How to Install a Dell Printer Without an Installation CD

Updated February 21, 2017

Installing a new printer is generally an easy process. You simply connect the printer to the computer and turn it on, and your operating system recognises the new hardware and installs the proper drivers for it. Unfortunately, however, things do not always go so smoothly. There are times when your computer will ask you for the driver CD--if you do not have the CD that came with the printer, it is important to know how to find and install the software you need.

Connect the printer to your computer using either a parallel or USB cable. Older-style printers will generally use a wide parallel cable to connect to the printer, while newer printers will probably use a USB cable instead. If your printer has a small square connection on the back, it is a USB printer. If it has a long rectangular connection, it is a parallel printer.

Plug your printer into a surge protector or power supply and power it on. Turn on your computer, log on and watch the right-hand side of the screen for a "Found New Hardware" message. This is your indication that the operating system has found the printer and is attempting to install the proper drivers for it.

Wait a few minutes, then click on the "Start" button and choose "Control Panel" from the menu. Double-click the "Printers and Faxes" icon and look for your printer. If the printer is shown there, your operating system successfully installed it without a CD.

Visit Dell's support website by going to From there click "Drivers and Downloads" and choose your model printer. Follow the instructions to download and install the driver for your printer. Then right-click on your printer, choose "Properties" and click the "Print test page" button to send a test page to your printer.

Things You'll Need

  • Computer
  • Printer
  • Paper
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About the Author

Based in Pennsylvania, Bonnie Conrad has been working as a professional freelance writer since 2003. Her work can be seen on Credit Factor, Constant Content and a number of other websites. Conrad also works full-time as a computer technician and loves to write about a number of technician topics. She studied computer technology and business administration at Harrisburg Area Community College.