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  • System printer gone AWOL

    Posted on Slowpoke47 Comment on the AskWoody Lounge
    Topic Resolution: Resolved
    Viewing 25 reply threads
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      • #2210228 Reply
        Slowpoke47
        AskWoody Plus

        Environment is LAN consisting of 1 desktop, 1 laptop, and HP all-in-one printer, running Mint Mate 19.2.  Today desktop cannot find printer, results in error message, including when test page requested. Laptop prints the same doc no problem.  Cannot see a difference in printer settings between the two computers, and can’t determine what might have caused this problem.

        Turning once again to the forum for rescue suggestions…

        EDIT- Following the troubleshooting steps in printer help menu- on the second screen system asks for code input- copy/ paste as normal, but Terminal will not allow me to enter my p/word- no response to input.

        Linux Mint Mate 19.2 and Win7 HP

        • This topic was modified 1 week, 5 days ago by Slowpoke47.
      • #2210265 Reply
        DrBonzo
        AskWoody Plus

        Well, for whatever this may be worth – I had a similar issue last week with an Epson printer hard-wired to an iMac and a Win 7. I could print anything from Win 7, nothing from the iMac; the iMac didn’t know the printer existed. I happened to glance behind the iMac and saw a super tight usb printer cable. I released the tension, unplugged and replugged both ends of the cable, and was back in business. Turns out the user of both machines has a penchant for “decorating” and the iMac had been moved all over the place with no regard to its connections!

        1 user thanked author for this post.
        • #2210273 Reply
          Slowpoke47
          AskWoody Plus

          You were some detective to solve that one!  No real application here, though- the pc and printer each are hard wired to the LAN and the laptop ran the printer via wi-fi.  So we know the printer connection is good, and if the pc connection were compromised- it wouldn’t be able to access the Internet.

          FWIW- the specific error message is “device communications error 5012.”  The previous attempt at Terminal input mentioned above seemed odd, and failed on restart as well.  I’m about to shut the pc down to “rest” for awhile and try again tomorrow.

          Linux Mint Mate 19.2 and Win7 HP

          1 user thanked author for this post.
      • #2210281 Reply
        DrBonzo
        AskWoody Plus

        Well, this is another FWIW comment. I have 3 computers running Mint 19.2 Cinnamon. Two are dual boot with Win 7 and one is single boot. One of the dual boot machines is very finicky. For example, if I go to a web site and can’t connect, it will often tell me I no longer have a wireless connection – and sometimes I do and sometimes I don’t. It does other weird stuff as well like missing icons in the task tray. When that happens the only way out is a complete shutdown followed by a cold boot. It’s not my daily driver but rather a guinea pig/test machine, so I’ve never really looked into it. It might just be that the computer is 10 years old or so and has a puny Intel Atom processor.

        Edit – The websites mentioned above are websites that I can immediately get to on another Mint computer, so it’s not an internet connection issue, per se, although it may be a connection issue with that one computer.

        • This reply was modified 1 week, 5 days ago by DrBonzo.
        1 user thanked author for this post.
      • #2210409 Reply
        anonymous
        Guest

        When you tried to print the page, are there two entries listed in the printer dialog?

        • #2210424 Reply
          Slowpoke47
          AskWoody Plus

          Meaning this?Printer-dialog

          Linux Mint Mate 19.2 and Win7 HP

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      • #2210427 Reply
        Slowpoke47
        AskWoody Plus

        Trying again today- same result as before.  Invoking the Help function from the Printers entry on the main menu brings a “troubleshoot” sequence of screens, the second asks for a Terminal command to be entered.  I copy/paste the text, then, when my password is required, the Terminal will not accept anything further- the cursor does not move in response to keyboard input.

        This does not seem to be a Terminal problem, as I can enter other commands for other operations and see the expected (normal) results.

        Linux Mint Mate 19.2 and Win7 HP

      • #2210449 Reply
        Slowpoke47
        AskWoody Plus

        Not previously mentioned- this pc dual boots Mint and Win7 on separate disks.  Just booted into 7 and cannot print from that OS either.

        Edit- scan function also inoperative in Mint, did not try in Win7.

