Virtual XP - adding devices?

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Virtual XP - adding devices?

Postby SteveHigham » 18. Sep 2021, 12:35

Hello

I have installed an XP Virtual Windows 64bit operating system on my Windows 10 PC.

When I open the VirtualBox Manager, I can see General, System, Display, Storage, etc and, along the top, icons for New, Settings, Discard, and Start. When I click on Start, I can see that my XP_Virtual is 'Running'. How would I now add, for example, an XP compatible printer, please?

Thank you.
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Re: Virtual XP - adding devices?

Postby birdie » 18. Sep 2021, 12:38

In the virtual machine menu:

Devices -> USB -> Your printer.
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Re: Virtual XP - adding devices?

Postby mpack » 18. Sep 2021, 13:38

AFAICS the OP did not say it was a USB printer, or even that a physical printer exists at all!

But even so I would not recommend accessing a physical USB printer that way, as that would take access away from the host and assign it exclusively to the VM. A far superior method would be to enable folder and printer sharing on the Windows host, and access the printer in the normal LAN way. This can work with the VM configured for a number of different VM network modes, but the best one to use would be "Bridged Networking". Otherwise you'd use "Host-only" networking.

@SteveHigham:
1. It would be helpful to have some info on the printer.

2. It would be helpful to know if this XP VM needs Internet access, since that too would affect the choice of network mode.

3. Please be aware that however you do it, there is no such as thing as a virtual printer (at least not provided by VirtualBox). I.e. if it's a physical printer then the XP guest will require its own mini driver for that printer. If this isn't possible then you'd be better to print to PDF (you can find several XP compatible PDF printers online), and then if you need hard copy you can use the host OS to print the PDF.
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Re: Virtual XP - adding devices?

Postby SteveHigham » 20. Sep 2021, 12:08

Many thanks, Birdie! I will give it a go.

Hello mpack

Thanks for your reply. It is an XP compatible printer (it's a Canon that prints images onto the surface of blank CD/DVDs - if you have a home movie, for instance). It is not compatible with Win 10, which is why I created a virtual XP platform. No, it doesn't need Internet access - it just works like any other inkjet printer but takes 6 inks, not 2, and prints onto blank disks. Canon have told me to upgrade (that is, buy another printer) if I want it to be compatible with Win 10.

Yes, I have downloaded the Canon driver for XP - I have it on disk - but I am not sure where to install it!

Thanks again.
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Re: Virtual XP - adding devices?

Postby scottgus1 » 20. Sep 2021, 14:07

If the printer is only compatible with XP, and it is a USB printer, then you can pass the USB into the XP VM with Virtualbox's USB Filters. See USB basics and troubleshooting

The printer drivers would be installed in XP. No drivers would get installed in the host 10.

If you install Guest Additions in the XP VM, then you can use Virtualbox Shared Folders to copy files into and out of the VM. No network would be needed for Virtualbox Shared Folders.
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Re: Virtual XP - adding devices?

Postby mpack » 20. Sep 2021, 17:02

As Scott says, you should copy the driver installer into a host folder, which you can access (as a GA shared folder) after you install the Guest Additions.

My reason for posting is to make sure you understand that you will not be able to print from the host, at least not directly. As already mentioned above, each PC that wants to be able to access that printer over a network will need its own printer driver - which I imagine is precisely what you can't get for this printer. So you'll be limited to label printing software that runs in XP, or again you might be able to print to PDF and then copy the PDF to the PC (i.e. the VM in this case) that has the physical printer.

Personally I learned early on to never go for those suspiciously cheap printers - where they practically give the hardware away and then make you pay way over the odds in consumables, plus no support.
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Re: Virtual XP - adding devices?

Postby SteveHigham » 21. Sep 2021, 14:45

Many thanks to you both. I have copied the notes on USB filters from the link posted and will read up on them. Basically, I connect the printer to my Win 10 tower, open up Win XP virtual, add the printer, and then add the XP driver to Win 10 (to the downloads folder, I assume).

Cheers!
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Re: Virtual XP - adding devices?

Postby scottgus1 » 21. Sep 2021, 18:18

SteveHigham wrote:open up Win XP virtual, add the printer,

per USB Basics and Troubleshooting and a USB Filter.

SteveHigham wrote:add the XP driver to Win 10 XP

The printer driver does not get installed in 10, only in XP.

SteveHigham wrote:to the downloads folder

In XP
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