Sharing an AirPort Express printer with Windows XP

Discussion in 'Windows Virtual Machine' started by NeoVoyager, Mar 1, 2007.

  1. NeoVoyager

    NeoVoyager Bit poster

    Thread was moved from "General Discussions > User Solutions and Workarounds" to "Parallels Desktop for Mac > Windows Guest OS Discussion".
    Stacey M

    I know this has probably been addressed before, but since I'm not finding it in the forums, I thought I would ask.

    I'm trying to use my (wirelessly) networked printer (an HP C3180) in Windows XP by means of Parallels.

    Now I *know* I can use Bonjour for Windows to do this, but I am completely unwilling to open my Windows installation up to the myriad of viruses waiting to pounce upon it by providing it with a network connection (I have *all* networking options disabled).

    So, my question is... is there any way to have Parallels "pass off" (so to speak) the print jobs from Windows to Mac OS X, and then Mac OS X can handle the AirPort printing?

    I have already tried adding a printer in Windows and using the "connect to internet printer" option and typing in "". I also tried "http://my-macbook.local:631....", "smb://my-macbook.local:631...", and "" ( is the IP address that Personal Web Sharing gave me). No luck.

    Thanks so much.

    My configuration:

    MacBook Core 2 Duo
    Parallels build 1970
    Mac OS X 10.4.8
    Windows XP Home SP2
    1 GB RAM

    HP PhotoSmart C3180 connected via USB *to my AirPort Express*, which the Mac prints to just fine.

    I have Printer Sharing and Windows Sharing turned on, and the C3180 is configured as a shared printer.
    Last edited by a moderator: Sep 18, 2007
  2. NeoVoyager

    NeoVoyager Bit poster

    I've already done all the above...

    I think you're misunderstanding my original post in a couple areas.

    See, I'm a veteran Windows user (and have been using Macs for around 6 years too), and I know all too well that a firewall (even the one in XP SP2) *will not* prevent Windows from getting infected with a virus. Therefore, any solution to this problem that requires Windows to have an internet connection active to be able to print will not do at all.

    Before I posted this topic, I already downloaded Bonjour for Windows from Apple and installed it on the Windows XP VM. I selected "Generic/PostScript Printer" in the Bonjour Printer Setup wizard (simply because it didn't have an option for a C3180). I tried printing out a simple document and got nothing but pages upon pages of jibberish. I'm sure I could get it to work, but the fact is, I don't care, since I just won't use this method... because it requires Windows have an internet connection. I will not allow it that.

    I know several people with Macs that also will never allow Windows to have an internet connection. Call us eccentric, but in my years of Windows support work, I've learned that this is positively the only way to keep a Windows machine working properly on a regular basis.

    There *has* to be another way to do this. Right?

    Can't Parallels work at least as well as *Microsoft* Virtual PC, which required exactly zero configuration to use my Bonjour networked printer (with precisely the same configuration)? Virtual PC also did not have any internet connection... it simply did exactly what I am looking to do, and seemed to "hand off" the print jobs to Mac OS X to handle. It was seamless. I upgraded to a MacBook and lost Windows printing functionality. :(

    P.S. I'm reasonably Linux and TCP/IP knowledgeable, so if anyone has some extremely technical (a.k.a. juicy ;) ) tips in that area, I'd be happy to hear them!
    Last edited: Mar 1, 2007
  3. joem

    joem Forum Maven

    The only to solve your problem today is to print over the network, even if you don't like that solution. You can use host only networking, and not share your Mac Internet connection to prevent Windows from accessing the Internet, but the network path is the only way to print.

    FWIW, from my POV as a VERY long time Windows user, software developer, and infosec pro, I don't think that your contention that Windows machines will get infected if any network services are enabled is correct. I run Windows machines on the Internet, and have NEVER had one infected even though they get attacked every few minutes. A private network between two machines (host and guest) seems pretty safe to me.

    So your choices are to enable Windows networking and if you like, limit access to only the Mac, or don't print.

  4. NeoVoyager

    NeoVoyager Bit poster

    OK... so how do I limit access to OS X only?

    I think my subject line says what I want to say fairly well; you say I can allow Windows to have local network access... but *not* Internet access? I thought this would be possible, but I can't seem to figure out how it is done. Does one do that through the Parallels software, or the Windows "Network Connections" control panel pane?

    Anyway... if I get that figured out I'll try downloading HP's drivers to get Bonjour for Windows working with my printer. If not, I'll just hook my MacBook up to the printer via USB whenever I need to print from Windows (not terribly often).

    Thanks for your help.

    However... I still think it is quite interesting that Microsoft Virtual PC 7 could do this and Parallels cannot. Get on that, Parallels developers. ;)
  5. joem

    joem Forum Maven

    Select "host only" networking in Parallels, and DON'T tell the Mac to share its Internet connection.

Share This Page