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Windows Networking/Unable To Print From WIN7 Desktop


First thanks in advance as this problem is driving me nuts.  The computer is a year old Dell desktop running Windows 7 Home Premium and the printer is a high end HP all-in-one connected to the computer by USB cable. All print jobs get stuck in the print queue. It had been working fine until two computer hardware changes happened at the same time.  First, the motherboard was changed by Dell to fix an unrelated issue.  Next, the DSL modem changed.  The old DSL modem was a "dumb" modem requiring manual connection to the internet.  Printing was fine with that old set-up.  The new DSL modem is a modem/router allowing multiple computers to be connected to the one DSL line and connects automatically to the internet during boot-up.  Upon installing the new DSL modem/router, Windows 7 changed the local network icon from "public" to "homegroup" and I could no longer print. The printer is connected to the computer via USB cable and the computer is connected to the DSL modem by Ethernet cable i.e. there is no wireless.  The printer shows up in Control Panel>Devices&Printers, it is checked "green," it is the default printer, the print spooler has been stopped/started and the printer has been uninstalled and reinstalled with the latest HP driver. The printer works fine if I cable connect it to my old Dell desktop running XP so the problem is definitely not the printer.  I tried changing the network icon from "homegroup" to "public" and the printer then worked.  But the next time I booted up, again the printer won't print and all jobs get stuck in the print queue.  That's where I am now.  Somehow, the hardware side of WIN7 knows the printer is there but the networking side can't find it.  I thought I had fixed it by removing the computer from "homegroup" and defining the local hard wired network as "public."  That worked only once.

This inability to print is very frustrating and I would greatly appreciate your help in getting this permanently fixed.  It used to work fine before the motherboard and the new DSL modem. I've tried everything I know to do.  Please help.  Thank you.

Hi There.

Sorry for my late reply as I was away.  You have diagnosed this issue quite well, and I know the frustration!  The old Parallel port printers were so reliable because they ALWAYS worked.  USB is a flexible technology but is surprisingly unreliable at times.  However, I'm going to suggest you do these things:

If your motherboard was replaced and you never reinstalled the printer software I would suggest that you first uninstall the software fully and do a full software installation again -- it might simply fix the problem.  Also, because there are so many USB ports, it might be keyed to work on ONLY one of them correctly.  So, that's why by reinstalling the software it will almost re-initialize the proper port that the printer is connected to.

See if this works and let me know what happens.


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Hrire Mikaelian


Windows 95/98/2000/XP/Vista/7 workstation and Windows 2000/2003/2008 server networking, Group Policy and wireless configurations. Have knowledge about workstation Ghosting, and also the ins and outs of hardware troubleshooting.


15 years of experience as a hobbyist and Senior Systems Administrator

BA, BCom in Information Technology Management. No IT certifications. However, I have taken several Windows, Novell and Networking courses.

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