If you have an old computer that can still run and function well, you can maximize its usage to become your network’s Printer Server. Turning a computer into a Printer Server is pretty straightforward, and here are the steps on how to build a Printer Server.
1. Review the computer’s hardware resources.
A Printer Server does not need to be as high-end as the computer you’re using for your daily use. For a computer to be turned and used as a Printer Server, it will need to have at least a minimum of 386 MHz processor speed and a minimum of 8 Megabytes of RAM.
Check if the computer tower has a floppy drive. You will need to have this as you will be creating an image disk. Make sure that the computer tower also has a Parallel port. Desktop and notebook computers, whether old or new, have on-board parallel ports on it.
Finally, ensure that the computer has a Network Interface Card. If it doesn’t have one, you can easily obtain one.
2. Get a hold of WinZip, WinImage and Print Server software installers.
You can download WinZip from their official website, “WinZip.com”. Likewise, WinImage can be obtained from their office website, “WinImage.com”. Get a free Print Server software pack like “Print Logger Pro” to manage the usage of the network printer. Obtain the latest version of the installers and once your download is completed, install them on the computer that will act as the Printer Server.
3. Acquire the driver to your network interface card.
Go to “pigtail.net” and get the corresponding modules.lrp for your network interface card.
4. Create the Print Server’s image file.
Launch WinImage. Once the program is open, highlight the Print Server software pack and modules.lrp and drop it on WinImage. After which, save the image file on a diskette. To save the image file, all you have to do is hit “Disk” and then “Write”. Remove the diskette from your floppy drive and shut your computer off.
5. Bridge the Printer Server computer to the network.
First off, using a parallel cable, link your printer to the computer. Then using an Ethernet cable, connect the computer to the router.
6. Boot up and start your computer.
After ensuring that the printer and computer are hooked up correctly, start your system. Insert the diskette where the print server image file is saved and load it up. When it is done loading, you will hear three beeps to denote that it is now all set for the next step.
7. Add the network printer and configure its settings.
Pull up the “Printers and Faxes” folder. To do this, hit “Start” and “Run”. On the text field, type “control printers” and hit the “Enter” key on your keyboard. This will pull up the “Printers and Faxes” folder On the left pane of the folder, hit “Add a Printer” and press the “Next” button. On the next page, select the radio button next to “Local printer attached to this computer”, uncheck “Automatically detect and install Plug and Play printer” and hit “Next.” Choose the radio button next to “Create a new port”. On the drop down menu next to it, select “Standard TCP/IP Port”, then hit “Next”. This will pull up another wizard named “Add Standard TCP/IP Printer Port Wizard”. Hit “Next” and enter “PrintSrv” as the Port Name and “192.168.1.252” as the Printer Name or IP address. Hit “Next” then select the radio button next to “Custom”. Hit “Settings” and ensure that “9100” is entered on the Port Number field. Finish the wizard by hitting “Next” and then “Finish”.
This will take you back to the “Add Printer Wizard”. Search for the brand and model of the printer and hit “Next”. Input any details required and continue hitting “Next” until you get to the last part of the wizard where you can finally hit “Finish”. After doing so, you will now be able to use the Printer Server.