Older computer, how to setup a shared printer on the network
To configure the printer you must determine what kind of printer it is - if it has a Network Interface Card (NIC) then you may connect it right to your router and be able to print on the LAN (Local Area Network) i.e. any computer connecting to the same router.
If the printer is USB or serial on the other hand - then you will need another computer to connect to it. This will act as the "print server" and will work with windows XP; first, install the print drivers to the computer and make sure it works when printing to the connected printer.
Second, you must share the printer, to do that go to "Start" > "Printers and Faxes" > right click on your printer and click "Properties" > under the "Sharing" click "Share this printer" and you may name it or leave the default, but make note of the name in either case.
Finally, follow the 3 easy steps below on any other computers on your network (connecting to the router -wireless or wired alike) that you wish to print from.
Step 1 - Install a. On the computer you want to print FROM (i.e. your laptop - not directly connected to the printer)
b. Go to "Start" > "My Network Places" > "View Workgroup Computer's" > "ComputerName" Or using any other path to get to the workgroup your computer is on (normally called workgroup) - where "ComputerName" is the computer name of the computer with the printer attached.
c. Inside the computer you should see a shared printer called what you named it earlier in my example: "HPlaserJWireless" > double click it. Now wait until it installs the drivers.
Step 2 - Configure a. Go to "Start" > "Printers and Faxes" > find the appropriate shared printer: "HP laser 3100" (or something like that)
b. Make note of the printer name it might be different then the "share" name (HPlaserJWireless).
c. Right click the printer and choose "Make this printer Default". You should now see a check mark next to that selected printer - indicating the default status (first printer from the printing menus of any program).
Step 3 - Print To test the printer open a new word document (blank) or a webpage. Press "File" > "Print" Now you should see the printer, if it isn't correct check with the steps above.
Feel free to comment with any questions or corrections