Currently I have a PC in my studio that is connected to a USB printer, and this printer in Windows is being shared to the network.
I also have a couple of Mac’s that access this shared printer, and occasionally use it if the main workhorse A3 laser printer is busy.
This has worked fine on the Mac side, but occasionally, about once a month, the Mac’s connection to the printer doesn’t work.
The standard way to fix this is:
Test the PC to see if it still prints, 100% of the time it doesn’t, so we call in our in-house Windows IT spods to recreate the printer and share it again.
The Mac’s then work normally again, with no reconfiguration at all, they simply pick up the new printer and they’re good to go.
The mantra is, “If the PC prints, then the Mac will print also. Automatically.” This is why I use the Mac, it just works.
However, last week this wasn’t the case. The Mantra didn’t work.
As usual the Mac stopped printing to the shared USB printer. However this time, the PC printed fine.
So I asked the Windows IT spods to recreate the printer anyway. They did, it still didn’t work.
So I recreated the shared printer on the Mac and this is where we got to the bottom of the problem.
When you connect to a shared Windos printer on the Mac, it asks you for the login information for the PC. We knew this info, and we put this info in correctly, however the PC wasn’t accepting it, giving a ‘NT ACCESS DENIED” error, whatever that is.
So we thought the problem was with the Mac, and after half an hour trying different things, I gave up, telling the Mac-user to print to the A3 printer instead in the meantime.
I thought that was that, except next day the Windows PC wouldn’t log in to it’s desktop at all. The same log in info now wasn’t working on the PC either.
The spods came in, took it away, seemingly recreating the user with a new account & login.
Guess what, when I tried recreating the shared PC printer on the Mac – it worked fine.
So the problem was the PC simply deciding that it had had enough with that account and the only solution was to create a new one, which in turn solved our printer problem.
One day, Windows simply decides it’s not going to work anymore and needs massaging back to workability, and a whole career has been created around this concept.
I can see now why WIndows IT people are needed – and why they are scared sh*tless of the Mac.