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Dropping Printers

Dropping TCP IP, Not ab
Occasional Visitor

Dropping Printers

I have numerous printers that are using TCP/IP setting that stop printing...I am unable to get a response back from pinging the device. The device's IP does not show up when scanning the network. The switchport does not show the device's MAC address.
The printer will start working when the data-cable is unplug and plugged back in, or when the device is power-cycled.

The printers are brand new, using the latest PCL drivers (6).

Does this have something to do with "Idle Time-out"???
Steven Schweda
Honored Contributor

Re: Dropping Printers

Is this a new problem, or did they never
work? What's changed lately?

What's a "switchport"?

Whose "Idle Time-out"?

If you can normally "ping" a printer, and if
you can't when it goes dead, then, assuming
that the printer itself is ok, it sounds to
me like network hardware (or software or
firmware in the network hardware).

As this appears to have nothing to do with
VMS, I'll refrain from asking the obvious,
like which VMS version, which version of
which TCP/IP package, how the print queues
are configured, and the like.
Honored Contributor

Re: Dropping Printers


As Mr. Steven mentioned, you could have given more info about your problems.

Anyway, if the size of the I/O buffers (set by the SYSGEN parameter MAXBUF) is too small, then there is chance that the print queue will be stopped, but if you get get any errors like quota exceeded, then increase the value of the SYSGEN parameter MAXBUF.

Also do you have this problem with all your printer or only to specific printer? This kind of problem looks related with an IP addressing, IP routing, or IP firewall configuration. As your VMS cannot ping the printer, better look into the IPs assigned to your printer.

Also as you doubt the timeout may cause this problem, I would suggest to look into these logical's value defined.


Also ensure that the printers are running the latest firmware version

RJ Bruce
Occasional Advisor

Re: Dropping Printers

This sounds similar to something that just happened to me on 180 printers, so let me flesh out the scenario. I don't have a good resolution yet.

The symptoms: (1) pinging by name, DNS resolves to the same dhcp address as listed on the printer config page. (2) Pings time out with no reply. (3) In our Cisco switches, the network port shows as connected and there's a link light on the printer. (4) There's no MAC address information for the port, like the switch doesn't see anything on the port despite being connected. (5) The DHCP lease is valid and has several days left.

To get the printers talking again, I can either reboot the printer (using the physical switch), disconnect and reconnect the network cable, or disable then enable the network port on the Cisco switch. After just a few seconds, the printer would respond on the network again...same IP as before, no changes to the printer config, etc.

This is the first time this has happened. And this struck all at once and afflicted all of my LJ4250 printers (a few older printers were/are fine) within an hour, so naturally I'm leaning towards some sort of network broadcast issue or worm or something. We have a password set for SNMP access to the printers. I don't have a JetAdmin server running currently.

Any ideas? I'm out of the woods now, but I really can't have this happen again.
Michael Yu_3
Valued Contributor

Re: Dropping Printers


The original question on "idle timeout" should not be a factor. The idle timeout refers to the TCP connection between the host and the printer. This is to avoid the printer being monopolized by a single host.

I suspect something has happened on the printers which caused them to hang. This situation is exited only when certain events occur.

Thanks and regards.

Occasional Visitor

Re: Dropping Printers

I am having similar issues at my company. It all started when we upgraded our core 6509 switches. It seems to affect only 2 of our floors out of 50+ floors. This has been an ongoing issue for 3 weeks now. We have opened TAC cases with CISCO as well.

The floor that we have the most trouble with has 19 HP LaserJets with a mix of 8000 series, 8150DN and some older printers. The floor has (2) Cisco 4506 with (5) 48 port PoE capable modules. There are 3 VLANs on each switch, using dot1q encapsulation, with fiber connections to each 6509 core switch, we have 2 of those.

Something different from everyone else is that when I am plugged into the same switch as one of the printers, same vlan as well, I can not ping the printer but it is pingable from outside the VLAN and can print due to the fact the print server is on another VLAN.

Anyone out there with a solution yet, IT department is drawing some heat.
Honored Contributor

Re: Dropping Printers

is "Active Directory" involved in the dns/dhcp for any of this?
Wim Van den Wyngaert
Honored Contributor

Re: Dropping Printers


Setting the idle timeout too low could cause problems. May be this is just a documented bug. Did you lower the value ?