Unable to add network printer to Vista Business computer

By drspuds ·
We run a Server 2003 domain with 16 computers. All machines are XP Pro. except the newest addition which is a Vista Business edition machine.

Attached to a USB port on the Server 2003 is a Brother MFC 8820D multi-function printer which is shared and has the latest drivers.

Here's the problem: When I try to "Add a printer" on the Vista machine, the shared printer on the Server comes up as a valid choice, however, when I actually try to add it, I get an error message stating that it cannot be added because "the port is unknown".

If I attach the printer directly to the Vista machine's USB port, the drivers install automatically, and the printer works great.

I can't run the printer by sharing it from the Vista machine, it realy needs to continue running from the Server, for logistical purposes.

I have tried to add this printer to the Vista machine, while attached to the Server, using every conceivable methods.... all to no avail.

I have searched for a meaning to the error message "The port is unknown", again to no avail.

Thank you all in advance for any assistance.

This conversation is currently closed to new comments.

Thread display: Collapse - | Expand +

All Answers

Collapse -

Wipe Vista and install XP Pro

by HAL 9000 Moderator In reply to Unable to add network pri ...

At this point in time Vista shouldn't be in any business Environment under any circumstances. It's too much of an unknown and full of bugs.

The correct thing to do here is ring M$ quote them your Account Number and get charged at the 15 second rate even when you are on hold and most likely be end up being told Sorry But We Don't As Yet Have A Solution To This Problem Ring Back In Another Month and See if Anything Has Changed. then find out that you just paid $350.00 for that bit of useless advice and will need to ring them several more times and cost at least as much again and them maybe get a solution.

M$ runs a Web Site Called Windows Vista Community where they supposedly make drivers available and the like for Vista so look here

If there is no available driver leave a Question on the site and while you may not get an answer you will at least have posted something to M$ that lets them know how crumby their New OS is and that there are things that need fixing without costing you anything but a bit of time & Bandwidth.

Depending on the Consumer Protection Laws where you are you may even be able to return the unit for a full refund as it is incapable of doing the job that is required of it.


Collapse -

Double Post <NT>

by HAL 9000 Moderator In reply to Unable to add network pri ...
Collapse -

I have a couple Vistas at my place too

by Triathlete1981 In reply to Unable to add network pri ...

i'm the it admin at my company; we have about 100 users. i along with 2 other ppl have vista machines. unfortunately, the inevitable outcome is that in a few years, most everyone will be on vista; since i'll be the one instructing ppl how to use the stupid new os, i'm the logical one to first use it.

i had no problem installing an epson stylus c86 on my own vista pc. to share it out onto the network, i simply shared the computer and then went to other pcs and connected to teh printer to download the driver.

is the brother printer physically connected to your vista pc or to a different pc and you're trying to download the driver onto your vista?

Collapse -

The Printer is currently connected to the Server.

by drspuds In reply to I have a couple Vistas at ...

The Brother MFC-8820D printer is connected to the Windows Server 2003 Domain Controller via USB, and as such, it is shared in the directory to all the other computers on the network.

The problem only occurs when I try to add the printer, from the shared printer directory, to the new Vista Business edition computer. I can see the printer in the directory, however, when I try to add it I get the error message stating "Unable to add printer the port is unknown".

On the other hand, when I connected the printer directly to the Vista computer's USB port, the printer drivers loaded automatically, and correctly I might add, and the printer worked perfectly fine.

I cannot leave this configuration as it is, and share the printer from the Vista machine, as it creates logistical problems for us. The printer needs to be shared from the Server.

I can't find any information to the error message "The Port is Unknown" as it applies in this situation.

Thank you for your time.

Collapse -

visa on private network with simple 1 port usb print server

by manavbrar In reply to The Printer is currently ...

I just wanted to add I have similar problem with my HP laserjet 1200 everything install correctly but nothing prints on the printer. This on the new sony vaio vista business machine. Unfortunately I went past the 15day return policy, however I was informed at the local fry store that lot of vista laptops were returned.
I have not had a problem installing the networking printing on the XP laptops and desktops. On XP it takes 2 minutes to configure.

Collapse -

you can just share it out on your vista pc

by Triathlete1981 In reply to I have a couple Vistas at ...

as long as you have the printer connected to a vista pc and have shared the printer from your vista pc. fortunately, vista hasn't changed the actual steps to share the printer.

so, after it's shared out on your vista pc, as long as the vista pc is part of your domain, go to the xp comps and run the add printer wizard. when you choose the option for adding a network printer and then come to the window with the three radio buttons where to find the printer, don't search in the printer directory. choose the second option and enter the address of the printer (\\compname\printer). as long as the printer's shared, you should be able to do this.

this is the only way i was able to share a printer from a vista pc i installed for our acctg mgr. as we're all new to vista, there may be an easier way, but i haven't been able to find it.

and if you find someone who knows a better way, let me know with a reply.

Collapse -


by Rivie In reply to you can just share it out ...

The man has said several times he can't have the printer shared from the Vista PC. It must be shared from the server.
Unfortunately I too am having the same issue. All the XP and Fedora 7 boxes on our LAN can connect to the printer shared on the server on that VLAN, but the 2 Vista pc?s can?t. Gets as far as installing the drives and seems to be ok, until you try to print and issues error that it can?t communicate with the printer. No there is not a network issue on our LAN regarding this. We?re still searching for a solution.

Collapse -

Had to return to XP Pro

by drspuds In reply to Unable to add network pri ...

To all of you who offered suggestions for resolving this issue, I offer a sincere thank you.

Due to the logistics of our office settings and the location of the various computers and peripherals, it was never an option to simply attach the printer to the Vista computer and share it from there instead of sharing it from the Server.

As such, and for matters of expedience, we had to simply heed the advice of "HAL 9000" and exchange the computer for an XP Pro machine. It seems a pitty that Microsoft has no information anywhere explaining the meaning of the error message "The port is unknown" (please read the original post for complete understanding of the problem.)

Collapse -

Installing printer on Vista

by nigel In reply to Had to return to XP Pro

This response is a little late but . . .

In my experience you cannot install a printer on Vista either network or local if UAC is disabled!

Re-enable User Account Control temporarily, install the printer and then disable it again. (Control Panel\User Accounts).

I cannot tell you if MS did this by design or if it is a mistake but it works.


Collapse -

cannot add network printer to vista PC

by Herbert.Ristock In reply to Installing printer on Vis ...

I am having a similar problem. When trying on a Vista 64bit PC to add a network printer that is connected to an XP PC I am getting a failure message "The Server for the .... printer does not have the correct printer driver installed. If you want to search for the proper driver, click OK. ..." I instralled the latesrt drivers for this printer on thge XP PC, and I even installed the same printer locally at the Vista PC. But it didn't help.

Related Discussions

Related Forums