April 22, 2018 by phicks2012
Periodically my desktop printer decides to stop communicating with one of my computers. I’m not sure why this happens. It just does. Suddenly I’ll hit the print button, and the printer will just sit there. It doesn’t necessarily stop interfacing with the network, but it just vanishes from the list of available printers on one of my computers, which then tries to print to something else, like a non-existent fax machine.
I’ll try several times, only to have print jobs stack up in the queue, and the screen tell me that the printer is off-line, or that I’m trying to print to the wrong printer version, or that there’s someother sort of error.
It complicates matters that I have two computers networked together. We won’t go into WHY I’m doing this, but I DO have a reason. It’s just convoluted. Anyway, my old computer (running Windows 7) got hung up a while back and had to be restarted. Windows weren’t opening, and Windows Explorer was s-l-o-w-l-y opening up empty windows (which was pretty scary because it looked dangerously like data loss — turned out it was drive issues). But when I tried to “Restart”, well, Windows just wouldn’t shut down. After fifteen minutes it was still “shutting down”, and since the main power switch on the back of my old tower is non-functional I had to hit the main switch on my power strip to shut it off. Of course, that shut off both computers, and my printer, but beggars can’t be choosers, right?
Well, I finally got everything booted up again, and the Windows 7 Computer seemed to be running fine at that point, and was printing, but when I tried to print another document from my Windows 10 system it just didn’t work. I tried to figure out what the problem was, but it made no sense. My HP printer wasn’t showing up at all. My paleolithic copy machine (hardwired because it’s too bloody OLD to be wireless and now itself not communicating) was communicating at the time, but not the much newer wireless printer.
So after trying to troubleshoot the blasted thing myself for long enough to give myself an ulcer, I called HP and explained my problem. HP Tech Support is usually pretty good, but not this time. They, of course, told me I’d been connected to the wrong department, put me on hold and then disconnected me, so I went to their help page out of sheer desperation.
Bear in mind that I almost NEVER succeed in getting actual help from help pages. Whatever problem I’m having is almost never addressed on such pages, but this time I must have been holding my mouth right. It suggested running the HP Scan Doctor program, which I’d used before on my old system but apparently had never downloaded on my newer system.
BINGO!! I downloaded and ran the program, it actually found the problem, and my printer started communicating. Hallellujah! Some diagnostic programs do work!!!!