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  1. #1
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    Sharing a USB printer

    Can a passive USB hub be used to share a USB printer?

    I haven't got enough cables of the right type to try this experiment.

  2. #2
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    Re: Sharing a USB printer

    I think that technically there is no reason that you should no be able to share it as long as Windows knows it is there.

    Joe
    Joe

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    Re: Sharing a USB printer

    If you mean to share across a network, YES.

    Now running HP Pavilion a6528p, with Win7 64 Bit OS.

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    Re: Sharing a USB printer

    Thanks for the replies.

    No, I mean share a printer WITHOUT a network. There are two PCs - one occasional laptop, one desktop - and I need them to be able to print independently i.e. without requiring the other computer to be switched on at the time. One way that would work would be just to swap out the cable from the back of the printer each time, but this would be a far from ideal solution.

    What I was thinking is that its perfectly feasible to have to (or more) USB devices connected to the same PC via a hub, therefore with the right cables/adapters, is it equally possible to share a USB printer between two PCs?

    I'm looking to do this as cheaply as possible, making use of a redundant passive USB hub if I can.

    Thanks.

  5. #5
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    Re: Sharing a USB printer

    If you mean share as in a Windows shared device then NO. The host of a Windows shared device must be on for the device to be visible. If you mean physically sharing with only one device turned on at a time I'd guess it is possible as long as you can find an A/B type switch to share a USB device/hub. I've never tried to find one so I don't even know if they exist.

    Joe
    Joe

  6. #6
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    Re: Sharing a USB printer

    They do exist ... and some are even smart enough to know which PC is calling for the information. We've got one here at work for a PC Camera setup, controlled from two different workstations for ID badges. It's in another location, so I'll attempt to get you some information.
    Christopher Baldrey

  7. #7
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    Re: Sharing a USB printer

    Well, "sharing" a computing device presupposes a network of some sort. This sounds like a job for a print server:

    http://"]http://www.mwave.com/mwave/viewspec.hmx?sc...207851">http:// http://www.mwave.com/mwave/viewspec....iteria=1207851[/url]

    This one's on the expensive side, but it is wireless. Anyway , you get the idea.


    Jim Helfer
    WTW Architects
    Pittsburgh PA

  8. #8
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    Re: Sharing a USB printer

    I thought that you could only attach one computer to a USB hub, and that the other connectors were for devices.

    Did you mean to imply that one USB hub could have two computers connected to the same peripherals?

    StuartR

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    Re: Sharing a USB printer

    I still haven't been able to get the exacxt details on the device, but yes and no, answer your question.

    A conventional USB hub, to the best of my knowledge, will only accept 1 PC, for multiple devices.

    My employer has purchased a device that allows two PCs, to connect to one USB device (this I'm sure of, could be more), and this device is smart enough to swtich between the two PCs itself, when required.
    Christopher Baldrey

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    Re: Sharing a USB printer

    As a follow up, I searched out this page from Belkin : http://catalog.belkin.com/IWCatSectionView...ction_Id=201501.

    Hope this explains it better than I can <img src=/S/grin.gif border=0 alt=grin width=15 height=15>.
    Christopher Baldrey

  11. #11
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    Re: Sharing a USB printer

    You could use a KVM with USB capability to share Keyboard/Video/Mouse + USB devices. Only one machine have acess at a time though.

    On model I quickly googled for
    http://www.kvms.com/nav/item.asp?item=4553

    Jim Helfer
    WTW Architects
    Pittsburgh PA

  12. #12
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    Re: Sharing a USB printer

    Thank you Chris, you win the gold star for being the closest. This Belkin device would do what I want to do. I had wondered if it were possible to use my USB hub in the same way, i.e. send the data stream the 'wrong' way through the hub and with the use of adapters where necessary, but it looks like it wouldn't work.

    Thanks for all the replies.

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