I posted this as a reply to my previous post but then I thought a stand
alone post might be helpful.

> My problem . . . not being able to print directly to the printer over


Searching on Google brought up hundreds of pages on sharing printers over

"If the printer is to be accessed over a network rather than being attached
to the local printer then instead of asking for the port that the printer is
connected to the system will instead ask you to identify the computer that
it is connected to."

Great .
But what if it's not connected to a computer ?

I finally found the answer I needed and will share it here.
Though it's an Optra printer the answer didn't seem to appear on any of the
Lexmark support sites.
I found it on an HP site.


The answer, when I found it was laughably simple.It can be done as you might
guess through the "add printer" feature (wizard).
However, you have to be logged on as administrator (in XP).
If you're not . . . the "add local printer" option will be greyed out and
you'll be out of luck.

I can include a few snippets from the HP pages and it should be enough to
put most people on the right track.


Jetdirect print server can be configured with Transmission Control
Protocol/Internet Protocol (TCP/IP) addresses from most printers that have a
control panel. The address can be changed from the default TCP/IP (usually or 169.254.x.x) or from any previous configuration .

(This works easily from the Optra R)

If you're connected to a router check your router's settings.
Probably will be your router's address and therefore the gateway
for the printer.

My router ( a linksys) did not dynamically assign a number to the printer.

Depending on the number of computers attached pick a higher number than the
number of computers designated to your system by the router.
If it's a 4 port router, you may have . . . >and>
>and> already assigned through DCHP.

So give your printer an IP number like and a gateway of with a subnet mask of and you're probably good to
go on most home setups.

Now you're ready to go to the "add printer" screen on the computer you're
hoping to connect.
and head back to this page from HP


Click Start and select Printers and Faxes

Under Printer Tasks, click Add a printer to open the Add Printer Wizard, and
then click Next.

Click Local printer. (Do not select, or uncheck if necessary, Automatically
detect and install my Plug and Play printer.) Then click Next.

Click Create a new port, and then select Standard TCP/IP Port. Click Next to
run the Add Standard TCP/IP Printer Port Wizard.

When the Add Standard TCP/IP Printer Port Wizard welcome screen opens, click

Type the IP address of the printer/HP Jetdirect print server. (Print a
Configuration page from the printer or external HP Jetdirect to find the IP
address.) A port name will be automatically filled in based on the IP
address, but this can be changed. For multi-port, external HP Jetdirect
print servers, type a unique name for each port. If you forget, Windows will
display a warning that a port with the name already exists and will not
allow you to use the same port name anyway. Click Next.

If you have a multi-port HP Jetdirect, the Port Wizard will display a screen
asking which port the printer is located on. Select the correct port and
click Next.

Verify the information and click Next. The TCP/IP Printer Port defaults to
port 9100. A multi-port external device uses port 9101 for Parallel 2 and
9102 for Parallel 3. The example below shows an external HP Jetdirect
configured for the third parallel port.
(The port number 9100 applies to the Optra also)

This returns to the Add Printer Wizard, then to the Install Printer Software
(driver) screen.

Select the manufacturer and model of the printer from the list, or click
Have disk to install from a downloaded file or disk

end of snip

Now I can access my printer from any of the computers on my network without
having to have another "sharing" computer turned on.
It also frees up the sole parallel port on my desktop to be used for the
inkjet so I don't have to install an A-B switch.
All the software from Lexmark works just fine and I can configure the
printer just as easily as if it were connected by parallel port.
It's turned out to be a wonderful solution for me and as there are many used
lasers out there with Ethernet cards in them for very reasonable prices, I
think that for anyone on a home network using scads of ink on their inkjets
it's a solution to be considered.

There's probably a number of errors here or differences from printer to
printer that wiser minds than I can see but on the whole I suspect that this
will answer a lot of questions for those as confused as I was.

Just another reminder
You have to be logged on as administrator (in XP).
If you're not . . . the "add local printer" option will be greyed out and
you'll be out of luck