How to Connect a Printer Without a Disk

By Nina Nixon

Secondhand printers often come without bells and whistles. The bells are the equipment manuals and the whistles are the installation disks. For example, just how many times have you come across a bargain peripheral such as a printer and thought, "It looks great, but is it compatible with my computer?" You just know that the refurbished equipment would be the deal of the year if it came with an installation disk, because how can you reap the value if you cannot install the printer? Before you make your final decision try these steps to make the printer that is "new to you" work in your favor.

Step 1

Click on the Start Menu located on the computer task bar.

Step 2

Select the Control Panel.

Step 3

Select the Printers and Other Hardware category.

Step 4

Under Pick a Task, click on Add a Printer.

Step 5

Select Printers and Faxes.

Step 6

Under the Printer Tasks section, select Add a Printer. The Add Printer Wizard will appear. Click Next.

Step 7

Uncheck Automatically Detect and Install my Plug and Play printer from the option choices listed. Note that you can first try to Automatically detect, but if your attempt is unsuccessful, uncheck the Automatically Detect and Install my Plug and Play printer and continue with the following steps.

Step 8

Click the option button that corresponds with the type of printer you are installing, whether local or network type.

Step 9

Keep the default settings and click Next at the prompt to Select a Printer Port.

Step 10

Select the type of manufacturer of the printer you want to install. If it is not on the list, select Generic.

Step 11

If you select Generic, follow with the Generic/Text Only in the Printers model listing. Otherwise, choose from among the printers in the list that exactly match or closest to an exact match of the printer you want to install. Click Next.

Step 12

Enter a name for your printer for easy identification.

Step 13

Choose your preference of making the printer the default printer and then click Next.

Step 14

Print a test page to make sure the connection is activated.

Tips & Warnings

  • Try your best to select the correct manufacturer of the type of printer you want to install. This will narrow down the available printer drivers for that specific printer and increase your chance of a successful installation.
  • If you already have a working printer installed on your computer, do not make the new printer the default printer until you have tested to make sure its operable after the installation.