General A little help with VMware Workstation 16

Good morning.

If there is anyone here in IT who has experience with VMware Workstation. I have some legacy software (16Bit) which will run in Win 7 Pro 32 bit. When my PC was terminal last year, I updated it to a Dell Workstation Laptop running Win 10. The guy I brought it from installed VMware Workshop Version 16.2.2 to run Windows 7 as a Virtual Machine (VM). He then transferred the contents of the old PC into the VM. Because there's no discernible difference in speed and there have been issues networking files between the VM and the Host, I've been primarily using the VM to do all my work in.

The problem has been getting the two printers to work. Both are out of warranty so getting HP and Canon to help has been next to impossible. One is a HP A4 MFC coloured printer/scanner/copier/fax and the other is a Canon B&W A3 printer. They are both connected via USB's.

The laptop has two powered USB's (one is used for the power supply to the laptop) and two regular USB's (one if used for the toggle for the wireless mouse and keyboard).

Because most/all of my work is done in the VM, I don't need to do any printing from the Host.

To begin with, we tried using a docking station through the second powered USB port and connected both the printers directly into it but they weren't stable and would only print for a little while and then not at all in the VM.

Then we tried a printer server with one serial port (LP1) and two USB ports (LP2 and LP3) The printer server was then connected to the router/modem via a LAN cable and then wirelessly to the laptop. The Canon printer wouldn't work at all in the printer server so we've now connected it back directly into the Laptop via the second non-powered USB port.

The HP printer was not connecting through properly via the printer port so my IT guy changed from HP Color LaserJet Pro MFP M476 to call it "LP2 on". Now it will only print excel spreadsheets and test prints and not word docs, PDF's, emails, CAD drawings etc. and won't communicate properly so I can't use the scanner. When I try to print word docs, PDF's etc., the program will restart without printing it. I think he may have changed the driver from the HP one to a generic one and that's why it's lost it's functionality.

The IT guy now seems to have run out of ideas as to how to get the printers working properly so I was wondering if someone here has had any experience with Virtual Machines (especially setting up two printers) or may have any other ideas how I can get the two to work in the VM without losing their functionality. I had wondered if I could get a standard USB adapter and connect that directly to the laptop to connect the two printers to.

Otherwise, should I get hold (or more likely, get him to get hold) of VMware directly and see what they say. I get the feeling, if we do that, they'll want me to purchase a full license even though the size of my business doesn't need that although a fully licensed "pro" version may have better networking capabilities.

Any help, not involving an axe aimed at the printer server, would be greatly appreciated.

tajhay tajhay, I'm sorry if this should have been in a thread. Please move it to wherever you feel would be more appropriate such as the support thread and I'm sorry if I've caused you more work.