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How to Install Printers, Scanners, and Fax Machines on Windows 7

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  onwindows's Photo
Posted Nov 16 2009 11:28 AM

To Windows 7, printers, scanners, and fax machines are all pretty much the same thing. Windows 7 prints to and accepts input from any of these devices in similar ways. What sets these devices apart, however, is the way they are connected.

Printers, scanners, and fax machines can be either physically attached or network-attached. A physically attached device is connected directly to your computer with a USB cable. A network-attached device is connected directly to your network via Ethernet, Bluetooth, or Wi-Fi, and is accessed remotely rather than directly.

Note

If your computer has a built-in fax modem, it will appear in the Windows Fax and Scan utility.

Many networked scanners can be used over the Web without needing an install. If you know the IP address or hostname of your scanner, open Internet Explorer and navigate to http://SCANNER, replacing SCANNER with the host name or IP address of the scanner. If you see an informational web page, look around for an option called Scan or Webscan. This will let you access most of the scanner’s functions over the Web without needing to install a driver.

Both physically attached and network-attached devices can be shared as well. The computer sharing these devices for other computers on the network is referred to as a print server, regardless of whether the computer is actually running a server version of Windows. The print server also handles sending the formatted document and receiving an incoming document. For ease of reference, I’ll refer to both processes as spooling. A key advantage of using a computer as a print server is that your printers, scanners, and fax machines will have a central queue that you can manage.

At home or at the office, you don’t have to share printers, scanners, or fax machines from your computer, or any computer, for that matter. Instead, you can have everyone connect directly to a network-attached device. When you do this, the network device is handled much like a local device attached directly to a computer. However, everyone who uses a network-attached device will then have separate queues, which can make tracking down problems extremely difficult.

Installing Physically Attached Printers, Scanners, and Fax Machines

Physically attached printers, scanners, and fax machines are connected directly to your computer through a USB cable. Although Windows 7 will automatically install most devices that are Plug and Play–compatible automatically, printers, scanners and fax machines are exceptions in some cases. Why? Windows 7 won’t automatically install drivers that aren’t designed for and known to be fully compatible with the operating system. Additionally, Windows 7 won’t automatically install non–Plug and Play devices. Unfortunately, many older printers, scanners, and fax machines fall into one of these two categories and it’ll take a bit more work to install and use them with Windows 7.

Note

Some very old printers may connect directly via serial or parallel cables. Windows 7 continues to support these devices and you’ll need to install them using the manual installation technique.

Most printers come with management software and device drivers on a CD. To avoid problems, my advice is this: unless you are installing a network-attached printer and are an administrator, you probably do not need to install and use the management software. The reason for this is that Windows 7 includes device and printer management features and these can be used accessed by clicking Start→Devices and Printers and then double-clicking the printer you want to manage.

With respect to device drivers shipped by the manufacturer, my advice is this: if the device software wasn’t designed for Windows Vista or later, don’t use it. Instead, rely on Windows 7’s automatic or manual installation process to install the printer, scanner, or fax device. If during a manual installation your device is not listed, check Windows Update for driver software first and then check the manufacturer’s website.

You can install most physically attached printers, scanners, and fax machines by completing the following steps:

  1. Turn on the printer, scanner, or fax device.

  2. Connect the device to your computer using the appropriate USB cable.

  3. Let Windows 7 automatically detect and install the device. Your computer will search its driver cache and may search the Windows Update site.

Figure 12.1. Windows 7 detects the printer, scanner, or fax device

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Windows 7 should automatically detect the printer, scanner or fax device as shown in Figure 12.1, and then automatically install a built-in driver to support it. As shown in Figure 12.2, the Driver Software Installation component handles the installation task. The printer, scanner, or fax device should then run immediately without any problems.

Figure 12.2. Windows 7 installs the device

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You can confirm that the printer, scanner, or fax device is available by clicking Start→Devices and Printers. As shown in Figure 12.3, the printer, scanner, or fax device should be listed as an available device. Double-click the printer, scanner, or fax device to check its status. The device status should be “Ready,” as shown in Figure 12.4,.

Figure 12.3. Confirming that the device is installed

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Figure 12.4. Confirming that the device is available and ready for use

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Automatic installation is great when it works, but it doesn’t work 100 percent of the time. Windows 7 might also automatically detect the printer, scanner, or fax device, but the Driver Software Installation component may run into problems installing the device. If this happens, you’ll see errors similar to those shown in Figure 12.5. For example, the HP printer that installed automatically on 32-bit Windows 7 would not install automatically on 64-bit Windows 7. Why? At the time, the 64-bit printer driver was not designed for and known to be fully compatible with the operating system.

