can't use printer

carolssisJune 20, 2014

I have a new wireless printer, connected to new Win 8.1 desktop. I checked network on Win 8 and it shows all connected devices, printer, phone, router, and laptop. My laptop only shows router, so I cannot use the printer. I have no idea what to enable or check to get this to work. I would really appreciate any help you kind folks can give me. Laptop is Vista. TIA.

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There may be some help in the link for you.

Here is a link that might be useful: troubleshoot-network-printer-problems

    Bookmark   June 20, 2014 at 6:35PM
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I have helped 4 people with HP wifi printers that failed to connect wirelessly. The fix was simple, I used a CAT5 cable to initiate contact then removed the cable and the wireless side worked.

    Bookmark   June 20, 2014 at 9:05PM
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Thanks, Zep and owbist. I tried link, no go. Was not able to figure it out. I heard in the past of connecting printer to laptop, then disconnecting. Forgot about it. Will try that. I've failed miserably in the past with connecting printers to anything. I didn't connect the new one. Cross your fingers for me. Thanks, so much for your help.

    Bookmark   June 21, 2014 at 11:57AM
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So when you try and add the device like it shows on the MS site it doesn't find your wireless printer? I have to go do this for a friend that just went from XP to 8 and she never had a printer before so I am figuring it's just like I set up my wirelss printer in 7 which is basically what these instructions show for 8. I have never had trouble connecting an HP wireless printer to any of my computers but I don't have 8 yet either. Mary

Here is a link that might be useful: MS Help

This post was edited by acraftylady on Sat, Jun 21, 14 at 13:44

    Bookmark   June 21, 2014 at 1:42PM
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Here's what works for me:

Installing a printer is a two step process - connecting the printer to "the network" so that it can communicate with connected devices, and then entering a setting in a specific device to direct print jobs to a specific printer.

A wireless printer probably first needs a wired connection (as owbist suggests) so that the wifi entries (SSID and password) can be given to the printer. Instructions for this most certainly came with the printer.

After the printer is connected, you need settings in your laptop to direct the print jobs. I don't have a Vista PC so I can't give you the exact terms to look for, but the rest would be done in Control Panel. You'll have a choice called Printers, or Devices and Printers, and in that section you should see a choice that says "add a printer". That wizard should spot the printer on the network, identify if a driver is needed and handle that part. If your printer came with a CD, start that up in the laptop first, to install the driver. The wizard should then guide you to setting up the printer as the default destination for print jobs.

I'm not sure what you mean when saying "wireless printer, connected to new Win 8.1 desktop". If it's connected to a desktop with a USB cord, you've accomplished step one. If you plan to use it with a wired connection to a PC, you need to enable it as a network printer.

    Bookmark   June 21, 2014 at 5:13PM
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Interesting. I have never had to wire my laptop or sons to the printer first. The laptop just found the wireless signal on the printer. We have always had HP ones though so maybe that makes a difference. Same for my tablet and phone as I would not be able to wire those up to the printer, the HP app I use finds the printer right away for me.

Gotta save this though in case friends laptop does not find the printer as I am not sure what she has. Mary

    Bookmark   June 21, 2014 at 6:01PM
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Mary, the first time one device connects wirelessly to a "network", it needs to be told which network and what the password is. The connecting device (a printer in this thread) needs to be told that info once and only once. But if the device hasn't yet connected (Catch 22), it needs to receive the communication over a cable, to get the information needed to subsequently connect wirelessly on its own.

I have a variety of wirelessly connected devices besides PCs and tablets - a TV set top box, a Sony PS3 game console, music players. All needed to be given wifi connection information once. In the case of something connected long-term via a wire, connection info isn't necessary

Once connected to the network, any device is visible to any other connected devices, no matter how they themselves are connected (via wire or wirelessly). That would include, in your example, a tablet, a phone, PCs, etc.

Second step, it's the software in the device (tablet, PC) originating a print job that manages the sending of a print image to a printer. In the case of a windows PC, a "default printer" setting needs to be set and an enabling driver needs to be installed. Windows looks for visible printers on "the network" and then asks which one to use. A printer previously connected is thus visible to all network users.

    Bookmark   June 21, 2014 at 8:32PM
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