A Practical Guide to SharePoint 2013

A Practical Guide to SharePoint 2013
A Practical Guide to SharePoint 2013 - Book by Saifullah Shafiq

Friday, November 11, 2011

Lessons Learned: Enabling wireless connection in printer

Lessons Learned: Enabling wireless connection in printer



Today I would like to share my experience of enabling wireless connection in printer. Usually I don’t write about things that are very obvious or have already been discussed on the internet (in the form of blogs, etc). I couldn’t find help on Internet regarding this topic therefore decided to write about it. Last week I bought HP LaserJet Pro 100. This is a color MFP. I brought it home, connected it to my machine using wired connection, installed drivers and it was ready for use. Cool! Then today I decided to enable the wireless connection so that all devices could use it. The problem was that there was no (complete) documentation provided with the printer. The pamphlet that came with the printer had very basic information. So the first step was to try to find help on the internet. Surprisingly, there was no help. Below I will mention all steps that I took and they failed so that readers avoid them and save time.
In fact, searching google gave me following link that I thought would be helpful:

http://h10025.www1.hp.com/ewfrf/wc/document?docname=c02677483&tmp_task=setupCategory&cc=us&dlc=en&lc=en&product=5076465#N6992docname=c02677483&tmp_task=setupCategory&cc=us&dlc=en&lc=en&product=5076465#N6992
It shows two methods to enable wireless connectivity. One way is to use Wi-Fi Protected Setup (WPS) and the other is to use a standard connection using a USB cable.

I tried the first option first. According to the steps mentioned in the help document (See URL) above, you just have to press the WPS button on your router and printer will automatically catch the correct settings. Please note that old routers do not have this button but new routers have it. It provides a method to conveniently connect your device to the network. After you press the WPS button on your router, you have to press the wireless button on your printer as well. After I performed the step printer showed status that it was now connected to the net. I then tried to send a test page to the printer through my laptop but noticed it was not connected to the net anymore. All devices including TV, home phone, mobile phones, etc stopped working (as everything was connected to the router). When router is first configured, there are certain settings that are configured and all devices connect to the router using those settings. By pressing the WPS button, I had actually allowed the router to renew the settings. Devices connect to the router using a network key. Usually when connecting our devices manually we provide this network key manually. WPS automatically generates a new key and sends it to the device that then connects to the router using this network key. So when I pressed the WPS button on router, it generated a new network key and provided it to the printer which got connected to it but because the network key had changed, therefore, all other devices got disconnected. Again I googled net (using 3G connection) and read somewhere that WPS settings can be restored by resetting the router. I unplugged the router but that did not fix the problem. There was a button behind the router to reset it. I pressed it and the router restarted. This time wired connections started working (for example, TV, phone, etc) but wireless connection still couldn’t connect because resetting the router did not restore the old network key.

So the next step was to restore the network key or configure all devices again using the new network key. I logged into the router using the IP address. I was able to login because the wired connections were now working. If you don’t know the IP of your router, run following command on command prompt:

ipconfig /all

See “Wireless LAN adapter Wireless Network Connection” settings in the results. “Default Gateway” property contains the router’s IP.



Figure 1: ipconfig

Open this IP in the browser. You may be asked for a user id and password. When your router was configured for the first time, the network guy must have provided you this information. If you don’t have user id and password try connecting using the default credentials. If you don’t even know default credentials, note down the router name, model etc and search google, you will easily find the default credentials. If network guy has changed this information and you don’t have it then you will have to contact the customer service. Luckily my default credentials were working. I have Comcast (Infinity) router. Default credentials for this router are admin/password.

After logging into router, you can get the new network key or change the key back to the old one. I restored the old network key which fixed the connectivity issues in all wireless devices. Now, I was back to square one. Some printers allow you to do network configuration using the built-in panel. HP LaserJet Pro 100 has a panel and it allows you to make some selections but entering new values is not possible as there is no keyboard (physical or virtual) provided.
According to the link above, the second method was to enable wireless connection using a USB cable. Following the steps mentioned, I inserted the software CD that came with the printer and installed the wireless connection. The printer worked only if there was a connection between my machine and itself using a cable. As soon as I removed the wired connection, the printer stopped working. There is a thing called HP ePrint services. Basically you have to install these services in order to enable wireless connectivity. I installed these services. After installation, it redirected me to an IP address. It showed “Enable” button to enable the services.

Figure 2: Enable wireless services

Clicking this button resulted in an error.


Figure 3: Connection error.

This is a very confusing error as it does not tell you what to do next and how to resolve the problem. You will see different tabs and the one that shows this error is “HP Web Services”. To configure the connection, select “Networking” tab and click “Wireless Configuration”.


Figure 4: Wireless Configuration

Here you will see three options:
1. Join an existing wireless network
2. Join an existing wireless network using wi-fi protected setup (WPS)
3. Create a new ad hoc wireless network (peer to peer)


Figure 5: Join an existing wireless network.

I tried the second option. It generated a new WPS pin. We actually have to pair router with the device and we have to do it within a span of 4 minutes. I quickly opened the router setup and set the new WPS pin. You have to click the “Apply” button on printer setup page to pair both the devices. For some reason, it didn’t work. Then I tried the first option. You need to have your SSID and network key in order to join existing network. I was able to connect to the network but as soon as I removed the network wire between machine and printer, printer again stopped working. The IP that I was routed to also became unavailable. So obviously there was no wireless connectivity between the devices.

To fix this problem, open “Devices and Printers” on your machine and remove the printer already added and then re-add the printer.


Figure 6: Devices and Printers

Before you removed the printer, the icon would look like the following.

Figure 7: Remove existing device

After you have added the printer again, the icon would look like the following.

Figure 8: New device added

You will have to insert the driver CD again into the machine. During installation, it will offer you to find the required information automatically. The other option will be to enter this information manually. Select the second option. Enter required information manually and complete setup. At the end of setup completion, it will show you two IPs. One will be the old one that had stopped working (after wired connection removal) and there will be a new one (which is a local IP). The old one will look something like 231.23.44.34 and the new one will be like 10.0.0.5. Open the new IP in browser, go to the wireless configuration settings (as described above) and enter the required information and click “Enable” to enable the wireless services.

Remove the wired connection after the installation. Send a test page to the printer, it should work now. It’s a long complicated process but it works after some configuration. I hope readers will find this information useful. I mentioned the steps that failed so that you can avoid them in your case. The crucial step was to re-add the printer and then configure it. This article was written for HP LaserJet Pro 100 but I am sure the difference will not be much for other printers also. The missing link was documentation and help. Had they provided a detailed document with the printer, it would have been better. Unfortunately, they had not even provided detailed steps on the internet either.

Keywords: HP LaserJet Pro 100 M175NW, Comcast, Infinity, Wireless, HP ePrint Services, Airprint, printer setup