Figure 12.5. Windows 7 is unable to install the device

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Installing a printer or fax machine manually

If automatic installation fails, you can install the printer or fax machine manually by completing the following steps:

Figure 12.6. Installing a printer manually

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  1. With the printer, scanner, or fax device powered on and connected to your computer using the appropriate cable, Start→Devices and Printers.

  2. In Devices and Printers, click “Add a printer.”

  3. In the Add Printer Wizard, shown in Figure 12.6, click “Add a local printer.”

  4. On the “Choose a printer port page,” ensure that “Use an existing port” is selected, choose the printer port to use, and then click Next. If you are trying to manually install a USB printer that did not install automatically, choose USB001 (Virtual Printer Port for USB), as shown in Figure 12.7. Otherwise, choose the COM port (for serial printers) or LPT port (for parallel printers) that your printer is connected to.

  5. As shown in Figure 12.8, you must now specify the device manufacturer and model. This allows Windows 7 to assign a driver to the device. If the device manufacturer and model you are using are displayed, choose a manufacturer and a model, and then skip steps 6–9.

  6. If the device manufacturer and model you’re using aren’t displayed in the list, ensure that your computer is connected to the Internet and then click Windows Update. Windows will then update the list of printers to show additional models. This feature is part of Windows 7’s automatic driver provisioning and it can take several minutes to retrieve the updated list.

Figure 12.7. Select the port to use

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Figure 12.8. Select the manufacturer and printer type

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  1. You should then be able to select your printer manufacturer and model. If you aren’t, download the driver from the manufacturer’s website and then extract the driver files.

  2. Click Have Disk. In the Install from Disk dialog box, click Browse.

  3. In the Locate File dialog box, locate the .inf driver file for the device and then click Open.

  4. Click Next. On the “Type a printer name” page, type a name for the device or accept the default name. You’ll see this name on the Printers page in the Control Panel. Click Next, and the printer driver will be installed.

  5. The printer or fax machine is automatically configured for sharing. If you don’t want the printer or fax machine to be shared, select “Do not share this printer.” Otherwise, you can set the share name and location, and add an optional comment.

  6. When you click Next, the Add Printer Wizard will install the printer and set it as the default automatically. If you don’t want the printer to be the default, clear the “Set as the default printer” checkbox (you will see this checkbox only if you had a default printer before you installed this one).

  7. To print a test page, click Print a Test Page. The wizard will then print a test page. Click Close.

  8. Click Finish. Click Start→Devices And Printers. The Devices and Printers page in the Control Panel will have an additional icon with the name set the way you specified (see Figure 12.9). You can change the printer or fax properties and check printer or fax status at any time.

Figure 12.9. Confirming that the device was installed

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Installing a scanner manually

You can install a scanner manually by completing the following steps:

  1. In Windows Explorer, access C:\Program Files\Windows Photo Viewer, where C: is your system drive, and then double-click ImagingDevices.exe.

  2. In the Scanners and Cameras window, click Add Device. This starts the Scanner and Camera Installation Wizard.

  3. Click Next.

  4. You must now specify the device manufacturer and model. This allows Windows 7 to assign a driver to the device. If the device manufacturer and model you are using are displayed, choose a manufacturer and a model, and then skip steps 5–7.

  5. If the device manufacturer and model you’re using aren’t displayed in the list, download the driver from the manufacturer’s website and then extract the driver files.

  6. Click Have Disk. In the Install from Disk dialog box, click Browse.

  7. In the Locate File dialog box, locate the .inf driver file for the device and then click Open.

  8. Click Next. On the “What is the name of your device?” page, type a name for the scanner or accept the default name. You’ll see this name in the Scanners and Cameras window.

  9. Click Next and then click Finish.

  10. The Scanners and Cameras window will have an additional icon with the name set the way you specified. You can change the scanner properties and check scanner status at any time.

Installing Wireless and Bluetooth Printers

Windows 7 fully supports wireless and Bluetooth. Often, wireless and Bluetooth printers will include installation software that you may be able to use to install and begin using the device. Before you use the installation software, however, you should ensure it is compatible with Windows 7. If it isn’t, you may want to check the device manufacturer’s website for updated software.

Some wireless and Bluetooth printers connect directly to a computer. Others connect to a computer via a network. You can connect a wireless or Bluetooth printer directly to a computer by completing the following steps:

  1. Typically, wireless and Bluetooth devices require that you connect a receiver to the computer. You’ll need to plug the receiver into a USB slot on the computer.

