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Network printing with iMac - "Network host is busy..."

by Josh K / January 28, 2008 9:57 AM PST

I have an iMac 2.4 GHz with 2 GB RAM. My printer is a Canon PIXMA iP5200, which is connected via USB cable to a Maxtor Shared Storage Plus external hard drive. The hard drive is on my home wireless network.

This setup has been working fine for two years with my Windows computers; however whenever I try to print from the iMac I get an error message saying "Network host '' is busy; will retry in 5 seconds. That's followed by another message saying 10 seconds, and so on up to 30 seconds. Needless to say I never do get a successful print.

The computer can see the printer and says it is "idle" and "ready." There are no other jobs waiting in the queue. The printer was setup with Internet Printing Protocol. The driver is correct and the firmware for the Maxtor drive is up to date.

I have AppleCare but thought I'd give the forums a shot before calling them.

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Try cheating.
by R. Proffitt Forum moderator / January 28, 2008 11:09 PM PST

While I might think to check if that print server has support pages, firmware updates (I didn't check for you) I will share my old workaround which was to share the printer on some other working machine and print to the share.


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I'm hoping to avoid that....
by Josh K / January 29, 2008 12:58 AM PST
In reply to: Try cheating.

...only because it would require the sharing computer to be on.

From my Googling I think the problem may be something to do with having it set up with IPP configuation instead of LDP. LDP is new to me so I'll call Apple and have them walk me through it.

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Hmm, I thought it would use LPR
by R. Proffitt Forum moderator / January 29, 2008 1:00 AM PST

Now I'll have to look up IPP and LDP...

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In my searching.....
by Josh K / January 29, 2008 1:49 AM PST

...I saw it referred to as LPR and LDP. Again, I don't know anything about either. I am not at that computer now but I believe it was referred to as LDP in the connection type dropdown list.

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As you a new user
by Angeline Booher / January 29, 2008 2:04 AM PST
In reply to: In my searching.....

..... thus a new caller to Apple Care...

Have your serial number ready. They ask for it.

If you haven't noted it before, it is always available by going to the blue Apple in the top task bar (I assume it's still there in Leopard?)

Click "About This Mac"

Then on "More information". On mine it's the last in the list of "hardware overview"


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Thanks, Angeline
by Josh K / January 29, 2008 2:41 AM PST
In reply to: As you a new user

Calling them will probably be the easiest way to resolve this.

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Just got off the phone with them
by Josh K / February 2, 2008 1:49 AM PST
In reply to: As you a new user

Apparently the problem is that Apple networking cannot configure devices connected in series -- e.g. my printer which is connected to my external hard drive, which is in turn connected to my router. The printer has to have a direct connection to either the router or one of my computers. The problem with connecting it to the router is that my router does not have any USB ports.

So it looks like I have two choices -- connecting the printer directly to the iMac, which means it has to be on in order to print from our other computer, or replacing my router. I'm starting to look into the latter.

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Another, possible, solution
by mrmacfixit Forum moderator / February 2, 2008 4:19 AM PST

You find yourself an Ethernet to USB convertor.

On some HP printers that are classified as Network Ready, they come with a little dongle that has an RJ45 socket on one end and a USB socket on the other.

The board inside can be configured for an IP address that suits your network.

Once configured, your printer becomes a network printer and will be accessible by everyone as long as it is connected to the network.
I believe Hawking make one. They refer to theirs as a print server


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Cool, I'll have to try that!!
by Josh K / February 2, 2008 7:45 AM PST

Right now I've got the printer connected directly to the iMac. The iMac saw it right away but my XP computer is having a heck of a time printing to it. I think I finally figured out what the connection string should be but now I've got a job hung up in the queue.

I did try a wireless print server a couple of years ago and it worked but was painfully slow. But the idea of a USB-to-Ethernet converter is intriguing. I'll try it and let you know how it went.

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(NT) OK, thanks
by mrmacfixit Forum moderator / February 2, 2008 11:14 PM PST
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What about a USB splitter?
by Josh K / February 3, 2008 3:31 AM PST

I've seen those advertised at Radio Shack and the like for around $30 or so. You can share one device between two or more computers. Anyone have any experience using those?

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Never mind, a self-defeating option
by Josh K / February 4, 2008 6:57 AM PST

Every one I've found has a manual switch on it -- you have to flip the switch or click a button to tell it which computer you want to connect to the printer. Since my computers are on different floors, that's just not going to work for us.

The Apple AirPort Extreme base station or new Time Capsule (base station with built in HDD) look promising. I'm checking compatibility with my ISP and the reviews, which look good so far.

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"Network host is busy..."
by ttrtilley--2008 / April 2, 2008 2:17 PM PDT

The AirPort Extreme gets this same problem.
Cycling the power is a workaround.
Best wait till the beta-test is over.
For new products, this can't be done before shipping.

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by Polarbear1922 / July 6, 2011 7:45 PM PDT

I rencent installedl a HP Envy Printer it worked ok for a week but now I am getting the same message as you
have you had any feed back I did ask Apple care but so far no response.

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Start a new thread instead of hijacking this 3 year old one
by mrmacfixit Forum moderator / July 6, 2011 10:01 PM PDT
In reply to: Network


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network to printer
by Polarbear1922 / July 6, 2011 11:22 PM PDT

"3m USB 2.0 A to B Cable I have purchased from Amazon

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