Tag Archive: Windows 8

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)
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

Netflix move display to second monitor – Windows 8 Metro UI

Move the Netflix Windows 8 App (and any other MetroUI application) to your second monitor.

You can use these basic Win 8 keyboard shortcuts to toggle which monitor Netflix appears on…

Windows Key + PgUp (Move Tiles to the Left)
Windows Key + PgDown (Move Tiles to the Right)

Easy as pie!

If this little tip has helped you, please share\tweet this and mention me (@alanhart)