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    Scanner/ Printer problem

    I have just switched to cable internet on my 98SE system. The hardware "reconfiguration" was a simple matter of connecting the cable modem to an unused USB port and loading the drivers. This was all done by the technician and purrs away nicely (mostly). There are several problems that have arisen though.

    1. I have a scanner and piggybacked printer running off the parallel port and these used to co-exist pretty well, without conflict. Now, I have to have the scanner turned on or the printer will only print (say) the first few lines of a page of a Word doc. In other words, very little of whatever is sent to it. Any suggestions on restoring the pre-cable behavior?

    These next two might not belong in this lounge, but I hope it's OK to include them, since they relate to the same topic:

    2. If I leave the computer idle for a long time, I lose the connection to the internet and nothing I do, short of a reboot will get it back. The provider suggested it might be a power management issue, but could make no further recommendations. Is it possible to selectively choose settings that will prevent this "dropout"? Would it be a Windows or BIOS issue?

    3. Is it advisable to have a firewall running continuously? I used to use Agnitum Outpost whenever I dialed up a connection, but now with constant connection, is it appropriate to have it run as a standard "startup" app? The tech support muttered something about firewalls being a possible cause of the problem I have.

    thanks for any advice

    Alan

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    Re: Scanner/ Printer problem

    Alan

    It may be of little help to you but I would have preferred an Ethernet connection from the cable modem to the PC, rather than USB...

    If that's not an option, I would suggest you get a new USB controller card and install it in the computer, and separate the cable modem from the printer/scanner.

    Other people may have other ideas?

    I think the real problem is that USB was pretty new to Windows 98, and the drivers, etc, have been improved since the support first came out...
    <font face="Script MT Bold"><font color=blue><big><big>John</big></big></font color=blue></font face=script>

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    Super Moderator jscher2000's Avatar
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    Re: Scanner/ Printer problem

    Re #3, yes, you need a 24x7 firewall if you don't want anyone else to "own" your computer.

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    Re: Scanner/ Printer problem

    Regards item #2.
    Are you using hibernation oor standby function in the power savings settings? If so, this may be your problem.

    Now running HP Pavilion a6528p, with Win7 64 Bit OS.

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    Re: Scanner/ Printer problem

    Thanks John. I had heard that an ethernet card was "preferred", but the cable guy convinced me that each method has its problems and not to spend the extra <img src=/S/money.gif border=0 alt=money width=17 height=15> . I resolved this problem once before, by updating the scanner driver. Perhaps I'll try reinstalling the drivers from scratch, and hoping.

    Alan

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    Re: Scanner/ Printer problem

    Agreed. I used to have my firewall load as soon as I connected through dialup. I've been firing it (and forgetting to do so) manually for the last few days and I'm staggered at how much garbage has managed to permeate. It's now a start-up item.

    cheers

    Alan

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    Re: Scanner/ Printer problem

    Hi Dave

    No, standby is not enabled at all (I've learned from past problems with that one). The only things affected were HD and monitor. I've set the HD spindown to Never, so I'll see if that helps/ solves it.

    cheers

    Alan

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    Re: Scanner/ Printer problem

    Alan,

    Re: #1. It's been a while since I've used a printer configured to the parallel port. ( USB now ) but I do remember that the sequence of cabling was important, that is: cable from the LPPT port to the printer, then a daisy chain cable from the printer to the scanner. Also check in the BIOS for the printer type ( EPP, etc ) to make sure that an accidental change wasn't made there. If no luck there, I would take the scanner off the loop, temporarily to see if that is affecting the printing.

    Re: #2. It sounds like the ISP is dropping you off the line, if no activity is seen for a pre-determined amount of time.

    Re: #3.Even more so than ever, a firewall is needed on an "always on" connection, like cable or DSL. Run it on start up, it's too easy to forget to start it afterwards.

    BTW, any tech that mutters that a firewall could be part of your problem, is really saying that a firewall isn't needed on cable ! He/she should be sent back to cleaning system fans and monitor screens instead of advising customers.


