Cannot share printer between Vista and XP within a network

I recently encountered a network environment where the user had two Windows XP Professional workstations on a network. Each sharing a printer with one another without issue. One of the workstations was replaced with a Windows Vista edition with SP1. The printer setup was easy on the new workstation, however, the other workstation (Windows XP) could not print to the workstation. In fact, I was unable to access the printer without a username and password. Once, I got around that obstacle, I still was unable to setup the printer on the Windows XP workstation as the printer driver would not setup or be found.

I found this work-a-round in a forum that worked perfectly in each direction. Meaning, I was able to share the Windows XP printer with the Windows Vista workstation and the Windows Vista printer with the Windows XP workstation.

  • Go to Control Panel and switch to classic view
  • Select Printers and press Add a printer on the bar

  • From the pop-up box, select Add a local printer, then click Next

  • Select Create a new port and leave the default Local Port.

  • The Port Name dialog box will appear prompting to Enter a port name.

  • Type the UNC path to the shared printer.
    ie. \\workstationName\printerName