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HP printer hang, shared through USB switch

I have ATEN USB 4 port switch US421A used to share a HP 2055d printer for a few laptops. At times, when a print job is initiated before switching to the right port, the printer will 'hang' when switched to the right port.

The status on the LCD will show printing document, but nothing will happen, if you retry printing, it will print pages of garbage. This will only go away if you turn the printer off.

Any suggestions at all will be helpful.

The laptop giving problem is usually the Lenovo T400 running Vista Sp1

Thanks
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yongcw70
Asked:
yongcw70
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1 Solution
 
BawerCommented:
updating the printer driver and printer firmware will certainly help...
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FerryvhCommented:
Install all available Windows updates (SP2, etc) on the Lenovo notebook.

If it stil isn't working, test it without the USB switch and connect the printer directly to the notebook.
This way, you'll know if it's about the switch or the notebook itself.

You can also try switching cables on the switch, see if the problem swifts to another notebook.
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yongcw70Author Commented:
Hi Ferryvh,

Yes the orienting works when connected directly. I will try to switch the cable.

I also have this issue where the print queue doesn't clear on its' own. After the printing is completed, the queue is still shown, and status is error sending ti printer.
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yongcw70Author Commented:
Hi Ferryvh,
typo in my previous post, I meant

Yes the printing works when connected directly to the laptop. I will try to switch the cable.
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yongcw70Author Commented:
More information

When i connect through the USB switch, I always see error printing in the status. But the printing will continue. But the print job does not get flushed after that.

When i connect direct to he printer, everything works, after printing, a message will pop up to say printing sent to printer. Seems like a HP service cannot work through the USB switch, any ideas ?
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HRLCommented:
If you want more reliable printing consider using a printserver. The best one used to be made by Hawking Technologies. However, DO NOT use their software. use a simple TCP/IP device and set it up for a generic ethernet device. MUCH more reliable.
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yongcw70Author Commented:
Hi HRL,

Unfortunately in this case network printing cannot be used as the machine needs to connect to office network using VPN.

Thanks for the suggestion.z
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HRLCommented:
Now I am confused?!!?
Can you give a better description of the architecture?
Where is the Laptop?
Where is the PC?
Where is the USB port expander located?
Do you VPN into the office network to access files and then want to pint locally (i.e. where the laptop/PC is) or do you want to print at home (where the PC/laptop is)?
Do you have a simple topology that you can share?
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yongcw70Author Commented:
The machines are all at home connected to a USB switch. But one of the laptop uses VPN TO connect to office. Therefore I cannot use network (tcp/ip) sharing.
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HRLCommented:
I presume that the laptop that is using the VPN is the one that is giving you the grief.

If that is the case then you have two options from what I can see:

Option 1:
1. Directly connect the HP USB printer to one of the machines at home.
2. Share the printer on that machine so that everyone can access it.
3. add the shared printer to each machine at home

Option 2:
1. purchase a standard ethernet switch
2. connect all the machines to the Switch
3. Directly connect the HP USB printer to one machine
4. Add the shared printer to each machine.
The VPN connection shuld still work for the laptop and all machines should now be able to access the shared printer.
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yongcw70Author Commented:
Hi HRL,

Sorry my question was not clear.

The user needs to be able to print even when connected to VPN, that's why I could not set up network sharing. I believe the laptop will not be able to connect to the network share a after VPN connection is establish. Or is there a workaround for this ?
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memjpCommented:
When a print  job is issued, the first thing that happens is control characters are sent to the ptr to set the font etc.  I suspect that you are late in switching to the printer and it doesn't get those initial characters. This will result in the problems that you describe. I'm afraid that the only thing that u can do is make sure the switch is correct before u print..
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yongcw70Author Commented:
Hi Memjp,

Already did that. Still the printing fails.

Thanks for replying though.
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memjpCommented:
Well, I still say that the ptr is missing key control characters.  this could mean that the switch is a bit slow.  Maybe the switch is defective??  Try replacing the switch.
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HRLCommented:
I just finished setting up a test system with a configuration similar to the one that you describe.

Options 1 and 2 both worked in my scenario.

While connected wireles to the internet and then to the VPN, I was able to select and print to my HP 4250 through a simple TCP/IP connection one the wired connection. I used a Dell Inspiron laptop in my test.
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yongcw70Author Commented:
Hi HRL,

Your solution didn't work in my case. I suspect it may have to do with the locked down parameters in place.

As for the USB switch, I just realized that the cable length could be the issue, the 2 cables are 3 metros and 1.8 metres respectively, this could be causing the intermittent problems.

I read on the some constraint of USB connection at maximum 5 metres which in this case is very close assuming the switch adds a few more cm to the total length.
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yongcw70Author Commented:
The solution makes sense
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