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jcm, Certified Networking Engineer
Category: Networking
Satisfied Customers: 84
Experience:  I am a four year experienced Cisco Network Engineer. I possess a CCNA.
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I have a Brother HL-2142 Printer connected to an apple extreme

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I have a Brother HL-2142 Printer connected to an apple extreme modem router via usb. Printer is available to my windows box via Bonjour. Periodically printouts don't work - they simply spool. Only rebooting the apple extreme modem router fixes the problem - then the spooled printout prints. How can I solve this?

jcm :

Hello and welcome to Just Answer! My name is Josh and I would be glad to help you.

JACUSTOMER-kceu2p1l- :

Hello jcm...

JACUSTOMER-kceu2p1l- :

ah, now that I read properly, hello Josh :)

JACUSTOMER-kceu2p1l- :

So Josh, any ideas about what my problem could be?

JACUSTOMER-kceu2p1l- :

First time I've used 'just answer'. Not sure if I'm getting anywhere? email says "I've just answered your Networking question". However all I see is 'jcm steped out' and 'jcm enterd' and 'jcm stepped out' and 'jcm entered', however I'm not seeing any conversation nor answers???

JACUSTOMER-kceu2p1l- :

mmm, can't watch a screen all night, bye...

Customer: Josh, you have not provided any answer at all.. All you have said is "My name is XXXXX XXXXX I would be glad to help you". Josh, either supply some answers, or ask some questions, or 'opt-out' so that someone else can solve my issue...
jcm :

Sorry about that. It seems you did not get my initial questions. I had asked you to verify that the printer is hooked to your PC and not the Airport. Network printing should not work over USB when it is hooked to a router.

jcm :

You can find the details to hook up your printer manually by reading this document. Relevant information for the Macintosh is on page 16. for windows, page 15.

Customer: replied 4 years ago.
Not satisfied with your answer at all. I do not want the printer connected to a PC, I want it connected to the network. The airport extreme has a usb port which is very explicitly designed for usb printer connections or usb drive sharing. The printing does work via usb and the network and airport extreme and bonjour. the problem is that it 'appears' to disconnect. This url specifically mentions usb network printing -

Recommends we try to print with the printer connected first. I'm sorry if you wanted to skip this step. It's also helpful to have the printer hooked up via USB in order to update firmware on the device. Where are you losing connectivity from? The PC, a Mac? If PC, what O/S version? It sounds like the integrated airport print server could be incompatible with this printer or the printer itself doesn't support print servers.

Regardless, I would reocmmend you upgrade the firmware on the printer and the drivers on your machine:

If you need more detailed steps on how to do this let me know. As a start though, I would make sure your printer is physically hooked up to the PC you are working with for the most reliable connection. Once we get the drivers/firmware updated we can try again on the airport.

Sorry for the miscommunication.


Additionally I found this workaround that might do the trick for you. I would do it AFTER updating the firmware and drivers:

1. Make sure the Bonjour Service is running. Right click on My Computer, click on Manage,click on Services under Services and Applications. Scrroll down the list to "Bonjour Services." If it doesn't say "Started," then click on it and click on "Start."

2. Once the service has started, you will need to correct a bug in Bonjour. Run the Bonjour Printer Wizard, click on the printer and click on "Next." See if the entry under "Model" matches the model of your printer. If not, click on next and then click on back. You will see a different dialog box which gives you a choice of models. Scroll to the correct one and then click on it. Apparently Bonjour chooses the wrong model by default and doesn't let you correct it until after you have installed the wrong driver -- an Apple quirk.

Customer: replied 4 years ago.
I have been at work, so will read/try all your recommendations at home tonight. FYI, I am runnng windows7 professional. It does all work, however 'goes wrong' along the way. Rebooting the printer does not work. Rebooting the PC does not work. However as soon as I bounce the airport extreme then all works again, till next time. I've not managed to isolate which circmstances cause the 'disconnect' to happen.
Customer: replied 4 years ago.

OK I've read everything and understand what has been said. Hooking the printer up to the PC is a task that can't be done quick and easy - never mind the reasons - so will have to happen over the next few weeks. The bonjour service is running. I will need to wait for the issue to occur, and when it does I will check the state of the service. The wizard does appear to have the correct printer. Like I've mentioned before though, bouncing the extreme modem router does the job ???

You have to realize that the Airport is having to emulate a function that the USB printer does not support. The USB printer for all it knows thinks it is connected to a PC. With this being said, there may be issues.

You may want to consider checking/updating the firmware on your Airport as well. Some good instructions on how to do that are located here:

Again, please let me know if you run into any issues or have questions. Do me a favor and check internet connectivity on the Windows 7 machine also the next time it stops printing. Also feel free to rate my service when you are comfortable.
Customer: replied 4 years ago.

I'm not sure how long I should persist or bother you with this one? The problem is not solved. I've not really been given a technical 'known reason' for it not working. I've not been told whether the issue is with the printer or whether it is with the Airport Extreme. You've given opinion and things to try, but not a concrete answer. Indeed you have mentioned upgrading the printer firmware - which is something I need to do.
I question your statement "Airport is having to emulate a function that the USB printer does not support". Is that correct? Is that documented somewhere, that the 'USB Printer does not support' being plugged into the Extreme? I notice on the great new Netgear R6300 wifi router that they have a USB port for 'sharing a printer'? i.e. if a USB printer has no idea what it is plugged into, surely it should work?
To answer some of your other recommendations - I had the issue again today, so checked a few things. Yes I did have internet connectivity. As I've stated, the issue is not with the PC or the drivers or windows. The issue is between the printer and the Airport extreme. The Bonjour service was running. I restarted it and it made no difference. I fired up the Bonjour printer wizard and it does not even see the printer! I did the same on another PC on the network, and same issue, printer is not seen at all. Restart the Airport Extreme Router, and bingo, printer is available again for a few days without fail.
So I'll say again, connectivity between the printer and the router is lost...?

The printer is designed to run plugged in to a USB slot on a PC. It is designed to have a specific device driver associated with it in order for the PC to operate and communicate with it over the USB connection. Some printer vendors specifically mention if their printer supports USB print server sharing. This is where the printer is plugged into a USB device that also shares ethernet network capability and acts as an intermediary. With this setup, the printer is unaware that it isn't plugged in to a PC and continues to operate just like it normally would. However, just because the printer vendor does not mention support for this does not mean that it will not work, only that it isn't an officially supported function of the printer. Your printer does not mention support for this USB print server type of connection (which is what you are doing with the Apple Airport).

The USB slot does not have ethernet functionality built in. Therefore, if USB connectivity is reliably working between the printer and PC with it hooked up as the printer is designed to work (which I have asked you to verify -- still pending) then the issue most likely is not with the printer.

When you hook the USB printer to the router, the router is now acting a network intermediary between the ethernet network and the USB printer connection. It's up to the router to maintain this connection as well as have driver compatibility with your printer. Apple no longer provides a list of supported printers so I apologize as I cannot give you a definite 100% answer on that.

When I recommend to upgrade firmware/software this is in hopes of fixing or adding new USB capabilities or ethernet network support to either your printer or Apple Airport. This isn't a 100% exact science that I can provide a 100% exact answer as we are dealing with a setup that we do not have confirmation from either vendor if it is supposed to work. My suggestion is that this setup is unsupported. If it works, then great but if the connection becomes unreliable then there isn't much that can be done due to the lack of support.
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