Question How to set up a shared printer on a dedicated network Windows 10...?

nOOky

Platinum Member
Aug 17, 2004
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My wife has 7 PC's on Windows 10 for her small business and she's using a Windows 10 pro dedicated PC as the server for the veterinary software. She has one printer that was successfully printing wirelessly for all PC's but now it has just stopped being recognized by the computers unless it's plugged into one with the USB cable. She had a local PC firm spend 3 hours trying to fix it, but they did nothing but complain about the "Microsoft printing nightmare" caused by Windows updates and took her money and left. They also blamed it on her not using dedicated version of server 2012, saying the way it was now won't work even though the veterinary software company recommends that for as small as her setup is.

My question is, is there a way to share a printer other than wirelessly so it works. All of the PC's run through an un-managed 8 port switch to communicate with the server database. Obviously from my post I know nothing about networking or sharing a printer except for something simple like a home shared printer.

When I google the Windows 10 printer nightmare it does seem to indicate there are issues Microsoft can't resolve as of yet.
 

mxnerd

Diamond Member
Jul 6, 2007
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What's the existing wireless printer brand/model? How was it connected to the network/ Win10 server PC originally? Does it have a ethernet port?
And what do you mean all PC print wirelessly to the printer in the past? Are you sure? Or the printer is just wirelessly connected to the router/AP in the past? Maybe the wireless part of the printer malfunctioned/went bad now?
 
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nOOky

Platinum Member
Aug 17, 2004
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I'm headed over there in a bit to check everything out. But previously everything was working fine, then all of a sudden shared printing just stopped working. She had a local computer "expert" try to fix it, with no luck and a few hundred bucks down the drain. This is a setup that has been working for a few months now when it was installed all new. I'm going to check and see if removing the Windows update enables printing again, not sure what I'll check after that. Here is what the local expert emailed her:
Good morning,

"A lot of the issues you folks are experiencing was because you insisted we set this setup up as cheap as possible. You should have a real server with a real server operating system not a workstation with database software installed on it. The way this is setup is equal to slapping duct tape on everything and expecting to work perfectly. This situation is both frustrating to us and you folks because you're now seeing the consequences of doing this improperly. Sharing printers like this using the built-in Windows10/11 sharing without a server on this many workstation is extremely difficult to hold together especially with the most recent printer issue that Microsoft introduced called "Printer Nighmare". Newest versions of Windows are much more secure that Windows 7/XP which makes holding systems like this together much harder without having a server operating system controlling the permissions across the network.

You folks aren't under a contract with us so we've only been responding to requests and phones calls during normal business hours otherwise it would double the labor rate you folks have been currently paying. We're being as responsive as we can be but our contract customers come first. If you're not seeing an immediately reply to emails or phone calls this is why."

Note her setup is what the software company recommnded and has worked with Windows 7 the past 7 years.
 

JackMDS

Elite Member
Super Moderator
Oct 25, 1999
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In situation like this there is two choices.

Either a person learns how to Design, control and repair such systems, or hire a Good maintenance service and follow their advice.

As far as I can see the statement about the Server in the Email sent is the key to this problem.

It like a family has a choice to learn how to cook good meals, or go out and spread their money in the food ""industry"".

That said, one of the problem is the disconnect of the Printers industry and the other hardware/software of the computer industry.

I.e., One have to find a Printer that prints well and does not take over the whole system like HP does with their printer software.

At the moment my personal choice is Epson,, But there is also other decent choices.


:cool:
 

mxnerd

Diamond Member
Jul 6, 2007
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You didn't answer any question that I asked. "Printing nightmare" phrase did not help. Besides, your wife just upgraded all PCs from Win7 to Win10 herself? Did the software changed/upgraded versions? Did the software company tell you that upgrading the OS from 7 to 10 will cause problem beforehand?

Software only works the way the programmer designed it and the environment it was tested ln, there is no way around it, the company wouldn't help especially you don't pay regular support fee.

Name of the software? Is there a website/pdf manual for the installation? It's quite possible you do need a Windows server to run the software properly since Microsoft keeps changing how Windows work/interact with each other, even one that seems minor.
 
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nOOky

Platinum Member
Aug 17, 2004
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Sorry, I get busy sometimes. We purchased new Dell equipment all on Windows 10, choosing stuff that exceeded the requirements. Our past Windows 8 stuff all ran on Windows 8 Pro, not server hardware. We basically used the same software version of the vet. software, upgrading would require retraining her employees, and the version she uses is adequate and not out of date. I said Windows 7, I was wrong, it's been years since I have had to touch it.

The office printer is an HP, it does not have an Ethernet connection. I got everything to work yesterday by uninstalling the printer from everything, updating Windows, and re-installing. I did the initial setup of the new PC's in July, and she had a the local computer guys install the software and do the networking stuff. I saved her quite a bit of money by getting everything ready and hooking everything physically up before they came to do the install. I suspect they are agitated that we did not let them have two guys do it at $250 an hour, buy the equipment from them, or chose their service contract for three years at $350 a month. Despite the hassles, we saved about $7,500. She now has a contract with the software company, they seem willing to help with general Windows related issues as long as you buy their software and pay the monthly fee.

I did the server setup and stuff last time, but this time I did not have time, hence trying out the local firm. We figured if she liked them and they seemed to work out, we would try to use them more, or enter into an agreement with them. Instead they seemed kind of elitist and off-putting, like they didn't want to mess around with such a small business. Their choice totally, I understand. Anyway as long as the printer works we won't replace it, but if we do it will be another brand. She has another printer for printing prescription labels that go on bottles that was also a pita, but it's done. There is also blood machine software and digital radio-graph machine stuff that was a pain, but it doesn't cause any issues.

FWIW one of the new Dells already had the hdmi port stop working, Googling it it's a known issue, so I had to fix that as she thought the computer was dead, it was just that port. This stuff is way above my pay grade, we won't be doing it again as hopefully we'll be retired.




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digital
 

mxnerd

Diamond Member
Jul 6, 2007
6,602
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So the software does support Windows 10 as a server. It was the local tech installer who couldn't get the job done.

It's better to get a network printer instead a USB connected one next time.
 
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