HP JetDirect 500X ‘Sleep’ Issues

Frame Relay
Network protocols
We currently have 10 sitese, each have a 500X print server running (with current Firmware) and two OkiData 320 printers attached via parallel cable. Each site is connected through Frame-Relay connection (hub/spoke) to our corporate print server. We have one location which seems to experience a 'sleep' issue with the JetDirect. If no printing activity has happened for about 10-20 minutes, it will not respond and it requires being unplugged and plugged back in - at which point it immediately begins printing the spooled job. Setup is identical but no other site has this issue. Any suggestions? We've replaced the JetDirect with THREE new devices. Is this a network or printer issue?

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I doubt this is a printer issue. It sounds to me like you are losing the connection between the JetDirect and your print server. You don’t mention what platform you are running for the corporate print server, or how that is set up. As a start I would remove this print server from the corporate one and set it up again using a new name. If you can copy the config of a working one during setup do that.

As a test to figure out if it is the printer or the print server/corporate connection, you could set up one of the local workstations to print directly to the print server via TCP/IP – LPR. This is pretty easy to do in Windows. Set up a printer to print to a local port, then create a standard tcp/ip port that points directly to the jet direct print server. That way you are not queueing through the corporate server. If that one prints then you know the problem is not with the printers.

Good luck – Doug

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  • OmegaOmega
    Hi Douger- Sorry, I was restricted to 1000 words so I couldn't be too specific. We're running a Server 2000 environment, desktops are WXPPsp1, however, when they print to these printers it does it through our ERP program. There is one server which hosts the ERP that has mutliple shared printers in active directores (i.e. 21, 22, 23, etc for each printer number). Each site has two OkiData impact printers that are on ports one and two of the HP JetDirect 500x Print Server. When I attempt to do a Keep Alive on that specific IP address for that Print Server, then print jobs can be sent to it without needing to be restarted. However, if you stop, and there is no activity for 20 minutes or more, and then attempt to print, it simple waits on the queue at the corporate server waiting for the print server to acknowledge. I almost want to say this is a print server issue, but we've already gone through three new ones and this type of setup is identical in every other office. The config files for the printer itself I don't think are an issue, since it's set to Generic Text Online, since it's just a small text file it's sending to the printers when a job is initiated. Is this a combination of network, device and printer's attached, a combination or something else I'm overlooking? -a
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  • Bouncybrit
    I doubt that it is specifically the printer from your descriptions it seems as though the communication between print server and jet direct is failing. Can you ping the jet direct box when the printer is not responding? can you get to the web interface from the remote subnet? and can you telnet into port 9100? if you can then try layer 1 and 2 stuff. try the obvious, replace the patch cords between the jet direct and the switch / hub / router. check router and switch arp cache settings. I have had similar problems and setting a static arp mapping in the router fixed the issue.
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  • Sonyfreek
    From the sounds of it, the two identical print servers/printers are located at different sites, but that wasn't clear in the description or I missed it. Is it possible that there's traffic on the one site with the problem that's crashing the print server? Maybe they experience local broadcast storms or a malfunctioning NIC is somehow causing problems with the print server. I like the idea of hard coding the mac address into the switch, even though this should not be necessary in a normal functioning network. It might work if something in the print server or on the network is trashing the MAC or IP of the print server. You could also try isolating the print server on it's own network segment, but if the problem is related to broadcast traffic, it probably won't matter. Check to make sure the printer/print server aren't located near any large magnetic fields or other sources of interference. At one site I worked at, they used to have a large electromagnet that would crash a computer in the office next to it whenever they used it (I may have been as simple as a degausser, but knowing the place, it could have been just about anything). I understand that this is not a typical problem of most offices, but you never know what strange machine the neighbor has (watch out for the guy with the electric chair). In any case, you'll probably want to sniff the local network to see if anything is causing problems with the print servers communications. That'll be the most telling of what's going on. SF
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  • PeterMac
    Sounds like a connection issue, something along route timing out, and losing connection to the Jetdirect. On restart the print server will broadcast Mac, and IP refreshing whatever has lost the route. Try running traceroute from Server to Jetdirect when problem exists to see where failure is occurring.
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  • Paul144hart
    I was reading through - it almost sounds like the IP port is shutting from lack of acivity and re-plugging it causes an event to see the device again. Is there a way to query the network device to see the state of that port? (Just a guess)
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  • DrillO
    I have had similar problems using DHCP for JetDirects. Once I actually assign an IP the problems go away. Just a thought. Paul
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  • Oghandle
    As everyone else has stated, I do not believe it to be a printer, jetdirect or print server problem. To me it sounds like the directly connected switch/hub. I say this because when you power cycle the printer it may cause the switch or hub to go through a mini-learning stage (my speculation), so it re-adds it to its look-up table. The problem may be your switch/hub.
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