Printing on LAN and not-so-LAN ... difficult configuration

By aplu ·

Thanks in anticipation for your help. I've read the documentation and, not being a techie, it looks overly complicated. You might be able to clarify what needs to be done.

I work from an office, from my home office and on the go (travelling). At home, I have 2 LANs: 1 for work and one for the family (only I can navigate across both LANs). Everybody needs to print to the home printer networked). I also wish to print to the home printer from various internal and external locations; this includes situations when colleagues or guests visit with their laptops and wish to print.

For accessing my DSL modem/router from external locations, I now have a static IP address and use a VPN. My problem is that I cannot get my work LAN to print (neither the server nor the clients), whereas the family LAN users can all print.

Here is the configuration (not all devices are showing below because there is not much space on this page):

??????????<zzz> Laptops
->DSL Modem/Router
?????-Ethernet port#1-------->Windows Server 2003
?????-Ethernet port#2->Printer???????????????(work LAN)
?????-Ethernet port#3->Switch#1????????????????
??????????????????????????????(family LAN)??????????????

In the configuration above:

(a) I can print from the laptops (Wi-Fi) and desktops in the family LAN. I can even print if I connect a computer directly into one of the Ethernet ports in the modem/router instead of going through switch#1.

(b) I cannot print from the server or the clients on the work LAN. In fact, I cannot even see printer (I gave it a fixed IP address but pinging the printer from the server shows no connection).

(c) Note that none of the devices in this entire configuration has a problem connecting to the Internet and receiving/sending e-mails.

However, if I connect the printer to switch#2, I can print from the server and from the clients on the work LAN.

I wish to retain the configuration showed above because it enables me to separate family from work and also means that if the server is down, then everybody else can print.

(a) What do I need to do to make this work?
(b) Is there a better way of structuring things physically?

(a) I have downloaded and installed the latest drivers for Windows Server 2003 for that printer. But, despite installing the drivers, I cannot add this printer.
(b) All my devices use the same subnet mask (
(c) The server has no restrictions on the IP addresses it can lease (from to 254).
(d) The modem/router is, the server is, the printer is and the IP for the other devices are all dynamically generated.

Thanks in anticipation.



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Do the hokey pokey?

by HimDownStairs In reply to Printing on LAN and not-s ...

How about this:

->DSL Modem/Router
Ethernet Port 1: Windows Server
Ethernet Port 2: Connect to switch 2 port 1
Ethernet Port 3: Switch 1; Printer in free port.

This way each PC is directly connected without having to go through the server. Additionally you could use a share to connect to your work PC and keep the family PC off the network.

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by robo_dev In reply to Printing on LAN and not-s ...

Your win2k3 box has two interface adaptors, correct?

Therefore you have two separate networks, divided by that server that is acting as a router.

Those two separate networks need to have separate and distinct network numbers: eg. 192.168.1.x and 192.168.0.x. They cannot be the same as they are non-contiguous.

Using a Windows server as a lan router is generally not a good idea. It can be done, but it is not intuitive, nor does it work all that well.

The better solution would be to replace your router with a unit that can support multiple Virtual LANS (VLANs). This would allow you to separate the two networks easily, while allowing the necessary communication to take place.

Here is a DSL router that supports multiple VLANs.

Also known as a lan-to-lan router:

A Cisco 1700 series router would do this all very well.**86a00800920ec.html

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by aplu In reply to Clarify:

Many thanks for your prompt reply.

1 - My winServer2k3 box has indeed two interface adaptors: the first one is the "incoming" (ethernet cable from the DSL modem/router); the second one is the "outgoing" to switch#2 to which I have various devices and desktops connected.

2 - The "family" network does not go through a server of its own and is effectively constituted by all the other devices that are connected by wire or wirelessly to the DSL modem/router, directly or indirectly through switch#1. Consequently, these are indeed 2 LANs and I will follow your recommendation to have 2 distinct sets of network numbers.

3 - I'll also check if my DSL modem/router supports multiple VLANs.

4 - However, in the winServer2k3 documentation, there is mention of the ability to print between LANs and across distant locations (using the internet) using a Windows print server. Since I just need the winServer2k3 box to access the family LAN at a local level, shouldn't this work in theory if the winServer2k3 box has the printer in is Active Directory and shares it with the desktops on the work LAN?

Thanks for your help and the tips.



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