How do I connect 4 computers and one printer?

By thasenkamp ·
But here is the catch, I have two of the computers that are running Windows XP and are network capable, the other two computers are Windows 95 and not network compatible. I cannot upgrade the 95 machines b/c they are attached to hardware that is not compatible to XP. I also cannot connect the 95 machines to the network b/c the admins do not want any machine with less than XP OS. What are my options. Thank you ahead of time for all who have helped out.

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oh boy...

by fungus-among-us In reply to How do I connect 4 comput ...

The catch is gonna hamper your advice.
Well... sounds like it's time to upgrade those 95 boxes (and the hardware attached to them), or get seperate printers for each of the 95 machines and share another for the XP machines.

Basically, you'll have to layout all of the options for them, and let them decide what is most cost effective for them.

Windows 95? Are you serious? Oh boy... do they still drive cars that take leaded gas only??? errr... I mean steam powered? LOL.

What hardware are they using on the 95 boxes thats incompatible with XP?

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USB Printer? Then...

by NOW LEFT TR In reply to How do I connect 4 comput ...

4 x USB Cables
1 x USB Hub (5 Port)

Print Server with USB Hub
(netwrok for XP / USB for 95)

Buy more Printers.

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by thasenkamp In reply to USB Printer? Then...

this is the option I am leaning towards. Each of the computers are within 16ft I think that is the max length b4 it starts decreasing the data transfer speeds and reliablity. thank you.

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USB for 95??

by rdaugherty In reply to USB Printer? Then...

USB is not supported by 95 machines. You will need at least 98 2nd edition.

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Old fashioned problem - old fashioned solution

by Tony Hopkinson In reply to How do I connect 4 comput ...

A printer switch.
They are sort of like a KVM for a printer.

Used to use these all the time in the old days. Go for serial rather than centronics if you do it. Extra long parallel cables are very expensive.

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What the **** are all you talking about? Win95 is network aware!

by Why Me Worry? In reply to How do I connect 4 comput ...

Connect your USB printer to an XP PC (hereby acting as a print server) and share the printer. The XP and Win95 machines will need to be part of the same workgroup for all this to work. Since Netbios is enabled by default on both XP and Windows 95, the shared printer will be available to the Windows 95 machines so long as they hosting XP machine is connected to the network. If the Wun95 are not network attached, why would it be a problem to throw a NIC into the machines and get them up on the network? It's fairly simple to do and won't affect the other hardware you have. You don't have to upgrade Windows 95, simply set up a small peer to peer network, share the USB printer from an XP machine that it is connected to, and connect to the printer share using the UNC path of the XP machine and the share name of the printer...

e.g. \\WindowsXP\SharedPrinter

I've done this at home with a USB Lexmark Printer between 3 XP machines, one of which is directly attached to the USB printer, but the O/S really does not matter as long as you have a peer-to-peer setup.

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Win 95 not on network

by gsquared In reply to What the hell are all you ...

Per the original post you are replying to, it's not a matter of being impossible to network the Win 95 machines, it's a question of IT dept not allowing it.

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that would be great

by thasenkamp In reply to What the hell are all you ...

That would be great if I could just connect them up to the network like your home network. but a large state department like the one I work at doesn't exactly just let anyone PC connect to it's domain. We have a strict rule of Windows 2000 or above.

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by ggardei In reply to that would be great

Is there any particular reason why these Win95 machines must print to that one printer? Why not use cheap inkjet or laser printers on those machines?

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Odd question

by Tig2 In reply to that would be great

Do the XP boxes HAVE to be conencted to the network? If not, the peer to peer idea is workable. If so, I think the USB hub may be your best choice.

The good news is that your network people have a strict rule that they enforce. I have had to make network changes on "no common denominator" networks. AAARRRRGGGGHHHHH!

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