Network printer is printing blank pages on small XP home peer to peer network help please


I have a small client that called me after they had a Sharp MX2300N copier/printer/fax machine installed in their office. The sales person installed printer drivers or try to install printer drivers on three computers, two desktops and one laptop. We will call then computer A, computer B, and computer c. This is a small peer to peer network. ISP is Verizon DSL. Router is connected to hub and building is CAT5 hardwired. Sharp is Gateway is Computers are 101 102 and 103. After the salesperson screwed around for awhile with their computers he announced that only computer A was able to print. Computers B and C would send print job to printer but pages come out blank. Salesman told them they was something wrong with their computers and left. This is where they called me. Here is what I have checked so far as far as basics go! All three computers are running Win XP Home SP2.

All three have Client for Microsoft Networking, File and Printer Sharing installed.
All machines have same Workgroup names. PC names are all different.
All are set to obtain TCPIP automatically.
All have folders shared.

What I can do...all computers can ping each other and all computers can ping the printer.

Computer C cannot see the Computer A or B. Computers A and B can see each other plus they can see C.

I can currently print from A where I shared the printer, next I uninstalled printer software from B, reinstalled it and now can print from computer B. However, since the computer that has the shared printer needs to stay powered on in order for other users to print they would like Computer B to be computer that stays on. So I unshared the computer on A, and shared it on B. A stills prints, but B only prints blank pages? Switch it back to sharing printer on A and unshare printer on B and both A and B will print fine.

As far as computer C, it for some reason cannot see the other computers, and says it is installing driver when I add printer to it, but only prints blank page. Using PCL5 on all computers.

Computer A and C have Norton Internet Security and I have configured the IP address to be added to the trusted zone on both. Also XP firewall is turned off on Comuter A and Computer C. Computer B has Norton AntiVirus 2003 and XP firewall on.

What we would like to end up with. Computer B would be left on, have the shared printer on it and Computer's A and C would be able to print using the Computer B shared printer.

Thank you for you help, I know its a long story but wanted to give as much detail as possible.

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Apply the exact same usernames and passwords (if applicable) to all three systems.

Computer Management > Local Users and Groups > Users

Reconfigure shared printer if necessary.
A few things.

First, delete any software Sharp software that is installed before you remove the drivers.  Furthermore, delete the TCP/IP port.  Temporarily disable NIS on all computers.

Also, When you want to re-install the printer driver, don't just delete the printer and re-install.  Go into the printers window and make sure nothing is selected.  Then access File from the top menu and select "Server Properties" and go to the drivers tab and delete all references to the offending driver.  Then download the updated driver from the printer manufacturer's website and use it to manually install the printer by selecting "have disk" when prompted for the printer type.

This should all be done on computer B.  Also remove the TCP/IP port and software and drivers from Computer A temporarily.

When it's all finished, and you have the printer successfully re-added on computer B, you should now be able to print correctly.

Share the printer and try to add it to the other computers.  If it works, then experiment with turning NIS back on one at a time until you experience the same problem.  (if you even do)

Let me know how it goes.

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millhouselivesAuthor Commented:
Ok, thanks for quick replys. I will be going to the site on 4/27/06 and will you both know what happens. One quick question, all three computers have user accounts setup, but none have passwords, they don't want them because they all use each other computers. File sharing was and is still working fine, so I don't think we need to add passwords to user accounts correct? There are two user accounts on each computer, if I add all to each computer that means the user will see six different user name accounts on the opening screen..that will really confuse them. Is it really nessasary to do that? thanks.
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Passwords I believe are not necessary, but I'm thinking all systems should have the same two user accounts you are referring to. Each independent system would still only see two accounts.
millhouselivesAuthor Commented:
Site visit has been delayed until this weekend. 4/30/06 Will report back Monday. Thank you.
no problem.  Thanks for the update.
millhouselivesAuthor Commented:
Well, I was actually able to get to the site on Friday 4/28/06.  I did what adamdrayer suggested and it worked. This is a plumbing main office so they did print jobs from Comp A and B all day Friday and all day Sat. Sat. evening they shut down computers and when they came back in on Monday...Guess What! They could not print from Computer B again! So, now they are frustrated along with me and they are buying a new p.c. which will be in this week. I not sure what to do with points at this time. Can we wait until new P.C. is in and see what happens. I don't mind giving some points to you, but would like to leave open the questions until all is resolved. Your answer did help, but only for a couple of days. Apparently something is resetting itself when Comuter B is reset...when I looked at it on Monday, first thing I did was to try and print a test page via properties from printer icon and message I received was that print drivers were not loaded? Will keep you posted
OK.  Are you using Sharp's software at all?  or just the drivers?  Try not to use any of the software.  Just the drivers.  Did you also have to disable the NIS or Windows Firewall to get it to work?  perhaps it turned itself back on when the computer started.

From what I understand, now you can't even print to the printer from the computer that is sharing it?  This is computer B, right?  ok, when you first installed the printer on Computer B, you installed it as a local printer, no?  and then it was installed on the other computers as a network printer, right?
millhouselivesAuthor Commented:
Yes, using just Sharp's drivers. I did turn off off virus and firewalls, prior to installing
Sharp drivers. I can still print from the computer where printer is shared, which is Computer A.  Computer B is the one that is troublesome. I not sure how original install was done by Sharp saleperson on Computer A. When he tried to get Computer B to find shared printer and print is when trouble started. He left my customers at that point and told them it was a computer problem on Computer B. At that point is where I got involved!

Well check to see if the NIS or Windows Firewall is back on on computer A or B
millhouselivesAuthor Commented:
Well, gues what the plot thickens. Yesterday they received a new Dell Optiplex GX520. I transferred all the data from the "now retired" computer B" to the new computer, which we will call Computer Dell for now. Everything went fine, last thing I did was to install the Sharp MX2300N Network attached Printer/Copier. All went fine, printed from Word, did test sheets, etc. without one blank page. I also went to Computer A and printed fine. I left both printers unshared on both Computer A and Computer Dell. All works fine.

Now, On computer Dell she has a local printer HP5150, loaded printer driver software, waited for message to connect via USB, did that printer said it was successful and printed test sheet. Rebooted everybody, did a final print test Computer A is working fine, Computer Dell prints HP test sheet, BUT NOW Sharp prints blank sheets. One is on tcp/ip port and other is USB direct connect to computer port.

Uninstalled HP5150, and Sharp MX2300N works fine again, so now we know what the issue is but have no idea why or how to fix so both printers can be used.

What a pain this has been.  
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