05-26-2010 03:03 PM - edited 05-26-2010 03:12 PM
A user that I support is reporting intermittent, but frequently-occurring problems with this printer in that it goes "offline" randomly.
The scenario is: Vista 64-bit laptop communicating wirelessly with a WRT54G router. The C309a ALSO connunicates with the WRT54G wirelessly. The protocol used is WEP. IP address assignment to the laptop and C309a is currently via the router's DHCP. The laptop has the most current HP software installed.
( BTW, a Mac desktop communicates wirelessly with this C309a via bluetooth and never has any problems, but not sure if having bluetooth enabled on the C309a for the Mac at the same time having IP wireless enabled for the WRT54G can be causing any issues.)
I've been studying dozens and dozens of posts across many forums on this problem and many solutions are offered but often the thread is hijacked and goes off-topic, or the original poster never responds back as to whether or not the solution presented actually solved the problem. I haven't come across a single thread that seems to nail this problem decisively.
However, what makes the most sense to me, and what most of the advice seems to be centered around, is assigning a static IP address to the C309a due to it losing a DHCP-assigned address because the C309a goes to "sleep". I know how to accomplish this with a WRT54G - since the WRT54G doesn't have static IP address reservation capability, you assign a fixed IP address on the C309a itself, outside of the assignment range of the WRT54G DHCP server.
But beforehand, I have a few questions. I need to understand what happens when the 309a goes to sleep:
1) Does the router drop the IP address from it's table?
2) When the user sends something to print, and the C309a is in sleep mode, what sequence of events occur to wake it up?
3) If DHCP has to assign a new address because of sleep, why wouldn't it just assign the same IP address as the last time? It's a very small network with few devices, and they're always on - not like you have all these devices coming on and off the network.
Other threads have centered on firewall issues, but I can't see how this could be causing this intermittent "offline" behavior. With a firewall, unless I am mistaken, you don't get intermittent behavior like this - it either communicates or it doesn't until you open up the needed port(s).
If there's anything else that comes to mind that I should check, please let me know.
Thanks for any help on this.
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05-26-2010 03:52 PM
Honestly, I can't answer your 3 questions. I am sure that there are others that can.
However, I can help you with your static IP addressing. If you are comfortable doing it directly in your router you can. The real key here is to set it outside the DHCP range. Even if the device gets the same IP most of the time, I have seen this address offline issues. Another easy way to set it is in your printer:
- Print a Network Config Page from the front of the printer. Note the printer's IP address.
- Type that IP address into a browser to reveal the printer's internal settings.
- Choose the Networking tab, then Wireless along the left side, then the IPv4 tab.
- On this screen you want to set a Manual IP. You need to set an IP address outside the range that the router automatically sets (called the DHCP range). Enter 192.168.1.200 or something outside the range.
- Use 255.255.255.0 for the subnet (unless you know it is different, if so, use that)
- Leave the gateway and DNS blank. Click 'Apply'
Now, shut down the router and printer, start the router, wait, then start the printer.
After this I would recommend to redo 'Add a Printer' using the new IP address, deleting the old instance of the printer before you start. Here is a not so obvious method to do it:
1. Make sure the printer is turned on and connected to your network. Verify that you can access the printer's internal web page by browsing to its IP address before continuing.
2. Click >> Start >> Control panel >> Printers.
3. Click the Add a printer
4. Select Local printer
5. Select Create a new port and select Standard TCP/IP Port and click Next button.
6. Under Device type, select TCP/IP Device. Under Hostname or IP address, enter the printer's IP address.
7. Select Hewlett-Packard from the list of manufacturers and select and select your printer model. Click Next.
If your printer model was not listed, then select Have Disk, browse the HP CD that came with your printer and select the first file that starts with hp and ends with inf. Click Open then OK. Select your printer model. Click Next.
8. If you are asked, use the currently installed driver.
9. It will ask for the Printer name -- enter a new name or use the existing one. This will be the name of the printer that you select from other applications.
10. You may be asked to share the printer. Make a choice and click Next.
11. The Print Test Page box appears. Go ahead and print it.
12. Click Finish.
Also, do not use WEP. It is not secure. It can be hacked in about 10 minutes with freeware. Use WPA or WPA2 with a strong 13+ character passphrase.
