If you want to use Windows Vista and you want to be able to print to a network printer, you’re going to have to use UAC. You turned it off? Turn it back on. You’re using the in-built “Administrator” account? Log-out and log-in as a normal admin. Microsoft says you have to use UAC to get a printer installed. If you don’t, you get this ugly message:
“Windows cannot connect to the printer. The specified print monitor is unknown.”
Exactly why this message shows up isn’t clear, it has nothing to do with the printer you choose to use or the process you take. This particular message is displayed when trying to add a printer via the wizard:
The only workaround available to date is to re-enable UAC, restart the PC, add the printer, go through the UAC prompts, disable UAC, and then restart once more. Damn!
There’s a less elegant approach available that saves you a lot of steps if you’re not the kind of guy that prints too often:
- Open the network share to the remote computer that has the printer installed.
- Browse to the printer.
- Drag the printer to the desktop with the right-mouse button, and select “Create shortcut.”
- Drag the document you want to print to the shortcut on your desktop.
- Rinse and repeat.
Another bug that got past the extensive RTM testing process? Nope. It’s a bug that came into existence during the finalization process. This bug wasn’t there in RC2, but it’s most definitely there now. All we can say is, hopefully this gets patched before SP6.
Update: A Solution
- In Vista PC’s go to “Control Panel” – “Printers” – “Add printer”.
- Believe or not, click “Add a local printer” (I know you want to add a network printer but that way it doesn’t work).
- Click “Create a new port” – “Local Port” – “Next”
- In the next box you have to enter a port name like this: \\PC name\Printer name where “PC name” is the network name of the XP PC where you have the printer and “Printer name” the network name of that printer. Be careful with this names – you can double-check by viewing the PC in “Network Places.”
- Finish the wizard and enjoy your UAC-free network printing!
Solution thanks to Galin Iliev