  2. Position the computer and receiver so that the receiver is within range of the printer to which you want to connect.

  3. Configure the printer as necessary and ensure that it is powered on.

  4. Click Start→Devices and Printers. In Devices and Printers, click “Add printer.”

  5. In the Add Printer Wizard, shown in Figure 12.10, click “Add a network, wireless or Bluetooth Printer.”

  6. As shown in Figure 12.11, your computer will then search for available printers. If the printer you want to use is shown in the list of available printers, select the printer, and then click Next.

Note

If your computer can’t find the wireless printer, make sure that the printer is powered on and that the wireless/Bluetooth transmitter is switched on. If you suspect the printer is out of range, try moving it closer to the computer. Make sure the printer is positioned away from air conditioning units, microwave ovens, etc. Then click Search Again to have your computer search again for the printer. If this resolves the problem, select the printer and then click Next to continue this procedure. Otherwise, click “The printer that I want isn’t listed,” and then click Next.

On the “Find a printer by name or TCP/IP address” page, select “Add a printer using a TCP/IP address or hostname,” and then click Next. On the “Type a printer hostname or IP address” page, use the “Device type” list to select the type of device. If you don’t know the type of device, choose Autodetect. In the “Hostname or IP address” text box, type the hostname or Internet Protocol (IP) address of the device. If you are unsure, use the device’s control menu to print a configuration page. The port name is set for you based on the hostname or IP address entry. The port name doesn’t matter as long as it’s unique for your computer.

When you click Next, the wizard attempts to contact the device. If the wizard is unable to detect the print device, make sure that the print device is turned on and connected to the network. Also, ensure that you typed the correct IP address or printer name in the previous page. If you entered incorrect information, click the Back arrow and then retype this information. Complete the installation by setting the printer name and sharing options as discussed in steps 7–11.

  1. On the “Type a printer name” page, type a name for the device or accept the default name. You’ll see this name on the Printers page in the Control Panel. Click Next.

  2. The printer is automatically configured for sharing. If you don’t want the printer to be shared, select “Do not share this printer.” Otherwise, you can set the share name and location, and add an optional comment.

  3. When you click Next, the Add Printer Wizard will install the printer and set it as the default automatically. If you don’t want the printer to be the default, clear the “Set as the default printer” checkbox (you will see this checkbox only if you had a default printer before you installed this one).

Figure 12.10. Add a network, wireless, or Bluetooth printer

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Figure 12.11. Check the list of available devices for the printer

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  1. To print a test page, click Print a Test Page. The wizard will then print a test page. Click Close.

  2. Click Finish. Click Start→Devices and Printers. The Devices and Printers page in the Control Panel will have an additional icon with the name set the way you specified. You can change the printer properties and check printer status at any time.

To connect a wireless printer to a computer via a network, do the following:

  1. Power on the printer. Configure its initial settings as appropriate for the network. For example, you may need to configure TCP/IP settings to use Dynamic Host Configuration Protocol (DHCP) or you may need to use a static IP address.

  2. Wait 30–60 seconds for the device to be detected. The device should be detected and installed automatically. If the device isn’t detected and installed, click Start and then click Devices and Printers. In Devices and Printers, ensure that the device isn’t already listed as available. If the device isn’t available yet, click “Add printer.” You’ll then be able to install the printer as discussed in steps 5–11 of the previous procedure.

  3. If you have trouble connecting to the printer, make sure that a firewall isn’t blocking connectivity to the printer. You may need to open a firewall port to allow access between the computer and the device. Also double-check the printer’s TCP/IP configuration. If your network consists of multiple subnets connected together, try to connect the device to the same network subnet.

  4. Keep in mind that Network Discovery settings control whether your computer can find other computers and devices on the network and whether other computers on the network can find your computer. By default, Network Discovery is not enabled (but you may have enabled this feature already by creating a homegroup, sharing folders, or performing other tasks). To enable Network Discovery, click Start→Control Panel→Network and Internet→Network and Sharing Center. In the left pane, click “Change advanced sharing settings.” Access the appropriate network profile, such as Home or Work. Under Network Discovery, click “Turn on network discovery,” and then click Save Changes.

Installing Network-Attached Printers, Scanners, and Fax Machines

A network-attached printer, scanner, or fax machine is a device that’s attached directly to the network using a wireless connection or a network cable. Network-attached printers, scanners, and fax machines are configured so that they’re accessible to network users as shared devices.

