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  1. #1
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    Can't print wirelessly when external USB HD is on

    Win 7 64-Bit
    HP Officejet Pro 8600 Plus

    Hi:

    I can wireless print to a HP officejet OK, but when an external usb 3.0 hard drive is turned on, I get a printing error message that it can't print. The error message only occurs when trying to print while the external usb 3.0 hard drive is on.

    I ran HP scan doctor and it said everything is OK and even the HP scan doctor printed a test page wireless while the external usb 3.0 hard drive was on, but when trying to print from a web browser or word document when usb 3.0 hard drive is on, I get an error message that it can't print.

    The workaround is to shutdown computer, turn off/on printer, start computer, then I can print wireless again, but the external hard drive has to remain off if I want to print.

    Question: does anyone know what is keeping the wireless printer from printing when the external hard drive is turned on?

    Thanks
    Last edited by ip45ywre; 2014-04-05 at 10:11.

  2. #2
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    Anyone?

  3. #3
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    This one took some digging out but it would seem that USB 3.0 HDs are disrupting WiFi signals just as the USB 3.0 ports on the newer routers are and repositioning the external HD as far away from the screen as possible is the only fix.

    http://www.macobserver.com/tmo/artic...i-interference

    http://www.pcmag.com/article2/0,2817,2423604,00.asp for additional info.

    While the first article deals with MacBooks, Windows laptops can have their antenna leads draped around the screen.

    Hope this info will be of help for your workaround.

  4. The Following 2 Users Say Thank You to Sudo15 For This Useful Post:

    ip45ywre (2014-04-08),Rick Corbett (2014-04-08)

  5. #4
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    Good find, Sudo15... much appreciated.

  6. #5
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    Thanks, moved the external hard drive away from the wireless router (it was not directly connected to the router) and then the printer would print again. Then, moved the external hard drive back close to the router and the printer still prints. So probably is not related to the closeness of wireless router to external hard drive. But a good idea and good reason to keep hard drive some distance from wireless router.

    I'll keep looking for a reason why wireless printer will not print (sometimes) when the external hard drive is on. If I find the reason, I'll post back the solution.

    Anyone else?

    Thanks

  7. #6
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    Is the printer getting its info to print from the external HD when it fails to print as from what I understand from the second article, the interference is more likely to occur during data transfer through the cable from the USB 3.0 HD and could explain why the wireless test print works fine.

    As the SNR Margin is usually dynamic, any natural drop could be exasperated by the additional interference which could cause an intermittent fault if the above doesn't always apply.

    RouterStatsLite will monitor the SNRM in the form of a graph so you will be able to check its status when it will and won't print and in relation to the proximity of the HD to the computer and router - if you want to add that to your research.

    The printer as well as getting its DHCP IP address from the router, also needs to "see" the computer for its print info source, so while it may not disrupt the signal from the router, it could prevent it from seeing the computer.
    Last edited by Sudo15; 2014-04-08 at 18:06.

  8. #7
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    Thanks, the external hard drive is a backup drive and there is no printing from the drive itself.

    I downloaded RouterStatsLite. My router was not listed but looked into configuring it anyway. I really don't think it is a wireless interference issue, but a driver or software issue.

    The external hard drive is manually powered on/off with its own external power supply. I think it is an issue with the drive being powered on and then later off that is (sometimes) causing the wireless printer to not print.

    The hp print and scan doctor WILL print a wireless diagnostic test page every time, so I don't think it is a wireless interference issue, but using win 7 device and printers, selecting the wireless printer, then choosing print a test page, that will NOT print (sometimes), nor will printing from web browser or word document at those times, either, even though HP print doctor will print.

    I understand there might be wireless interference at that exact moment with web browser or word document but not with hp print doctor when it sends a test page, but its been tested several times and the results are the same, so the odds are that I don't think it is a wireless interference issue.

    Hope that helps clarify.
    Last edited by ip45ywre; 2014-04-09 at 09:27.

  9. #8
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    One way to eliminate wireless as an issue is to see if the problem persists when the computer and printer are connected with an USB cable.

    Does your printer have a WiFi light that remains on/solid when it fails to print ?

  10. #9
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    When the printer fails to print, can you go into Device Manager and expand Disk Drives to see if there is a yellow alert or red cross against the external one ?

  11. #10
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    There is a warning mark on the control panel of the printer when it cannot print. Turning off the printer and computer, disconnect/reconnect wireless router power, then restarting both removes the warning mark on the control panel of the printer and the printer can print again.

    I'll check device manager disk drives next time there is a fail to print error when the external hard drive is on and post back what I found.

    Thanks

  12. #11
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    When it fails to print, you could also go into Devices and Printers, right click on the networked printer icon and select Troubleshoot to see what that reports.

    Have you been able to wire the computer to the printer yet to eliminate it being a wireless issue ?

    When you restart either the printer or computer, they will be reassigned a fresh DHCP IP address by the router which tends to suggest that it could be a networking problem, but you will need to determine if it is a wireless issue - otherwise you could log into the router and assign the printer a static IP address outside of the DHCP range.

  13. #12
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    Thanks, selected troubleshoot and it was not able to fix the issue and simply suggested an internet search - no help from troubleshoot.

    Have not yet connected a wire to printer and tried to duplicate the printer error. Will follow-up soon with a wire and report back.

    There are actually two wireless printers, an hp officejet which is used most often and a wireless hp laserjet. When I got the printing error to the officejet, I tried again to the laserjet, no luck, same printing error. The two printers have different ip addresses but neither are static.

  14. #13
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    If it is a wireless issue then it could show up with a yellow alert on the WiFi icon in the system tray if it's interfering with the computer's NIC, which would stop the printer from seeing it.

    Are you still able to browse immediately following a print fail before you reboot - assuming your computer is also using wireless ?

    I use an Epson printer and that has a green WiFi light on the front which comes on once it has been given its IP address from the router - if that light went out then it would no longer have a wireless connection to the router and checking either that or your browsing ability following a print fail could determine which (if any) is being disrupted.

    If both the printer light is out and you are unable to browse, then the disruption is to the router and putting some distance between that and the HD or repositioning the router may be beneficial.
    Last edited by Sudo15; 2014-04-10 at 04:56.

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    I use wired to internet and wireless to printer, so internet remained unaffected by printer error.

    There is another clue that might be helpful. When starting the external hard drive two additional icons appear in the taskbar. The first additional appears to be related to scanning

    Image 1.png

    and the second additional is the windows device icon.

    Image 2.png

    Hovering the mouse over the first icon gives no information and when clicking on it, it disappears. But it has appeared when scanning. There is no scanning, only the turning on of the external hard drive. There might be an issue with the wireless scanning built-into the printer and the wired usb 3.0 external hard drive.

    On another matter, I have been updating the hardware drivers of the computer (cpu, wireless drivers, usb drivers, etc) The computer was working O.K. before the driver update and is still working O.K., but since the driver update I have been unable to replicate the printer error message when turning on the external hard drive connected by usb 3.0. I've tried several times to get the printer error, but wireless printer and external hard drive operate smoothly and with no issues, except that tray icon which appears when scanning and/or when turning on the external hard drive still appears (no warning messages are being given and printer and computer is working O.K.)

    Any thoughts?

  16. #15
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    If you click on the arrow head in the system tray and select Customize, it should give a list of the icons that can appear and why and whose settings can be changed.

    I wouldn't have thought that this had been driver related, but it seems to have fixed the problem.
    Last edited by Sudo15; 2014-04-10 at 10:46.

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