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Thursday, September 15, 2011

Printer periodically goes offline? unable to print? Hewlett Packard (HP)/Lexmark/Dell/Canon/Epson printer and Windows XP/Vista/ windows 7 OS.


Symptoms

Some of the related Symptoms of the problems are as under:

  1. Users have Windows XP (SP2)/ Vista or Windows 7 based systems.
  2. Generally the printers are Network Printers. Network Printers are the printers which are connected to switches/routers/wireless routers and are
    shared among the users through Ethernet cable or wireless media. Hewlett Packard (HP), Lexmark, Dell, Canon, Epson are the popular network printer brands.
  3. The printer gets PINGed successfully.
  4. The printer becomes temporarily online if: the printer or Windows system is restarted, or the user log-ins after a log-off.
The Problem

Possible reason of the problems is that Microsoft has started to use SNMP (Simple Network Management Protocol) based technique for handling printer queues. Now, Windows starts several SNMP threads for printer queue. Windows sends multiple SNMP queries to monitor status of printer (whether it is online or offline). The printer sends its response to TCP port of the system. The spooler software of Windows reads the response from the port monitor and sets the status of the printer. Now, if the printer is not responding to the SNMP queries or the SNMP settings have not been configure properly then the printer may stay offline. For Example: For Windows, default community string is “public”, but if there is no feature in printer to map this, than it may cause problems.


Solution

One of the solutions for this problem is to disable the SNMP based printer-queue- handling technique and use the default standard algorithm:


1. For Windows XP:

Go to Control Panel and open Printers and Faxes folder, select the printer and right click and select the Properties


For Windows Vista:

Go to Control Panel\Hardware and Sound\Devices and Printers, select the printer and right click and select Run as Administrator > Properties
(Click to yes, for Windows permission pop-up)




For Windows 7:
Go to Control Panel\Hardware and

Sound\Devices and Printers, select the printer and right click and select Run as Administrator > Properties
(Click to yes, for Windows permission pop-up)



2. In the Properties of the Printer, select the tab Port and click the Configure Port button:



3. Uncheck "SNMP Status Enable" and click OK:


4. This will turn off SNMP querying and set the printer to always Online. We are now using the Standard TCP/IP Port monitor.




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