I’m redoing my computer system at home after much craziness with my windows machines. It was one of the things that pushed me to get a Mac. Anyway, I’m trying to make everything all happy with three PCs and a Mac.
- I want the printer to be available to all computers even if some of them are sleeping
- I want a large hard drive to store all my itunes stuff, including movies, music, and apps
- I want access to printer or hard drive, by any computer, to be wireless
So I got an Airport Extreme. It has a USB port on it that you can connect a hub to. Then you can put whatever you want on the hub, although I have so far only tried a printer and a hard drive.
With the Mac this set up with less brain cells required than I use to pee. I didn’t have to do anything for it to work. Different story for the windows machines. A disk comes with it that contains software (Airport Extreme Base Station Agent) that lets your PC see the hard drive attached to it. This worked pretty well, and I do not recall much of an issue as long as I set up the AirPort Extreme with the mac first.
Printing is a different story. I tried the method that apple suggested using the Bonjour Printer Wizard. It didn’t work at all. It set up just fine, but it would not print.
I found this to be the most helpful advice as to how to do it, but I would add a few steps.
- Make sure you have installed the latest drivers for your printer
- Make sure the printer is recognized by the base station.
- Select 'Add a new printer' in Windows
- Select 'Local Printer' in the dialog box (auto detect and install should be off), click next.
- Choose 'Create a new port' and "Standard TCP/IP Port'. Click next.
- For the printer IP address, enter the address of the base station ie. 10.0.1.1. The port name will be filled automatically. Click next.
- For the device type, choose 'Hewlet Packard Jet Direct', then click Finish.
- Choose your printer from the list and follow the rest of the prompts to install and configure the driver.
- When it asks you if you want to use the existing driver or the new one, choose ‘existing’
This worked really well for me on the first shot. I wrote this blog post so I could get to it from the other two PC. LOL. Next I will back up the wireless drive to one of the local drives using scheduling backup software.
I hope this post helps someone, somewhere, at some time.