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My printer is an HP Laserjet P1606dn that is connected directly to the host computer via USB. The computer is running Windows XP SP3.

The printer works fine until the computer is rebooted. At which point the printer shows as offline. Selecting 'use printer online' will make it show up as available, but documents will fail to print.

This happens with at least two different P1606dn printers.

Other USB printers connected to the same machine don't have this problem.

Unplugging the USB cable from either machine and plugging it back in resolves the issue temporarily until next restart.

What could be causing this?

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up vote 3 down vote accepted

I've found the reason this has been happening.

Recently, Autorun was disabled on this machine due to a security update.

The P1606dn printers were designed to "Automatically install the drivers" when you plugged them in. They do this by mounting themselves as an optical drive and then the setup program that is autorun checks if the drivers are installed, installs if they aren't, and then unmounts and switches the printer over to printer mode.

When this program can't autorun, the printer just sits there as a USB optical drive and doesn't accept any printer commands.

I fixed this without enabling autorun by exploring the "disc" and copying the files to a directory on the local hard drive. I then created a shortcut to the setup file in the startup folder.

A more reliable solution would be to run SIUtility.exe on the HP install DVD. Located in (root):\UTIL directory. It lets you disable this unwanted behavior on the printer so that it no longer presents itself to the operating system as an optical drive. These changes are permanent to the printer unless changed with the utility again.

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Oh lovely. Another reason to hate HP. –  Ignacio Vazquez-Abrams Sep 28 '11 at 5:03
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