Question Printer Isn't Showing on Full Network

rrreed

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May 25, 2018
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Hello,

I'm having an issue while trying to setup an Xerox Versalink C500DN printer. I have had it on my network for about a year without any issues but just recently moved it to a new work area and now it's not showing up for most of the network. The strange thing is that it will only show up for computers that seem to share a switch with it. I didn't mess with the settings during the move but even when I move the printer back to it's old position, it will only interact with computers on the local switch for that work area.

I moved the printer into the room where we keep our modem/router and connected it into the main switch that branches out throughout the building and then it was available to the whole network, so it appears to only work for everything downstream of the switch that it's connected to. What could be causing this issue? We have a second Versalink C500DN at another desk and the network settings appear to be the same but that printer is available over the full network. I initially thought that it may be a subnet issue but the subnet is our typical 255.255.255.0. Any thoughts?
 

rrreed

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May 25, 2018
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Hi there! Sorry for the late reply, I was gone over the weekend.

We have a Hitron CGNM-2250 Modem that our cable/internet company installed.

Our router is an old Linksys LRT214.

Our main switch, connected out of the router and branches throughout the office is a Netgear JGS524.

And then the workstation switches are Netgear GS305's.
 
The switches you have are unmanaged which means there is no configuration or options that could be set wrong.

A switch is a pretty stupid device. Many people incorrectly call them splitters but in effect that is all they do. All the end devices appear to be directly connected together no matter how many switches are in between. It is almost impossible to detect a switch in the path even if you want to.

Since you have multiple of these printers have you tried swapping them to see if it that one particular printer or if it something related to the location it is plugged into.

What I would also try is to ping the IP address. If it responds to ping no matter where it is installed it is going to be related to the printer discovery garbage microsoft uses. Even then I don't know what it would be. The printer discovery thing sends out broadcast messages to find stuff. This would mean for some reason these were not being sent between the switches. Being unmanged switches I can't see what you do. Most unmanged switches do all the function in hardware to improve performance so there is no firmware you can even upgrade.
 

Ralston18

Titan
Moderator
And on both printers print out the full configuration pages/reports.

Compare all of the printer settings between the "fully available" C500DN printer and the "moved" C500DN. What, if anything, is different?

And this:

"We have a second Versalink C500DN at another desk and the network settings".

Regarding " another desk": the second printer is indeed a network connected printer and not a shared printer (USB) - correct?

The printers do have different IP addresses correct?

Ping the printer as suggested. But also ping the other printer as well.

Are you able to provide a simple sketch of your network layout? Just to show router, switches, printers, and computers as relevant.

If so, post the sketch here via imgur (www.imgur.com).
 

rrreed

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May 25, 2018
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Thank you for your posts!

Alright. So I tried to ping the problematic printer and it was inaccessible.

I moved the problematic printer over to the workstation where the working printer is located and simply swapped the two machines while keeping everything else in tact. The problematic printer started working at it's new workstation and the previously working printer was inaccessible to the network from it's new workstation. I then began to swap parts and test the situation. I switched the ethernet cables running between the printers/local switches. I also swapped the network switches themselves between workstations. No matter what I did, the original working workstation would always work and the bad workstation would fail to print over the network.

I feel like this test shows that both printers function properly and that both switches function properly but this confuses me even further. I'll try to draw up a quick sketch and post for clarification. I know that I'm slightly stumped at the moment.
 

rrreed

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May 25, 2018
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I solved it and it turned out to be something very dumb.

As I was moving everything back to where it belongs after swapping everything between the two workstations, I noticed that the cables at the non-working station weren't setup correctly. At some point after we had moved the printer originally, someone must have messed with the cables at that workstation and it miraculously worked in the previous setup but not with the printer back in the picture.

We have a computer, a network printer and a CMM machine at that workstation. The ethernet cable that is supposed to run between the office's main switch and the workstation's local switch was running from the office's main switch and directly into the workstation's computer (hence why the computer showed up on the network). The cable that should run between the computer and the CMM machine was running from the computer into the local switch. The printer and CMM were then tied into the local switch directly. So the printer and the CMM were working perfectly fine from the workstation's computer but didn't show up on the network. This is typical for the CMM machine but it was obviously noticeable when the network printer didn't connect with the network.

There are a bunch of cables running along that area and so it wasn't obvious just looking at it and I honestly thought that everything would have been the same since the first move. I'm sorry for dragging you guys through this with me but I appreciate all of the ideas and help. Your thoughts on moving things around was ultimately what made me notice what was going on. You guys are awesome!
 

Ralston18

Titan
Moderator
Glad you solved it and do not feel dumb or be sorry.

Overall my sense is that your network has grown to the point where you should create that network sketch. Sooner rather than later. May take some extra time now but that time will likely be paid back when (not if) there is some other problem.

And also make an effort to ensure that all cables and ports/outlets etc. are labeled, color coded, etc.. Include that information on the sketch.

The sketch does not need to be a work of art per se. Just clear enough and detailed enough that you or even an applicable co-worker (in your absence) can determine if something is not as it should be.

One good way to start is the floor plan(s) for your offices/building. Make a copy of the floor plan and mark up the copy. Show the locations of computers, printers, router, and switches. Draw lines showing physical connections as applicable. Identify wireless devices as such. Make the sketch a visual tool that is useful to and for you.

Not at all uncommon during moves, construction, cleaning, and just general day-to-day events for things to go astray.

It is very likely that the sketch will evolve and change. Just get in the immediate habit of marking up the sketch as changes, additions, removals occur.

Then every so often, just do a clean update. Be sure to date the updates and include other relevant notes. Nothing like having the proverbial "big picture".

:)
 

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