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Printer ready to serve!

It seems that there are many people coming to this page looking for one of the printer driver files. Through a comment at the bottom or an e-mail, let me know what exactly you are looking for. I will see if I can post some information on this page; this might save other searchers some time. Thanks, Farhan.

Printer temporarily sitting beside the server

The day before yesterday I finally took out a few hours to setup the HP Office 5150 on the server so everyone on the home network would be able to print to it. Surprisingly, I was able to print from the server in about fifteen minutes, most of which were spent reading up on all the different technologies: CUPS Samba printer sharing, HPLIP, etc. But the part that took next hour and a half was setting up the printer drivers on the server for Windows to auto-install when someone tries to access the printer.

Most of the delay was because Windows was not able to detect the printer correctly. Add to that the fact that HP packaged most of the files in MSIs and other compressed file formats. So I had to query the windows machine for the list of drivers and then copy those over to the print$ share on the server. This also involved understanding the RPC commands and the new ACLs on Samba. Unfortunately I wasted quite some time only to figure out that the root user on Samba isn’t really a root user. When I would add the printer driver using the adddriver rpc command as the root user it would keep saying result was WERR_UNKNOWN_PRINTER_DRIVER when the problem really was a permission problem and not a print detection. After I realized that it was a permission issue I was able to easily install the drivers.

To sum up the steps, here is what I had to do.

Giving Windows Vista an Honest Try

I have had Windows Vista on my tablet for a while and I finally decided that I would try it out on my desktop. But, I didn’t go at it blindly. Especially since when the Vista had open Beta I tried it out and noticed that it was considerably slower than my Windows XP installation. Considering this, I first installed it on my “playing around” 15GB partition to see how it performed. After trying it out for a few days I then decided that it was ready.

Windows Vista Desktop

So, I installed Vista around 8pm today on the main 40GB OS partition replacing the Windows XP installation. Visual Studio is one of the key programs that I use quite often so knowing that they have the 2008 beta out I had wget on the ArchLinux server working at downloading the img file. The initial Windows Vista install took under half an hour and after that it was ready for my installations and customizations. Here is what I have done so far.

  1. Applied all 29 or so critical and recommended Windows Updates (amazing, isn’t it? :))
  2. Installed Windows Mobile Device Center
  3. Connected the imate phone and the printer
  4. Installed tons of programs with only three restarts, which were mostly because of the programs that changed Windows at core. This list includes programs such as TortoiseSVN, AutoHotkey, Cisco VPN client, Daemon Tools, and cygwin.
  5. Turned off the autotuning feature.

Here is my impression so far.

  • My computer, even though it is fairly new, is running faster than I was expecting. In some cases it seems faster than Windows XP.
  • I just copied the 3.5GB Visual Studio 2005 (orcas) beta image from the server without any issues. So, hopefully I won’t have to worry about the slow file copy over the network.
  • The only major annoyance that I have had is with permissions on the data partition that I was previously using with the Windows XP installation. I don’t completely blame Microsoft for this because permissions generally are hard synchronize across installations. I just think that they could have done a better job on guiding the users through fixing the permissions.
  • Up until now there have only been two programs with compatibility issues.
    • InterSystems’ Cache’ Studio won’t work. This isn’t too big of an issue because I have to be on the work VPN to connect to the server, and now I will just have to use Cache’ Studio on my Windows XP machine at work.
    • I used AnyPassword to keep track of my passwords and this program isn’t compatible with Vista. I was surprised to find this out when I double clicked on the exe and Vista told me about it even before installing it.

In summary, so far everything is going awesome!