    Bob
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    Re: Scanner/ Printer problem

    Hi Bob

    1) That's a good tip - I'd forgotten about the BIOS settings, and it looks like the settings may have changed from what I remember them to be. There are 4 modes available as follows:
    1. <LI>Onboard Parallel Mode SPP
      <LI>Onboard Parallel Mode EPP/SPP
      Parallel port EPP Type EPP 1.9
      <LI>Onboard Parallel Mode ECP
      ECP Mode Use DMA 3
      <LI> 2. and 3. above
    I have no idea which of these to select, except that the current setting 1. is probably the least appropriate. Advice on this appreciated. I also disabled BIOS power management while I was in there.

    2) I tend to think it's not this. Unless I misunderstand, a cable connesction should be "always on".

    3) See my reply to Jefferson. I slipped up on a few brief occassions and attracted a whole boxful of parasitic junk. It's locked in at startup now, as you suggest.

    And yes, the tech I spoke to by phone came across as a "general helpdesk" person who wasn't too clued up. That said, she consulted someone else who pointed to power management, without reference to the firewall.

    cheers

    Alan

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    Re: Scanner/ Printer problem

    Alan,
    Since it sounds like you have a built in parallel port on the MB, I would change it to 2 Onboard port EPP/SPP and try it. Don't forget to check the cable sequence.

    A cable commection is USUALLY always on. That is determined by you, however what I mean is that your ISP is dropping YOU after a long period of inactivity?

    Bob
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    Re: Scanner/ Printer problem

    Alan

    I suggested Ethernet because that's what I have for the cable connection - on assorted USB ports I have a multifunction scanner/fax/copier/printer HP LaserJet 3330MFP, a colour printer, a webcam, a USB disk "PenDrive", and a digital camera connection, and apart from the truly appalling firmware in the 3330MFP, I don't have any problems! An Ethernet card can cost as little as
    <font face="Script MT Bold"><font color=blue><big><big>John</big></big></font color=blue></font face=script>

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    Re: Scanner/ Printer problem

    Boy, that's some Palm Pilot! What do you have connected to your desktop? <img src=/S/grin.gif border=0 alt=grin width=15 height=15>
    Seriously, I will have to bend to a new box some time in the not-too-distant future, so I'm loath to spend anything on hardware upgrades. I would consider both an ethernet card and a second parallel port, if I had any confidence at all that they would be suited to the new box. Past experience tells me they won't be <img src=/S/sigh.gif border=0 alt=sigh width=15 height=15> <- can't find the tag for [sceptic] <img src=/S/grin.gif border=0 alt=grin width=15 height=15>.

    Alan

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    Re: Scanner/ Printer problem

    Thanks Bob. This setting appears to be the best of a bad lot. I get at least some of the printout with this one, which is more than can be said for some of the other settings. The problem remains though. I'm unsure of what the "correct" cable sequence means. I think it's only possible to piggyback from the scanner, so the only sequence possible is
    port -> scanner -> printer (or printer -> scanner -> port).

    WRT "dropouts", perhaps I misunderstand the nature of cable - I didn't think an ISP could drop a user out, like they can on dialup. Even if that's the case though, I don't think it's what's happening here. I have a mail checker that communicates every 5 mins, but more significantly, I have had to unplug the modem and allow it to reset in some instances, before being able to "reconnect".

    Alan

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    Re: Scanner/ Printer problem

    The printer port in the BIOS should be EPP + ECP this is the most recent "version" and allows two way communication and the sending of 2MB/s over parallel.
    Re; cable, my first couple of weeks were plagued with "goofy" problems but now everything is "fine". I unplug and disconnect all electrical and the cable when an electrical storm (thunderstorm) comes through, then I reconnect and turn on, one at a time, the cable modem, then the router then the PCs and finally the printers.
    One additional idea, run an anti-adware/spyware program (my favorite is Spybot Search and Destroy) just to be sure the "crud" is removed from your system. Next update your antivirus and run a complete check, then run Windows Critical updates then update the firewall software.

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    Uranium Lounger viking33's Avatar
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    Re: Scanner/ Printer problem

    Alan,

    I don't know if you tried it yet, but take the scanner out of the loop and just have the printer on the Parallel port. <img src=/S/bummer.gif border=0 alt=bummer width=15 height=15>

    Bob
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