Quite a few days have gone by so perhaps you've found your answer. But, just in case... My problem was solved by troubleshooting almost as dumb-simple as Is it on? Is the cord plugged in? etc. Maybe I'm the dumbest ever, but my main problem was not activating the Guest account which is mentioned, I think, in only one of dozens of pages I read from Netgear, Microsoft, Apple, and user communities. And even when I read it, I didn't get a good sense of what happens in what sequence.
I'll share what I learned and then, perhaps, you guys can help me with a minor matter at the end:
A helpful article: http://docs.info.apple.com/article.html?artnum=301397
PRELIM: I have a LaserJet hooked up to a Win XP Pro machine. My MacBook OS X 10.4.8 surfs the net wirelessly through a Netgear RangeMax Wireless Router (WPN824) which installed like a dream come true for someone who really knew absolutely nothing about networking. Also, we had already determined that the MacBook could print to the LaserJet via the USB port.
But here's what I learned:
As Administrator, go into Computer Management > Users and activate the Guest account. I didn't need to create a new user with a password.
Make sure the printer is shared and has a "SHARE NAME" too.
As the cited article indicates, there are small variations depending on the Mac version, but on mine, then:
applications > utilities > printer setup > add printer > OPTION KEY + more printers button > first popup menu: advanced > device popup menu: windows printer via samba
> name field: smb://Guest@WORKGROUP/COMPUTER/SHARENAME FOR PRINTER
e.g., mine reads: smb://Guest@MSHOME/OFFICE/WIRELESS
If you have to edit that, you can do so through SYSTEM PREFERENCES, but be sure to click that little lock when you need to cement a change.
Being an old Windows hand, I powered down both machines just to be sure. It worked!!!!! If you are successfully accessing the internet thru the router, I think all the other jazz about pinging and IP addresses is probably a blind alley. I installed Print Services for Unix (Windows Component in Add/Remove Programs of Control Panel) as some recommend. It might have worked if I'd had the Guest account activated and the addressing right. Right now, I think it doesn't do anything, but I'm not going to mess with it either.
So..... now I hope someone can give me a little advice on the Mac: In order to access shared folders on the XP machine, I have to do a lot of clicking:
get a Finder window, click on network, click on the network name, click on the computer name, click OKAY to authentication, and then click on the shared folder to actually get to the files. All along the road, I tried to make a desktop alias or copy a volume to reduce the number of clicks SOMEWHAT. Even when I could copy something, I then didn't have the privileges to paste it to the desktop. Any suggestions about streamlining this just a tad?
Hoping I'm not awfully redundant....