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USB hookup of laptop to desktop?

(3 posts)
  • Started 8 years ago by BobJam
  • Latest reply from InDiSent
  • Topic Viewed 3439 times

Posts: 1052

I have a friend who wants to install a printer driver. As I understand it, the printer itself needs to be connected physically for this to work.

He also has a desktop, which is the machine with the printer in question.

For some reason, the guy doesn't want to disconnect the printer from the desktop and temporarily hook it up to the laptop for the driver installation. I can only guess that there's a tangle of cords behind the desktop that he doesn't want to deal with.

So, he's asked me a question that I can't really answer.

He's wondering if he can connect the laptop to the desktop via USB ports on both, and thereby have the printer connected to the laptop "through" the desktop. I have no idea what the answer to this question is because I've never come across that issue before.

As I think about it now, the solution seems pretty simple if he doesn't want to mess with the cables behind the desktop.

If he has another USB cable, he can just disconnect the one in the printer that goes to the desktop and then connect the spare and run it to his laptop.

But I'm still curious about this question of connecting the laptop to the desktop via USB ports. Never heard of that and I would expect that the voltage delivered to the laptop over the USB connection would not be near enough to power the laptop.


Posted 8 years ago
Posts: 3814

That would not work with just two USB cables. You can not connect a USB device to a desktop and the desktop to the laptop via USB and have the laptop connect directly to the printer.
You would need to use software like USB Over Network that can provide direct USB device access via a network connection.
You can get USB to Ethernet adapters if you don't have an ethernet jack to provide the network.

So in short you would need a usb to ethernet adapter on both computers (assuming no ethernet jacks available), one ethernet cable and the USB Over Network software to get the laptop to have direct access to the printer.
It certainly wouldn't be worth it to just avoid dealing with a cable mess.
Also I find it odd the printer drivers would need the printer directly plugged to work. I have not seen any printer drivers like that myself.
And even if the printer driver did do that you could probably use Universal Extractor to get the INF and sys files out of the installer file if needed and install them manually.

Posted 8 years ago
Posts: 1084

If he wants to install the printer drivers on the laptop and does not want to unplug the printer from the desktop, then i assume he has a network setup. He can install the printer driver on the laptop and he does not need the printer connected to the laptop to do this. Then he shares then printer on the desktop and the laptop will be able to see it once on the network. I'm guessing that's what he wants to do.

This should be sufficient to walk him through it:

Invite him to post any questions he might have.

Posted 8 years ago

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