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Question for the computer guru's

Discussion in 'Tech Talk' started by Glocks&Ducs, Sep 14, 2006.

  1. Glocks&Ducs

    Glocks&Ducs

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    My next door neighbors have a Dell laptop that will not print on two seperate printers. At first they thought the old printer was shot, so they bought a new one. The other one was 8 years old anyway. The old one was using the old style printer cord, and the new one is the smaller size cord, but not quite a USB size. It is a little larger and blockier than a USB connection at the computer end.

    I have checked all the printer ports and they are there no conflicts or error messages. And all the drivers say they are current and working properly.

    When you plug the cord in, XP does not pop the "found new hardware" icon up, even after restarting the computer.

    When you "add printer", the system does not detect a plug and play item. And when you add it manually, and print test page, the system seems to be working but never prints a page, then says there was an error printing after a long time.

    The "connection" lights come on at both the printer and the computer, telling me there is a good connection. But the information doesn't seem to get to the printer. I have tried both the port on the docking station and the laptop itself.

    I am at a loss as to what it could be. Any help would be greatly appreciated.
     
  2. Glocks&Ducs

    Glocks&Ducs

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    Well, I fixed it, kind of. I used the USB cord from my printer and the computer recognized "new hardware" and asked for the installation disk. Apparently, the printer port isn't working on the laptop, but it took through a USB port.
     

  3. malkore

    malkore

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    check the laptop bios to make sure the LPT port isn't completely disabled. Should be able to print whether its set to ECP or EPP. if you have a bi-directional option or EPP/ECP use that for best compatibility.

    I have no idea what the other cable was. Most new printers use USB or parallel port is the older style.
    firewire wouldn't be mistaken for USB...not sure WTF cable they gave you.
     
  4. Glocks&Ducs

    Glocks&Ducs

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    It actually turns out I was a bumbling idiot on this one. By the time my neighbor had asked me to check it over, he had already tried using the ethernet cable supplied with the printer to hook it up. So the printer was hooked into the ethernet jack. It turns out it simply needed the USB cable to work. That is why it wasn't getting detected as "new hardware".

    Why the hell would they include an ethernet cable but not a USB cable with the printer? Now that I think about it, when I bought my printer, I had to buy my own cable also. What do they gain by not including the cable? There is no gaurantee that you are going to buy one of their cables, and they don't pay very much for those cables anyway, even though they are charging us an arm and a leg for them.
     
  5. lens

    lens

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    Like car mfrs, they save a few cents by not including cables.

    When I bought my first PC printer in 1999 (pin-feed impact printer by Panasonic) I had to buy the cable separately. This is nothing new.

    Glad the solution was simple.
     
  6. Glocks&Ducs

    Glocks&Ducs

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    But that is the thing. They do include a cable. The ethernet cable. Why not just leave the cables out altogether? Especially considering, who the hell is going to use a 36 inch ethernet cable?
     
  7. HAVOC

    HAVOC Remember CLM Millennium Member

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    Well if someone goes to the cost of buying a network printer, it's assumed that it will be a network printer, hence no USB cable. And I use 3' cat-5 cables all the time. Especially in a corporate environment, the printer will be on a stand next to an ethernet jack on the wall. My print server is stacked on top of my router so I used a 1' cable.

    Every USB printer I've bought came with a 6' USB cable, unless it also did ethernet. USB and ethernet are super cheap cables, in the $1 range. Centronics/parallel cables were and are terribly expensive, so they aren't generally included, and never were very often.

    As a side note I MUCH prefer a network interface to a USB connection. It's faster (with a good printer NIC anyway), it doesn't use system resources as much and it's easy to share.
     
  8. KSS745

    KSS745 The Geek!!

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    Couple things, being a network engineer, most likely that printer is a network printer designed with an onboard print server, but you can also run them on USB. My printer did not include a USB when i bought it, but when my Network printer at work came in it included the Ethernet cable. Now I want to make a comment to HAVOC, using a Cat5e cable with a total length of less than 3 feet, can cause a lot of crosstalk on the cable due to not enough twists in the cable. Any how if anyone has any network problems or concerns im the guy to talk to.

    Jeremy
     
  9. Glocks&Ducs

    Glocks&Ducs

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    The cost of buying a network printer? It's an HP 6980 deskjet printer, that cost about $135 and they either got it at Walmart or Staples. I hardly consider that a printer that someone goes out of their way to buy as a network printer.

    It actually has three methods of connecting. USB, Network, and WiFi. When I bought my HP laserjet 1012, which is only equipped with a USB port and nothing else, I had to buy a cable for it. And you brought us right back to the original point. If the cables are so cheap, why don't they just include them in the box?

    We are talking about one laptop and one printer for their single family home use. There is no reason to go corporate networking with jacks in the wall.
     
  10. Glocks&Ducs

    Glocks&Ducs

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    Jeremy,

    Let's say they wanted to free up that USB port, and use the ethernet(network) cable provided. Is there a way to do that directly from the computer to the printer? Or does that require the use of a router or hub?
     
  11. KSS745

    KSS745 The Geek!!

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    kind of depends on how that network adapter is being used. If its being used to connect to a DSL modem then they will need a 10/100mbps switch. If not then it can be done, it would take some work but it would be easier to get a USB hub for $15 than to take the trouble to connect using TCP/IP. Basically in order to run TCP/IP for a printer with out a DHCP server, you have to set both devices on the same IP and subnet range. Then you have to set up the printer by telling windows to use TCP/IP port.
     
  12. Glocks&Ducs

    Glocks&Ducs

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    It's just a laptop connected to a cable modem, via a wireless router of course, using a wireless card.