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This morning, our trusty HP PhotoSmart C5180 stopped working in a very weird manner:

  • According to the printer's display, all is correct [1]
  • The printer can be discovered correctly (DNS-SD)
  • The printer's web interface works flawlessly
  • The printer accepts TCP connections to port 9100

However, data sent to port 9100 is not processed by the printer. Wireshark investigations showed the following:

  • The printer is happily ACKing the packets it receives from the computer
  • The printer's receive window goes down, starting at 17376 (which I already find rather small) in proportion to the data sent
  • Power cycling any of the involved devices (computer, printer, switch) does not help

This happens from multiple computers (Macs, if you want to know), all of which were able to print yesterday.

My conclusion: The printer's TCP stack is not able to drain the buffer to the printing engine.

I guess that the printing engine has crashed, maybe due to low memory (as suggested by the tiny TCP window).

Does anyone have a guess at the cause of this surely weird problem or (even better) a remedy?

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up vote 0 down vote accepted

I had success with a hard reset of the printer as described in this article, which also seems to apply to other printers from the C5100 series:

  1. Unplug the power cable from printer while the printer is powered on.
  2. Press and hold OK and HELP buttons while plugging in the power cord. Wait for the screen to go black or blank before releasing the keys.
  3. Just turn on the printer and configure your printer new
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