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Stymied
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Re-connecting Windows 10 laptop with HP printer

I have been advised by Virgin Media Response to seek help here.

I am using a Dell laptop running Windows 10.  The printer which is involved is an HP Deskjet 3050, which has always been easy to manage, and responsive to troubleshooting.  My hub is one of the earlier so-called Super Hubs.

Initial Problem: Recently I became aware that my Virgin Broadband wifi connection had become unstable, and apart from service interruptions, was also downloading and uploading at an excruciatingly slow pace.  I have increasingly had to use my phone’s mobile data instead of my home broadband.

By Saturday, the interruptions had become more of a nuisance and less easy to fix, or to work round, so I tried to get advice via 151, only to reach the point where they harvest your password characters, and then say you need to provide your mobile number and will be called back.  My experience since, having left my mobile number a second time yesterday and a third time this morning, makes me suspect the mobile numbers are binned, rather than added to the queue.  I have yet to be called back. I’m quite miffed about that.  

On Sunday after receiving no call-back by late afternoon, I phoned in and was eventually connected to someone who suggested, after the same resets and reboots I had tried, that the solution might be to switch to 5G rather than 2G, which he did remotely.  Speed seemed somewhat better immediately, but I did not then realise that my printer was no longer connected to the laptop.

Printer side of the problem
Sunday (Day 2) I’ve occasionally had to use HP’s Print and Scan Doctor to resolve problems but for the first time, this did not succeed in enabling the connection of the laptop and the printer. I worked my way through all the options but still the connection eluded me. As part of this process, I generated a Wireless Printout which I thought would be useful because it showed all the settings and what had passed and what failed. I also obtained a list of the 19 networks the printer could access, but my own Virgin Media was not one of them. However, the top scorer was a Virgin Media account, unique because it had with no number or alternative name, which made me wonder whether this could be my own Hub or that of the neighbouring flat.

I checked and found that all my other devices could access my network while the printer still could not.  HP put a tool for ‘troubleshooting a printer network connection’ into a text file on my Desktop which I worked through on Sunday, until the point where I could not access the Hub Settings because the data I entered was not recognised.

Yesterday afternoon (day 3) I had help from Virgin via social media, the verdict eventually being that it was maybe something external, and I should seek help from this Community Forum.  But I also the key info I needed to access the Hub Settings: for the Settings password, I’d been using the passphrase instead of the admin password.

I’m fairly sure the problem is that my printer can’t be a dual band printer as I’ve had it for quite a while—it’s even pre- Instant Ink.  So I changed the wifi from 5Ghz back to 2.4Ghz. As it was just a click of the button—it wasn’t saving changes I’d made to passwords—I don’t know whether it actually switched over or if there’s remaining debris that’s clogging it up.  I reset and rebooted both laptop and printer after changing the setting back to 2.4Ghz.  However my printer and laptop are still not connected (Day 4).

Is it possible that when Virgin changed my network to 5Ghz, it created a new SSID and that is behind the printer connection problem?  If so, in switching back to 2.4Ghz in the Hub Settings, would the hub not have reverted to its 2G SSID, and been recognisable as such?

I’d appreciate any advice you can give me re connecting it.  I am still having problems with the connection this morning, but will use the data from my mobile phone to check for replies.

Thank you!

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Z92
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Re: Re-connecting Windows 10 laptop with HP printer

The best solution as a first step might be to reset the hub back to factory defaults but pressing and holding the small reset button at the back of the hub for about a minute.

Or, since you have access to the web interface of the hub, there's a "Restore default" button inside the "Reload and reboot" menu, if that's easier for you.

You might need eventually to split your WiFi bands - you can do this simply by giving each WiFi a different name - this might be what VM did.

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goslow
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Re: Re-connecting Windows 10 laptop with HP printer

And having followed @Z92's suggestions, first try and get your laptop connected.

Your printer will only work on the 2.4GHz SSID once you have split the wireless. It doesn't have 5GHz capability as far as I can see from the spec's. Do a full reset on the printer as well to clear out any existing network settings it might be storing.

I have found in the past, when trying to set up HP wireless printers, that the best way to do the initial setup is by downloading the full HP driver/utility program and doing the first setup with the printer plugged into the laptop via USB. Wouldn't normally suggest installing HP bloatware but, in the case of this type of printer, it seems to be the only way to do the first setup with any hope of it working reliably. Connecting with USB to begin with allows you to easily put in all of the required info.

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Re: Re-connecting Windows 10 laptop with HP printer

Thank you @Z92.  I'm so grateful to have a reply.  I've gone back into my Wireless Settings and it seems whether it's on 2.4Ghz or 5Ghz the SSID is the same.  If VM assigned a different SSID, it doesn't appear there.  I just really want to rid myself of the 5Ghz complications  so that I can get my printer back to work. I have rebooted the Hub several times over the past 4 days as well as resetting it twice (the second time being after I switched back to 2.4Ghz.  But I will do that again.  Not sure I kept the pin in for a full minute, so I will reset again via the Hub Settings.

On the HP Configuration Summary the Network name SSID is simply Virgin Media, without the numbers in the rest of the SSID.  I got stuck with the HP tool left on my Desktop, when it go to looking for MAC numbers because I couldn't see a way of accessing them to change anything.

I'm not sure how to split the wifi bands.  I'm hoping another reboot and reset will solve it. 

Should the order be first reset, then reboot, or the other way round, please?

Thank you again for your time and the helpful explanation.

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Adduxi
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Re: Re-connecting Windows 10 laptop with HP printer

Once you reset a Hub it will revert to a single SSID.  Just split the SSID by adding an _2 and _5 to the end of the name in the settings page.

