Print | Rate this content

HP Officejet, Photosmart, and PSC All-in-One Printers - 'The printer spooler was unable to connect to your printer' Message Displays on the Computer in Windows XP when Printing Over a Local Area Network (LAN)

This document is for HP Officejet, Photosmart, and PSC Printers manufactured before 2010, running Windows XP only.

When you try to print over your Local Area Network (LAN), the product does not print and the following message displays on the computer: 'The printer spooler was unable to connect to your printer. This can be caused by your printer being unplugged, or being connected to a VPN, which will block your access to your local network.'

This error message can occur when printing over a wired (Ethernet) or wireless network.

Solution one: Make sure that the product settings are correct

Follow these steps to make sure the product settings are correct.

Step one: Set the product to the default printer

  1. Press the Power button () to turn on the product, if it is not already on. If the product is already on, press any button on the control panel to wake up the product from sleep mode (energy-saving mode).

  2. On the Windows taskbar, click Start, and then click Printers and Faxes. The Printers and Faxes folder opens.

    NOTE: Do not close the Printers and Faxes folder. You will need to access it again several times throughout this document.
  3. Find the printer icon that represents your product, and then determine the default printer setting according to the following guidelines:

    • If your product icon includes a black checkmark (), the product is already the default printer. Discontinue the steps in this procedure and continue to the next step in this document.

    • If your product icon does not include a black checkmark, your product is not the default printer. Continue with the steps in this procedure to set the product as the default printer.

  4. Right-click the icon for your product, and then click Set as Default Printer. Your product is now set as the default, and the printer icon includes a black checkmark.

  5. Try the print job again.

  • If these steps resolved the issue, there is no need to continue troubleshooting.

  • If the issue persists, see the next step.

Step two: Check the printer status

Follow these steps to set the product to the correct printing status.

  1. Return to the Printers and Faxes folder that you opened in the previous step.

  2. Right-click the icon for your product (), and then check the printer status according to the following guidelines:

    • If Use Printer Online displays in the drop-down list, the printer is offline. Click Use Printer Online to set the printer to online.

    • If Resume Printing displays in the drop-down list, the printer is paused. Click Resume Printing to restart printing.

  3. Try the print job again.

  • If these steps resolved the issue, there is no need to continue troubleshooting.

  • If the issue persists, see the next step.

Step three: Check the electrical and network connections

Check all connections between the product and the electrical outlet. Make sure all connections are firm and secure, and then try the print job again.

Also, if you are printing from a Virtual Private Network (VPN), the print job might fail. Try the print job from the computer that is connected directly to the product.

  • If these steps resolved the issue, there is no need to continue troubleshooting.

  • If the issue persists, see the next step.

Solution two: Configure the printer port

Follow these steps to configure the printer port correctly.

Step one: Print a network configuration page

Follow these steps to print a network configuration page. You will reference this page later in this document.

  1. On the product, press the Setup button.

  2. Press the Right Arrow button () to select Network, and then press OK.

  3. Press the Right Arrow button () to select View Network Settings, and then press OK.

  4. Press the Right Arrow button () to select Print Network Configuration Page, and then press OK. The network configuration page prints.

    Figure 1: Example network configuration page - your page might look slightly different

  5. Make a note of the Hardware Address (MAC) (Media Access Control) and IP Address (Internet Protocol address) values on the network configuration page.

    Example Hardware Address (MAC)
    Example IP Address
    Hardware Address (MAC): 001CC4116234
    IP Address: 129.234.49.01
  6. Set the report aside to reference in the next step.

Step two: Configure the printer port

  1. Return to the Printers and Faxes folder that you opened earlier in this document.

  2. Right-click the icon for your product (), and then click Properties. The product Properties folder opens.

  3. Click the Ports tab.

  4. Select your product under the Printer column, and then click Configure Port. The Configure Standard TCP/IP Port Monitor dialog box opens.

    NOTE: If the Configure Port button is unavailable, or if you receive an error message, you do not have administrator rights on the computer. Contact your system administrator or the person who set up your network for assistance.
  5. Look in the Printer Name or IP Address box. This value should match either the MAC or IP Address on your network configuration page.

