Mac Book Pro suddenly won't communicate with printer

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jest2dogs
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Mac Book Pro suddenly won't communicate with printer

Post by jest2dogs » Sat Apr 30, 2011 6:47 am

Everything was working fine until some 'updates"came in. We received updates for various Apple brand programs such as iPhoto, but we also received updates (I think Service Pack 1) for our "Microsoft Office for Mac" program. I say "think" because this Mac belongs to my wife, Barbara, and I was not attendant to the updates.

I have pinged the router and the printer and they both pass that test. But when the command "Print" icon is pushed, the queue reports it has trouble communicating to the printer.

It seems to me that perhaps the "Microsoft" program might be the culprit as all worked well through Airwave up until the new updates were installed. Obviously the mac can still communicate through the router as it runs email just fine.

Any ideas?

-Jesse

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Jay Cline
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Re: Mac Book Pro suddenly won't communicate with printer

Post by Jay Cline » Sat Apr 30, 2011 9:09 am

Are you printing through wifi or a direct connection?
As a simple first step in troubleshooting the issue delete your printer from Print and Fax System Preferences and reinstall.
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Stephen Hart
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Re: Mac Book Pro suddenly won't communicate with printer

Post by Stephen Hart » Sat Apr 30, 2011 10:15 am

Another easy fix for a lot of printer disconnects is to unpower the printer, then power it back up. This will often fix communication issues.

If your printer has a physical switch, you can just switch it off, then wait a few seconds and switch it back on.
If your printer has an electronic switch, you might have to unplug it, then wait a few seconds and plug it back in. At least with our HP, the electronic power switch doesn't reliably reset the printer.
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jest2dogs
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Re: Mac Book Pro suddenly won't communicate with printer

Post by jest2dogs » Sat Apr 30, 2011 12:47 pm

Jay & Stephen,
Thanks, but been there, done that. But using network (Airwave) "Problem communicating with printer", still pops up on the printing queue page. (And I just took your suggested steps again to insure the fact. To reinstall the printer I simply used a USB wire to printer to detect it and printed a test copy.)
I can print if I hardwire to USB but nothing happens via network even though the "ping test" works for both printer and router IP addresses.

Next step?

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Jay Cline
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Re: Mac Book Pro suddenly won't communicate with printer

Post by Jay Cline » Sat Apr 30, 2011 4:44 pm

So it works when connected directly but won't work over the network via wireless? Shut down everything including DSL/Cable/wireless boxes/computer/printer. Power up your DSL/Cable box first, let it connect to the internet. Then power up any wifi boxes. After that turn on your printer and then your computer. See if that makes a difference.
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Jay Cline
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Re: Mac Book Pro suddenly won't communicate with printer

Post by Jay Cline » Sun May 01, 2011 6:55 am

Guessing you already tried that too. Can you educate us on what 'Airwave' is?
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jest2dogs
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Re: Mac Book Pro suddenly won't communicate with printer

Post by jest2dogs » Sun May 01, 2011 10:14 am

Airwave is a PC user's name for the Mac's "Airport". LOL. Sorry about that! :O)

This A.M. I shut down/unplugged everything for the heck of it then fired up each in succession. Our company's IT guy was here last night and he was baffled. He thought it might be a new change in the Lexmark update that may have limited the use of the printer if the ink cartridges are low (which they are). So a trip to Office Depot and $70 later, I have new cartridges installed and the same problem. (As noted, the printer still works on the network with the PC and, using a USB cord, with the Mac. I didn't really think it was the cartridges, because of this factor, but gave it a shot.)

Now we are looking at possible firmware updates for the printer.

The Mac "sees" the printer, it even it's sending and reading "printing" on the printing queue page. There's just this bouncing printer icon and a then, "Problem communicating with printer."

What is all so aggravating is that the week before the updates everything worked just fine.

re: "A sleepy little mill town with smokestack on one end." It's okay if you are west of the smokestack... which I think, you are. :O) (Where's the "Holding the nose" emoticon?)

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Stephen Hart
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Re: Mac Book Pro suddenly won't communicate with printer

Post by Stephen Hart » Sun May 01, 2011 10:34 am

There seem to be a lot of Google hits on "lexmark printer cannot communicate."
Here's one that says it got solved, but it sounds like a pretty drastic solution:

https://discussions.apple.com/message/1 ... D=13163167

You did try deleting the printer in System Preferences > Print & Fax, then adding it back? Did you do this when it was not wired by way of USB?

Try looking in System Preferences > Software Update > Installed Software and give us a list of the recent updates that seemed to cause the change. It doesn't seem likely that Security updates would cause this issue.
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jest2dogs
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Re: Mac Book Pro suddenly won't communicate with printer

Post by jest2dogs » Sun May 01, 2011 11:45 am

This change occurred after 25 April 11. There were updates on the 25th and the 28th. I will list the updates on the 25th as that's when the communication problem started. I see that there was an Airport Utility and a Lexmark Printer Software Update on that date.

Here's the list of updates from the 25th of April:

Mac OS X Update Combined 10.6.7
iTunes 10.2.2
Remote Desktop Client Update 3.4
Lexmark Printer Software Update 2.4
Garage Band Update 6.0.2
iLife Support 0.0.4
Airport Utility 5.5.2
iPhoto Update 9.1
iWeb Update 3.0.3
iMovie 9.0.2

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Jay Cline
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Re: Mac Book Pro suddenly won't communicate with printer

Post by Jay Cline » Sun May 01, 2011 1:48 pm

PC prints through airport, Mac won't but prints wired...sounds like printer drivers are installed correctly for your OS. Something with how the Mac sends print data to the Airport... Guessing the Mac can use the Airport for internet access...

Give this troubleshooting tip a try. Go to your Print and Fax system preferences and option click on the left side where the printers are. Select Reset Printing System.
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