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I am setting up a small office (about 5 machines) with no central server. It's pretty low-budget so I'm trying to work with what I have. Right now we have a few printers, but only one guy (connected to a printer, say Bob) is here all day. One user (not connected to a printer, say Jane) needs to be hooked up to a printer so I thought that Bob could share his printer and Jane could just use his shared printer when she needed to print. A bit hacky, yes, but way better than emailing him documents to print for her.

The problem is, when I try to access his machine from hers, his computer shows up in the network list but it cannot be accessed. However, he is able to access her machine from his. I am also not able to access his machine from mine. I turned on all the "sharing" settings in Network and Places and yet for some reason I can't get access. Does anyone have any idea as to what could be wrong (or, better yet, a better solution)? If I need to provide more details I would be happy to.


  • All computers involved (not including mine) are on Vista Home Premium
  • The printer is a Brother, no network port
  • All computers are on the same "workgroup"
  • All computers are hardwired to the same router
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This feels like a question - would you like me to move it over? – Chopper3 Nov 24 '10 at 17:18

Make sure file and printer sharing are enabled on the firewall on "Bob's" computer. Information for that task can be found here.

You can also type in firewall.cpl into the run box and press enter, in the window that comes up choose the exceptions tab and make sure the entry for "File and Printer Sharing" is checked.

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Any luck getting this resolved Jason? – CurtM Nov 25 '10 at 17:50
no, i didn't get this resolved... but we did discover a wifi-enabled printer, so i just hooked everyone up to it and we're all good. – Jason Nov 30 '10 at 16:46

probably a permission issue i would imagine, you've not said if you can actually see the printer when you browse her machine, can you connect to it on a unc path e.g. \\computer\printer? Also is the firewall on?

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