    • If the values match, discontinue the steps in this procedure and skip to Solution three in this document to delete and then re-add the product to the network using the Windows Add Port Wizard.

    • If the values do not match, continue with the steps in this procedure to configure the ports correctly.

    NOTE: Make sure that the IP address in the configuration page is in the same range as all the other devices in the network.
  6. Click inside the Printer Name or IP Address box, and then type the appropriate value according to the following guidelines:

    NOTE: Enter this value exactly as it appears on the network configuration page. If the first option from the following list does not work, try the next option.
    • IP Address

    • MAC address

    • MAC address with the phrase 'HP' preceding the numbers

  7. Click OK, and then try printing again.

  • If these steps resolved the issue, you do not need to continue troubleshooting.

  • If the issue persists, continue to the next solution.

Solution three: Delete and re-add the port

Follow these steps in the order presented to re-add the printer port using the Windows Add Port Wizard.

Step one: Cancel pending print jobs

  1. Double-click the printer icon () in the lower-right corner of the computer (the notification area).

    Figure 2: The printer icon in the notification area

    The product print queue opens.

  2. If there are any print jobs listed under Document Name, the print queue has pending print jobs. On the print queue toolbar, click Printer, and then click Cancel All Documents.

  3. Click Yes to confirm that you want to delete pending print jobs.

Step two: Delete the current printer port

Follow these steps to delete the current printer port. You will re-add the port in the next step.

  1. Return to the print queue window that you opened in the previous step.

  2. On the print queue toolbar, click Printer, and then click Properties. The product Properties window opens.

  3. In the Ports tab, under the Port column, find the port with the IP Address that matches the IP address on the network configuration page. Click to select the port, if it is not already selected, and then click Delete Port.

    NOTE: If the Delete Port button is unavailable, or if you receive an error message, you do not have administrator rights on the computer. Contact your system administrator for assistance.
  4. Click Yes to confirm that you want to delete the port.

  5. After you delete the port, return to the Printers and Faxes folder that you opened earlier in this document.

  6. Under Printer Tasks, click Add a printer. The Windows Add Printer Wizard opens.

  7. Click Next to start the wizard.

  8. Click Local printer attached to this computer.

  9. Clear the checkmark next to Automatically detect and install my Plug and Play printer, and then click Next.

  10. Click Create a new port, select Standard TCP/IP Port from the Type of port drop-down list, and then click Next. The Add Standard TCP/IP Printer Port Wizard opens in a new window.

  11. Click Next to start the wizard.

  12. In the Printer Name or IP Address box, type the IP Address exactly as it appears on the network configuration page, and then click Next.

  13. If the Additional Port Information Required screen opens, click Custom, and then click Next. The computer searches for the product.

  14. When the search is complete, click Have Disk, and then click OK.

    NOTE: Even if you no longer have the software CD, click the Have Disk option. This option works because the HP software is already installed on your computer, regardless of the method of installation.
  15. In the list of products, select your product, and then click Next to continue the set up. Click Finish when the wizard is complete. Your product is added to the network with the correct port, and should print as usual.

  • If these steps resolved the issue, you do not need to continue troubleshooting.

  • If the issue persists, continue to the next solution.

Solution four: Uninstall the software, open the Embedded Web Server, assign a static IP address, and reinstall the software

Follow these steps to uninstall the software, open the Embedded Web Server, assign a static IP address, and reinstall the software.

Step one: Uninstall the software

HP installs an uninstall utility with the print driver to simplify the uninstall process. This uninstall utility removes the product driver, not the additional software that installed with the driver.

  1. Unplug the USB cable connecting the product to the computer.

  2. Click Start, click All Programs, point to HP, and then click the folder for the product, which is labeled according to the product series number.

  3. Click Uninstall. The software uninstaller opens in a command prompt window.

  4. Follow the on-screen instructions to complete the uninstall.

    CAUTION: If asked to remove shared files, click No. Other programs that use these files might not work if you delete the files.

Step two: Open the Embedded Web Server

An Embedded Web Server (EWS) is an interface, like a Web page, that allows you to view product status information, change settings, and manage the product from your computer. Follow these steps to open the EWS.