Another thing to try, here is to change your wireless channel to 11. Most routers ship with 6 as default and this often leads to a lot of traffic within a neighborhood on channel 6.
I don't think bluetooth is getting in the way but I am far from a bluetooth expert.
Say thanks by clicking "Kudos" "thumbs up" in the post that helped you.
I am employed by HP
05-26-2010 05:09 PM
Thank you very much for your response. When I troubleshoot later this week I will follow your instructions.
If the proplem persists, I will eliminate the wireless link between the router and the printer and just use ethernet - also with the static IP address. There may be a weakness in the wireless link or process not related to the dynamic/static IP address issue.
I'll post back with results.
Regarding WEP - I've already alerted them to the insecurity, but will bring up the topic again. It will be up to them to decide if they want me to change it to WPA or WPA2.
05-26-2010 05:25 PM
I have the same problem or so I thought until I discovered that it was only with my Windows 7 PC, my other PC’s are Windows XP and a HP Netbook XP/Ubuntu. It appears that the HP Solution Center version 184.108.40.206 reported that it could not communicate with the printer C309a on the Windows 7 PC however simultaneously the XP PC’s had no problem. After a multitude of reinstallation of the HP Utility I still would lose connection after a day or so.
My c309a is connected to my LAN via wireless only and accessible via Bluetooth so that we can print directly from our cell phones.
The solution was very simple, taking the printer out of energy saving mode kept the Windows 7 PC connected. Hopefully HP will fix this little nuisance.
05-26-2010 05:27 PM
Here is a little ammo for your WEP discussion.
Say thanks by clicking "Kudos" "thumbs up" in the post that helped you.
I am employed by HP
05-26-2010 07:45 PM - edited 05-26-2010 08:25 PM
"The solution was very simple, taking the printer out of energy saving mode kept the Windows 7 PC connected. Hopefully HP will fix this little nuisance."
A-HA!!! I was thinking that this might be one solution. I just found in the printer's manual how to disable it. I'll send an email to the user explaining how to turn it off to see if it makes any difference.
05-28-2010 08:43 AM - edited 05-28-2010 08:50 AM
Your simple solution WORKED! THANK YOU! The client is ecstatic, and so am I.
Disabling power saver mode allowed the printer to maintain connection with the router. For the benefit of others who are having this issue (and there are many), for the C309a Photosmart Premium All-in-one, the steps to do this are:
1) On the printer control panel, press Setup (the button has a picture of a wrench on it)
2) Press the down arrow to highlight Preferences, and then press OK
3) Press the down arrow to highlight Energy Saving Mode, and then press OK
4) Press the down arrow or the up arrow to highlight OFF, then press OK
I'd power-cycle the printer after the change and go back into the setup menu to make sure that the setting "took".
However, I am now stupefied. This simple solution should be quite obvious to HP, and be made quite visible on HP's technical support pages for printers that have Energy Star "sleep" modes. It took me many hours of research on many tech support forums to zero in on the most likely area of weakness, and then it took a third-party (you) to connect the dots and offer the correct solution.
If the problem ever recurs, I will assign a fixed IP address to the printer. The combination of energy saving mode OFF and a fixed IP address should forever prevent the printer's IP address from being dropped from the router's routing table.
Many thanks to you, too.
06-05-2010 05:50 PM
As to why it is buried: because it is not really a "FIX" - it is a hack. Of course if you keep the thing powered up, it will not drop off of the solution center's radar. But I'm pretty sure that would also blow the Energy Star rating. And no where in the reviews and the specifications does it say that if we choose to connect via wireless, we must disable the power saver funtion entirely. That is not This must be something that they are unable to really fix. And therefore, I am relatively certain that is a mistake that HP would rather not have made public, therefore no official response in the FAQ's.
A real fix would be a setting that would allow the printer to go to sleep and wake back up - and it should all be seamless. I mean, come on HP, the Solution Center is your software, the printer is your hardware, the print driver even installed HP's own version of the network TCP/IP printer port (instead of using the MS generic). With that kind of control over the entire path, there has got to be a way to make this work correctly.
How can Canon printers go to sleep without losing their DHCP wireless network connection? Food for thought!
06-05-2010 06:29 PM
Ironically, this is not an issue with my XP, Ubuntu or even the W2K Machine. Only my WIndows 7 PC lost connection so I don't think it is totally an HP problem.