Printer IP address lost

Posted on 2011-05-11
Last Modified: 2012-05-11
Hi everybody,
I have a customer that has an OKI printer connected directly to the network via CAT5 cable.
The printer has an IP address of and always has.
However, recently some users lose connection to it and can no longer print.
When you try and ping it from their PC's (running XP SP3) they get request timed out.
However, they can ping just about everything else on the network and I can still ping the printer from the server.
Also, when this little glitch happens, other users are still able to print to it via its IP address.
Seems to happen to a few users at a time and sometimes it even comes back of it's own accord.
It is only a small office with 20 users - normally happens to 2 or 3 of them at a time and it's not alway the same users.
If I couldn't ping anything from these PC's then that would answer my question, but just seems to be the one IP address it has trouble with!

Any ideas on what to try?
Question by:aark-it

    Expert Comment

    This could be caused by a couple things:

    Another device might be taking that IP address or possibly the printer is losing connection to the network.

    First, where does the printers IP address come from? Was it statically assigned on the server? Or is it handed out by DHCP?

    Normally I use a range of IP addresses for printers only. Get the MAC address off the printer and add it to DHCP. Make sure all it stays out of the range workstation clients.

    Second setup a constant ping in a command window ping -t in windows ( in Mac and linux ping in continuous and no -t is needed)

    Monitor the ping and when it goes off line check the status of the printer. You might have a bad network card or cable.


    Author Comment

    Hi pjinlaok,
    The IP address is static.
    As I've said already, when the PC's lose the printer, other users can still print to it without a problem, so the ping test wouldn't prove anything.
    Also the machine's that have lost the printer, can still ping other PC's, Printers and the Server.

    This is why it's a difficult one to explain.

    LVL 29

    Accepted Solution

    Look for differences in the path between the PCs that are failing to ping the printer -vs- the ones that can ping the printer.  Could be a flawed Switch or flawed cabling.  There is something failing in the path of the PCs having a problem that doesn't exist in the path of the one that don't have the problem.

    Assisted Solution

    That is that the ping test is for.

    Start it up on a few of the PCs that connect to the printer and leave it running. Watch for the ping to drop of one of the stations and then trace out the wiring.

    You might have a loop going on in your network where two switches are hooked together incorrect.

    Can you tell us more about your network setup?

    Where is your router? How many switches? Do you have wireless access points?


    Author Comment

    Hi everyone,
    Thanks for the responses, but in the end I did the following (on site).
    I started the ping test on the machine that was having trouble and was getting "no response".
    I then went round the other machines that had experienced the same problems and unplugged them from the network one by one.
    Eventually (the last pc, which happened to be the directors) when I unplugged the cable from his, all others experiencing the problem could now see the printer again.
    I installed a new network card on that machine and then re-connected it to the network - everyone is still fine, as is he.
    So it was his on-board network card (on a reasonablly new DELL PC) that was causing this headache.
    Thanks again for your thoughts on this, but the Director insisted that I go on site on the day and "Fix IT"
    I'll accept multiple solutions and split the points between you :O)

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