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Windows can not communicate with printers

Posted on 2014-01-22
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Last Modified: 2016-11-23
I'm trying to resolve a printer communication error.

2 Dell desktops & 2 Dell printers.

Windows 7 desktop can't communicate with a Dell V313w USB printer.
Windows Vista desktop can't communicate with a Dell V305 USB printer.

>Already tried uninstalling, restarting PC's, & reinstalling both printers, and updating drivers to the latest from the Dell website.
>Swapped out cables for known good cables on both.
>USB ports are working properly as the mouse, kb, 1 wireless dongle, all working fine. I even connected my USB thumb drive & its window came up fine.
>Unplugged printers, uninstalled printers, rebooted, plugged printers back into PC, & Windows found & installed them.
>Tried to run utility to check cartridge ink level. It told me it couldn't check level due to a communication problem with printer. (well duh)

Basically either trying to print a test page or a document or anything, they go thru the motions, then come back with the error message that there is a communication problem with the printer.

I'm running out of ideas. I am going to take a printer I know is working fine & connect it to each one, install it & try to print to see if another brand will work.

Does anyone else have any suggestions??
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Question by:Blinkr
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Expert Comment

by:Perarduaadastra
ID: 39801441
Try excluding the \system32\spool folder tree from any AV scanners running on the computers, and likewise the Program Files folders relating to them.

Have you changed AV software recently? Sometimes the old one doesn't leave quietly and leftovers have to be manually removed. Conflicts of all kinds can arise from such scenarios.
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Expert Comment

by:epichero22
ID: 39801457
I would try clearing the contents of the drive located at:

c:\windows\system32\spool\PRINTERS

Also, are the printers connected to a USB hub?  If so, try connecting them directly to the computer.

Have you tried updating their firmwares?
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Author Comment

by:Blinkr
ID: 39802031
epichero22, Yes I did update the firmware & I get a message back the firmware update was successful. So the computers could communicate well enough to do that update.

So now we have another issue!!
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Author Comment

by:Blinkr
ID: 39803372
Perarduaadastra, they are using McAfee. I disabled the AV & firewall, but it didn't help any.
This appears to be something with the usb connection to the printers for print jobs. I think I may have the printers print directly to the printers, bypassing the spooler, since it mainly appears to be with actually printing documents & things going thru the spooler.

Thanks for the suggestions.
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Expert Comment

by:Perarduaadastra
ID: 39804213
I don't think that USB print jobs bypass the spooler in Windows Vista and 7...

That would explain why the firmware update worked but printing doesn't.

If you restart the print spooler after a failed attempt to print, does the job then print?

Have a look at the spooler service in Task Manager when you're trying to print. Does it stop running when you click Print? You may have to hit F5 to update the window.
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Expert Comment

by:nobus
ID: 39805750
check in event viewer for problems, and more info
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Accepted Solution

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Blinkr earned 0 total points
ID: 39861533
Well I have tried the printers on a few other computers & they are installing & working on these. So it appears that there is something going on with the printer drivers &/or communications with these particular computers.

Also I was considering that maybe the traveling in the car, & movement around has caused a cold solder joint or connection within the printer to start functioning.

Anyway these printers can not be considered reliable under these conditions. Since they aren't expensive printers, I have replaced them with comparable printers of a different brand.

But I do want to thank everyone that made all of the great suggestions.
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Author Closing Comment

by:Blinkr
ID: 39872886
None of the suggestions worked. So I have to assume that replacing the printers was the only viable solution.
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