I'm hoping I posted this in the right spot... the difficulty in finding the right place for this is that I can't really figure out if it's an OS issue, a network issue, or simply a hardware issue.

Yesterday, the office that I work for purchased two brand new HP computers (with Windows 7) and a brand new Brother HL-4150 Laser Printer. For lack of an available Ethernet jack, we have the Brother printer connected to one of the new HP computers and we are accessing it via the network through that HP computer.

I have been able to successfully setup the printer on every computer in the office. Our setup consists of the HP (Win 7) that the printer is connected to, the 2nd HP (Win 7) that we purchased, a Compaq Laptop (Win Vista), two Dell Desktops (Win XP), and I have connected my Sony Vaio (Win 7) for diagnostic purposes. The problem is the other brand new HP that is not hardwired to the printer (connected through the network) and the Compaq Laptop both display the printer as "offline". When you first set the printer up to the computer, they work fine, you can test print and whatnot, and there's no issue. But after a few minutes the printer displays as offline and you cannot print from them, nor is there an option to "use printer online". The rest of the computers (the two XP Dell Desktops and the Win 7 HP that is directly connected to the printer, and my Win 7 Vaio Laptop) don't seem to have any issue - they can consistently print to the printer at any time.

In order to print from the HP (I haven't spent much time with the Compaq laptop that is experiencing the same problem), I have to remove the printer from the computer and reinstall it. It will work for a few minutes, and then go back offline until I reinstall the printer again.

Does anyone have any insight as to what the issue could be?

You would be far beter off connecting the printer to the network rather than connecting it to 1 PC then sharing it out. Network printing, once configured correctly, is much more reliable. Buying a network cable for it would be a worth while investment!

Yes, that is the ultimate plan. However, this is a temporary setup. Do you have good reason to believe that setting it up that way will eliminate this problem? If so, then we can tolerate it under temporary conditions.


Setting it up as a network printer will undoubtedly eliminate the problem. A printer connected via USB seems to be unreliable at transmitting a "network ready" state in my experience. For this reason, I always set my customers printers up as network ones. The only problem I ever had was with a cheapie Dell printer. It was so cheap that they didn't even supply the setup software for it with it, just a driver and nothing more.

Ah, I see. Great info!

Thanks for your help, I will update here when we change the setup and confirm that the issue is resolved. :)


No problem, hope you get it sorted soon! One last thing, I have no idea on the setup of the Brother printer for networking. If it can handle a DHCP network ok then you will have no problems. If your network is all set to static IP then it should be even easier!

There isn't a whole lot of useful info in that lot really, but it looks like it's capable of handling DHCP ok!

The system in which you are finding this problem just load the original driver of the printer it must solve your problem.

Reinstalling drivers IS NOT going to fix a network printer issue!

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