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Why are we having problems printing to our network printer?

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  • User profile image
    Doctor Who

    I've got 6 Windows machines (a mixture of Windows 7 and Vista) connected in a simple peer-to-peer network at home. A workgroup, in Windows' terms. We've got a network printer, an HP OfficeJet Pro L7555 printer, which is shared out via our router. So, no Windows machine is sharing it out. For some reason the only machine which can reliably print to that printer is mine, which is running Windows 7 Ulitmate. None of the other PCs seem able to find the printer, or they all see it as being "off line" or something like that. Mine machine is the only Windows 7 Ultimate machine, the others are either Windows 7 Home Premium or Vista Home Premium machines, however I doubt that has anything to do with it.

    Why is it that the other machines can't find that printer or print to it, even though it's being shared out by our router? Our router is a Netgear N600 Wireless Dual Band gigabit router WNDR3700.

  • User profile image
    Sven Groot

    Try checking the following: go to Devices and Printers, right click the printer and choose Printer properties. On the Ports tab, click Configure Port for the port the printer is using. Try disabling the SNMP Status Enabled checkbox.

    I've had some experience with a network printer that sometimes stopped responding to SNMP status messages, and therefore Windows thought it was offline and refused to print to it, but when that option is disabled it would print fine. The only downside is that now Windows can't tell when the printer is legitimately off-line.

    If that solves your issue, then for some reason SNMP status isn't working for those other machines (also check if the checkbox is enabled on the machine that can currently print).

  • User profile image
    Doctor Who

    @Sven Groot: Then you, Sven, I'll give that a try when next this problem occurs.

  • User profile image
    Doctor Who

    @Sven Groot:I'm giving it a try now.  It is intersting what you said, because my machine, which always can find the printer, didn't have that SNMP status checked, whereas on the other machine did.  So I've unchecked it.

    BTW, before I did this I noticed that the IP address on the machine that wasn't working and found that it was the IP address of the Windows machine!  On my machine the IP address was to the printer.  Why would the other machine have an IP address to a printer, which was in fact itself?

  • User profile image
    W3bbo

    , Doctor Who wrote

    I've got 6 Windows machines (a mixture of Windows 7 and Vista) connected in a simple peer-to-peer network at home. A workgroup, in Windows' terms. We've got a network printer, an HP OfficeJet Pro L7555 printer, which is shared out via our router.
    What do you mean by the pritner is "shared"? Does your printer have a built-in network terminal? (There are many HP printers with built-in network terminals, but not print servers)
    In a situation like this (if the printer has a built-in ethernet terminal, but not a print server) I would eschew printer sharing entirely. Give the printer a static IP address and then set-up a "TCP/IP Port" on all of your client computers.
  • User profile image
    AndyC

    This is a common issue with HP 'network' printers. They set up IP printing for you (assuming you use the installer on the CD) but blindly assume you will have configured your printer with a static IP address despite defaulting to DHCP (and naturally there is no mention of this anywhere in their setup guide).

    It mostly works if you only have a couple of machines and a forgiving router, but sooner or later something tends to cause the IP of the printer to be reassigned and suddenly it all starts going awry.

    Give it a fixed IP address, make sure that address won't be handed out on your router, then reconfigure it on any machine that needs it and everything should be smooth sailing from then on.

  • User profile image
    spivonious

    @AndyC: I had the same issues with a Kodak network printer (ESP-7250). Setting the router to always give it the same IP (static DHCP?) fixed it.

  • User profile image
    Doctor Who

    Ah, so that's what I've got to do, then, @spivonious.  OK, I've never assigned a static IP address to something before, but I think I can figure it out.  I'm using a Netgear WNDR3700 router, which I believe makes it possible for me to block off a range of IP addresses and assign them to whatever it is I want to assign them to.  I'll try reading up on it, to see if I can get it to work.

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