I recently wrote up this set of instructions for a friend who was going to install a printer at home.
Assuming you have Windows 7 and the printer connects to your computer via USB cord.
1. Look at the printer and determine the Make and Model.
2. Turn on the printer and plug it in to your computer’s USB port.
3. See if Windows 7 just automatically feels it and installs it. If so, great. If not, keep going.
4. Go to <Windows Start Button>, Devices and Printers
5. Click “Add a Printer” along the toolbar of your window
6. Click “Add a Local Printer”
7. Use an Existing Port, LPT1
When you click Next, it might sense it and prompt you.
If it doesn’t…
8. You’ll see a list of printers.
Select Manufacturer on the left side.
Select the printer model on the right side.
if you don’t see your printer model
– Is there one that is close but a little older? For instance if you have a “model 2100” is there a “model 2000” listed? If so, you can try to use it.
if you don’t’ see it, it’s time to go to the internet, Skip to Alternate Step A below.
9. If you were able to select your printer, click next, follow the prompts, print a test page. If it didn’t work, skip to Debugging Step i below.
Alternate Steps if Your printer isn’t listed
Alternate Step A. Do a web search for your printer drivers.
Google “<brand> <model> printer driver”
Ideally, you want to get the files from an official site like HP, Brother, etc.
Download the driver.
If it’s a file you can run
Follow the prompts of the software for the rest of the installation.
If it’s a zip of compressed files, unzip the file to a place you know, maybe your desktop.
Look in the unzipped folder for a “setup.exe” file or something similar.
If there is one, run it and follow the on-screen prompts.
If there is not one, just note the location of the folder again (desktop maybe?)
Repeat steps 1 through 7 above
At step 8, click “Have Disk” and browse to the folder with your unzipped printer drivers (desktop?)
Select the file that seems to make the most sense. Maybe a file named the same as your printer?
Keep going by clicking next.
Debugging Step i: Check all connections. Unplug replug power, USB code on both ends.
Debugging Step ii: Power Off, and then On the printer, restart your computer with the printer still attached.
Watch for something to happen with the printer. Anything? If not, question the connection. If so, good.
Debugging Step iii: Look at the list of printers on your computer and delete unnecessary ones.
Go to <Windows Start Button>, Devices and Printers, right click on any listed printers that don’t need to be there. Uninstall.
Debugging Step iv: Delete your printer from the same list. Reboot the computer. Try again.
Debugging Step v: give up. Call someone for help.