My new example of what a question should look like. Simon Bridge (LQ) & ESR would be proud.
Most of this was written before motub posted the above.
1. I don't do vpn yet.
2. I detest ME & XP, but can tolerate 2k & 95.
3. I am in especially foul attitude toward M$ & Winders(tm
Everything was fine until you had to buy a new printer.
Everything is still fine except for the off-site box's print access.
The initial problems w/ the new printer were worked out.
-> I assume that the off-site (ME) box could still print at that point.
-> I assume that the off-site (ME) box can still see the 95 boxen in Network Neighborhood.
The current problem began when the new printer's connection was changed to an XP box:
Until we installed a new workstation to the place where the printer was plugged in.
What was the printer connected to before?
Is the XP box a replacement or an addition?
Why is the printer connected to the XP box?
Is Ami Pro 3.1 running under XP?
You are not going to get any decent support from M$ or Brother, even though they are the ultimate cause of your problem.
0. Get a different printer.
1. Don't connect the printer to the XP box.
2. Upgrade the XP box to 2k.
3. Upgrade the ME box to 95. (This may not be practical, but ME, as I am sure you are aware, is a notorious PoS. Besides, if 95 can see & use the printer while ME can't, this might work well. 98 is another possiblity.)
0 &emdash; I have an HL-1240, I had huge problems getting it to work w/ 95 when I bought it, & one of the worst was Brother support. It was in retirement for a while & now I am in the middle of getting it to work on my LAN.
1 &emdash; I think this is the most practical of all, if possible physically & otherwise.
2 &emdash; This is probably a pipe dream, I doubt you had the option of buying (or building) a bare box & finding an old copy of 2k to put on it.
3 &emdash; Unfortunately, possibly another pipe dream.
I think the problem (as I understand it) is caused by XP. The question is, do you have to fix XP, or are you allowed to find another solution that works? Remember Alexander -- you don't have to untie the knot to solve the puzzle. That is so good, I just added it to my sig.
So, connect the printer &emdash; at least temporarily &emdash; to a non-XP machine. If this works, at least you can confirm that some XP issue is the culprit. If this doesn't work, temporarily disconnect the XP box from your network &emdash; it's possible that XP is somehow "poisoning" it.
Also, you might try to further isolate/diagnose the problem by putting a 95 box @ the off-site location & the ME box on the main network. This would tell you if it's a vpn problem or a bad interaction between ME & XP. Needless to say, I am thinking weekend or after hours for this test.
Let us know what happens.
While it's obvious this is a business scenario & business usually prefers immediate $ over politics & long term benefit, I hope that you will not be forced to "upgrade" 3 perfectly good boxen that are doing their jobs. I can see some M$-type claiming that your problem is the 3 pieces of "obsolete" hardware, running an OS that isn't supported, for an antiquated legacy app. Don't let them do this to you, your users, or your bosses' pocketbook.
I know the rant ratio here is high, but I put a warning at the beginning. Besides I just spent 8 hours over the last 2 days fighting w/ a dying drive under XP Home & trying to set up a new machine exactly like the old one, & then trying to educate a recalcitrant user on the necessity for the differences. Billy G. wouldn't survive long in my vicinity today ...
So please, no flames, no moderator reports, or even long agreements. This is a serious thread & I don't want to divert it.