Wireless printer won’t connect? My computer repair partner came across this situation the other day, and this is what he found:
A client said that she could not print to her wireless printer. My partner Dale checked all kinds of things – settings, network setup, Internet connection, etc., but nothing seemed to be wrong! He finally decided to reinstall the printer and see if that would fix the issue. Just before the reinstall the client mentioned that she had recently taken the laptop with her on a trip and that it had printed just fine before she left. So, my partner looked at the available wireless network list and found that when the client had returned from her trip, she had connected to a neighbor’s wireless network instead of to her own wireless network.
(Windows Xp has something called “Wireless Zero Configuration” which will automatically connect to the network with the strongest signal. Not a bad strategy on paper. But what if two Access Points are broadcasting the same SSID and are not on the same network? WZC will connect to the stronger one, whether you want it to or not. Which might hook you up to the wrong network, possibly interrupting an existing session with your desired network, or not allowing your wireless printer to connect).
Of course, the printer was on her (the clients) network, and would not print when connected to her neighbors wireless network. When my partner changed the laptop to the “correct” network, the printer started “printing away” just fine!
Professor Randy learns a great tip from his partner: When people return from traveling, make it a point to see that they are connected to their own wireless network (and not their neighbors).