Here’s a fun one… Vista drivers for the Samsung ML-1210 printer (shared over a network)

By fun, I mean not so fun… Here’s the scoop. The ML-1210 was hooked up to a machine running XP. The printer was shared. Frustratingly enough, when trying to add it to a Vista machine via “Add a Network Printer”, it kept spitting out an “insufficient memory to complete this operation” message after trying to install the driver. At first, I thought the machines just needed a restart. After that, I thought maybe the driver was corrupt, after which I tried driver installations, uninstallations, and reinstallations up the ying-yang.

Then, I got angry….

So after playing with things for a good hour or so, here’s the solution I came up with… Use the drivers for a Lexmark E210. You see, from what I can tell, the Samsung ML-1210 and the Lexmark E210 are very similar. They could even be exactly the same. Most of you can probably figure out how to do it, but here’s what should hopefully work:

  • Delete the Samsung ML-1210 printer. Uninstall the “ML-1200 series” from Add/Remove Programs (Control Panel)
  • Download the Lexmark E210 drivers from the Lexmark website (the Windows XP ones)
  • Run the Lexmark E210 driver install package you just downloaded. During the installation process, it will ask where the printer is hooked up, just choose the USB port you think is correct. Muddle your way through as best you can. By the end, the drivers should be installed, and you should have “Lexmark E210” listed as one of your printers.

By this time, Windows has probably “realized” that the Samsung printer is there and will fail to install drivers for it.

  • Delete the Lexmark E210 from the Printers folder (I know, after all that work to install it, it almost seems criminal).
  • You should have an icon in the bottom right of the task bar, letting you know that your hardware failed to install (the Samsung that Windows detected). Click on it to open it up. If you *don’t* have that at the bottom left, head to Device Manager (Control Panel/System/Hardware/DeviceManager). It should be listed there. Right-click on it and choose “Update Driver”.
  • If it asks, You *do not* want Windows to automatically find a driver. You want to select your own driver, so find the Lexmark section, and way at the bottom, the E210 should be listed.
  • Once it’s been done, print a test page. Assuming it works, share the printer and try accessing it from the Vista machine. It should work.

A few more things:

  1. Those steps are done from memory. They might not be exact.
  2. If you have other computers on the network, they obviously won’t be able to print to the “Samsung ML-1210”. You will have to delete it and add the new “Lexmark E210”.
  3. It’s very possible that instead of following all those steps, you can simply change your existing Samsung ML-1210 printer’s driver. To do that, you would run the Lexmark install just long enough for it to extract the files to the hard drive (then cancel the installer), then edit the properties of the Samsung ML-1210, head to Advanced, and click “New Driver”, then “Next”, then “Have Disk”, then go to “C:LexmarkE210” and find the drivers there. Once updated, you should probably restart both the XP and Vista machines, and then try adding the network printer. The only reason I could think of that this *wouldn’t* work if the Lexmark installer adds a bunch of other junk that’s needed (in which case you’d have to proceed with the whole install).

Regardless of the method you go about doing it, those Lexmark E210 drivers should work. It was just the Samsung drivers that caused me the headache.

As a side note, if you have an ML-1210 hooked up to an XP machine and do a Vista *upgrade*, it becomes an ML-1000 Series IIRC. Not that it matters, but maybe it will help you if you have a similar problem and this fix doesn’t do it.