Share Printer in Windows 7 and Windows XP Mixed Network
Unfortunately, Windows XP computers cannot join a HomeGroup. That means that they will be unable to detect and connect to a new shared printer like Windows 7 PCs will be able to do. In this case, connecting to the new printer needs to be done manually using the Windows XP Add Printer utility
.Launch the Add Printer applet from inside of the Printers and Faxes control panel application in Windows XP. Choose to connect to a network printer. A useful printer sharing tip is to put both the Windows 7 computers and Windows XP computers in the same Workgroup. Although Windows 7's HomeGroup feature is much more powerful, these computers can still talk to other PCs via a Workgroup. Having both computers in the same network can make finding the right computer and shared printer easier.
Either browse to the network computer with the shared printer, or input the name directly using the format \\computername\printername
Tip: Short, simple printer share names are easier to remember.
You may need to manually install the Windows XP printer driver on the computer making the connection. Also, you may need to adjust the security settings of the computer sharing the printer in order to allow a connection.
Once the printer has been connected, both Windows XP and Windows 7 will remember and automatically make the connection in the future allowing easy, continuous use of the shared printer.