Sep 22, 2009

Add XP shared printer to a Vista machine - Access Denied Error

This post focuses on a scenario in which a Windows XP machine is sharing a printer over the local area network and a Vista machine is trying to add that shared printer but is receiving an "Access Denied" error message.

First, make sure the printer works for other machines on the network. If other machines cannot print to the shared printer, there is most likely a network-related issue or a sharing problem on the XP machine itself.

If there are no network issues and other XP machines can print to the shared printer, try the following:

  1. Install the Vista drivers for the printer on the Vista machine, using the "local LPT1:" port as the default. Do NOT try to detect the printer. Alternately, you can download the driver from the manufacturer web site and extract the files to your hard drive (Ex: C:\Dell\Drivers\Printers\A12345\Winxp2k)
  2. After the driver is installed, use Control Panel to ADD PRINTER.  
  3. Select "Local Printer" (Again, do NOT detect), click "NEXT"  
  4. Select "Create a new port" and then choose "Local Port" and click "NEXT"  
  5. In the box, type the UNC path to the shared printer (Ex: \\xpmachinename\printshare) and click "OK"  
  6. When prompted for the driver, look to see if your installed driver is in the list. If not, choose "HAVE DISK..." and browse to the location of your printer driver.  
  7. When installation is complete, PRINT A TEST PAGE! I know a lot of techs don't like to/want to do that, but it shows the USER that the printing is working.

Hope this helps someone else out there! I had to look far and wide to find this info. I post it here in hopes others will not have to search so hard to find the answer.

(note: this article initially appears at

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