HP Wireless Printer Problems
I had a job for a chair assembly for a customer. The only problem was that the customer had not received the chair. It was scheduled to be delivered on the same day that I was scheduled to assemble it, but that did not happen. I advised the customer to contact Customer Service and let them know of the issue. While the customer was waiting on hold, she asked me what did I do for a living. I told her that I assemble furniture and other handyman work part-time and work full-time in IT (Information Technology). Her eyes got real big and she asked if I could take a look at her printer once she got done with the call and I agreed.
The customer had a laptop with Windows 10 and a HP Deskjet 2600 Series printer. This particular printer is designed to be connected to Wifi, but uses USB connection for the initial setup. She previously had another HP printer, but replaced it with the Deskjet 2600 one. She said that she had got it working at one point, but that it had stopped working and she was not sure why.
Here are the various tasks that I did in order to get them working. I do not remember the exact order that they were done it, but I want to provide you with a checklist in case you run into the same issue.
Reinstall Printer Drivers or Software
First thing was to reinstall the printer drivers. The user already had the HP Printer Toolbox installed on the computer. It had the printer already configured in it like I previously mentioned. However, even a print test page would not print from the software.
I performed the setup several times. The way that you have to set this printer up is to
- Install the HP software on your computer
- Connect the printer to the computer via USB cable
- Run the HP software setup configuration. This will ask you for the wireless settings to use and whether the device is on the network.
- Disconnect the USB cable
- Then the software will try to find the printer via the network. If it does not find it, then it will complain and ask that you try the setup again.
This did not work for the probably 5 times that I tried it. Thus I figured I would check something else, which was the network itself.
Assign A Static IP Address
This printer connects to the network via Wifi. If you are familiar with how DHCP and the assigning of IP addresses work, then you can probably skip this section. For those of you that are not, continue reading.
HP printers can print out a status sheet. This sheet includes everything from the IP address, software version, model number, ink or toner level and more. Often times, it prints all of this information on more than one sheet of paper (in this case printed 3 pages and was still going before I cancelled the print job).
The customer had previously printed out one of the pages. On this print out, it had the IP address as 192.168.1.3. However, on the computer, one of the screens showed that it had the IP address mapped to 192.168.1.4. For those of you that are not familiar with IP addresses, this would be the equivalent of somebody giving you the address to a place, and everything in the address is correct but the house number. Thus resulting in you ending up at the wrong destination.
Since the IP address changed between installation and usage, the computer was sending the print job to a device that was not on the network at the address specified (i.e. nobody was home).
What I did was to go in the customer's router and assign the printer a static IP address. That way every time the printer connects to the network, it will always have the same IP address.
Print A Test Page
There are more than the two ways that you can print a test page. Below are the two ways that I tried to print something when diagnosing this issue.
From Control Panel
From the Control Panel, you can print a test page. Go to Control Panel > Devices and Printers > Right on the printer > Properties > Print Test Page.
I tried this several times, but it would not print the test page. I checked the printer queue and it showed that the Test Page job was being sent and queued up, but it would error out and did not really give a reason or explanation about the error.
From Word or Text Editor
The alternative would be to type some text into an empty Word document and try to print it. This did not work either and errored out like the print from the Control Panel.
Turn It Off and Back On
"Did you try turning it off and back on again?"
People that do not work in technology or understand it really underestimate how this simple step can correct a lot of tech or electronic problems.
I had restarted the printer several times and it still was not getting the print jobs. I am not sure why this was the case. Then it came to mind to restart the computer. It was a Windows computer after all and most of the time when you install software on Windows, it is best to restart to make sure all the changes are applied as some software has to do stuff after the restart completes.
Did the restart and after the Desktop appeared, the Word document I had attempted to print actually started printing. It was still in the print queue when I shut the computer down.
Did a few more prints just to confirm that all was still good and everything printed correctly as it should.
I share this story about the printer issues in case you are having problems with yours. The biggest takeaway from this that I would recommend is that if you have a network printer, that setting it up to have a static IP address that is assigned by the router would eliminate this headache or printer connection issues in the future.