can't install network printer

June 10, 2008 at 06:49:33
Specs: WinXP-Pro, Xeon/2GB

I am having difficulty installing a network printer on my small office network. The network is anchored by a Linksys BEFW11s4 router which connects to the internet through fiber-to-the-home, it is also connected by CAT5E to a desktop PC running WinXP-Pro, by CAT5E to a desktop PC running WinME, and by either CAT5E or wireless to a laptop running WinVista-Home.

The printer is an ethernet-ready (built-in NIC) NEC SS870 laser printer, which I have used successfully for some time by means of connecting its parallel port to either of the desktop PCs when needing to print. Now that I have the three PCs networked together successfully with the router, I would like to hang the printer directly off the router with CAT5E and print using by any of the PCs.

I have the printer configured to pickup an IP from the router by DHCP, and it has done so successfully, and the printer dutifully prints out its network configuration sheet when powering up. I also can successfully administer the printer through its web-page using any of the PCs. I can change and save new configurations and also print out its NEC test-print from this TCP/IP web-based access.

Finally, I have attempted to add this printer to the printers available for use from these Windows machines. No luck. I have tried adding this printer using the available tools from Windows, starting with "Local Printer" (since this is what seems to be correct in an oxy-moron sort of way), adding a new TCP/IP printer port (using the appropriate IP address of the printer), and finally adding the printer driver that has worked before. Even though all this seems to go OK, none of the three PCs has successfully printed a Windows test page (or any other kind of page) at the end of the process. The process always stalls at this last step of printing the test page. I have tried uninstalling the printer and reinstalling multiple times and in multiple ways, no to no effect.

Am I missing something here? If the printer has a working TCP/IP connection to the network, and known, working Windows drivers for the printer, what more do I need? I have tried configuring the printer to receive either "raw" or "LPR" without success. Is there possibly a problem with the PCs' firewall, AV, or anti-spyware?



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June 10, 2008 at 07:20:05

Does the printer answer ping from any of the computers?

Life's more painless for the brainless.

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June 10, 2008 at 07:50:53

I have the printer configured to pickup an IP from the router by DHCP, and it has done so successfully

First and foremost, this is not a good idea. Imagine having all clients properly connecting to the printer and printing. Now, imagine that for whatever reason (like the DHCP lease expiring) the printer ends up with a totally different IP address from DHCP.

That's right, now nobody can print and you have to go and delete existing printers and make new ones on each and every client.

In industry, it is standard practice for any network resource to be given a static IP address to avoid such issues as I've described above. This means, servers as well as printers and any other device which requires high availability.

I highly recommend you give that printer a static IP address. I'd bet if you check the DHCP scope on your SOHO router you'll find it has a scope similar to the following: to

If it does, simply assign something like: to the printer. Because this IP is not included in the scope, you never have to worry about DHCP trying to give it out to another client and getting a "duplicate IP" error.

To correctly add the printer, have the CD with the printer drivers on it in your hand. Go to the PC and run the "Add Printer Wizard" and make sure you select "Network Printer" and use the correct IP of the printer (ie: the one you assign it) and finish the wizard (including adding the drivers) and it should work.

If for some reason that doesn't work (and it should) then try the wizard over again and this time choose "Local Printer" (make sure there's no check mark in the box beside "Automatically detect and install.....") and click Next. On the next page, select "Create a new port" and choose "Standard TCP/IP port" from the pulldown and then click Next and continue through the wizard adding the drivers and once done, the printer should work.

Even though all this seems to go OK, none of the three PCs has successfully printed a Windows test page (or any other kind of page) at the end of the process.

Are you sure you're installing the correct printer drivers? If you install the wrong ones, then nothing will print correctly. I imagine you want to install the PS (post script) drivers.

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June 10, 2008 at 11:01:42

Yes, I can ping the printer from any computer.

Static IP is a good idea, and I will try that. However, my problems happen immediately (at the end of the "Add Printer" wizard steps), so I don't think this is my current problem.

The printer drivers I have been attempting to install the printer with are correct, since this is exactly what I have been using all along when I use this printer connected directly to the computer via the parallel port.

Should I be using "raw" or "LPR" when setting up the printer, or should it matter (as long as the internal printer config and the computer config agree)?


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June 11, 2008 at 05:30:13

(sorry for the duplicate message here)

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June 11, 2008 at 05:48:42

I am still not able to print to the printer. I have now set the printer's IP address to "static" in the router.

I read somewhere online that I might need to add Windows' LPR/LPD print services by:

"Add/Remove Windows Components"
"Other network file and print services"
then point to "..\i386 " on the Win install CD

Does this sound correct to you? How could I find out if these services have already been installed or not? Or do I even need to have them installed?

Also, here is the printer's current network configuration status, from the printer's web-based pages:

Unit Status
NetWare: Disabled
TCP/IP: Enabled
AppleTalk: Disabled
TCP/IP Status
IP Settings
IP Address
Subnet Mask
Default Gateway
Base Port Number: 10000
DHCP Enabled
IP Address in NVRAM Enabled
Banner: Disabled

LPD Settings
NIC Port
Network Detail

Printer Name: NEC_778975

TCP/IP (lpr)
IP Address:

Base Port Number: 10000

DHCP Settings
Enable DHCP yes
IP Address in NVRAM: yes

LPD Settings
Enable LPD Banner: no
NIC Port:
PCL yes ASCII yes OTHER yes

Concerning the above, can I only use the "Windows Printer Name" of "NEC_778975"? And what do I do with the "Base port number: 10000"?

Thanks again for the help.


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July 3, 2008 at 18:01:53

try setting the printers ip address to a higher ip such as

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