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We have a Brother HL-3170CDW colour LED printer connected to the network via Ethernet, with a static IP address assigned to it.

enter image description here

A Windows XP Professional PC (our print server) has this printer installed using a custom TCP/IP port, sharing it so that it is available for anyone on the network to access.

So far so good.

It works perfectly immediately after it has been installed on the print server.

Unfortunately, the status of the printer's print queue on the print server changes to "Offline" after the print server is rebooted (or after the print spooler is restarted).

The only possible workaround I have found so far is reinstalling the printer on the print server (which only solves the problem until the next reboot of the print server PC). We cannot reboot the print server, without having to reinstall this printer to restore printing capability (although connectivity at a lower level persists).

Other network printers installed on this PC do not have this problem- it is just happening with this particular printer.

Even after a reboot of the print server, it is still possible to access the printer's web interface over the network and to ping the printer. Nothing appears to be wrong with the printer itself- it seems to be an issue with the print server.

We need the print queue's status to always look like this, obviously:

enter image description here

Does anyone have any ideas what is happening here? How can I prevent the printer from showing as "Offline" under "Printers and Faxes" after the PC (or print spooler) is restarted?


So it turns out that the print queue is going into offline mode for some reason (after either a reboot or print spool restart). I never really noticed this option existed with printers before to be honest, and can't see what the point of it is.

enter image description here

Although this can be quickly worked around simply by selecting "Use Printer Online" from the context menu after each reboot (instead of reinstalling the printer as I previously stated), it is still an ongoing problem.

Any ideas would be much appreciated!

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What happens if you restart the print spooler service on the server? Also, is C:\Windows\System32\spool\PRINTERS full of junk? – Bad Neighbor Oct 11 '13 at 19:06
Restarting the print spooler didn't make any difference. I'm not sure why it would, as restarting the PC also restarts the print spooler. That particular directory is completely empty. Any more ideas? – Austin ''Danger'' Powers Oct 11 '13 at 19:15
This network printer, was it added by IP address or UNC path? Is the server set to Static IP or DHCP? – Colyn1337 Oct 11 '13 at 20:17
The printer was added by IP address: (static). The print server has IP address: (static). – Austin ''Danger'' Powers Oct 11 '13 at 20:30

Disabling SNMP can prevent the printer from being reported as offline. It's still a workaround, of course, but it beats reinstalling the printer after every reboot. In Windows XP, SNMP can be disabled through the printer's properties in the Printers and Faxes window, the tab Ports and the button 'Configure Ports' by unchecking 'SNMP Status Enabled'.

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That usually does the trick. The SNMP handling in the TCP Printing Port isn't the smartest thing in the world. If you disable it completely Windows will just assume the printer is always online. – Tonny Oct 11 '13 at 19:48
I tried it but, after a reboot of the print server, the network printer is now showing as offline again. The issue persists. Any other ideas? – Austin ''Danger'' Powers Oct 11 '13 at 20:13

One thing you can do is, try restarting the 'Print Spooler' service from the Control Panel -> Administrative tools -> Services -> Print Spooler. Double click it and select stop and when it stops after few seconds click the start button to restart the service. It helps me when my printer shows offline.

share|improve this answer
worked for me in win7 – happytime harry Nov 7 '15 at 19:57

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