Printer To Pc Wifi Unreliable

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SteveD | 10:36 Wed 27th Sep 2017 | Computers
11 Answers
Acer XC-605 PC
HP Envy 5640 printer
Windows 10

When the printer was new, printing was no problem but recently the wifi link between the PC and the printer has become frustratingly intermittent with the result that getting anything to print is a real headache. The printer is on the same desk as the PC. Sometimes the document prints, sometimes it doesn’t. The type of document does not seem to matter. Sometime it will print if I switch the printer off and on again. Sometime it will print after a wait of several minutes. Sometimes it will print if I change the connection method from automatic to manual in the settings of the printer. There is no problem with the quality of the printing.

If I look in the printing chain, I can see that the document is there in the queue. Selecting the document and clicking “Resume” or “Restart” has no effect.

If I open HP Print and Scan Doctor, it searches for and finds the HP 5640. It then “communicates” with it and shows it as “HP Envy 5640 Series (Network)”. There is another laptop on the network which does not suffer from this connection problem with the HP 5640. If I ask the Print and Scan Doctor to fix the printing problem, it then shows the problem as fixed but the documents do not print.

There is a similar problem with scanning.

I have installed the latest drivers for the HP 6540.

Question 1: Where is the problem likely to be? Printer or PC?

Question 2: Any suggestions for fixing the problem? (The HP 5640 does not have an Ethernet connection).

Thanks in advance.


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This is like deja vu Steve. Smurfchops has just recently had similar "trouble". You say that you have another laptop running as well. Can I ask have you set up a homegroup for the two machines? If so resetting the homegroup may sort it. Sometimes just turning it off then back on can help. It may be worth you reading through the thread that I have linked.
Question Author
Thanks, Togo. I opened the HP troubleshooting link in the other thread and switched off the router and the printer as suggested (I have also done this previously. I successfully printed an email plus its attachment and scanned a photo successfully.

I wil try doing others later and report back.
Good luck then Steve. I may be wrong, but I seem to remember HP sending sneaky upgrades to wireless printers that caused all sorts of kerfuffle some time back. It was, again I think, to do with non branded ink cartridges that time. Perhaps HP have done a software upgrade that is causing the two seemingly random, but very similar problems, that You and Smurf have experienced. We will see if it becomes a bit of a theme here on the Bank.
Since the printer and PC are on the same desk can't you use a USB cable?
Question Author
It’s done it again! I copied something into a Word document and clicked “Print”. The usual message popped up on the PC screen “ – Printer offline. Via the printer screen, I went into the settings and changed Connection method from Automatic to Manual. It printed.

Does all this suggest that there is a problem with the printer or could it be somewhere else? If it’s the printer, I just feel like chucking it in the nearest canal and getting a new one (as long as the new one uses the same ink cartridges as the old one because I have some spare ones which don’t cost much less than a new printer!
Question Author
Togo: Thanks I will try your link later (can't switch the router off now). In any case, it looks like what I tried before.

bhg: The HP troubleshooting pages say that, if a connection via USB is made, the printer cannot connect wirelessly. I assume that this means that the other computer in the network il not be able to print. In any case, the HP 5640 does not have a USB or an ethernet port.
Have you tried moving the printer away from the PC? It could be that the PC trying to talk to the router is interfering with the printer talking to the router. Moving the 2 physically apart just might solve the problem.
>>> Where is the problem likely to be? Printer or PC?

Based upon my own experience (within the past year), possibly neither. I had similar problems with my printer not wanting to talk to one of my computers but doing so when I reset the wifi connection, only for the problem to reoccur again later. I eventually fixed it by replacing my router.
Question Author
Thanks bhg and Buenchico. Two things to try there. I’ll try moving the printer next time it plays up (it printed OK this morning). However, it has always been in the same position relative to the PC and has worked fine since I got it in June 2015.

The router, on the other hand, is quite old but (apart from this possible problem), works OK. I tend to work on the “If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it” principle.
Question Author
Problem solved! It seems to have been the old router which has now been replaced by the latest model. Originally, the service provider said that there was no point in replacing the old one as the "works" in the new one were the same. I believed then that that was a load of bollo and still believe it now - they couldn't be @rsed to change it.

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