or 9202 and modify the Port Name to reflect the new port number,
Click 'OK',
Click the 'General' tab,
Click 'Print Test Page',

     Prints?; -Yes? Click 'Close'; continue at [section 7].

No test print?
Repeat trying all the ports in [SECTION 5]

If all ports fail;

[SECTION 6]  Brute Force

Close any open windows.
Click 'Start' (windows marble),
Select 'Devices and Printers',
Right-Click on the new, non-working printer we tried to setup, and select 'Remove device',

Click 'Add a printer'
Click 'Add a network, wireless or Bluetooth printer',

If by some miracle, the printer actually appears, try it, I'll wait here.

Click 'The printer that I want isn't listed'
Click 'Add a printer using a TCP/IP address or hostname',
Click 'Next',
Select the device type 'TCP/IP Device'
Enter the Airport IP address (The default is

Add something like "Jet Direct" to the Port name,

Click 'Next',
Select 'Hewlett Packard Jet Direct' (The actual printer brand doesn't matter at this point, its just a printing format.)
Click 'Next',
Refer back to [Section 3] for tuning and tweaking....

{If after trying all listed ports, and the generic driver, you are unable to print, we suggest posting to the manufacturers forums for further help.}

[SECTION 7]  Completion.

Re-enable your firewall.
Try printing,

     Prints?; -Yes? Great, you're done with this machine.

No, not printing? Open the port you configured in your firewall software.

For example, if you've installed the current (2010) Norton Security Suite, you would run the program, hover the cursor over 'PC Security' and select 'Manage Firewall',

Select the 'Traffic Rules' tab,

Click 'Add',
Select 'Allow', Click 'Next',
Select 'Connections to and from other computers', Click 'Next',
Select 'Any computer in the local subnet' Click 'Next',
Select protocol to allow 'TCP',
Select 'Only communications that match all types and ports listed below',
Click 'Add',
Select 'Individually specified ports',
Select 'Local',
Enter your printer port (9100, 9101, 9202) you configured, Click 'Next',
Select 'Create an event log entry',
Select 'Apply this rule', Click 'Next',
Rename the rule (EX: Wireless Printing Port XXXX), Click 'Next'
Click 'Finish', Click 'Apply', Click 'Close'

{Please refer to your firewall software support network for its specifics}

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