Once this is done you can connect the printer to the VMxxxxx_2 wifi name. 

Note the rename will survive a power cycle, but NOT a pin hole reset.   🙂

I'm a Very Insightful Person, I'm here to share knowledge, I don't work for Virgin Media. Learn more

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Re: Re-connecting Windows 10 laptop with HP printer

Thank you @goslow for the extra piece of advice.   I'll follow your tip about setting up using the USB lead.  At some point over the past 4 days, I did download the full driver utility program which will have overwritten the original one.

While I still don't know how to split the wireless, I've done a full reset on the printer and it worked perfectly.  (I couldn't remember what it involved but I've found a video for this for the 3050, and it seemed to check out OK.)

Once I've worked how to split the wireless, I'll try to reconnect the printer. 

Would you suggest I remove the printer software from my laptop, and download the latest version again?  I note that this single printer is showing twice in the Printers and Scanners list in my laptop settings.  Once as HP Deskjet 3050 J610 series (identified below as Offline) and again as HP Deskjet 3050 J610 series (Network) (identified below as Not Connected.  Out of curiosity, is the first the USB setup and the second the network enabled one?

Thanks again for your help.  I am really grateful to you for your time and support.

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goslow
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Re: Re-connecting Windows 10 laptop with HP printer

To begin with, just see if you can get the laptop connecting reliably to wireless. If you are on an older Super Hub, can you get a wireless page up which looks like this?

https://setuprouter.com/router/netgear/vmdg490/wifi-setup-83132-large.htm

You can tick both 2.4GHz and 5GHz enabled (as you are going to split the bands)

In the SSID boxes, follow Adduxi's info at #5 and name one SSID VMxxxxx_2 and the other VMxxxxx_5 (where the x's are your numbers for your own setup)

Security should be WPA2-PSK[AES]

If you have reset the hub the passphrases should already match the ones shown on the hub base.

Leave the channel settings to auto. Click save settings button.

Give the hub a few minutes to reconfigure itself. It should prompt you on screen when done. Then try and connect your laptop to the 2.4 GHz SSID (VMxxxxx_2).

Report back after that!

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Re: Re-connecting Windows 10 laptop with HP printer

Thanks Adduxi.  I did reply to you earlier, but I was so long trying to express exactly what I had, that when I clicked on Post, instead of the message being sent, it turned out I'd taken too long and it seems it went nowhere.  I need to remember to copy replies before I send a response, so that I can retrieve it if it's been hijacked.

Your reply was helpful directing me to look for a situation in which I could rename and split the bands.  From this page, https://www.virginmedia.com/help/virgin-media-changing-your-hubs-wireless-channel  I have at last found a match to what I have on my screen for my wireless settings.  It's Hub 1, which unlike the next ones up, doesn't have the two bands side by side.  

I am so grateful to you and others like you, who are so generous with the time and their IT skills to help others.

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goslow
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Re: Re-connecting Windows 10 laptop with HP printer


@Stymied wrote:

<snip>

Your reply was helpful directing me to look for a situation in which I could rename and split the bands.  From this page, https://www.virginmedia.com/help/virgin-media-changing-your-hubs-wireless-channel  I have at last found a match to what I have on my screen for my wireless settings.  It's Hub 1, which unlike the next ones up, doesn't have the two bands side by side.  

<snip>


If you are on a Super Hub 1, that puts you at a bit of a crossroads/dilemma in so far as that is obsolete now really. It also only has 2.4GHz capability so there is no splitting of bands to be done.

In theory, you should be able to get a free upgrade to the Hub 3 but am not sure how (or if) that works at the moment when supplies of hubs have been in constraint. VM have been giving out older 2ac models recently, which would not be that much of an upgrade for you. You might invest time/effort now trying to get the wireless working on the SH1, when in fact you should really have it replaced.

Your wireless problems may be down to a fault given you have the SH1. In which case VM should replace it for you.

So, with your SH1, are you able to connect your laptop to it for starters and hold the wireless connection reliably at an acceptable speed? If the laptop doesn't work reliably via wireless there won't be too much point in spending loads of time trying to get the printer working.

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Re: Re-connecting Windows 10 laptop with HP printer

Thank you for popping back with more helpful advice @goslow. I've had only one break in wireless today, which is a huge improvement, so I'm waiting to check that the 2G is stable, at least for a while, before moving on to the printer connection.  I'm almost ready to do the acid test of connecting the printer, but I might leave that until tomorrow.

Having done a reset, using the button in the settings, rather than the pin this time, I think my hub has reverted to 2.4G only.  On my Wireless Settings the button is charcoal coloured with 2G and switches to a red Save Settings button when it's on 5G so I am a little worried that in playing around with the two bands, I'm still locked into 5G.  I'm wondering whether I should do another hub reset, just to be sure. 

I have managed to find a page which shows the exact layout of the wireless settings page for my hub, and from that I realise that my hub is Hub 1. The next image on this page resembles the image you found (I was able to get that up, thank you) with both options and is labelled Hub 2 or 2ac.  https://www.virginmedia.com/help/virgin-media-changing-your-hubs-wireless-channel 

My hub wireless settings do not show the two bands individually as all the other Super hubs do.  I hadn't realised quite how out of date it is, as it's still working perfectly efficiently and any snags are quickly sorted out by HP's Print and Scan Doctor.  I think that doesn't leave me with any option other than to stick with 2G.

I really appreciate your following up on how this problem was evolving at my end.  I hope you benefit from as many good deeds from others, as you so liberally deliver on this Forum.  Thank you again.

 

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