10 Replies Latest reply: Mar 28, 2013 10:10 PM by lwhamilton
lwhamilton Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)

I have a fairly unique problem that I'm hoping someone has a solution:  My Airport Network has been working superbly for several years - UNTILL recently. For unknown reasons, one of my USB-connected printers stops printing from either Windows computer connected wirelessly to my network? Here are some details describing my Airport Network configuration:

 

o Base is AirPort Extreme (2nd Generation). It is then connected to my Internet DSL Router.

o Bridged AirPort Extreme (1st Generation).

o Internet connection is via DSL eXtreme router (working fine).

o One printer connected via USB from AirPort Extreme Base (Canon Pixma 9000). It works fine from any computer.

o One printer "connected" via WIFI-Wirelessly via my Airport Network from either computer (Canon MG6320).

o One printer connected via USB from Airport Express (bridged from Extreme) (HP Photosmart C4150). THIS IS THE PROBLEM AREA!

o One computer is MacBook Pro Retina 15", running OS-X 10.8.3 AND running Windows XP SP3 via Parallels 8.

o One computer is Sony VAIO Notebook, running Windows 7 Home.

 

When printing to the HP Photosmart C4150 from either Windows computer, ALL OF A SUDDEN, no communications occurs and thus no printing happens! But, when making a print via my Macbook Pro, it will still print fine (while any Windows computer will not)!

 

When I analyze why, I discover that the Airport Express has (by itself?) has changed from its IP Address that was working fine to a different IP Address that then prevents printer communications from occurring!  NOTE:  The HP printer is configured in Windows by using a TCP/IP Port that is set using the Airport Express's IP Address. This technique to get printers using Windows to print wirelessly through Airport devices has been used very successfully for 3-4 years and was provided by iFelix.com. It has been an outstanding technique!!!

 

To get my Windows computers to print again, I have to go into Windows "Add Printer" in Control Panel and REDO all steps that the iFelix Technique describes - this time, I change ONLY one setting:  The Airport Express' changed IP Address to be the new/changed IP Address.  Then, all printing resumes just fine - until the Airport Express "decides" to again change its IP Address!

 

As you can imagine, this is extremely perplexing and a pain to do!  I've been forced to do this 3 times this year - and I need your help to prevent the Airport Express from arbitrarily changing its IP Address.

 

ANY HELP THAT EXPLAINS WHY THIS HAPPENS AND WHAT I MUST DO TO PREVENT THIS WILL BE GREATLY APPRECIATED,

 

Thank you,

 

Larry


MacBook Pro (Retina, Mid 2012), OS X Mountain Lion (10.8.2), 768GB Drive, 16GB ram.
  • 1. Re: Airport Express Changing It's IP Address (by itself)?
    markwmsn Level 5 Level 5 (4,120 points)

    I've never bridged an Extreme, so just guessing here...

     

    Does your bridged Extreme get its IP address by DHCP from the base Extreme? Have you tried assigning it a static or reserved address?

  • 2. Re: Airport Express Changing It's IP Address (by itself)?
    lwhamilton Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)

    marksmen,

     

    Thanks for your reply.

     

    My EXTREME is the base unit - connected to the DSL router, as if it was a "standalone". The Canon Pixma 9000 is connected to the EXTREME's USB port and world perfect.

     

    The problem Airport unit is the EXPRESS. It is the unit that was added to my existing network as "join an existing network" and IT  is the unit that gets its IP Address automatically changed - the EXTREME unit does not change in any way (it was configured basically by defaults except the Internet router and password settings and security as WPS2.

     

    To get the EXPRESS's USB Port to communicate to the HP C4150 printer (that is directly connected to the EXPRESS's USB Port), I used the TCP/IP Port setting in Windows such that it communicates to the EXPRESS's IP Address, then the signal communicates to the connected printer.  AS LONG AS THE EXPRESS UNIT KEEPS THAT IP ADDRESS, ALL IS PERFECT!!!  IT BOMBS OUT WHEN SOMETHING ARBITRARILY CHANGES THE EXPRESS UNITS IP ADDRESS, THEN THE SIGNAL CAN NO LONGER COMMUNICATE THROUGH THE EXPRESS's IP ADDRESS AND THUS TO THE USB-CONNECTED HP PRINTER.

     

    I want to know the exact setting to change in the EXTEME configuration and/or in the EXPRESS configuration or in both that will prevent the Airport EXPRESS from getting its IP Address changed.

     

    I hope this clarifies the problem details for you and you'll have the solution I need.

     

    Thank you, very much!

     

    Larry

  • 3. Re: Airport Express Changing It's IP Address (by itself)?
    John Galt Level 8 Level 8 (36,315 points)

    Your Extreme provides IP addresses via DHCP.  It does not happen arbitrarily. They may change as often as you specify according to its lease period and the presence or absence of devices that join your network. You may change that period to just about anything you desire.

     

    Apple uses Bonjour to find your network printers, while Windows PCs are unable to cope with printers whose IP addresses change. Windows does not use Bonjour by default but Apple has a utility that conveys that ability: Bonjour Print Services for Windows v2.0.2

     

    Amazing things happen when you use it.

     

    You could also configure the Express with a static IP address. That should keep your Windows PCs happy.

     

    Screen Shot 2013-03-28 at 7.44.47 PM.png

     

    Also, consider changing your Extreme's lease period to several days, at least. For home users without an abundance of devices that frequently join and drop off your network, it doesn't make sense to have a short lease period.

