Printing Headaches Resolved: IP Address Switch-A-Roo

In our home network, we have an Apple Extreme network configured like this:

  • Brother Laser printer – upstairs, ethernet to router
  • Windows XP machine – upstairs, ethernet to router
  • Hub – downstairs, ethernet to router
  • Airport Express – downstairs, ethernet via hub
  • Tivo (was ReplayTV ’til its ethernet card died last week) – downstairs, ethernet via hub
  • MacMini – upstairs, Airport
  • Powerbook – upstairs and downstairs, Airport

The Extreme allocates 192. IP addresses  and the Express 10. IP addresses. A while back, the Mini, which connects to the network via wifi, stopped printing to the Bonjour printer. So did my Powerbook, which also connected wirelessly. But the Windows machine, operating counter to type, worked. So I resorted to the sneaker net USB solution or the “mail it to myself at gmail solution” — converting everything to PDFs, of course.

Tonight — when I really did not have an hour to troubleshoot this — I got the bit in my mouth (so to speak) and I’ve figured out the problem.  The printer gets its IP address from the Extreme. The address will always start 192. because it’s hard-wired to the router; this is why it and the Windows machine are simpatico.  The Mini, on the other hand, has been known to stray to the 10. network (Don’t ask. I don’t know) … as does the Powerbook when I’m working downstairs.

And that, my friends, was the only frigging problem!

I was poking around network settings when I noticed that the Mini had a 10. address. I clicked the “renew lease” button, and the new address was a 192. one. I ran the printer scan, and this time the printer showed as configured and happy. [Earlier tonight, I uninstalled and reinstalled the printer as part of my troubleshooting; the Brother utility wasn’t terribly helpful.]

Here’s hoping this little post helps some other poor soul out there!

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