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  1. #1
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    How to connect Vista to Win8.1 printer and fix Excel error

    I recently spent days trying to get a Dell Vista laptop that I had completely restored using the factory Dell disks to print to the shared printer on my w8.1 machine. It would eventually print a test page but it would literally take 2 minutes.

    In addition when in Excel if I tried to, for example, do control B for bold in a cell, Excel would lockup.

    It never occurred to me that these would be related. They are.

    The fix:

    Delete the shared printer from Vista leaving it shared on the W8 machine. You'll need the name of the machine sharing the printer and the printer shared-as name. IE: In my case the W8 machine is named win*** and the shared printer name is HP......

    Back at the Vista machine go to add a printer. Tell Vista it's a local printer then click create a new port radio button. Local Port will show in the window. Click next. In the Enter A Printer Name window type \\windows8machinename\printer name Vista should find the printer. click OK and that's it. (There may be one more click to confirm.)

    Bingo. Excel works and printing takes just few seconds.

    Hope this helps someone.

    Cheers

  2. #2
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    That's actually the correct way to connect a network printer. It's a pity it's not obvious from the Windows printer installer screen.

    cheers, Paul

  3. #3
    Lounger
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    Paul, I agree on the "it's a pity." This way is different than the usual way that I've always used (and has always worked in the past) where you tell Windows that you want to add a network printer and it will find it automatically, assuming it's shared properly. On this particular machine anyway doing it the usual way resulted in the horrendous print times AND the Excel error. Only by adding the printer as a local printer with a network path were the two issues fixed at the same time.

    It's suppose it's possible that this is purely a Dell and/or a Vista issue. (I suspect Vista actually.) I don't have the time or inclination to test that. I posted because it can point folks to an alternative to the usual add-a-network-printer method. The humerus part is that my intuition was telling me to try this (local printer) method but my brain was saying no, that the two couldn't possibly be related.

    What was different in this particular case was the relationship of the two, seemingly unrelated, issues having the same fix. Do a search on Excel freezing when you try to BOLD a cell and you'll find this fix scattered about. I used to do a bit of IT work along with helping others and had never seen this before. You would think that MS would have figured this out. I also found lots of fixes on the slow printing but this was the one that actually worked.

    Thanks for posting.
    Last edited by Syclone; 2014-12-08 at 10:48.

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