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HP printer keeps disappearing

Discussion in 'Hardware' started by blothrop, Jan 23, 2011.

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  1. blothrop

    blothrop Thread Starter

    Jan 12, 2011
    Hi Guys,

    I’ve got a problem with an HP C5180 printer that keeps disappearing from a Laptop running Vista. The printer is connected by ethernet cable to a home network centered on a Verizon wireless router (ActionTec MI424 WR). The printer does not vanish from the Dell desktop unit hard wired to the router. (The laptop is always running wirelessly.)

    We keep re-installing it from scratch using the latest installation software from HP’s website (we had to go there for the Vista-compatible version). Then, it works perfectly well for a while… until some random day when it vanishes again. It does not just loose connectivity (internet access is still available at these times). Every trace of the printer disappears from the Printers Control Panel (even its Fax and Scanner incarnations).

    Yes, there are three different user profiles set up, but I am certain that we keep putting it back while logged-in as the correct user. (In fact the other users are daughters who no longer live there. So I’m assured that they haven’t been making changes.)

    Possibly related: The same computer occasionally has its display settings get changed mysteriously to the wrong screen proportions. Some time ago I found that the owner had it set wrong… they didn’t really find it bothersome that all of the icons and images were stretched – but I corrected it anyway.

    It’s almost as if the system gets reset to an old restore point created before the printer was installed and I corrected the screen size. But, this printer is a few years old and it didn’t start disappearing until fairly recently. The first time it happened, I thought that maybe a Windows update had obliterated the printer. But, it’s happened three times now.

    Any ideas? Is this just typical of HP? I love them for print quality and have always recommended them, but their software has always been annoyingly hard to set up in the initial installation – there’s always something inconsistent or incompatible about it.
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