Saturday, August 01, 2009

Wireless printing issues with the HP Photosmart C4580

I had the "honor" of installing a HP Photosmart C4580 All-In-On printer onto a Windows XP netbook. While the installation steps are simple (as with most any Windows installation), there's a little snag that you may come up against when attempting to setup the printer for wireless printing.

The netbook in question had Bitdefender Internet Security 2009 installed. The firewall that comes with it does not work well with wireless printers. During installation, the printer would be blocked from communicating with the netbook resulting in an inability to configure the wireless settings on the printer. For whatever reason, HP chose to require the user to transfer the wireless settings through the USB cable before attempting to connect wirelessly. The printer does not allow configuration of its wireless settings from the control panel.

After the installation hurdle is done with, we're now blocked from two way communication between printer and netbook. The status of the printer could not be communicated to the netbook which means we get an "Offline" status reading in Printers and Faxes. Thus, the printer refuses to print.

That's not all. Even scanning doesn't work and ink levels are not accessible. The printer's network settings that should be viewable from the printer toolbox is as elusive as the ink levels.

If you follow the Photosmart's User's Guide and open up all the ports indicated as well as trusting the listed .exe files, you'll be sorely disappointed as you'll find that the printer is still unable to communicate with the netbook.

The simple act of disabling the firewall completely fixes all issues. It's certainly not recommended to disable the firewall in this time and day, but if you're unlucky enough to have this printer (or, perhaps printers of the same series) as your printing device, then you're out of options.