The following refers to installation under Windows 7 and - I apologize - the computer screen captures are from a German language Windows 7 version. Hopefully this is not too inconvenient for you.
- Driver installation for USB-connection:
Fetch the latest driver version from the Epson support site, power the printer, connect the USB link, wait for Windows signaling the device detection, then invoke and follow the driver installation routine. The Epson driver configures the port and assigns the Pro 3880 as the default printer. Done. Even though Windows recommends it, do not yet print the test page since the driver settings are not yet fully correct. I will come back to that soon.
- Driver installation for Network using Windows 7 tools:
(Hint: in case your device is not factory new it might be a good idea to reset factory defaults)
Look up the present TCP/IP address setting under Menu - Network Setup - IP,SM,DG Setting and either take note or replace it with and address that matches your existing network.
Connect the computer to the printer using a standard CAT5 network cable.
From Devices and Printers – add a Printer – add a local Printer – create a new port – select Standard TCP/IP Port as port type.
Key-in the network address of your printer. Windows 7 should then show a selection of available printer drivers. It is quite likely that the Stylus Pro 3880 driver is not mentioned and now we have a problem: Epson provides drivers as EXE-files which is not immediately compatible with Windows. At this point you need to abort the installation, download and extract the driver and resume the installation process.
The installation routine will ask you for the port address at which the printer ought to be found. The previously typed network address should be in the list. Select it.
The installation routine will do the rest by configuring the port and assigning the Pro 3880 as default printer.
- Driver Installation for Network utilizing the Epson NetPrint tool:
Download the Epson NetPrint software as well as their Network Installation Guide and take the time to read the guide so you know what is going to happen.
Get the printer ready and connect the printer to the computer using a standard network cable.
First install the NetPrint software and allow Windows some time to check the network port. Possibly a network device shows up already at this stage, bearing a cryptic name like EP1ED238.
Start the driver installation only after Windows finished the network port check. You need to help the driver by searching the printer manually, the “EP…” tag should be somewhere in the list of network devices. If it does not show up even after waiting for several minutes, there is probably something wrong in the TCP/IP hardware configuration settings; in my case “Flow Control” needed to be enabled before it worked.
In the port list, you should find a port named e.g. \\Ep1ed238\epson. Pick this one. Do not select "\\Ep1ed238\" without the "epson" appendix.
After a short while the driver installation should finish, leaving the message that the printer has been configured.
When you first access the printer, the Windows Firewall will alert and ask for port access permission for the "SAgent4" tool. Please enable that and consult the relevant documentation to learn more about the technical background.
No matter which method of installation you chose, the printer will show up as a bold symbol in the devices panel. Should you see a faded grey symbol instead, this would indicate an unresolved installation problem. Through Devices and Printers – (Epson Stylus Pro 3880) – Printer Properties – Ports you can look up the port assignment. USB devices should show “USBxyz Virtual Printer Port” while users of Epson NetPrint should see “ClientSiteRenderingProvider” along with the symbolic "\\Ep..." TCP/IP-address.
A good way to test the newly installed printer for full functionality is to invoke a nozzle check from the computer, not from the local panel. This option is provided by the Epson driver. All relevant aspects of data communication and printing become employed at minimum consumption of time and ink and paper. It is totally sufficient to use standard office paper for that exercise. Just select the “plain paper” type in the driver, open and load the multi-sheet feeder and start the test print. If it does not work as expected, e.g. the ink level gets displayed but nothing else happens, just install the driver once again. Sounds weird but helped and saved me a lot of troubleshooting time.
The only side effect of repeated driver installations is that Windows creates multiple device instances. This is nothing to worry about, you can delete them. Instead, I consider the concept of multiple “logical” printers assigned to one physical device very handy because it provides an elegant way of creating print job profiles dedicated to media type and print size and so forth. All easily accessible via the “Devices” panel.