Printer intermittently goes offline



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Printer intermittently goes offline

Postby tomme » Sun, 12 Feb 2006 00:26:05 GMT

Hi Folks,

I'm having an issue with various models of HP printers in one of my
departments.  The Printer models include LaserJet 4000, 4050, 4350 and
9000, but they all use an internal HP JetDirect 615n.

The issue is, the printers go offline on the workstations (Win2000 pro
with all critical updates installed) but you can still ping the printer
IP and get a response.

The offline times range from 5 to 30 minutes (as much as 2 hours
occasionally) multiple times a day and seem to come back online just as
mysteriously as they go offline.

They all go offline at different times and you can ping them, so it's
not a switch issue  They also appear offline for all users configured
to use them, so it's not user specific.

Can anyone think of another way to isolate this issue further, or has
resolved this in the past?  We have a printing dependant department
that is heavily affected whenever a printer decides to go offline.

Thanks for the help!

Re: Printer intermittently goes offline

Postby fmmck » Wed, 15 Feb 2006 05:46:33 GMT

In article < XXXX@XXXXX.COM >,


I've seen cases where one printer in the department had something wrong
with its driver, and would hang-up a printer, but the symptoms were
slightly different from yours.

The fact that more than one printer is doing this points to a system or
procedural problem, not a defective part.

Once every few months I've had a JedDirect lose connectivity to its
router.  The little green light next to the Ethernet connector goes off. 
The solution has been to recycle power on the printer.  It may not happen
any more often because power occasionally is recycled for some other

I suspect my problem may be related to use of DHCP assignment of the
printer's IP address, and the "lease" expiring.  Do your printers use
DHCP, or are the IP addresses manually assigned?

Do your printers come back on line immediately if power is recycled?  If
not, you might have a network problem somewhere else.  If it does, then
perhaps your leases were expired.


Re: Printer intermittently goes offline

Postby TD » Sun, 19 Feb 2006 01:57:06 GMT

We actually use manually assigned IP's for all printers.  The weird
thing is, the link light and pings are both positive while the printer
is offline.

I tried updating the printer and JetDirect cards' firmware and drivers,
but neither seemed to improve it.  Recycling the printer power doesn't
help either.

The printers going offline seems to happen more in the afternoon rather
than morning or night.  I want to run some network and bandwidth
utilities during the afternoon and see if I notice and spikes or

Re: Printer intermittently goes offline

Postby fmmck » Wed, 22 Feb 2006 04:09:37 GMT

In article < XXXX@XXXXX.COM >, "TD"


Where I used to work, most of the networked printers with the JetDirect
servers, were also "served" from a central machine.  If that happens to be
true in your installation, the off-line indication might actually be
coming from the central server.  That would explain the symptoms you

At one time I was able to print directly to the printers at work, instead
of going through the server.  The JetDirect cards were easily able to cope
with print jobs coming from different sources.  However, the IT people did
something to only allow printing from the server, and stopped me from
going direct.

If you haven't tried it, try logging into one of the JetDirect cards using
your web browser pointed to its IP address ( http://www.**--****.com/ , or
whatever).  You may see a clue there when the problem occurs.


Re: Printer intermittently goes offline

Postby Ben Myers » Wed, 22 Feb 2006 07:46:27 GMT

The IT people, in their religious zeal to micromanage and control all aspects of
computer use, set up the printers to run through the server.  This is a pretty
stupid idea.  It creates more load on the server.  If the server goes down or
hangs, you can't print.  If the server is incorrectly configured, either
hardware or software, printing something can bring the server to its knees.
Maybe the IT people can monitor printer use via the server, keeping track of
pages printed and who those {*filter*} people are who are printing all the time.

I know another outfit with all of its printers running through the server.
People print, causing the server to hiccup, belch, and fart, and everyone in the
whole place waits minutes for the server to begin working again.

If you have rights to install printer drivers and printers on your computer at
work (another IT no-no!), you can install another printer driver pointed
directly at the IP address of a networked LaserJet... Ben Myers

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