  • 4. Re: Airport Express Changing It's IP Address (by itself)?
    lwhamilton Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)

    Dear John,

     

    Thank you for your VERY INFORMATIVE reply to my problem!

     

    I will attempt to make your suggested changes and get back to you on how it goes.  It sounds like this will work.

     

    But let me first clarify my understanding of your fixes:

     

    o I should first change my Airport EXPRESS' IP Address to be a "Static IP", which would be its currently indicated IP

       Address that is first displayed when I open Airport Utility selecting the Airport EXPRESS (and NOT the Airport

       EXTREME). This IP address is the one that allows communication with my printer - so by making it a "Static IP", I will

       have locked the EXPRESS into what I need.  Should I do this fix first and if it seems to work and resolve my problem,

       do I then ignore the EXTREME's DHCP time period? IS THIS CORRECT?

    o Or, should I do BOTH fixes?

    o Finally, can I/should I change the DHCP Lease Time to "FOREVER"?

     

    Again, thank you VERY much, John!

     

    Larry

  • 5. Re: Airport Express Changing It's IP Address (by itself)?
    markwmsn Level 5 Level 5 (4,120 points)

    lwhamilton wrote:

     

    I want to know the exact setting to change in the EXTEME configuration and/or in the EXPRESS configuration or in both that will prevent the Airport EXPRESS from getting its IP Address changed.

    As I asked earlier, "Have you tried assigning it a static or reserved address?"

     

    Either of these should do:

     

    1. Change the Express to use static addressing:

    a. Launch AirPort Utility 6.2 on your Mac,

    b. tap the icon of the Express,

    c. click the "Edit" button,

    d. select the "Internet" tab,

    e. set "Connect Using:" to "Static", set "IPv4 Address" to any unused IP address in the same subnet as but outside the DHCP range on your Extreme, and

    f. click "Update".

    g. You would then have to set your Windows systems to look for that IP address.

     

    2. Tell the Extreme to reserve an IP address for the Express:

    a. Launch AirPort Utility 6.2 on your Mac,

    b. tap the icon of the Extreme,

    c. click the "Edit" button,

    d. select the "Network" tab,

    e. verify that "Router Mode" is set to "DHCP and NAT" or "DHCP Only",

    f. click the "+" button under the "DHCP Reservations:" box,

    g. enter whatever description will remind you what this is for, such as "Pin down Express address",

    h. for "Reserve Address By:" select "MAC Address",

    i. for "MAC Address" enter the MAC address of the Express,

    j. for "IPv4 Address" enter an IP address inside the DHCP range on your Extreme (either an unused address or the address currently allocated to the Express), and

    k. click "Save".

    l. Again, you would have to set your Windows systems to look for that IP address.

  • 6. Re: Airport Express Changing It's IP Address (by itself)?
    markwmsn Level 5 Level 5 (4,120 points)

    lwhamilton wrote:

     

    o I should first change my Airport EXPRESS' IP Address to be a "Static IP", which would be its currently indicated IP    Address that is first displayed when I open Airport Utility selecting the Airport EXPRESS (and NOT the Airport EXTREME). This IP address is the one that allows communication with my printer - so by making it a "Static IP", I will have locked the EXPRESS into what I need.

    You should NOT use the currently DHCP-assigned address of your Express as a STATIC address. You can use it as a RESERVED address (path 2 in my previous post). If you want a STATIC address, choose an address OUTSIDE the DHCP range in which the Extreme is assigning addresses, but in the same subnet.

  • 7. Re: Airport Express Changing It's IP Address (by itself)?
    John Galt Level 8 Level 8 (36,315 points)

    You may use your Express's existing IP address, if its connected printer is already working with your Windows PCs and you don't want to conjure the Windows print setup wizard all over again. If you do that, then you should change the range of addresses distributed by your Extreme to start beyond its address (or conversely, end prior to the static IP you assign the Express).

     

    If you were to follow my screenshot above, modify the Extreme (your router) as follows:

     

    Screen Shot 2013-03-29 at 12.43.56 AM.png

     

     

    To get there, AirPort Utility > select the Extreme > Edit > Network > Network Options...

     

    You see in the above that the range of DHCP addresses distributed by your Extreme will start at 10.0.1.3 and stop 197 IP addresses later.

     

    Another way to do this is to "reserve" DHCP addresses you specify. As you can see there are several options to accomplish the same thing.

     

    I do not recommend changing the lease period to forever and I don't think that is possible anyway. The default is several hours, which may result in unnecessarily frequent reassignments of IP addresses. Several days is more appropriate for most home users.

     

    I do recommend using Bonjour Print Services for Windows, whether or not you do the above. It's devastatingly easy to use.

  • 8. Re: Airport Express Changing It's IP Address (by itself)?
    lwhamilton Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)

    Dear marksmen,

     

    Thank you for your very informative reply/fixes.  I greatly appreciate your solutions.

     

    Larry

  • 9. Re: Airport Express Changing It's IP Address (by itself)?
    lwhamilton Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)

    Dear marksmen,

     

    AGAIN, Thank you for your very informative reply/fixes.  I greatly appreciate your solutions.

     

    Larry

  • 10. Re: Airport Express Changing It's IP Address (by itself)?
    lwhamilton Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)

    Dear John,

     

    Thank you very much - I greatly appreciate your input!

     

    I will try this solution.

     

    Larry