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How-to: print from Snow Leopard to a Vista-attached printer

September 5th, 2009 20 comments

Despite the massive improvements in Windows-to-mac connectivity, printing from a Mac to a printer attached to a PC seems to be more art than science.  After many attempts I finally managed to track down some instructions on how to print from Leopard (and Snow Leopard) to Windows Vista that actually work.  Other (more simple) ways might work for you; this is the only way I could get printing to work for me.

The original article can be found at here

Step 1: Share the printer in Windows Vista

If you don’t know how to do this you are reading the wrong blog post.

Step 2: Edit the Windows Registry (and maybe Group Policy)

Use the Registry Editor to set the following registry entry (create the key if it doesn’t exist):

  • Path: HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE/SYSTEM/CurrentControlSet/Control/Lsa
  • Key: lmcompatibilitylevel (this is a DWORD)
  • Value: 1

If you are running Vista Business, Ultimate, and Enterprise you will also need to set a Group Policy. Open the Group Policy Editor (gpedit.msc) and set:

  1. Computer Configuration/Windows Settings/Security Settings/Local Policies/Security Options
  2. Right-click the ‘Network security: LAN Manager authentication level’ policy item, and select ‘Properties’ from the pop-up menu.
  3. Select the ‘Local Security Settings’ tab.
  4. Select ‘Send LM & NTLM – user NTLMv2 session security if negotiated’ from the dropdown menu.

Step 3: Add the Shared Printer to Your Mac

This is far more difficult than it should be.  You would think you would open the Print & Fax dialog, select ‘+’, select Windows, find your printer in the browse window and select it.  No chance.  Instead you need to:

  1. Choose the ‘Print & Fax’ icon in the System Preferences window and Click the plus (+) sign, located just below the list of installed printers.
  2. Right-click the printer browser window’s toolbar, select ‘Customize Toolbar’, drag the ‘Advanced’ icon from the icon palette to the printer browser window’s toolbar; click ‘Done’.
  3. Click the ‘Advanced’ icon in the toolbar; select ‘Windows’ from the Type dropdown menu.
  4. The next step is to enter the shared printer’s device URL, in the following format:
    smb://user:password@workgroup/ComputerName/PrinterName
    An example would look like this: smb://TomNelson:MyPassword@CoyoteMoon/scaryvista/HPLaserJet5000
    The PrinterName is the ‘Share name’ you entered in Vista.
  5. Enter the shared printer’s URL in the ‘Device URL’ field.
  6. Select ‘Generic Postscript Printer’ from the Print Using dropdown menu. You can try using one of the specific printer drivers from the list. The drivers most likely to work are labeled ‘Gimp Print’ or ‘PostScript.’ These drivers usually include the proper protocol support for shared network printing.

7. Click the ‘Add’ button.

All done.

Good luck.  It worked for me, but I can’t promise anything.

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