        Linux Mint Mate 19.2 and Win7 HP

        • This reply was modified 1 week, 5 days ago by Slowpoke47.
      • #2210696 Reply
        anonymous
        Guest

        In the network settings for the printer, is the address in screen shot the same?

        1 user thanked author for this post.
        • #2210737 Reply
          Slowpoke47
          AskWoody Plus

          Yes- previously checked.  Also, reinstalled printer software.  Next move will be to compare all printer data specs between the two machines looking for a difference.

          Linux Mint Mate 19.2 and Win7 HP

      • #2210886 Reply
        Slowpoke47
        AskWoody Plus

        OK, Lieutenant Columbo got to the bottom of the problem- and apparently the elapsed time since the printer was last used with the pc was more like a 8-10 days ago.

        About a week ago, another household resident, whose name shall remain un-named, was working on getting his/her Bluetooth connected to a new car, assisted by a phone agent.  (We are. by no means, techs here).  At that time, turns out our router was involved, and the Bluetooth service took over the printer’s IP address, thereby bumping the printer to the next slot, .5 in place of .4.  Result at that time= printer unavailable.  Once the pc was set to look for the new address, all was good.  But I forgot to do the same with the laptop, which went unnoticed because we rarely print with it.

        Fast forward to 2 days ago, when the pc could not connect with the printer, but the laptop did.  After detecting no software issues with the pc yesterday, I compared settings between the two machines.  The key was that the laptop was using the .4 IP address, which I had never “updated.”.  Just now logged into the router, and the only devices shown in the LAN are the two computers and the printer, which has reverted to its former .4 address- the previous “extra” connection is no longer there.  Easy enough to get the pc on the same page.

        No idea how this all could have happened- my “roommate” did not log into the router at any point.  Perhaps someone with some Bluetooth knowledge can advise whether there is anything in this chain of events that raises an alarm.  Personally, I’m still in the Stone Age (my favorite car has a clutch pedal, for Pete’s sake) so my understanding of setting up Bluetooth is around zero.

        Linux Mint Mate 19.2 and Win7 HP

        2 users thanked author for this post.
        • #2210902 Reply
          PKCano
          Da Boss

          Your printer changed IP addresses because the Router is using DHCP to assign addresses. With dynamic addressing, the first device to log in gets 1, the next gets 2 and so on. So the IP address can change depending on the log in sequence.

          If you set a static IP address in the printer itself, or you assign a reserved IP address to the printer in the Router, you will eliminate that problem. That way, the printer will always be at the same IP address where the other devices can find it.

          A static IP address in the printer is set in the printer’s menu on the front of printer.
          A reserved IP address in the Router is done by logging in to the Router and associating the printer’s MAC address or name with a given IP address.

          2 users thanked author for this post.
      • #2210906 Reply
        Slowpoke47
        AskWoody Plus

        Much appreciated- just re-read the two weekly newsletters from awhile back that address router settings, etc.  Should I be concerned that there was temporarily an additional (4th) IP address being used in the router, apparently during the phone setup, without, to my knowledge, a login event?  The history in the router didn’t record anything.

        Linux Mint Mate 19.2 and Win7 HP

        • #2210911 Reply
          PKCano
          Da Boss

          Whatever device logs in to your Router will use an IP address. Most likely it was for the phone setup (the car, maybe?)

          1 user thanked author for this post.
      • #2210917 Reply
        Slowpoke47
        AskWoody Plus

        Again thanks.  I’ll definitely aet up static addresses to keep this circus from happening again!

        Linux Mint Mate 19.2 and Win7 HP

        • #2210922 Reply
          PKCano
          Da Boss

          Be sure to set it outside the normal range the Router uses for DHCP. If your Router issues low numbers (4, 5, etc), set the static address on the other end (150, 200, or the like). Then you will have to be sure your devices connect to it the first time.

          3 users thanked author for this post.
      • #2211007 Reply
        Paul T
        AskWoody MVP

        You do not need a static address.

