:Ben Metcalfe Blog

Bonjour on Windows and printer drivers…

I have to admit that Bonjour, Apple’s service delivery protocol is actually one of the more cooler aspects of the Apple/OSX stack. It even has a Microsoft Windows download.

HP OfficeJet 5610

We have an HP OfficeJet 5610 in the Citizen Space (thanks Ivan!) which is connected to an Apple AirportExpress – and thus available via Bonjour (BTW if you want one of these cool multi-printers, this is the current version).

However, getting it to install on Windows has been difficult because the installation process requires the printer to be connected locally via USB. The drivers can’t just be saved to a local drive and then accessed via “Have Disk…” during the install process in Bonjour. This is particularly common for the ‘all-in-one’/multifunction printers.

I’ve finally managed to do it, with some advice – so here’s my own little guide. Hopefully this will get indexed into Google and displayed when people search for ‘windows printer driver bonjour’ or similar.

How to install a printer on Windows via Bonjour that requires the printer to be connected locally during the driver installation

  1. Download and install Bonjour for Windows and your printer driver, if you haven’t done so already. In the case of HP drivers at least, you shouldn’t need to download ‘network drivers’ as these assume direct connection to the printer via the LAN. Therefore make sure you download drivers designed for local use via USB.
  2. Run the Bonjour Printer Wizard via the Start menu, and select the networked printer
  3. When presented with a list of driver options (this is Windows XP’s default driver list, which is often out-of-date) choose your printer model if it’s listed. More than likely it won’t be there, so choose one that’s close – ie if you have an OfficeJet 5610 then choose the generic ‘HP OfficeJet’ option, etc.
  4. Complete the installation wizard.
  5. Disconnect the printer from the Apple AirportExpress.
  6. Now run the actual driver install for your printer that you’ve just downloaded/have on CD, connecting the printer via USB first or during the install (as per the instructions of your printer).
  7. Complete the install, and confirm the printer is properly setup locally by printing a test page
  8. Disconnect the printer from your computer and reconnect the printer back to the AirPort Express
  9. In the ‘Printers and Faxes’ window of Windows, right click the printer you installed via Bonjour and select ‘Properties’
  10. Navigate to the ‘Advanced’ tab and locate the ‘Driver’ droptown – it should look like this. This is a list of all printer drivers you have installed on your machine.
  11. Change the Driver dropdown box from the ‘similar’ printer to the actual one that matches your printer type
  12. Delete the other printer driver instance – the one that was installed locally.
  13. Your Bonjour-enabled printer should now be ready to print, with the correct driver! Print a test page to confirm, making sure that the printer is correctly plugged back into the AirPort Express and viewable by Bonjour.