How to Install a Printer on a Laptop Without a Disc Drive
By James T Wood
Newer computers may not have a drive where you can install a DVD or CD-ROM based printer driver. Luckily most printer drivers are available online from the printer manufacturer and if you have special software on the disk that you need to run your printer you can always share an optical drive with another computer to obtain the needed files.
Operating System Drivers
Many printer drivers are bundled with your operating system allowing you to simply plug in the printer and have it install automatically. If the driver isn't present, you may be able to get it by downloading an update for your computer. You can use the Windows Update utility on your computer to download and install new updates. Once the updates are complete connect your computer to the printer again to see if it installs.
Printer Manufacturer Drivers
If you don't get the drivers automatically through Windows Update you can browse to the website of the printer manufacturer and download them. You will need to enter the model of your printer to search for the correct drivers. Once you've downloaded the driver file run it on your computer and follow the instructions on the screen. Typically you should not have the printer connected when you install the printer drivers, but comply with the instructions from the printer manufacturer for best results.
If you can't connect your computer to the Internet, you can download the printer drivers to a computer that is online and then save the file to a USB drive. Connect the drive to the computer where you want to install the printer and run the installation file. Be sure that you download the correct driver files for the computer where you will install the printer, and not the computer from where you are downloading the file.
Disk Drive Sharing
You can use Windows sharing to allow your computer without a drive to use the drive of another computer on the network. On the computer with the drive, open the Computer window, right-click on the drive you want to share and click on "Sharing." From there you can define which computers on the network have access to the drive. When you've set up the Sharing feature, put the installation disc for the printer into the drive on the computer with the shared drive and access the disc from the computer where you want to install the printer.
James T Wood is a teacher, blogger and author. Since 2009 he has published two books and numerous articles, both online and in print. His work experience has spanned the computer world, from sales and support to training and repair. He is also an accomplished public speaker and PowerPoint presenter.