        Ping the printer: ping -c 3 printer_ip_address
        Get the printer hostname: dig printer_ip_address

        Use the hostname in the printer setup instead of the IP address. Now your printer can change IP as much as it likes and your box will never notice.

        cheers, Paul

        2 users thanked author for this post.
      • #2211111 Reply
        Slowpoke47
        AskWoody Plus

        If you set a static IP address in the printer itself, or you assign a reserved IP address to the printer in the Router, you will eliminate that problem. That way, the printer will always be at the same IP address where the other devices can find it.

        Just changed printer designation in router from dynamic to static.  Hope this is now solved, many thanks for your help.

        Linux Mint Mate 19.2 and Win7 HP

      • #2211112 Reply
        Slowpoke47
        AskWoody Plus

        Thanks, Paul- I wasn’t confident of getting your method done correctly, so went with PKCano’s suggestion.  Your ongoing help appreciated by us non-techs!

        Linux Mint Mate 19.2 and Win7 HP

      • #2212107 Reply
        Slowpoke47
        AskWoody Plus

        Be sure to set it outside the normal range the Router uses for DHCP. If your Router issues low numbers (4, 5, etc), set the static address on the other end (150, 200, or the like). Then you will have to be sure your devices connect to it the first time.

        Confirmed yesterday that the dynamic IP assignments are in fact due to my wife’s cellphone logging into the router.  Looks like the cell IP address is temporary, deletes at some point after the cell is turned off, which is why I didn’t find it previously.  Just for peace of mind, assigned “static” status to the two computers in addition to the printer.

        But now some other questions come to mind- what does the cell do to get online when out of range of our router?  And, is our Internet connection available to anyone else who might be in range?  If yes- is that of concern?

        Linux Mint Mate 19.2 and Win7 HP

        • #2212109 Reply
          PKCano
          Da Boss

          When you are in range of the router, the devices require a password to log on your network. At some point, you put the network password in the phone’s WiFi settings. This allows the phone to use your network to connect to the Internet  and keeps it from using the bandwidth from your cellphone plan.

          When you are not in range of the router, the cellphone uses the cellphone towers provided by your cellphone contract provider.

          1 user thanked author for this post.
      • #2212111 Reply
        Slowpoke47
        AskWoody Plus

        Thanks for another piece of education.  That cell is usually off except when in use, but just now, logged into thr router and the IP address for it is still listed, marked “inactive.”  Next she powered up the phone and dialed one of our own (landline) numbers, allowing a couple of rings before ending the call, all with the network displayed on the desktop screen.  The “inactive” status didn’t change during this test, but maybe I needed to refresh the screen.

        Interesting that, while I changed the router password 3 days ago, the phone setup, with the old p/w, was over a week ago.  Perhaps the router firewall setting should be changed?  Router

        Linux Mint Mate 19.2 and Win7 HP

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        • #2212119 Reply
          PKCano
          Da Boss

          It’s not the Router password (the one to log in the Router) that you need.

          It’s the WiFi setting on the phone has to have the WiFi password of your router. The same one you use to connect a laptop to the router by WiFi. On the phone, click on the “WiFi” (not cellular), look for and identify your network, and put in the WiFi password to connect to the network.

          1 user thanked author for this post.
      • #2212156 Reply
        mn–
        AskWoody Lounger

        At some point, you put the network password in the phone’s WiFi settings.

        … or used the “WPS” button to do what amounts to an automated password exchange.

        (WPS isn’t “safe” unless you can verify that there are no other “new” devices in range, but people find it much simpler to do than password entry with complex passwords.)

        1 user thanked author for this post.
      • #2212196 Reply
        Slowpoke47
        AskWoody Plus

        This will have to wait until tomorrow, will get into it then.  Currently the laptop logs into the router automatically as well.

        Linux Mint Mate 19.2 and Win7 HP

      • #2212253 Reply
        Paul T
        AskWoody MVP

        WPS isn’t “safe” unless you can verify that there are no other “new” devices in range

        Log onto the router immediately after the WPS connect and check that there is only one additional device connected, and that it’s your device.

        You should regularly check for new devices on your router – there are issues with the WPA protocol that is fixed in recent clients but not older ones (i.e. phones).

