Computer and Printer Stop Dialoguing after Computer Is Awakened from Sleep

Posted on 2008-11-05
Last Modified: 2012-05-05
After awakening my computer from the Sleep mode, I am not able to print.  When I try to print, I get a Canon "Communication Error" message onscreen.  However, the error message gives no details.  (The printer connects directly to the printer with USB.)  So I go over to the printer and unplug the USB cable, and when I do, I hear that sound coming from the computer that indicates that it recognizes that hardware has been disconnected (so I know the computer was at least recognizing that a device was connected).  I then plug the USB cable back in, and voila! - I can now print from the computer normally.  BUT, when I again put the computer to sleep and awaken it, this whole thing happens all over again.

A few details:
   *This problem does not happen when I actually restart the computer.  When I restart it, I cna print normally (until I put the computer to sleep and awaken it).
   *This hasn't always happened; it just began second months ago, after having had the printer and computer for years.  The only thing I can think of that has changed in my computer configuration is that I added a second internal hard drive to my computer several months ago.  The printer problem might have begun t around this time, but I don't precisely recall.
   *I have installed new printer drivers, but that has not resolved it.
   *This doesn't happen with any other USB device.

Thank you!

~ Steve

hasn't always happened, maybe due to second drive
Question by:6610iacservant6610
    LVL 1

    Expert Comment

    Maybe this problem is caused by the second hard disk, but it would be very extrange. Which operating system do you use? First of all, i'll try to update operating system with any service pack available. After that, if it's possible, remove second hard disk and suspend the computer. If you awake computer and printer works, voila.

    When computer sleeps, power of usb is shutted down. I think that when computer awake, printer server doesn't recognize printer because of that power failure during sleep.
    LVL 70

    Expert Comment

    Unfortunately S3 sleep state often has issues with peripheral devices ... whether printers; sound cards; TV cards; etc.   The easiest solution is to simply not use S3 -- I just have my monitor and disks power down, but never go into sleep mode.   But that does, of course, "cost" a bit in energy relative to the S3 state.

    Since your system apparently WAS working okay in S3 with that printer, you may have inadvertently changed an ACPI setting, either in Windows power settings or in the BIOS.   Look carefully in the BIOS for any USB-related power management settings; or in Windows ACPI power management settings for the USB-related settings [In Vista this is the "USB selective suspend setting" under advanced power options. => I'm not sure exactly what it's called under XP and I'm on my way out the door so can't look it up at the moment ... gone all day today].

    The problem (as you probably know) is simply that power is being removed from the USB port and when it's later reapplied, the printer communication isn't being re-initialized.   That's why the simple expedient of removing/reinserting the USB plug resolves it.   It MAY help (depends on whether the issue is the driver or the printer) to use a powered-hub ... since the hub will always be powered, the printer won't lose the USB voltage.   [This won't help if the issue is the driver]

    Author Comment

    Thank you, and I apologize for the delay; life's been really dense of late!!

    Maybe this is a clue: As it turns out, I'm unable to access BIOS because when I restart the computer, the keyboard ceases to work until Windows loads.  I say this might be a clue because earlier in the year, when my keyboard and mouse (both USB) were also not functional during startup, I contacted Dell, and they had me take some steps that I don't fully recall, but it involved unplugging all devices (USB and other) from the computer and then doing something else [*I don't remember what - maybe pressing on the start button??  I don't recall...*].  When I then plugged everything back in, the USB keyboard and mouse worked fine during startup.  The technician said that the steps she had me take somehow cleared something or other out (sorry for the vagueness).  But - after this, for a brief time, the printer also began to work properly after the computer woke from sleep mode.  Then, a short time later, the printer again began to function after the computer awoke from sleep.

    Would you happen to know what step that was that I took before?  If nothing else, II can take that step to enable my keyboard so that I can get into the BIOS.  But maybe the printer wlil work as well...

    Thank you.
    LVL 70

    Accepted Solution

    Not sure what might have been done before -- sounds like a BIOS reset.   One simple way to achieve a full reset is to unplug all power; remove the CMOS battery from the motherboard;  wait a few minutes (5 is plenty); then replace the CMOS battery; plug it all back in; and fire it up.

    Once you get control of the keyboard to get into the BIOS, check for a USB Keyboard support option and be sure it's set (if you don't have that option, look for "legacy USB support").

    Then look at the ACPI settings available in the BIOS and see if there's an option relative to USB power on/off during S3.   If so, that should resolve your original issue here (power to the USB ports during S3 mode so the printer will retain its communications).

    Author Comment

    Well, it looks like out of courtesy I'll close the case for now.  It took a while until I was able to actually access the BIOS menu (I had to "reset" the computer), and when I was finally able to, I couldn't see anything there power-related that looked like it might resolve this.  But now, we have to unexpectedly go out of town for three weeks.  So I'll close this case for now, and will have to delve into it concertedly when I return.  I apologize for the prolonged amount of time this has taken.  Many thanks for your help; I appreciate it!

    ~ Steve

    Author Closing Comment

    Thank you, Gary.  I'm closing this and assigning points because I'm sure that your advice is correct and will lead to resolution.  I'll have to pick this up when we return.  Very best from us!

    ~ Steve

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