Tag Archive: windows 7

Printer goes offline randomly in Windows Vista, 7, 8, 10 and Server 2003, 2008, 2012

In our office users were complaining of printers randomly going offline even though other users’ computers on the same network were able to print just fine. Usually they would just reboot the PC or disconnect from ethernet and connect to the office wifi instead and it would start working again.

After much exploring of network and IP related settings the solution actually turned out to be ridiculously simple!

Windows Vista and all versions of windows thereafter automatically enable SNMP for networked printers, and if there’s no response to an SNMP message then it stupidly assumes that the printer is offline.
If you didn’t know,  SNMP (Simple Network Management Protocol) is used to get info from network devices (such as printers, switches, routers, servers etc).
Many network printers support SNMP and will happily reply to SNMP requests. In this scenario i discovered that some do not.

Our printers are all reasonably old Brother HL53250DN or HP CP2015 devices (or similar) which seem to have difficulty with SNMP. Essentially Windows will report the printer as offline randomly because it has just tried to get a response via SNMP with no luck.

The easy fix is to just ask Windows politely to not use SNMP to detect printer status.

1. Right-click on the printer in the Printers window
2. Choose the Ports tab
3. Select “Configure Port”
4. Untick the checkbox “SNMP Status Enable”
The printer should then start showing as online again.

This fix has worked on many versions of Windows on the various PCs, laptops and servers in our offices.

Windows Vista
Windows 7
Windows 8
Windows 8.1
Windows 10
Windows Server 2003
Windows Server 2008
Windows Server 2012

If you tried the steps above but the issue presents itself again then you may be able to edit the registry (if you’re comfortable to do so)

To do this…
1. goto HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Control\Print
2. Add new DWORD “SNMPLegacy” with value of 1 and restart the PC/Server (if safe to do so)

The issue can occur even if the printer does support SNMP but a firewall or network setting is getting in the way. This happened in one of our other buildings using an older router setup.

If you had this problem and it helped you out please tweet or comment below stating the Windows version and printer model you had the issue with.

Also if you’re feeling generous buy me a coffee via PayPal at https://www.paypal.me/AlanHart or using the link in the sidebar.

Pin .bat Batch File or Shortcut to Start Menu / Taskbar with Custom Icon – Windows 7, 8 & 10

So you want to pin a batch file or shortcut with a custom icon to the start menu / taskbar in Windows 7, 8 and 10?

Easily add a batch file (.bat) to the taskbar by following these steps:

1. Rename your .bat or .cmd file extension to .exe
2. Right click the newly renamed .exe file and select pin to taskbar
3. Rename the file extension back to .bat or .cmd
4. Shift+right click the newly pinned .exe taskbar icon and choose properties
5. Change the file extension from .exe to .bat or .cmd and change the icon as needed. (for lots of system icons here use the path: “%SystemRoot%\system32\SHELL32.dll”)
6. The shortcut will work immediately you’ll need to reboot or just kill explorer.exe in task manager and re-run it to update/refresh the icon if you changed it.

I use the method above to launch .vbs scripts from the taskbar.
Here’s how to create a .bat file to run vbs scripts…

Open notepad to create a blank text file and add one of the following lines
wscript.exe yourscript.vbs (wscript just runs the vbs as a Windows process)
or
cscript.exe yourscript.vbs (cscript runs the vbs in a command/console window)
then save the text file as a .bat file in the same folder as the .vbs script file.

If this blog post has helped you please feel free to say thanks by clicking “Buy Me a Coffee” PayPal Donate button in the sidebar (down the bottom on mobiles)
or via http://www.paypal.me/alanhart

Dreamweaver CS3 won’t start in Windows 7

I’m still using Dreamweaver CS3 for some web stuff. It does all I need it to do, or at least it did until it suddenly just decided to not load anymore!

I tried rebooting, tried running as admin, tried running in compatibility mode etc.
Finally I found that there now appears to be a some kind of issue with Windows Aero, on my laptop at least.
So, after much frustration I finally got it to work.

If your Dreamweaver CS3 has stopped loading in Windows 7 you can get it to work by just changing these settings …

1. Right click the Dreamweaver shortcut and then click “Properties”.
2. Click the “Compatability” tab.
3. Under the “Settings” section:
Tick “Disable visual themes” and “Disable desktop composition”
(It does seem to work without ticking “Disable visual themes”, but a couple of times it didn’t start so I left mine ticked just in case.)

You’ll notice that you lose your nice aero transparency / colours etc but at least you can now use Dreamweaver CS3 on Windows 7 again!

You could disable Windows Aero completely, or just the Aero Peek feature, but seems overkill to change the entire OS appearance just for the sake of one misbehaving application.

If this helped you please tweet me (@alanhart) or comment below to let me know!

How To See Total Recycle Bin Size – Easily!

I wanted to be able to see the total size of my recycle bin and was surprised to learn that this feature doesn’t exist in Windows 7!

I wanted to  be able to instantly see if the recycle bin size was getting too big and to empty the recycle bin without having to minimize windows etc, saving a few clicks (Every second counts!).

I came across this useful tool called MiniBin…

MiniBin is a free (and small) recycle bin size viewing tool for your Windows system tray area (the area next to the clock in your taskbar).

MiniBin - Recycle bin System Tray Tool Icon

Besides saving you a few clicks, Minibin may also come handy when you are hiding the recycle bin from your desktop or if you are using a replacement shell that provides a system tray but no usable or customizable recycle bin.

Whatever reason you have to use Minibin, It’s fast and easy as well as totally customisable. MiniBin even lets you use your own icons, use your own language… and it’s it’s 100% portable (you can choose to run at startup etc or just choose to install it to a folder (no registry entries or anything installed to system folders)

A few cool things about MiniBin:
– Tiny file size: only 312 KB when extracted!
– Sit’s in system tray – Mouse over icon to see recycle bin size info
– You can specify the recycle bin size at which the tray icon displays as full.
– Customisable icons – comes bundles with tons of icon themes!

I love MiniBin and i’ve only been using it for a few weeks!

Download it here… (MiniBin-3.8.3.0-Setup.zip) (100Kb)

Source: http://www.e-sushi.net/minibin/

Shutdown windows 7 without installing updates

There have been loads of times when updates are ready but i want the computer / laptop off and ready to move asap (to go home from work and take my laptop with me). was so annoying having to wait for windows to update when i didn’t want to.

I have found a way to shutdown windows 7 without being forced to install the updates…

Run regedit (search in start menu)

Under HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\Software\Policies\Microsoft\Windows\WindowsUpdate\AU
if the keys “WindowsUpdate” and “AU” aren’t there just add them (right click > New > Key)
right click > New > DWORD
name it “NoAUAsDefaultShutdownOption” double click it and enter value 1.

the “shutdown” button will never be changed by Windows Update from your default action to “shutdown and install updates”.
If updates are ready to be installed “shutdown and install updates” is instead displayed in the [>] menu to the side of the shutdown button

On my system it happend almost as soon as the registry value was added, but you may need to reboot before the change is applied.

Also important is “NoAutoRebootWithLoggedOnUsers”, also a DWORD in the same location with value 1. This stops Windows from rebooting automatically if a user is logged in or you leave it working overnight for example.