        Currently the laptop logs into the router automatically

        That is what all wifi devices are meant to do, unless you tell them not to remember the password.

        cheers, Paul

        1 user thanked author for this post.
      • #2212403 Reply
        Slowpoke47
        AskWoody Plus

        Well… today I am learning about WPS.  After reading the mentions in this thread, I found this site for some context:  https://www.digitalcitizen.life/simple-questions-what-wps-wi-fi-protected-setup

        This LAN is in a single family house, well back from the road, which is the nearest (really, the only) potential source of wireless intrusion.  Just took the laptop out to said road and booted up- see screenshot below for current network status: Router-home
        The four devices are all ours- two computers, printer, and cell.  As you can see, the router wireless range does extend to the street, although the laptop in that location showed a weakened signal.  (BTW- laptop is 2nd device in the list.)

        Looks to me, after perusing the above link, comments here, and various screens in the router, that any intruder would need to know the wireless network name and password to gain access. I did not personally set up the phone, and the laptop is a couple of years old now, but they both have obviously been enabled.  Is it reasonable to assume that, as it stands, a hacker is precluded from access to the network?

        Linux Mint Mate 19.2 and Win7 HP

        Attachments:
        • #2212408 Reply
          PKCano
          Da Boss

          If you can see the network (and it’s SSID = name) so can anyone else.

          1 user thanked author for this post.
      • #2212420 Reply
        Slowpoke47
        AskWoody Plus

        If you can see the network (and it’s SSID = name) so can anyone else.

        Understood, of course, but to see the home screen (s/shot above), and move on from there, you need the router user name and password, neither of which is still at default.  Can someone get in without them?

        Linux Mint Mate 19.2 and Win7 HP

      • #2212577 Reply
        anonymous
        Guest

        There is less of a chance to break in since you changed the defaults, just make sure the username and password can’t be easy to guess.

        On the external side toward the internet some botnet or malware thing, etc. may always trying to get inside your network; I hope you or Verizon have disabled UPnP and all kinds of services of which there is no use to you that could open opportunities.

        It would always be good to censor your assigned external internet protocol address in screenshots.

        1 user thanked author for this post.
      • #2212594 Reply
        Paul T
        AskWoody MVP

        Is it reasonable to assume that, as it stands, a hacker is precluded from access to the network?

        A hacker first has to connect to the router, either wirelessly or via cable, before being able to access the router home page. A good wireless password is required here.
        If you connect new devices via WPS, check that only that device has a new connection.

        cheers, Paul

        1 user thanked author for this post.
      • #2212602 Reply
        Alex5723
        AskWoody Plus

        If you connect new devices via WPS

        WPS is insecure and should be disabled.

        WPA2 with a strong password is secure as long as you disable WPS. You’ll find this advice in guides to securing your Wi-Fi all over the web. Wi-Fi Protected Setup was a nice idea, but using it is a mistake.

        Your router probably supports WPS and it’s likely enabled by default. Like UPnP, this is an insecure feature that makes your wireless network more vulnerable to attack…

        https://www.howtogeek.com/176124/wi-fi-protected-setup-wps-is-insecure-heres-why-you-should-disable-it/

        1 user thanked author for this post.
      • #2212607 Reply
        Slowpoke47
        AskWoody Plus

        My thanks to all who posted.  Just checked settings- WPS was already disabled.  SSID Broadcast was enabled, seemed best to disable that “feature”- did so.  My guess was that our own wireless devices (cell and laptop) don’t need it and leaving it enabled could leave the door open to visitors.

        Is SSID Broadcast the same as UPnP?  Didn’t find that specific item.

        Linux Mint Mate 19.2 and Win7 HP

      • #2212614 Reply
        Paul T
        AskWoody MVP

        Just to clarify, WPS via push button only is OK, via PIN is not.

        cheers, Paul

        1 user thanked author for this post.
      • #2212617 Reply
        Slowpoke47
        AskWoody Plus

        Since my last post, we booted the laptop, all as expected except it asked for a password to shut down.  Esc key did nothing.  Shut down manually via power button, went through power on/ off again, all normal.

        Linux Mint Mate 19.2 and Win7 HP

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