Things were fine and dandy when I had XP on everything. But my old nemesis, progress, has marched on and brought forth Windows Vista, thankfully followed by Windows 7. However, setting up my Dell 1700 printer remains tricky for me on these newer operating systems, every time I find myself doing it. I've been tripped up first by 32-bit Vista, then 7, and again now that I'm running 64-bit 7 on multiple systems. (Don't even ask how many computers I have, ok?)
Aside from my relief that a compatible driver even exists this far out from when the Dell 1700 was initially released, I never seem to be able to simply "connect" to the shared printer on the server, and usually have to resort to figuring it out over and over, never quite remembering what I did last time to get it working. That gets old.
This time, I decided to document my process. What a novel idea, right?! Once I did so, I realized that it's not all that difficult after all. Unless, that is, I'm otherwise missing something :) I believe that in general I've had much better luck when I'm able to use the CD-ROM which came with the printer, but I can't always find it. And in this day and age, I think you should be able to get everything you need from the web. Besides, I'm convinced that most people facing this issue don't even have the CD-ROM as an option. Not to mention that I suspect the CD-ROM has 32-bit drivers, but likely not 64-bit.
Anyway, here's what I did. Your mileage may obviously vary, and you might not have the same configuration that I have, but I hope this information is helpful to somebody somewhere, if not to my future self, assuming I have my Dell 1700 for years to come, as I hope is the case. I also hope Windows 8 smiles at me, when I cross that bridge.
Note: This driver was apparently designed for Vista, and not updated since, so some strangeness isn't out of the question for Windows 7, as you may notice in step 6 below.
- Download the driver package R147091.EXE from the Dell website. Obtain it from another location at your own risk. This driver is compatible with both 32-bit and 64-bit Vista and 7.
- After you download it some place safe (keep it in case you need it again), open/run it and let it extract. The default extract path is 'C:\Dell\Printers', or at least it was for me. If you are prompted by UAC, obviously click YES to continue.
- Once extraction is complete, go to that folder and open/run SETUP.EXE. There should also be five folders and an INI file there along with it. Again, if prompted by UAC, click YES to continue.
- The installation wizard should now be open.
- Click "Network Installation - Install the printer for use on a network"
- Choose the "Dell Laser Printer 1700" in the drop down. If the drop down is empty, cancel out of the setup, hopefully prompting Windows 7 to re-initiate the setup using "recommended settings" (a.k.a. compatibility mode). If it doesn't, then apply compatibility settings yourself (set to Vista), and run SETUP again. If this happens start again at step 1.
- Choose "Local Installation - Install printer on this computer"
- Click NEXT
- Click the "Add Printer" button
- Choose "UNC" for "Port Type"
- Type the UNC path to the printer in the "Network Path" field. Alternatively, you may click the "Printer Path" button and browse to the printer, but that did not work for me. It did not "see" the print server in my case. Hopefully you know what a UNC path is, and can figure out what yours is ;)
- Click NEXT
- Uncheck "Share this printer with other computers", if it's checked
- If desired, change the Printer Name, and check or uncheck "Set this printer as default"
- Click NEXT
- Click INSTALL. I was not able to deselect (uncheck) the Dell Toner Management System, it was grayed out, so in it went
After this, my Dell 1700 was present in the Printers and Faxes section of the Devices and Printers Control Panel (boy, that's a mouthful), and the printer worked fine. I hope yours does too.