How to add a generic printer in Windows 10

How to add a generic printer in Windows 10

Sometimes you need to add a generic printer in Windows 10.

Windows 10 makes the setup of newer hardware pretty automatic, but if you have a legacy or specialized printer that has to be set up as a generic printer in Windows, the process isn’t intuitive. Here’s how to set it up.

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Add a TCP/IP printer in Windows 10

Add a TCP/IP printer in Windows 10

Sometimes you have to manually add a TCP/IP printer in Windows 10. For example, I have an older HP Laserjet 4100 with a Jetdirect network card in it that I use to print from all of my PCs over my local area network (LAN). Getting Windows 10 to print to it isn’t difficult but it’s hardly intuitive.

If you have your network printer already set up but just need to change its IP address, I covered that here. If you want to share a locally attached printer with other computers on your network, you can do that too.

Printing straight to the TCP/IP address of the printer is convenient. It means you don’t have to have another computer on when you want to print.

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Fix weird Internet connection problems with ipconfig

One of the most maddening things that can happen when you’re using a computer is that a web site you visit routinely quits working. Your Internet connection appears to be fine, but suddenly, for some reason, you can’t go to the site you were just using. Try to go to another site you haven’t visited in a while, and it’s fine. But whatever site you were using a minute ago doesn’t work anymore. The site becomes accessible again immediately after you reboot, but that’s a really big hassle.

There’s a much less drastic fix. It’s easy too, but non-obvious.

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Unlocking the Malicious Software Removal Tool

When Microsoft’s monthly security patches come down, if you’ve ever clicked on the button to see what it’s installing, you may have noticed the Malicious Software Removal Tool.

If you’re wondering, it’s a rudimentary antimalware tool that removes selected vermin from your system. It doesn’t remove all known malware. And I don’t know exactly how Microsoft decides what to remove and when. But given the number of people who don’t run any kind of antimalware software, it probably seemed like a good idea when they rolled it out in 2005. And in the first 15 months they pushed the tool out with the monthly patches, it removed 16 million instances of malicious software. Not bad.

The tool has some power that you can unlock that normally isn’t exercised when you do your monthly updates.

Note: In a corporate environment, you may not get the Malicious Software Tool automatically if you’re managing Windows updates yourself. Microsoft has instructions for deploying it to your enterprise.

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Upgrading from Windows XP to Windows 7 with USB media

I wasn’t in any hurry to switch to Windows 7, but when several places put the Windows 7 family pack on sale for $125 or thereabouts, I figured I’d better get it. The normal price on three upgrades is $100-$110 a pop. And you know how it goes. Once you get something, you really don’t want it to just sit on the shelf. Why let the software collect dust while I wait for 64-bit Firefox to arrive?

So I want to install it off USB. It’s easy, right? Well, it’s easy if you’re running Vista. But the instructions floating around for making bootable Windows 7 installation USB media don’t work if you’re running XP. At least they didn’t work from any of my XP machines. Read more

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