There are several ways to install local printers. Use the one that is most convenient for you.

Add Printer Wizard

The Add Printer wizard facilitates printer setup. If you have connected a Plug and Play printer to your computer but it has not been automatically detected, you might want to use the Add Printer wizard to begin the installation process.

To install a local printer by using the Add Printer wizard

  1. From the Start menu, point to Settings , and then click Printers .

  2. Double-click Add Printer , and then follow the instructions.

Plug and Play Printers

Plug and Play is a set of specifications that allows a computer to automatically detect and configure a printer and install the appropriate drivers. This installation technique is only available for printers connected directly to your computer, and is not available for networked printers.

To initiate Plug and Play printer installation, plug your printer into your computer. The printer is automatically configured in most cases. Plug and Play automatically installs the appropriate drivers and does not require you to restart your computer. If a Plug and Play printer is not automatically installed, you can manually make your computer check for Plug and Play printers by using the Add Printer wizard or by using Device Manager.

Although Windows 2000 includes drivers for many popular printers, if your printer uses a driver that is not included with Windows 2000, you will need to provide the driver. For automatically detected Plug and Play printers, if your computer does not have right driver, you are prompted to provide it.

Most Plug and Play printers use USB or parallel connections.

Automatic Detection

When supported by the printer, Windows 2000 automatically detects printers and completes the entire printer installation process, including installing the proper drivers, updating the system, and allocating resources. No user intervention or restarting is required and the printer is ready to be used immediately.

All automatically detected Plug and Play printers use Universal Serial Bus (USB) connections, Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE) 1394 cables, or Infrared Data Association (IrDA) transmission.

Manual Detection

Manually-detected Plug and Play is similar to automatically-detected Plug and Play in that Windows 2000 automatically completes printer installation, but you must restart your computer to prompt the automatic installation or use the Add Hardware wizard to prompt your computer to detect the printer. Upon restarting or prompting by using the Add Hardware wizard, Windows 2000 updates your computer, allocates resources, and installs drivers. If drivers for the printer are not available, you are prompted to provide them.

Manually-detected Plug and Play printers typically use parallel or serial cables.

For more information about Plug and Play, see Device Management in this book.