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WiFi network printer VERY slow to come on line


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#1 saluqi

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Posted 24 March 2017 - 11:25 PM

This is in a sense a continuation of another post (https://www.bleepingcomputer.com/forums/u/805118/saluqi/) but since the original issue there (router configuration) was resolved I thought it better to start a fresh topic and spare people reading through a huge mass of mostly irrelevant stuff.  If I am mistaken, perhaps someone will correct me.

 

I have a home WiFi setup with a LinkSys router, 2 computers and a printer.  The printer is HP Photosmart 6525 printer/scanner.  The computers are a desktop Dell XPS 8700 and a laptop Dell Inspiron 15R.  The problem is, in a nutshell, network access to the printer.  The printer is connected to the desktop by a USB line, but to the laptop only via WiFi.  As a result the printer appears under "Devices" twice on the desktop - once as itself ("HP Photosmart 6520 Series", the hardwire connection) and once as "HP1C6A1F (Photosmart 6520 series)" (the WiFi connection).  On the laptop it appears only as the WiFi version.  On both it is grayed out and "not connected".  If I keep the computer awake long enough (more than 24 hours) the network (WiFi) printer may become connected, or it may not.  The desktop is set to go to sleep after a relatively short (30 minutes) period of inactivity.  The laptop goes to sleep only if the lid is closed.

 

Both computers are acting most of the time as if the printer were not on the WiFi network.  If I renew the printer login to the network, it may come to life on the computers for a while, but after a couple of days it drops out again.

 

Of course that does not matter for the desktop, because it has the hardwired connection set as default.  For the laptop it means I can't print from the laptop without complicated time-consuming contortions, if at all.  The laptop spends most of its time here in my home office, but it travels with me to other offices (I am a peripatetic water-system operator and consultant) where I may wish to upload documents or drawings for further study at home.  Not being able to print is thus a major nuisance.

 

When I look at the printer itself it says "Connected" but "Wireless Direct Off" (whatever that means).  I can re-connect the printer to the network  by re'running the "wireless setup" on the printer, but it still appears as grayed-out and "not connected" on both computers.

 

So the critical question is, what do I have to do so that the printer comes up as "connected" when I bring the laptop home and it reconnects (automatically) to my WiFi network.  The laptop IS connected, it says so and I can go on the Internet, etc., without difficulty.  But the network printer remains obdurately "not connected".

 

Today I did use the laptop in the office of a water agency for which I am Operator.  I was online there for a couple of hours, doing very prosaic stuff like sourcing bits of laboratory equipment.  Now that I have it on my network at home, it is displaying a new "device" called SSID_MediaMover.  I gather that is a driver associated with the Belkin router to which I was connected by WiFi in that office.  Something to worry about?  Should I remove that "device"?

 

Thanks for any words of wisdom here!



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#2 saluqi

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Posted 25 March 2017 - 11:44 AM

OK, now something new has appeared.  When I open the network status window on either computer, the network printer now appears as available for connection (it never did that before).  When I try to connect, it tells me the network security code is incorrect.  I am entering the correct wireless password (the same one I used last night at the printer to connect it to the network).  What's going on here?  Do I have to reconfigure the router again?  Am I going to have to go through this every time there is a power failure?  I live in a very rural environment where power outages, usually very brief, are a more or less daily occurrence.  Help!

 

EDIT: In the meantime I have double-checked the router configuration.  The wireless password is correctly set, and so is everything else so far as I can figure out.  To connect the printer I am entering the password exactly as shown in the router configuration - and it is identical to the one originally set up long ago.  So WHAT on earth am I doing wrong?

 

It says "Enter network security key".  I enter the wireless password (the correct one, as just confirmed by opening the router configuration).  It tells me that is incorrect.  What to do?


Edited by saluqi, 25 March 2017 - 02:33 PM.


#3 saluqi

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Posted 26 March 2017 - 11:20 PM

I have found out a little more.  For the network printer to appear as an available connection in the "network" panel, Wireless Direct must be "on" on the printer.  Apparently Wireless Direct has its own password system different from that of the router and the WiFi network.  Apparently also, Wireless Direct is really intended for quick printing from mobile devices, etc., without going through the WiFi network.  I don't particularly need that.  

 

So I turned Wireless Direct off again, in the hope that things could go back to connection through the wireless network.  They did - eventually.  That is, I have left the laptop with lid up, turned on, over the weekend (in fact, from Thursday evening on), and now finally, Sunday night, after about 72 hours, the printer appears as online and connected on the laptop (still "not connected" and grayed-out on the desktop, which goes to sleep after 30 minutes of inactivity).  I don't need the network printer on the desktop computer (it has hardwired access to the printer) but I do need it on the laptop.

 

I realize this is probably something simple that I am too uninformed to set up correctly.  What I want is for the laptop to connect to the printer immediately, or at least within a few minutes, when I bring it back into my office and it connects (automatically) with the wireless network.  It does connect to the network immediately, I can go online, etc. etc., but the printer remains "disconnected" (and therefore useless to me in the usual context of my work) for hours or days.

 

The doubly frustrating aspect of this is that I had exactly the same setup in the office at my former place of employment, and it worked flawlessly.  The same Dell XPS 8700 desktop model, a very similar but less powerful Dell laptop, and not one but two different printers, one hardwired to the desktop, the other only via WiFi.  Both were always accessible via WiFi from the laptop - which in that case was much farther away (20 feet or so) from the desktop and the printers.  The router was nearly identical too (the one I have now is newer).  The printers were, to be sure, different - both large office printers, one Brother, one Lexmark.  The printer at my home office is an HP Photosmart 6525, much newer than the ones in the old office.  One difference, perhaps - the old laptop shut down when the lid was closed, so I had to log in when I opened it each morning for work.

 

If someone can explain this to me, or tell me where I can read up on it, I'll be most grateful.



#4 saluqi

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Posted 27 March 2017 - 04:10 PM

Not knowing what else to do, I deleted the "not connected" network printer from the "devices" on the laptop, and then re-installed it.  That SEEMS to have fixed the problem.  I don't claim to understand it . . . but I have now shut the lid several times, including once for several hours, and when I opened it again the printer was instantly available.  I'll know for sure tomorrow, when I again visit another water agency office and log the laptop into their network, and then bring it home again.

 

To "find" the printer, in order to install it, I had to click on "The printer I want isn't listed" in the "Add a device" box . . .

 

I feel pretty stupid, but maybe this little saga will be useful to someone.






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