Using the NetGear PS101 Mini Print Server without using NetGear Software utilities

System Requirements:

  • NetGear PS101
  • Windows 2000, XP, 2003

The Problem:

NetGear’s hardware can be small and functional, however as with (in my experience) most hardware companies, they cannot write software to save their life – and in a lot of cases when the OS has the capabilities built in, why on earth do these companies feel the need to duplicate functionality, making their hardware difficult to port up to the next version of Windows, once their application ceases working? Let us face it, it just extends their support burden and forces consumers to upgrade to a new product… oh…

The Fix:

When all is said and done, irrespective of what NetGear say, there are Print server standards, and going off to write your own protocol would just be silly. All their PS101 interface application does is provide an incredibly un intuitive, rather messy system to install printer drivers against the Print Server.

You can configure the device just as easily in a manual mode, and chances are you’ll be able to follow this principles of this guide under Linux, Unix, Windows Vista, Windows NT 7, NT 8, NT 9… well, you get the idea.

What you need to know:

Unlike the NetGear application, Windows wont go and probe your network for the PS101, you have to get hold of it yourself and configure it yourself. To do that you need a couple of pieces of information.

  • The IP address of your PS101 – Ask your router, network admin etc)
  • The Device Name of your PS101 – This is on a sticker on the base plate of the PS101, beneath the Serial Number and above the MAC address, or,once you know the IP address by accessing the web configuration in your web browser
    Note: If you have manually changed the device name, you will NEED to get it from the web configuration program

Before you head off to begin installing your Print Server, I recommend that you ensure your device is running the latest firmware version, these can be obtained from the NetGear support site.

Once you have those two pieces of information and the correct firmware, you are ready to install the PS101. The following steps are written around Windows XP, the process and procedures are similar, if not the same under Windows 2000 and 2003. Other OS’s and Windows versions may vary. Please be aware that you cannot do this under Windows 9x without third party utilities.

  1. Open Printers and Faxes
  2. Double click Add Printer
  3. Select Local Printer and deselect the Automatically detect and install my Plug and Play printer. Click Next
  4. Highlight Create new Port and from the drop box select Standard TCP/IP Port
  5. Click Next to begin the Port wizard
  6. In the Printer Name or IP Address field type the full IP address of your Printer
  7. In the Port Name box type the device name of your PS101 suffixed by _P1
    For example, if your device name is PS380460, your Port Name would be PS380460_P1
  8. Click Next, highlight the Custom radio button and click Settings…
  9. The protocol should be set to RAW and the port to 9100. SNMP should remain disabled. Click OK and finish the wizard
  10. After a slight processing pause, Windows will display the Printer driver selection screen. From this point on, simply install your printer as normal.