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Printer Sharing With Mac OS X and Windows

Share Windows XP or Vista Printers With Your Mac

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Printer sharing is a great way to economize on computing costs for your home, home office, or small business. By using one of several possible printer sharing techniques, you can allow multiple computers to share a single printer, and save yourself cash, time, and space.

In ‘Printer Sharing With Mac OS X and Windows’ we will show you step-by-step instructions for sharing printers attached to a Windows XP or Windows Vista PC with your Mac.

Printer Sharing: Windows XP Printer Sharing With Mac OS X 10.5

Printer Sharing: Printer Sharing With Mac OS X and Windows

If you’re like many of us, you have a mixed network of PCs and Macs; this is especially likely to be true if you’re a new Mac user migrating from Windows. You may already have a printer hooked up to one of your PCs. Rather than buy a new printer for your new Mac, you can use the one you already have.

This guide will take you through the process of sharing a printer attached to your Windows XP computer with a Mac running OS X 10.5 (Leopard).

Printer Sharing: Vista to Mac OS X 10.5

Printer Sharing: Printer Sharing With Mac OS X and Windows

By sharing an existing Vista printer between multiple computers, regardless of the operating system in use on the other computers, you not only save the cost of additional printers, you also get to wear a networking guru hat and show off your technical skills to your friends and family.

You’re going to need that hat when it comes to sharing a printer that’s connected to a computer running Windows Vista. Getting Vista to share a printer with Mac or Linux computers can be a bit of a challenge, but you’re up to it. Put on your networking hat and we’ll get started.

Printer Sharing: Windows XP Printer Sharing With Mac OS X 10.4

Sharing a printer connected to a Windows XP PC with a Mac running OS X 10.4 (Tiger) is a straightforward process. Other than making sure the Workgroup name is the same on each computer, the process is mostly just about enabling the proper networking functions on each computer.

Printer Sharing: Vista Printer Sharing With Mac OS X 10.4

When the host computer runs Vista, printer sharing is a bit more work than if it runs Windows XP, because Vista disables the default authentication that Samba, also known as SMB (Server Message Block), uses to establish a connection when sharing a printer with a Mac or Unix computer. With authentication disabled, all you’ll see when you try to print from your Mac to a Vista-hosted printer is a ‘Waiting for authentication’ status message.

This step-by-step guide will show you how to reset Vista’s default Samba sharing method to once again work as expected.

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