  1. Open a Web browser (for example, Internet Explorer or Firefox).

  2. In the browser's address line, type the IP address listed on the network configuration page that you printed in a previous step, and then press Enter. Type this value exactly as it displays on the network configuration page.

    Figure 3: Example IP address on the network configuration page

    Example IP address on the network configuration page

    Figure 4: Example IP address in browser address line

    Example IP address in browser address line

Step three: Assign a static IP address

The Dynamic Host Configuration Protocol (DHCP) service provided by the router might change the Internet Protocol (IP) address to the HP product, which interferes with network installation. An IP address uniquely identifies the product on the network.

Follow these steps to assign an unchanging IP address to the product through the Embedded Web Server (EWS).

NOTE: An EWS is an interface, like a web page, that allows you to view product status information, change settings, and manage the product from your computer.
  1. Open a new web browser window.

  2. Type the URL for the Embedded Web Server as it appears on the test page in the address window of the web browser.

    NOTE: Make sure that you type the URL into the web browser address window. If you type it into a tool bar search box by mistake, the EWS will not open.

    Figure 5: Example of an IP address in a web browser address window

    Image: Example of an IP address in a web browser address window.
  3. Press Enter. The EWS opens.

  4. Click the Network, Wired (802.3), or Wireless, and then click the IPv4 Configuration.

  5. Click Manual IP. The Manual IP Address box opens.

  6. In the Manual IP Address box, type an IP address with the same values in the first three sets of digits (octet values) as the product's current IP address (listed on the Network Configuration Page), and a higher value (between 150 and 254) in the fourth set of digits. This creates a static IP address on the same subnet, but outside the DHCP range.

    For example, if the product's original IP address is 192.168.0.1, assign the static IP address to 192.168.0.200.

    Figure 6: Example of an IP address with DHCP values shown

    Image: Example of an IP address with DHCP values shown.

    Figure 7: Example of a static IP address with DHCP values modified

    Image: Example of a static IP address with DHCP values modified.
    NOTE: Do not type the static IP address from the example. Enter a static IP address based on the IP address for your product.
  7. Enter the Subnet Mask (normally 255.255.255.0) and the Default Gateway settings as they appear on the Network Configuration Page.

  8. Click OK to save the new settings, and then click Exit or close the browser to exit the EWS.

Step four: Reinstall the HP software

Follow these steps to reinstall the HP software. You can use the software CD that shipped with your product to install the software, but HP recommends using the HP Web site to download and install the most current software available for your product.

  1. Disconnect the USB cable from both the product and the computer (if you already connected it).

  2. Turn the product on.

  3. Browse to the Get Software and Drivers page: Get Software and Drivers

  4. Check the instructions on the page, and then click the Plus sign (+) next to the correct heading for additional instructions:

    • If prompted to enter your product in the window.

      1. Type your product number in the window.

      2. Click Next. If necessary click your model in a list of similar products.

      3. Click Software and Driver Downloads.

      4. Click the drop-down arrow (), and then click your operating system.

      5. Continue to the next step.

    • If prompted to select your operating system.

      1. Click the drop-down arrow (), and then click your operating system.

      2. Click Next.

      3. Continue to the next step.

  5. Click the Plus sign () next to Driver, and then click the driver that you want to download.

  6. Read through the minimum system requirements and additional instructions. You can also click View directions () for complete download instructions.

  7. Click Download. This option allows you to install the software at any time after the download completes.

  8. Click Save, and then browse to the location on your computer where you want to save the file.

  9. Click Save. The software downloads to your computer.

    Hint: Make a note of the place that you saved the file, in case you want to install it at a later time.

Cause

This issue usually occurs when the Dynamic Host Configuration Protocol (DHCP) assigns an IP address to the product that is different from the product's original IP address. The print spooler, which sends print jobs from the computer to the product, tries to find the original IP address. When the print spooler cannot find the print job (because the original IP address changed), the print job fails.

NOTE: DHCP is an Internet protocol that automates the configuration of computers that use TCP/IP protocol. DHCP assigns IP addresses automatically to the network clients to deliver TCP/IP stack configuration parameters such as the subnet mask and default router. DHCP also provides other configuration information such as the addresses for printer, time, and news servers.

Provide feedback

Please rate the information on this page to help us improve our content. Thank you!