Wireless Printing Horror

Wireless Printing Horror

The Beginning
It all started when I needed a printer for PixelBit, so I hopped in my car and headed down to Best  Buy. After spending some time looking at the different models I picked up an Epson NX420 since most Epson products worked pretty well. When I got back to the office I unpacked, setup and installed the printer drivers. All was going well so far. Everything got setup and configured and was able to start printing, sans-wires! Life was good.

However when I tried to print about 20 minutes later the print queue stayed stuck on “Looking for Printer…” and would not print anymore. I restarted the printer and tried again, it worked, but I was apprehensive as to what could cause this issue. After digging around I found the printer “goes to sleep” and releases its IP Address.. but whats worse is even after I assigned a static IP it still wouldn’t stay connected. So basically you can wirelessly print as long as you turn the printer on/off each time, thats real convenient. Especially considering it takes 2-3 minutes for the printer to come online.

At this point I had enough fun with the NX420 and decided to pack it all back up, drive back to Best Buy and return it. Oh but the fun is just beginning.

Starting Over
I returned the printer and picked up an HP OfficeJet 6500A for a bit more, but figured if it worked i’d be happier in the long run. Again I returned and set everything up. Installed the software from the disk, updated everything and started printing. Life was once again good. However just like the Epson I had “connection” issues and after digging through thread after thread of HP and Apple forums I formulated a list of steps to try. Those included.

– Uninstalling ALL printer drivers, updating via “Software Update”
– Assigning the printer a static IP address
– Assigning the MAC address of the printer to the router list of approved devices
– Reset the router AND printer more times than I can recall
– Manually entered the WIFI info into the printer AND via web (when it would connect)
– Update the printer firmware AND reset to Factory Defaults

Giving up on Wireless
I basically did everything but open the printer and solder a wire to the circuit board. At this point I am at my limit with the “wonders of wireless printing”. I am going to get a 20 ft USB cable, disable the wireless on my laptop and hopefully the printer will start working. If that doesn’t work its going back and i’m getting a laser printer and separate scanner. In this day/age to not have clear cut installation instructions is just lame. Not to mention its clear “plug-n-play” doesn’t work on a Mac either. Oh and the best part is this printer is rated by Apple because of it being one of the 10 that can use Air Print.. yah, of course the damn printer needs to stay online long enough to print.


  • Adrian

    Reply June 21, 2011 10:33 am

    We have one of those HP all-in-one printer/scanner machines and have never experienced anything like this (networked with a variety of Apple machines). I followed setup instructions when we got it and since then we forget about it for days at a time and when we come to print it just wakes up and gets on with it. I don’t recall having to assign it a static IP (though it was long enough ago that I can’t be sure I didn’t). Unfortunately, we’re in the middle of moving house and it’s in storage so I can’t tell you what model it is for comparison (if it’s helpful, I will find out for you).

    I know this is not helpful in solving your problem but I thought I’d reassure you that wireless printing bliss is possible! I’m happy to answer any questions about the setup if it helps. Good luck with getting it up and running.

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