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Win7 laptops keep losing printer

Last response: in Wireless Networking
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April 10, 2013 8:02:15 PM

This is getting frustrating....

I have 2 Win7 laptops connecting wirelessly to a Netgear router. I have a Canon MF4270 multi-function connected to the router via ethernet cable. The printer has a reserved IP address on the router.

For the last 18 months or so, everything worked fine. Printing was no issue. Then, suddenly, the printer didn't respond. Sometimes, the print queue showed a document with status "Failed" but most times, there was no status at all.

I reinstalled the driver and got the printer working again yesterday, after about 8 hours of trying lots of things with no success. Troubleshooter was no use at all, in the end. Now, today, the printer is "offline" again. Laptops can use the internet, so there's no issue with connecting to the router. The printer works fine plugged into USB.

If I ping the printer from the router, the response is 100%. If I ping it from the laptops, all data is lost.

I hope there's someone out there with more knowledge than me.
a b D Laptop
April 10, 2013 8:17:39 PM

It sounds like something is miss-configured on your network. Verify that the laptop is connected to your wireless network not a neighbors.

It wouldn't hurt to send me IP information. What is the IP address of the printer, your computer, and the router. Also default gateway, DNS and any other information that you can find.

What happens if you connect the printer directly to the laptop via USB?

Can you plug the laptop into the router and print from it?
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April 10, 2013 9:03:09 PM

mjmacka said:
It sounds like something is miss-configured on your network. Verify that the laptop is connected to your wireless network not a neighbors.

It wouldn't hurt to send me IP information. What is the IP address of the printer, your computer, and the router. Also default gateway, DNS and any other information that you can find.

What happens if you connect the printer directly to the laptop via USB?

Can you plug the laptop into the router and print from it?


Thanks for your quick reply.

Last question first- yes, I can print when the laptop is connected via ethernet. And USB.

Not sure what you want in "default gateway" and DNS. DNS (server?) is just the standard default.

IP addresses:
Router 192.168.0.1
Printer 192.168.0.2 (reserved IP in the router)
Laptop #1 192.168.0.4
Laptop #2 192.168.0.5

Thanks again.
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a b D Laptop
April 11, 2013 5:00:19 AM

Okay, the reason I asked about default gateway/DNS and other network questions is that if your network is set up correctly, you should be able to ping any network resource from another connected to the LAN/Wireless.
This concerns me:

Quote:
If I ping the printer from the router, the response is 100%. If I ping it from the laptops, all data is lost.


You might want to let your laptops use DHCP and instead of statically assigning them IP addresses. It would would default the printer, assign it a different IP address (out of your DHCP range), delete the printer settings off of the laptop and set it up again.
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April 11, 2013 3:20:16 PM

Thanks again.

You may have misunderstood. DHCP is active and, except for the printer, as I noted was "reserved" in the router, the other IP addresses I listed were dynamically assigned. The reason I reserved the IP for the printer was that, in the past, the router would assign random port numbers to it on reboot and I was building a significant collection of pooled ports.

I totally understand that I should be able to ping any device on the network, which is why I'm puzzled that it can't be found through the wireless route.
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a b D Laptop
April 11, 2013 3:36:27 PM

You don't have a vlan set up for wireless or a guest network do you? Both could explain why you can't communicate with the printer from a laptop.
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April 11, 2013 4:03:14 PM

I don't have either.

What's puzzling me is that everything worked (except for assigning new ports after router reboots - sometimes) for 18 months, then just stopped.
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a b D Laptop
April 12, 2013 12:00:43 AM

I think mjmacka is on to something w/ his comment "Verify that the laptop is connected to your wireless network not a neighbors." It would explain a lot of this behavior.

It's possible your wireless clients are "wandering" to other wireless networks. We used to see a lot more of this in the early days of wireless, but it can still happen. If someone is using the same SSID as you (and this is more common than you might think, many ppl accept the default name, like "linksys"), and they leave security disabled, Windows might consider that a preferred network, esp. if the signal strength was much stronger. And it wouldn't be immediately obvious to you since it’s using the same SSID. That would explain why wired is unaffected, and how this problem started w/ apparently no changes on your part. Some neighbor gets within range w/ their new router and boom, you have a conflict.

I still think it’s more unlikely than likely, but I’d still take steps to be sure this possibility is eliminated, such as using a unique SSID, using WPA2 security, and making sure your wireless client configuration does NOT connect to other preferred networks.
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April 12, 2013 2:46:41 AM

Thank you for that, but let me assure you that my SSID is unique - and has been for the past 10 years. WPA is enabled with my unique key and I have never seen another network in the area with any SSID even slightly similar to mine. I have always taken security seriously and I have also enabled the "defined MACs only" feature.

As I am in an apartment and it seems all other networks are distant or ground-level, I have also never seen another network nearby whose signal strength is even half mine, to my machines.

Perhaps you begin to understand my frustration....
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April 13, 2013 1:49:06 AM


You may have misunderstood. DHCP is active and, except for the printer, as I noted was "reserved" in the router, the other IP addresses I listed were dynamically assigned. The reason I reserved the IP for the printer was that, in the past, the router would assign random port numbers to it on reboot and I was building a significant collection of pooled ports.
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