2 computers...3 peripherals

I have 2 computers. (1. HP desktop running Win XP SP3. (2. HP laptop running Win Vista. Have 2 printers and 1 scanner. I would like to be able to use both printers and the scanner from either of my computers. Also,I am planning in the near future to buy a new desktop running Win 7. Anyone have an idea of how I can run all of these peripherals from both computers?

Do both computers use the same internet connection, i.e. are they both connected to the same router/switch?

Just get a router, that will allow for sharing.

If you already have a router, set the other stuff as “shared.”

what interface(s) for the printers and scanner?

You should be able to run at least the printers from all computers with some fiddling with your OS’s drivers/settings, provided they’re all on the same local network - either directly; if your printers support direct network connections, or via the computer they’re physically tied to otherwise.

Basically that means your computers (and your printers, if applicable) should be connected via a (cheap) network switch to your internet modem or your modem* has a built-in switch (meaning all your machines are connected to that via wire or wifi).

As for the scanner, I dunno, but it probably involves a bit more software - but I don’t know much about Windows network management these days.

  • note: I’m using “modem” as a short hand for whatever box is currently connecting your computers “to the internet”.


next question?


Alot of the “all in one devices” and more specifically scanners are a royal PITA as network devices unless they were built for it, even then network scanning can be a persnickity bitch. ALOT of apps that have zero problems accessing a local scanner cant find a networked scanner with a hunting dog, a ouija board, and the whole TWAIN working group pointing at the right port.

Is it just me or does the title of this thread sound vaguely dirty?


Right now, my laserjet and my scanner are connected to the desktop. My Epson inkjet printer is connected to the laptop. Both the Desktop and the Laptop are connected to the same router.

That looks like a good solution. I think I will try to get that, but it might be a little difficult because I am in Colombia. Shipping is expensive, but perhaps I can find one here at the computer stores… Thanks.

Only if you’re a Mac user.


They make manual ones, too, with a little switch you toggle… if that’s any easier to find.

Connect the printers to the desktop and go into the printers section of the control panel. Go into the properties for the printers in turn and switch on sharing, specifying a simple name.

On the laptop go into the same section and select ‘Add printer’ then select to add a printer that is connected to another PC. You can try browsing for the printer but that can be a bit flaky, you may need to specify the desktop by hostname so choose to add “\pcname\sharedprintername”. If you don’t know the hostname of the desktop go to start -> run and type cmd then hit enter. Type hostname and hit enter, this will display the name of the desktop.

As said above sharing scanners is a total crapshoot, it is pretty rare that it can be done unless you have a network ready scanner with an ethernet port.