Hewlett-Packard’s JetDirect products enable a printer to connect directly to a network rather than to a computer. This eliminates the need for a dedicated print server and also helps avoid the problem of a user turning off his or her computer and preventing other users from printing to a shared printer.

In the past, you needed to use HP’s JetAdmin software to manage the printer. The software enabled the computer to capture the printer, and then you could share the printer from that computer. Other computers then printed to the network printer by printing to the share point on the computer where the Admin software resided. This is no longer the case because Windows 2000 includes a standard TCP port monitor.

Toss out that JetAdmin software
Windows 2000’s standard TCP port monitor allows you to print directly to a JetDirect printer without using the HP’s JetAdmin software. All you need to do is configure the print driver to print through the port monitor. To set up the printer, follow these steps:

  1. Run the Add Printer wizard.
  2. Select Local Printer.
  3. Clear the Automatic Detection check box.
  4. Click Next.
  5. When prompted for the printer port, select Create A New Port.
  6. Select Standard TCP/IP Port from the drop-down list as shown in Figure A.
  7. Click Next. (This starts the TCP/IP Printer Port wizard.)

Figure A

  1. In the wizard, specify the host name of the printer if it has a host record in the DNS zone, or simply enter the IP address for the printer. (The wizard builds the port name from the host name or address.)
  2. Follow the remaining prompts to add the printer, selecting the appropriate print driver.

If you want others to be able to print to the printer without adding a TCP/IP port, simply share the printer you just added. They will then be able print to the printer through your computer.