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Sharing Printers and Files...


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#1
o2mcgovem

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Hi, At the moment I've got all our computers sharing an internet connection, printers and files over our wireless network. The problem is, if I'm on my laptop and I want to print something I have to turn on the desktop it's connected to to get it to print... which is a pain. I asked a friend how they can do it without having thier computer on and they said they just plugged it in to their router or something, but my printer's got the wrong connector to fit into it.

I'd like to have it so that I can use my printer and share files without having to have the desktop switched on. I've got an external hard disk where the shared files are but that's got the wrong connector too (USB. I think it's an Ethernet port on the back of the router. There's four spare.)

I had one crazy idea... we've got an old Windows 98 computer in the loft and I thought that I could just plug the hard disk and printer into that (set them to be shared) and leave it on all the time, but it probably wouldn't work because Windows 98's a bit outdated and it's too much of a pain... and a waste of electricity. Plus, I dunno where I'd put it and it's really loud, there's this really loud fan in it.

Can anyone help me get it so I don't have to have a computer turned on to get to files and printers please?
Oh, and this'll probably sound a bit silly... but can anyone tell me whether that crazy idea I had would actually work. I wouldn't do it, but I'd just like to know... it'd make me feel good :whistling:
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#2
dsenette

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to do this you either need a printer with a network card or an ethernet print server...the print server would be cheaper...they make them in either usb or parrallell and i know they sell them at like best buy and stuff like that
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#3
o2mcgovem

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Print server, eh? And, um, what do I do with that? Plug it into the router and then plug the printer into that?
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#4
dsenette

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pretty much yeah....they come with great instructions...you can either set it up with a static ip or a dynamic one (either or)...and then you hook the printer to it and install the printer as a network printer (the instructions are different for each model so without knowing what you buy i can't be too specific...they are pretty easy)
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#5
o2mcgovem

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Sounds great. What about sharing files? Can I plug in the external hard disk into that Print Server thing and I'll be able to get to the files?

Oh, and my printer's a Lexmark X1150 All-In-One. I'm guessing you're not gonna know exactly how to do it for it... It would be pretty weird if you'd somehow memorised instructions for every printer, but do you know if it'll work on Lexmark printers?

Edited by o2mcgovem, 16 May 2006 - 03:13 PM.

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#6
dsenette

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ah...i missed the sharing files deal...sorry um...that's alot more difficult...it's impossible to share files without a machine being on (same with the printer...though the printer can be fooled into thinking it's connected to a computer with a print server) for a non pc based file serever type deal you'd need a NAS (network area server) kind of sollution....and that's getting into a realm you don't need to be in...pick a central machine to be the server and leave it on all the time...store all the shared files there and hook the printer too it
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#7
o2mcgovem

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So, no Print Server then?
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#8
dsenette

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for what you want to do (have both files and printer available without a computer being on)..yeah pretty much...for a home system it's in your best interest to just stick with leaving the main computer on
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#9
o2mcgovem

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That's a real waste of electricity though :whistling:

Now, you're probably getting annoyed with all these questions... but if you don't ask questions, you don't get answers. Right? Lol... I think this'll be the last one.

I've just been searching for another external hard disk (I need one for my laptop, the drive's not big enough) and I saw something that said Network Hard Drive or something. It says...

The LinkStation Network Storage Centre from Buffalo Technology offers an easy and economic solution to add 120 Gigabytes of network-attached storage via wired or wireless connections. Quick and simple installation allows you to instantly store and share your music, videos, images and other files via a web browser from both PCs and Macs. Offering a built-in print server, the LinkStation simplifies network printing, and with two USB 2.0 ports, additional hard drives can be added for extra space or backups instantly. Simple setup and maintenance, versatile usage, and a compact design make the LinkStation the "must have" solution for storing and sharing files on your home or small office network.

http://www.pcworld.c...gory_oid=-24880

Now is that that... omg a spider, hold on... Sorry about that, there was this massive spider crawling on my bed towards me. I'm not normally bothered about spiders, but this one was gigantic. Yuck. Anyway, um... oh, is that really as simple as it says? It's not in stock anyway, but I'd like something like that as it'd save electricity (I think... would it? Surely it would. I dunno.) I think I'll stick to just turning it on when I need to print for the time being, but we're planning to get another laptop and it might be an idea to invest in something like that in the future.

Thanks for your help so far :blink:

Edited by o2mcgovem, 16 May 2006 - 03:48 PM.

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#10
dsenette

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well if that buffalo drive is a good price that's exactly what i meant by a NAS system...by the way....the two things on a computer that use the most electricity (neither of which actually use that much) are the monitor and the hard drive...if you turn off the monitor of the pc...then the electrical useage is nominal unless the system is active
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#11
o2mcgovem

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Doesn't the fan in the back waste energy? I thought that'd be the main culprit because things like extractor fans do use an awful lot of electricity.

I think I'll just stick with turning it on when I need to use the printer. No point in having it on if nobody's using it.
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