Netgear USB Mini Print Server PS121

Well, I'm not sure this falls under the category of products that I'm passionate about. But it is something I've just added to my network, and so far seems to work.

Netgear PS121 USB Mini Print Server

Now that Heather and I both use notebooks as our primary workstations, and we use a Linksys NSLU2 for network storage, the only purpose that my old Dell workstation was being put to was as a print server for my usb attached HP PSC 1210 printer/scanner/copier.

So I've been looking around for an inexpensive print server. The cheapest I found was a refurbished Netgear PS121 from for $24.95, which came to $27.90 with shipping. It arrived today, and I've spent the last few hours installing it.

Not because of any problem with the print server itself. Setting that up was very straightforward. Connect to Printer; Connect to Power; Connect to Network; Install Software from CD; Follow instructions. That was easy. The problem came when it prompted me to select the printer driver. No sign of a printer driver for the HP PSC 1210.

I'm doing this from my new notebook, so I figured Windows XP doesn't include the driver by default, and I'd just need to download and install it from the HP site. But come to find out that the driver installation for the HP PSC 1210 doesn't add an entry into the Add Printer Wizard like standard printer drivers. Instead the driver only gets enabled when the printer is physically connected to the computer's USB port.

This meant I couldn't select it when using the PS121 Add Printer Port wizard, because there was no driver available to select. I tried a few other HP printer selections in the hope that one of them was compatible. But no luck. I went in search of an alternative driver that I could install and select, but no luck there.

Eventually I came across this article on the HP site: HP All-in-One Products - Print Sharing Setup or Connection Using an HP Jetdirect Print Server in Windows. It gave me the hint that the HP DeskJet 3420 was compatible with the HP PSC 1200 Series. So I searched and downloaded the HP DeskJet 3420 from this site (I'm sure it's available on the HP site too, and that's probably a better place to get it).

That self-extracting zip gave me the following folder .\win2k_xp\enu\drivers\win2k_xp which contained the hpf3420k.inf which I could select from the Add Printer Wizard when I clicked on "Have Disk". After that installation went smoothly. I was able to print a test page (I did have to power off and on the printer and the print server once - I think prior attempts with other incompatible HP printer drivers had caused something to get locked up).

Now I just need to repeat these steps on Heather's notebook.