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Old 03-06-2013, 06:22 AM   #1
l_lNOXl_l
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[SOLVED] Windows 8 + Non-Compatible Printer + VM = Compatible Printer?

Hello EOCF Community,

I have been using a Dell 968w Printer for the past few years, and I must say it has been doing very well on the hardware side. As for the software side I could never get the drivers to work correctly within Windows 7 (before I switched to Windows 8), but this is beside the point I am here for today.

After reading the documentation on Dell's website I see that my old printer is no longer compatible with my new Operating System, Windows 8 Pro. Instead of going out and buying a new printer I thought I could just create a Virtual Machine in Oracle's Virtual Box or VMWare's Workstation and just make a propitiatory print server.

Since I have a Windows XP licence still I went ahead and installed Windows XP on a Virtual Machine using VMWare's Workstation, and connected the printer to the Virtual Machine. For the life of me I still cannot get the printer to print directly from the VM let alone any other networked PC.

I am almost 100% sure that this is possible, because the VM is separate from the host machine so it should have nothing to do with the printer being non-compatible with Windows 8. Am I correct in this assumption, or am I missing something of how the Virtual Machine works?

Thank you all in advance for your time, and I can only hope to get this resolved soon!

- NOX

Last edited by l_lNOXl_l; 03-07-2013 at 09:23 PM.
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Old 03-06-2013, 07:38 AM   #2
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Have you tried getting printer drivers thru Windows update. On w8 x64 pro I found drivers for some real museum pieces of printers, HP Laserjet 4, for instance, nothing fancy but it works.
Working directly with hardware is at best difficult thru VM.
Can you install on any other HDD at least a test version of Win8 and see if it would find drivers and work there ?
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Old 03-06-2013, 08:00 AM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by l_lNOXl_l View Post
Hello EOCF Community,

I have been using a Dell 968w Printer for the past few years, and I must say it has been doing very well on the hardware side. As for the software side I could never get the drivers to work correctly within Windows 7 (before I switched to Windows 8), but this is beside the point I am here for today.

After reading the documentation on Dell's website I see that my old printer is no longer compatible with my new Operating System, Windows 8 Pro. Instead of going out and buying a new printer I thought I could just create a Virtual Machine in Oracle's Virtual Box or VMWare's Workstation and just make a propitiatory print server.

Since I have a Windows XP licence still I went ahead and installed Windows XP on a Virtual Machine using VMWare's Workstation, and connected the printer to the Virtual Machine. For the life of me I still cannot get the printer to print directly from the VM let alone any other networked PC.

I am almost 100% sure that this is possible, because the VM is separate from the host machine so it should have nothing to do with the printer being non-compatible with Windows 8. Am I correct in this assumption, or am I missing something of how the Virtual Machine works?

Thank you all in advance for your time, and I can only hope to get this resolved soon!

- NOX
Assuming you are passing through the printer directly to the XP VM you should be able to print to it. As for sharing it with your other computers you're back to the same issue of drivers again.
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Old 03-06-2013, 09:02 AM   #4
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I see a windows 7 driver and firmware that was updated in 2012 here: http://ftp.dell.com/Browse_For_Drive...oto%20Printer/
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Old 03-06-2013, 07:55 PM   #5
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First off thank you for all of the feedback. I am currently re-installing Windows XP on a VM to see if I can start fresh.

Quote:
Originally Posted by CountMike View Post
Have you tried getting printer drivers thru Windows update. On w8 x64 pro I found drivers for some real museum pieces of printers, HP Laserjet 4, for instance, nothing fancy but it works.
Working directly with hardware is at best difficult thru VM.
Can you install on any other HDD at least a test version of Win8 and see if it would find drivers and work there ?
I have tried to use the Windows Updates version drivers, but at first it took forever and failed. Then I tried a second time and it was short and succeeded. I was a bit wary so I rebooted my PC, and tried to print and scan, and both said they cannot communicate with the printer.

I have Windows 8 installed now on my machine I'm using now.

Quote:
Originally Posted by kwiksilver View Post
Assuming you are passing through the printer directly to the XP VM you should be able to print to it. As for sharing it with your other computers you're back to the same issue of drivers again.
So far I have not had success with directly hooking the printer to the VM, and it being recognized. I am going to try with Oracle's VirtualBox a little later, and see if my printer will be less glitch within Windows XP. As long as I can get a scan and print folder I will just have a share for both. The scan will just be files sitting basically on a small server and the print will have a batch or script that anytime a file is dragged into the folder it will print and delete or archive.

Quote:
Originally Posted by digitaldd View Post
I see a windows 7 driver and firmware that was updated in 2012 here: http://ftp.dell.com/Browse_For_Drive...oto%20Printer/
I have tried to update the firmware and after taking 45 minutes it comes back with an error code of 955, and failed to update. I have also tried installing the Windows 7 drivers, and it seems to install but every time I go to print I get a generic error saying "Cannot Print this File.". There is no error code or any indicators on MS Word, Notepad, Notepad++, and Google Chrome.

Thank you all again!
- NOX

Edit

After installing all Windows Updates within the Window XP, which includes the drivers for the Dell Printer I am getting the dialog box posted below.



I absolutely have the printer hooked directly into the VM, because it kept finding the hardware and not finding it on the host machine.

Last edited by l_lNOXl_l; 03-06-2013 at 10:30 PM.
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Old 03-07-2013, 08:56 AM   #6
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Your screenshot is showing a Win8 dialog box and not a WinXP dialog box. Make sure you have the USB port properly passed through to VMware or Virtualbox.
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Old 03-07-2013, 09:22 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kwiksilver View Post
Your screenshot is showing a Win8 dialog box and not a WinXP dialog box. Make sure you have the USB port properly passed through to VMware or Virtualbox.
That is the strange part, because I am 100% sure that I have passed my printer onto my VM through VMware because it was not showing in my Device Manager on my host machine, but it was showing in my guest machine.

Unfortunately I am not currently at my house to unplug and replug my printer back in. The reason I say this is because within the device manager I am getting the following:

Quote:
Windows cannot use this hardware device because it has been prepared for "safe removal", but it has not been removed from the computer. (Code 47)

To fix this problem, unplug this device from your computer and then plug it in again.
This just started after messing with some other options over LogMeIn, so until I get home from work I'm sort of stranded. Unless there is some sort of way to "remove" my USB virtually and then rescan for hardware changes within the Device Manager.

I will update when I get home, unless someone has to do what I need above.


Edit:
Derp, I'll reboot my machine to refresh my USB devices. The simplest things slip my mind :/ Go SSD!

Additional Comment:

Hello EOCF Community,

I have solved my issue, and it is pretty unique to my situation. Apparently either Dell has faulty drivers for Windows XP on the 968w or Windows XP itself does not get along with the 968w. What I did was deleted all of my VMs of XP, and tried my Windows 7. After getting all updates, including the Printer Drivers, I was able to print and scan within the guest.

As for my idea of automatic or batch folder printing I will just unpause the machine each time I need to print or scan, and why this is convenient for me is because I do neither of these tasks very much.

Thank you everyone for their input, and I hope that this may help someone in the future.

Last edited by l_lNOXl_l; 03-07-2013 at 09:22 PM. Reason: Automerged Doublepost
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