Warning

If you configure the printer and enable sharing, the computer on which you configure the print device becomes an additional print server for it. When you install this printer on another computer, you might see two listings: one for the device itself, and another for the shared printer on the computer that is sharing it. Unless you want your computer to act as a print server, you might want to select “Do not share this printer” in step 5.

You can install a network-attached printer or fax machine by completing these steps:

  1. Click Start→Devices and Printers. In Devices and Printers, click “Add printer.” This starts the Add Printer Wizard.

  2. In the Add Printer Wizard, click “Add a network, wireless or Bluetooth printer.” The Add Printer Wizard will then begin searching for available devices.

  3. If the wizard finds the device you want to use, click it in the list of devices found. Click Next.

Note

If your computer can’t find the network printer, make sure that the printer is powered on and that a firewall isn’t blocking connectivity to the printer. You may need to open a firewall port to allow access between the computer and the printer. If your network consists of multiple subnets connected together, try to connect the printer to the same network subnet. Also, make sure the printer is configured to broadcast its presence on the network. Although most network printers automatically do this, this isn’t always the case. Finally, make sure that the printer has an IP address and proper network settings. With DHCP, network routers assign IP addresses automatically as printers connect to the network. After you’ve double-checked everything, click Search Again to have your computer search again for the printer. If this resolves the problem, select the printer and then click Next to continue this procedure. Otherwise, skip the remaining steps and follow the next procedure to install the printer manually.

  1. On the “Type a printer name” page, type a name for the device or accept the default name. You’ll see this name on the Printers page in the Control Panel. Click Next.

  2. The printer is automatically configured for sharing. If you don’t want the printer to be shared, select “Do not share this printer.” Otherwise, you can set the share name and location and add an optional comment.

  3. When you click Next, the Add Printer Wizard will install the printer and set it as the default automatically. If you don’t want the printer to be the default, clear the “Set as the default printer” checkbox (you will see this checkbox only if you had a default printer before you installed this one).

  4. To print a test page, click “Print a test page.” The wizard will then print a test page. Click Close.

  5. Click Finish. Click Start→Devices and Printers. The Devices and Printers page in the Control Panel will have an additional icon with the name set the way you specified. You can change the printer properties and check printer status at any time.

If the Add Printer Wizard doesn’t find the network printer you want to use, complete the installation by following these steps:

Figure 12.12. Setting the printer options

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  1. On the “Searching for available printers” page, click “The printer that I want isn’t listed” and then click Next.

  2. On the “Find a printer by name or TCP/IP address” page, select “Add a printer using a TCP/IP address or hostname,” and then click Next.

  3. On the “Type a printer hostname or IP address” page, shown in Figure 12.12, use the “Device type” list to select the type of device. If you don’t know the type of device, choose Autodetect.

  4. In the “Hostname or IP address” text box, type the hostname or Internet Protocol (IP) address of the device. If you are unsure, use the device’s control menu to print a configuration page.

  5. The port name is set for you based on the hostname or IP address entry. The port name doesn’t matter as long as it’s unique for your computer.

  6. When you click Next, the wizard attempts to contact the device and automatically determine the protocol details as well as the adapter type. If the wizard is unable to detect the print device, make sure that the print device is turned on and connected to the network. Also, ensure that you typed the correct IP address or printer name in the previous page. If you entered incorrect information, click the Back arrow and then retype this information.

  7. Complete the installation by setting the printer name and sharing options as discussed in the previous procedure.

Xerox makes a network-attached scanner called the Xerox WorkCentre Pro Scanner. This device and other similar devices install in the same way as a directly attached scanner. When you complete the installation, the scanner should be configured automatically. If it isn’t, follow these steps to set the IP address for the scanner:

  1. In Windows Explorer, access C:\Program Files\Windows Photo Viewer, where C: is your system drive, and then double-click ImagingDevices.exe.

  2. In the Scanners and Cameras window, click the scanner and then click Properties.

  3. On the Device Settings tab, type the hostname or IP address of the scanner and then click OK.

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2 Replies

0
  josephbrown012's Photo
Posted Nov 27 2012 08:36 PM

i have done this steps but i am not able to install a printer.i have to do some other steps for resolved this type of problem.so i will say this post was not helpful for me.sorry for this
0
  steve davisharley's Photo
Posted Oct 04 2013 11:57 AM

I tried all these steps and it was not working for me as well.Call toll free number 8555488397 to fix the issues.I was great help.