printers won't list in network directory

February 14, 2011 at 09:46:48
Specs: Windows XP
Printers on server are set to show in network directory, but are not showing up when you try to add it to a workstation by selecting Find in Directory. However, if you use the Find printer by Name option, and type in \\server_name\Printer_name you can add it. What am I missing?

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February 14, 2011 at 10:41:22
Which operating system are you using on the subject computer?
I'm assuming it's XP, or a server op system similar to it.

If you mean the My Networking folder when you use Windows Explorer, the printers do not show up there (at least, they don't show up there when the other computers on the network are not mapped).

They do show up in Control Panel - Network Connections - My Network Places on the left side - view workgroup computers on the left side - click on the computer the printer is connected to if the printer is not connected via a network cable or wirelessly.

Or if you have the shortcut to My Network Places available, click on that, view workgroup computers on the left side - click on the computer the printer is connected to if the printer is not connected via a network cable or wirelessly.

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February 14, 2011 at 10:48:35
I'm referring to adding a printer in Printers and Faxes. When the Ad a Printer Wizard starts and you select Network printer, then Find a printer in Directory, then select Find Now, they are not listed. Does this show only printers that are not already installed?

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February 14, 2011 at 12:58:51
Are you using XP (or 2000) or a Server operating system or similar to XP on the subject computer ? All I know about Server operating systems similar to XP is most things in it are the same as in XP.

You DO NOT need to Add a Printer there (in 2000 or above), network or directly connected, unless the printer is NOT Plug n Play. E.g. parallel connected printers are not Plug n Play.

When you install the software for a directly connected printer properly (NOT just the drivers), the printer model appears automatically in Printers and Faxes, BUT when you first install the software, it does not appear there immediately - it WILL eventually.The printer will work fine after the software has been installed for it properly (you MAY have to Restart the computer once) even BEFORE the model appears in Printers and Faxes.
(If you DO need to use Add a printer because the printer is not Plug n Play, you only need to do that on the computer the printer is directly connected to.)

When the software for the printer has been installed properly on another computer on your local network it has been connected directly to, if File and Printer Sharing or similar has been enabled on all the computers in the network, the printer model will appear automatically on all the other computers in Printers and Faxes as a network printer on the computers it is not directly connected to, BUT, again, it does not appear there immediately, but it WILL eventually - the other computers need time to install drivers that are conveyed over the network connections. (You DO NOT need to install any software for the printer yourself on the other computers the printer is not directly connected to.) You MAY need to Restart all the computers in the network at least once in order for the network printer model to appear in Printers and Faxes initially.
(A network printer model that is NOT Plug n Play will appear there too.)

Similar applies to printers that are network connected directly. Similarly, you probably must install the software properly, NOT just the drivers, on one computer in the network.

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Related Solutions

February 14, 2011 at 17:31:20
In such cases it sometimes help to use the manufacturer disk and specify a networked printer not local when going through the menu option on install.

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March 17, 2011 at 02:36:18
Do you use Location-attrib. under General tab? If that is incorrect it won't show up, but will be able to add the way you describe

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August 3, 2011 at 03:17:04
Only 20 printers are listed in the list by default unless a group policy specifically sets the number to something else.

Change the group policy setting below:
Computer Configuration\Administrative Templates\Printers
Add Printer Wizard – Network scan page (Managed network)
Set it to display 500 printers or whatever you want and you should be good to go.

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