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  1. #1
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    Network printer offline

    My home network comprises two Vista Home Premium. The first is a desktop; the second a laptop, and they connect to the Internet via a LinkSys wireless router. An HP Photosmart C6280 connects directly to the router via an ethernet cable, and the printer software is installed on the desktop. The desktop was once able to print on the Photosmart, but now the laptop shows the printer is always "offline." The network is working fine--the laptop user can log into the desktop with a password and open files in the Public folder. Printer sharing is on, and yesterday I was able to print a test page from the laptop. However, if I attempt to print, say, an e-mail attachment in my wife's Outlook, nothing happens. The print job displays in the printer's dialog box, and there's no error message. The document simply never prints.

    One more thing: This same prnter (our only printer) displays as "Ready" on the desktop, but offline on the laptop. "Use printer offline" is NOT checked.

    My wife is pretty unhappy with this. We once had two printers, one for each computer. I talked her into getting this one printer to share, and now she can't print anything. Of course, it's my fault. Any ideas?

  2. #2
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    Re: Network printer offline

    Is the printer set up to use a fixed IP address, or does it use DHCP to get an address from the wireless router?

    I have seen something similar to what you describe when the printer has changed it's IP address. Have a look at the printer properties on the two PCs, go to the Ports tab, and look at the properties of the port you are using. Is the Printer Name or IP Address the same on the two PCs?

    StuartR

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    Re: Network printer offline

    Thank you for the response, Stuart. RE: DHCP—I don't know how to tell. As for the second question, no—the IP addresses are not the same.

    Desktop: HP_192.168.1.100_MY7A1H50VT0506 (description: Standard TCP/IP port). (This is the one that works.)
    Laptop: 192.168.1.105 (description: Standard TCP/IP port). (This is the unit that always shows the printer "Offline.")

    The desktop properties sheet shows four other "standard TCP/IP ports." Of the five, four are almost identical (100, 101, 103 105). The fifth one is quite different: HP_169.254.49.254_MY7A1H50VT0506. Only the one port has a checkmark in the little box. The rest are unchecked.

    The laptop computer offers only the one TCP/IP port. I suppose part of the solution may involve using the wizard to add another port, but I confess I don't have the first clue what to enter in the little dialog boxes.

    So what does all this information mean? How do I determine whether a machine is set up or a fixed or dynamic IP addresses for the printer?

    Thank you very much!

  4. #4
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    Re: Network printer offline

    Lucas,

    The quickest way to get this working for now is to change the "Printer Name or IP Address" on the laptop to match the working IP address from the Desktop. You don't need to create a new port, just click the "Configure Port" button and change the "Printer Name or IP Address"

    The long term fix will be a bit more complex. The printer has had a range of different IP addresses, which it is presumably getting from the DHCP Server on the Linksys router. You can almost certainly configure the router to give the printer the same address every time it asks. Please let us know what model the router is and we can try to find a user guide on the Internet to see how this is done for your particular router.

    StuartR

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    Re: Network printer offline

    Stuart: My wireless router is a Linksys WRT54GX4. I've got the manual up on my screen right now, and I've been studying it and the rounter setup guide for about an hour. I have not found anything yet that explains in plain English how to "give the printer the same address every time it asks." So I'll be most grateful if you can translate the appropriate passage of gibberish that will solve this little problem. Thank you again!

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    Re: Network printer offline

    From what I can see in the User Guide there is no way to reserve an IP address for a specific device in that router.

    Joe
    Joe

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    Re: Network printer offline

    Stuart: No, I haven't changed the port yet. Last night I went straight for the manuals. I'll get back to this little project this evening after I return from work.

    Ah, yes—the printer manual! I should follow the advice I've seen so often in this forum: <img src=/S/rtfm.gif border=0 alt=rtfm width=24 height=23>!!

    I really appreciate your time, Stuart!

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    Re: Network printer offline

    Back again, Stuart. OK, I decided that next I should try your suggestion to reconfigure the port settings on the laptop. Here's where I am with that process:

    1. I thought I should check the port configuration on the desktop so I'd know exactly what to enter on the laptop. However, when I click on "Configure port..." on the desktop, I get an error message: "An error occurred during port configuration. Access denied." I've not idea how significant that error message is, but I do know I can't see what I want to see.

    2. The laptop's printer port configuration opens just fine. The "Port Name" field and the "Printer name or IP address" field both display the same thing: 192.168.1.105

    Well, now I'm into the printer manual and I'm reading about setup procedures. It occurs to me that one way to solve the problem might be to simply uninstall and then reinstall the printer on the laptop. Wouldn't the reinstallation locate the printer on the network and reconfigure the port and all that?

  9. #9
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    Re: Network printer offline

    You need to sort out the access permissions. The long term solution will require you to change the port address on both PCs.

    I don't run Windows Vista, but my guess is that you are not logged in to an administrator account, or that you have not elevated your privileges to Administrator when looking at the printer properties. If you don't know how to do this then we can post a request on the Vista forum for some advice on how to elevate privileges when looking at printer ports.

    In the meantime you could change the IP address on the port on the laptop to 192.168.1.100 just to check this works. Don't worry about the port name, that has no significance.

    Reinstalling the printer on the laptop would almost certainly provide a temporary fix, BUT only until next time the printer gets a new IP address from the DHCP server on the Linksys router.

    StuartR

  10. #10
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    Re: Network printer offline

    Another way to solve this, long term, might be to
    <UL><LI>Configure the printer to have a fixed IP address (as above)
    <LI>Reinstall the printer software so that it auto-doscovers the printer at the new address[/list]StuartR

  11. #11
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    Re: Network printer offline

    Edited by StuartR to correct typing error in IP address

    I can't see a way to set a fixed IP address using that router, so we will have to use a different approach.

    FIRSTLY. Did you change the port settings as I suggested and does the printer now work on both PCs? I want to be quite sure that this worked before we make any changes.

    I have looked in the printer manual, and we can set the printer to have a fixed address, instead of using DHCP, The steps for doing this are:
    <UL><LI>Find an address that the router will route correctly but that it won't give out as an IP address
    <UL><LI>If you haven't changed the default settings on the LinksysWRT54G then you can use any address between 192.168.1.2 and 192.168.1.99[/list]<LI>Configure the Printer to use this as a fixed IP address
    <UL><LI>Instructions for doing this are in the printer user manual, on page 24 in the copy I downloaded
    <LI>You will also need to set the default gateway and subnet mask, if you haven't changed these on the router then they are 192.168.1.1 and 255.255.255.0[/list]<LI>Configure the Port settings in your printer setup to use this new IP address. You will have to do this on both PCs.[/list]StuartR

  12. #12
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    Re: Network printer offline

    My account is the "administrator" type and has been since day one.

    I changed the IP address on the laptop a moment ago, and immediately the printer sprang to life and printed a document I'd set to print from the laptop days ago! One way or anher, I'll get the printer working.

    Thanks again for your invaluable help!

  13. #13
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    Re: Network printer offline

    That's great, this means we can definitely fix this.

    The best approach now is to set the printer to a fixed IP address, and then reinstall the HP software so that it discovers this new fixed address and creates the port again.

    StuartR

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