Windows SMB Printer Setup


This is a guide for configuring MS Windows clients to print to network printers hosted by the Biology/Microbiology and Geosciences departmental servers, specifically those printers shared via the MS Windows networking protocol 'smb'.

Printing to smb-shared printers hosted on the Biology/Microbiology and Geosciences departmental servers requires authentication. Biology/Microbiology users can activate printing (and file sharing) for their account online; Geosciences users should indicate their need to access network printers when requesting new accounts; contact for help setting or changing an 'smb' password if you're an existing account holder. Before beginning the printer setup you should know the following: the status of Windows support for the printer (i.e. is there a driver for the printer for the version of Windows the printer is being set up under), the printer's network name as registered with 'net@', the manufacturer, and the specific model. While it may be possible to obtain acceptable output using generic drivers available in Windows, printer-specific drivers provide the best results and are often required to make use of features like optional paper sizes, duplexing units, and envelope feeders. If, during the setup procedure, you find that printer-specific drivers are not installed for the target printer, select a generic driver so you can complete the setup process. Windows-compatible drivers, if they exist, can usually be installed after the fact, and the driver Windows is configured to use with that printer can be changed.


1. Log in to a Windows account which has "Administrator" privileges.

2. Authenticate temporarily to your departmental print server; one way to do this is to map a user's "net-private" shared filespace. Begin by opening a command prompt: click the 'Start' menu, enter "cmd" in the "Search programs and files" field, then press "Enter" on the keyboard. When connecting from the Morrill wired network, enter one of the following strings, as appropriate for your department, where "‹username›" represents your Windows username):

Biology users:

C:\Users\‹username›> net use * \\\net-private /persistent:no

Microbiology users:

C:\Users\‹username›> net use * \\marlin.micro.mor.nsm\net-private /persistent:no

Geosciences users:

C:\Users\‹username›> net use * \\eclogite.geo.mor.nsm\net-private /persistent:no

OR when accessing printers from OIT's wired network use one of the following

Biology/Microbiology users:

C:\Users\‹username›> net use * \\\net-private /persistent:no

Geosciences users:

C:\Users\‹username›> net use * \\\net-private /persistent:no

If the username and password of the Windows account you're logged into are the same for an account on the departmental server, the command will complete without prompts; otherwise you will be prompted first for a username, then a password, for an account on the departmental server (Note: for security reasons Windows does not echo your typing when entering a password). You should see "The command completed successfully." if all goes well.

3. Click "Devices and Printers" in the Windows "Start" menu. Next, click "Add a printer".

4. Under "What type of printer do you want to install?" in the "Add printer" window click "Add a local printer".

5. Click the radio button to the left of "Create a new port:" under "Choose a printer port"; select "Local Port" from the "Type of port" drop-down menu. Click "Next".

6. For conncections from the Morrill wired network, enter " \\\‹printer name› ", " \\marlin.micro.mor.nsm\‹printer name› ", OR " \\eclogite.geo.mor.nsm\‹printer name› " in the "Enter a port name:" field of the "Port Name" window. If connecting from OIT's wireless network enter " \\\‹printer name› " for printers in Biology or Microbiology OR " \\\‹printer name› ". Replace "‹printer name›" with the name of the printer as shared by the server. One can determine the name of resources (printers and file space) as shared by departmental servers, when connected to the Morrill wired network, by issuing executing the following from a command prompt

net view \\

net view \\marlin.micro.mor.nsm

net view \\eclogite.geo.mor.nsm

OR, from OIT's wireless network

net view \\

net view \\

7. Select the printer's make from the "Manufacturer" list and the model from the "Printers" list. Multiple drivers may be available in the "Printers" list for a particular printer model depending on that model's support of the different "languages" employed in printing; of those languages Hewlett Packard's PCL (Printer Command Language) and Adobe's Post Script are two of the more well-known.

It used to be the case that access to features like extra trays, duplex units, or envelope feeders required a model-specific driver; that's changing for HP printers with HP's growing reliance on their "Universal Print Drivers". Support for "Universal Print Drivers" varies among different versions of MS Windows.

If a driver for your particular model isn't among those available in the "Add Printer" lists, select "Generic" from the "Manufacturer" list and "Generic / Text Only" from the "Printers" list. Appropriate drivers can be installed later and Windows print queues can then be reconfigured to use them.

8. Next, enter the printer name (as shared by the departmental server) in the "Printer name:" field; this is the Windows spool/queue name used when displaying the list of printers configured on a given system. As mentioned above, depending on the printer, there can be two or more drivers available for Windows, e.g. PCL and PostScript drivers. It's suggested that you include some indication of the driver type chosen for a particular printer in the spool/queue name, for example (without the quotes) "basil (ps)" or "fleur (pcl)". After entering a name you should get the message "You've successfully added ‹printer name›".

9. If a generic driver was selected to complete the previous steps drivers for the printer can be installed at this point and Windows can be reconfigured to use them. Printer driver installers generally extract and install the driver(s) - if mentioned by the installer, make note of where; some then start the Windows "Add printer" Wizard. When working with driver installers that offer to run the "Add printer" Wizard opt to cancel the use of the Wizard.

10. Once a printer driver has been extracted and installed, open "Devices and Printers" from the Windows "Start" menu. Right-click the icon of the printer whose driver is to be changed, select "Printer Properties" from the drop-down menu, then click the "Advanced" tab in properties window. Next, click the "New Driver..." button, which starts the "Add Printer Driver Wizard", then click the "Next" button. If the driver installer provided the location where the driver was to be installed click the "Have Disk..." button, otherwise locate the driver as described earlier in step 7.

11. If the usernames and/or passwords of users' Windows accounts are identical to the usernames and passwords of those users' departmental accounts, then once a spool/queue has been added to Windows, users should be able to print when logged into their Windows account.

When a user's Windows username and/or password differs from that of their departmental account, additional steps need to be taken to be able to authenticate for printing. Setting up a user's Windows account to map a user's 'net-private' directory using different credentials is one way to accomplish this.

By creating a simple batch file and saving it in the correct location Windows will prompt all users on a system, at login, to map 'net-private' directories of users' departmental server accounts . Using Notepad create a text document containing

__ net use * \\\net-private /persistent:no__

for Biology users,

__ net use * \\marlin.micro.mor.nsm\net-private /persistent:no__

for Microbiology users,

__ net use * \\eclogite.geo.mor.nsm\net-private /persistent:no__

for Geosciences users. Save the file with a *.bat extension (for example "marlin.bat") in the folder "C:\ProgramData\Microsoft\Windows\Start Menu\Programs\Startup". At login, all users will be prompted to enter a username and password. For Biology and Microbiology users this is the username and password created to activate their account for file and printer sharing; for Geosciences users this is their smb/samba password.