Networked printer reported as being offline in XP RRS feed

  • Question

  • Hi

    I have a strange printing problem that I hope someone can help me with.

    We use a networked printer at our office and use two methods to connect to it. The first is via a print server which installs a PS driver. The second is by creating a TCP port and using that to install a PCL6 driver.

    Staff who use the print server driver don't have any problems.

    Staff who use the TCP port are beginning to experience a problem whereby the printer is reported as being offline. This first happened 6-8 months ago and lasted for about about 4 days on two XP clients. The problem resolved itself. However, it has resurfaced and is spreading to more and more computers that use the TCP port to print - each day a couple more clients are affected. I have no idea what has changed to cause this.

    Also, please note that this is something that is gradually spreading - all the affected PC's use the printer everyday. I don't understand what the common factor is that is causing this.

    The affected clients disply the following:

    The printer shows it is offline in Printers and Faxes. 'Use printer offline' is not checked on the file menu. Checking it and unchecking it makes no difference.

    When a document is printed, it just sits in the queue. The document can be restarted (to no effect) and can be cancelled.

    I can ping the printer using its IP address and its DNS name. I can open My Computer and type \\ and connect to it and I can type \\CS193PS and connect. I can open a Web interface to view the status of supplies and its configuration at

    So, connectivity is fine.

    This problem affects all logonsfrom those with poweruser and administrative rights.

    I have tried removing/editing the registry entry located at HKCC\System\CurrentControlSet\Print\<print queue name> Value: PrinterOnline but this has no effect.

    Deleting the printer and removing the port and the driver via the Print Server command, rebooting and recreating the port and installing the driver results in the same behaviour.

    The network comprises a Windows 2008 Active Directory domain. Single site, single subnet, no child domains, no custom OU's. All cleints get the same GPO's. Two domain controllers - Win2008 with all FSMO roles, DNS, WINS and Win2003 with DNS, DHCP, WINS. Forest/Domain functional level Win2003.

    Can anyone help with this, please?



    Wednesday, November 3, 2010 11:39 AM

All replies

  • Try KB2000007 to clean up the print spooler to defaults and re-add the printer. Also check to see if the print spooler service is running on the machines where the printer is stated as offline.

    a more in dept print spooler troubleshooter is here: http://www.gameaddict.eu/tag/how-to-fix-a-printer-spooler-error/

    Please do not forget to select the best answer if it helps you! The Ultimate computer newbie guide since the discovery of spoon feeding! The Computer Manual dot Com
    Wednesday, November 3, 2010 12:19 PM
  • Ahh this old chesnut! What printer model is it ? HP 2600 by any chance ? we had 2 of these causing no end of problems.

    in the case of the 2600 its all to do with the printer being a post script printer or something from what i can remember and the way the information is handled. The drivers have to be installed locally on the machine for it to work properly, but even then it doesnt. might be worth starting by actually installing the driver on a computer having problems rather than let it install when you add the printer.

    Also you could try either bi-directional support in the properties. I have to say though our 2600's are just being used as paper weights ...... ok so i lie we actually use them standalones becuase all the problems we had with post script printing.

    Good luck

    Wednesday, November 3, 2010 2:29 PM
  • Thanks to both of you for your replies.

    The printer is a Konica/Minolta model leased by Oce as a CS193.

    There are no issues with the print spooler. All the clients are connected to more than one printer and can print without issue.

    When I connect to the printer using My Computer as shown above, I can use two other methods to install a driver - these are called 'Print' and 'Direct'. Double-clicking either of these automatically downloads and installs the necessary files that enable printing, and a printer called 'Print on CS193PS' or 'Direct on CS193PS' appears in the list of printers.

    The problem is that while both can be used to print documents, by default they install the PS driver, and the affected XP machines need the PCL6 driver. If I change the default to PCL6, this will change the default driver to PCL6 for those that have installed the printer via the print server.

    Thanks for the link - I had already cleared out the print queue but it has no effect:

    net stop spooler
    del %systemroot%\system32\spool\printers\*.shd
    del %systemroot%\system32\spool\printers\*.spl
    net start spooler

    Any further ideas?

    Wednesday, November 3, 2010 2:59 PM
  • I think I have discovered the cause of this.

    When setting up the PS driver for the printer on the print server I configured it to be automatically deployed. Automatic deployment never worked with XP clients on our network, though it did with Vista/Win7 clients.

    After I removed the printer from the automatic deployment section of the Print Server the affected XP clients that used the TCP connection to the printer soon showed the printer status as 'Ready'. The clients can now print using the TCP connection (PCL6 driver).

    Hopefully, this not just coincidence.

    Wednesday, November 10, 2010 3:13 PM
  • Hi The RealBlood,

    just wondering how you are going with this? did that fix above actually fix it?

    I have come across similar recently, at first i found that the customer had another device with the same IP address, but then after sorting that out, it would still say OFFLINE on the driver, and sometimes it would still print. I changed the Port from Raw 9100 to an LPR port and it seems to have gone away, but not 100% sure it is.

    Tuesday, December 28, 2010 11:43 PM
  • Hi, Dreama007

    So far the XP clients have not had any further issues regarding this.

    I would contact your printer support people and ask them which setting is required for the printer. I know that the default setting chosen during the initial installation of the driver on our print server (Win2003) was wrong and needed to be changed. However, my initial installation problems were the result of the hardware installation by an inept Oce engineer. It took them 6 weeks (!) to sort it out.

    I hope you get your problem sorted out.

    Wednesday, December 29, 2010 8:58 AM
  • Hi,

    Auto continue provides two settings, off and on (the default). If the printer is on a network, it should probably be set to ‘On’. The on setting causes the message which appears on the printer control panel display, and the printer goes offline for ten seconds, before returning online if an error occurs that prevents printing. The ‘Off’ setting causes the messages to remain on the printer control panel display, and the printer to remain offline until ‘Select’ is pressed, if an error occurs that prevents printing.

    Printer Support
    Friday, January 7, 2011 4:36 AM
  • michelsmith, which printer are you referring to? I have looked over the configuration for the CS193 and can find no reference to 'Auto continue'.
    Friday, January 7, 2011 10:38 AM