Network Printer not printing? Perhaps its just the NIC…

March 17, 2012 at 11:25 pm Leave a comment

About a week ago, my daughter complained that she couldn’t print to our network printer anymore.  It’s an HP CP1515 attached directly to the network.  When you attempt to print, the blinked as if it were receiving data, but minutes went by without any paper coming out.  Once in that state, it appeared to be stuck.  I tried printing from my machine and got the same results….  But I didn’t get to the problem then, and eventually my print job actually printed.

At any rate, I tried troubleshooting a little more, but it didn’t seem to matter what I tried to print, things wouldn’t print immediately.  I don’t know how long it actually took for a print job to make it, as I never had enough patience to wait it out after that first job.  I know my daughter waited quite a while, though, and nothing printed. I changed it to a Static IP, etc. but nothing worked.

And it gets worse…  I had just recently replaced all 4 of the toner cartridges in the printer, about $150 in toner!  All 4 of them show about 75% or more, if you can trust the printer.

Not wanting to waste that investment, I decided to see if I could get it printing another way, since it also supports USB printing.  Both my ReadyNAS Pro Pioneer and my UTM-1 Edge NW boxes have USB ports and the ability to serve as a print server.

First, I hooked the USB cable from the printer to the ReadyNAS.  It saw it and advertised it via Bonjour.  I added it, but was disappointed when I tried to print.  Nothin’.  I tried various configuration choices on my Mac, but go nowhere.

Next, I moved it to my CheckPoint UTM.  In looking at the docs, it only supports RAW printing on port 9100.  I couldn’t seem to figure out how to configure it on my Macs.  Some searching turned up CUPS, the Common Unix Printing System.  On a Mac, navigate to http://localhost:631/.  There, you are met with a beautiful web interface where you can set your printer up using AppSocket/HP JetDirect.  I ran through the couple of screens, not expecting too much, but was surprised when it actually printed correctly…  Only not in color.  I had configured it using a Generic driver initially, I believe.  I then went back and found one for an “HP Color LaserJet CP1510 Series”, and it printed just fine in Color…

The only downside I see so far is that my computer can’t tell the status of the supplies (like if the Toner is low)…  Which I actually view as a plus.  Even though I had recently swapped out the Toner cartridges, my computers kept complaining that this printer was out of Toner (even though it definitely was not!).

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Entry filed under: General, Mac, Networking.

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