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  • #2250396

    How do I connect 4 computers and one printer?

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    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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    • #3221553

      Clarifications

      by thasenkamp ·

      In reply to How do I connect 4 computers and one printer?

      Clarifications

    • #3221540

      oh boy…

      by fungus-among-us ·

      In reply to How do I connect 4 computers and one printer?

      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?

    • #3221524

      USB Printer? Then…

      by now left tr ·

      In reply to How do I connect 4 computers and one printer?

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

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

      Buy more Printers.

      • #3221511

        USB Hub

        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.

      • #3221456

        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.

    • #3221488

      Old fashioned problem – old fashioned solution

      by tony hopkinson ·

      In reply to How do I connect 4 computers and one printer?

      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.

    • #3221450

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

      by why me worry? ·

      In reply to How do I connect 4 computers and one printer?

      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.

      • #3221427

        Win 95 not on network

        by gsquared ·

        In reply to What the hell are all you talking about? Win95 is network aware!

        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.

      • #3221394

        that would be great

        by thasenkamp ·

        In reply to What the hell are all you talking about? Win95 is network aware!

        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.

        • #3221384

          Inkjets.

          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?

        • #3221860

          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!

      • #3221358

        Security Holes

        by thechas ·

        In reply to What the hell are all you talking about? Win95 is network aware!

        It is not an issue of Windows 95 not being network aware, (Windows 3.1 and even DOS can be networked) it’s an issue of security.

        It’s just to easy for a W95 system to be hacked or get a virus.

        A printer switch is the only option for this scenario.

        The only problem will be finding a printer with a parallel port, or setting up port translators for the W95 systems to use.

        Chas

    • #3221413

      To follow company policy

      by rdaugherty ·

      In reply to How do I connect 4 computers and one printer?

      you cannot do anything with the 95 machines other then use them as a door stop. Do not bother upgrading them because usually finding older parts is usually to expensive to bother with. You might consider asking your network admin if you can load Linux onto the 95 machines and add them to the network this way. Then you would just need to install NIC’s on both.

    • #3221370

      Some options

      by techexec2 ·

      In reply to How do I connect 4 computers and one printer?

      Some options:

      Option 1. If the PCs are close enough together, use an automatic printer switch. I use one like this (1) to connect four PCs I have under my desk. It is fully automatic and each PC thinks it has a printer all its own. While one computer is printing, the printer appears to be busy to the other computers. There is a parallel printer cable from each PC to the switch, and one from the switch to the printer.

      Option 2: If the PCs are not close together, you can get them on the network and share the printer that way.

      Option 3: Printers are pretty cheap these days. Get additional printers.

      —–

      (1) Automatic parallel printer switch

      • #3221899

        USB w/Win 95B

        by rbest ·

        In reply to Some options

        The usb option should work, provided that your win95 boxes are win 95B ser. release 2.1, otherwise I would say its either a printer switch or seperate printers.

    • #3221843

      Networking question

      by tonythetiger ·

      In reply to How do I connect 4 computers and one printer?

      Do they actually not want you to physically hook the 95 machines to the network, or do they just not want you loging into the network from the 95 machine?

      If the latter, you can get a print server and create ports on the 95 machines directly to the IP address of the print server.

      • #3220544

        Use a private network for the 95 boxes

        by alangeek ·

        In reply to Networking question

        First, network the 95 boxes with just a hub or switch.

        The printer will usually have more than one input, such as USB and parallel, or USB and ethernet (or possibly parallel and serial). If it’s USB and ethernet, put the printer on the private network, then connect it via USB to an XP box and share it to the other XP box.

        If the printer is USB and parallel, use USB to an XP box and share, then connect a 95 box to parallel and share. You could also get an ethernet print server to parallel, but that’s probably more expensive than just buying another printer.

    • #3220531

      Drivers

      by m.daspit ·

      In reply to How do I connect 4 computers and one printer?

      If the vendor of the hardware is in business they surely should have updated drivers for their hardware for XP or at least W2000. If the hardware was not worth developing new drivers then in must not be valuable enough for the vendor to support thus it if that is the case you should be looking for new hardware, what will happen if the hardware fails and you do not have support for it?

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