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Print Management Guide - Network Printing


If you use a computer network for your business or home, it is very possible to add your laser printer to the network so that it is accessible to all your computers.  This tutorial will be helpful if you are interested in learning how to connect to your laser printer via your network , rather than using a direct connection like a parallel cable or USB.

We will be using HP Laserjets as an example. First some basics.

A networked printer is a printer that is hooked up to your computer network with a network cable or with a wireless networking adapter. Networked printers have what is called a print server attached to them. The print server can be external to the printer, a plug-in JetDirect card, or built-in to the formatter of the printer.

Here are some pictures of JetDirect Cards (internal print servers).

Here is an external print server.

You can think of a print server as a network card for a printer with additional functionality. For example, most of the newer model HP JetDirect cards (600N and newer) have embedded web servers This means you can remotely access the configuration of the card by typing in the JetDirect card’s IP address into a web browser such as Internet Explorer or Firefox. Usually this is more convenient than configuring the JetDirect card at the printer’s control panel. Below is a picture of the web interface for a J6057A JetDirect Card.

There are two basic pieces of information you will need to set up the JetDirect card: the IP address, and subnet mask. We won’t discuss a lot of technical details about IP addresses and subnet masks, but you should know that every device on a computer network has a unique IP address, and the subnet mask will generally be the same on all devices in a small network.

If you have a network administrator, ask them what IP address and subnet mask you should use. Or better yet, just have them configure the printer. If you don’t have a network administrator or resident computer guru, then we will assume that you have a small office or home network and that person is you.

How IP addresses and gateways work

To set up the JetDirect card, you will need an IP address and a subnet mask. If you don’t have a network administrator or resident computer guru to provide this info for you, then we will assume that you have a small office or home network and that person is you.

Below is a picture of a typical home or small office network.

If you have a DSL modem or cable modem you will typically have what is called a gateway or router. The terms gateway and router are often used interchangeably. In many cases the modem and gateway are combined in one unit. This device does quite a few things. It allows you to hook up many, potentially thousands, of devices to your network. The gateway has two IP address. One is an external IP address assigned by your ISP (internet service provider), and the other an internal IP address that is only accessible within your network. This internal IP address is also called you default gateway IP address (GW). All computers on your local network need to know the default gateway IP in order to access the internet.

Even though your ISP only assigns you one IP address, the gateway allows you to have many IP addresses through a technique called Network Address Translation (NAT). Read here for more

It is also worth noting that there are specific IP addresses that are reserved for local networks called private IP addresses. Read here for more You really don’t want to use non-private IP address schemes inside your network. Our example above uses the common 192.169.0.x IP scheme where x is a number between 0 and 255. More on that later.

Another function of the gateway is to automatically assign and manage IP addresses in your network. Remember that each device in your network must have a unique IP address. This feature is called DHCP – dynamic host configuration protocol. (DHCP is the successor to the older BOOTP protocol. Keep that in mind since you might run into the term BOOTP when setting up the JetDirect card). If you want to know more about DCHP look here

Having your gateway act as a DHCP server to assign IP addresses is a nice convenience because you don’t have to worry about configuring the network settings on all of the devices on your network; the DCHP server does it for you. IP addresses assigned this way are called dynamic IP addresses. Dynamic IP addresses can change. For example when a printer is turned off it looses its dynamic IP address. When it is turned back on the DHCP server assigns it another IP address. It might be the same IP address, but then again, it might not. If your printer had a dynamic IP address and its address changed, you wouldn’t be able to print. Your computer would be configured to print to the old IP address and the printer would no longer be there. Printers should therefore have static IP addresses. This requires that you manually configure the network settings of your printer.

For advanced users, some DHCP servers can assign the same IP address based on the MAC address (hardware address) of the JetDirect card. This would basically allow you to assign the IP address at the DHCP server, given you know the Mac address. The Mac address can be obtained by printing a configuration page, or sometimes it is printed on the JetDirect card.

Determining the IP address

What if I don’t know what IP address and subnet mask I should use?

A quick method is to find the IP address of your computer and then pick an IP that is within your IP addressing scheme.

In Microsoft Windows , go to the Start menu and click on Run, type in Command (or cmd), and press Enter.

This will open a black window with a command prompt. Type in ipconfig (or ipconfig /all) and press Enter. You should get something like what is shown below.

You will notice in our example above that the IP address scheme is 192.169.0.x, where x is a number between 1 and 254. (Technically 0 and 255 are valid but in most cases you don’t want to use an IP ending in 0 or 255. These are generally reserved for use by network protocols). So our example computer’s IP is, our Subnet Mask is, and our Gateway is If we want to pick an IP for the printer we have to remember that we can’t have duplicate IP’s. So I would choose a high number, like 170, because the DHCP server is typically configured to assign IP addresses starting at a low number and ending at some higher number. If you have access to your DHCP server’s settings, you might want to set the ending range of assignable IP addresses to something like 150, and choose your static IP addresses above that range.

So now we have an IP address chosen for our example printer. SM means subnet mask.


The next step is to install the JetDirect card in the printer if you haven’t already. Then you should be able to print a configuration page to make sure the card is recognized by the printer. The configuration page will tell you the JetDirect card’s current IP address and subnet mask, which may be set to default values, and other information such as the LAN Hardware (MAC) address.  Click here for instructions on printing out a configuration page.

Now we need to get our IP address and subnet mask entered into the JetDirect card.

There are three common methods for entering a static IP:

1. Through the printers control panel
2. Through the JetDirect’s embedded web server (available on most new cards--600N and newer)
3. Software – HP Web JetAdmin and HP Install Network Printer Wizard. Both programs are free downloads from Install Network Printer Wizard is a basic wizard to help you install a networked printer. Web JetAdmin is a complete enterprise-wide printer management utility. It is also a bit more complex than the Wizard.

Entering the IP address

There are several ways to enter an IP address: through the printer's control panel, through the JetDirect's embedded Web server, or through software. 

Method 1: Entering an IP through the printer's control panel.

The big trick here is to remember to set BOOTP=NO. Remember that, or else you will never have the option of entering the IP address.

The “classic” display found on LJ 4000, 4050, 4100, etc .

1. Take the printer offline by pressing [Go] . The “Ready” LED should be off.
2. Press [Menu] repeatedly until EIO # JETDIRECT MENU is displayed (# identifies the EIO slot number of the card).
3. Press [Item] until CFG NETWORK=NO* appears. NO* indicates that access to the EIO JetDirect network menus will be bypassed. You must change this to CFG NETWORK=YES* to access the EIO JetDirect menus:
Press [Value] . CFG NETWORK=YES appears.
Press [Select] . CFG NETWORK=YES* appears.
4. Press [Item] to scroll through each network protocol until CFG TCP/IP=NO* is displayed. To access the TCP/IP configuration menu, press [Value] and then press [Select] to display CFG TCP/IP=YES*.
5. Press [Item] until BOOTP=YES* or BOOTP=NO* appears. The asterisk (*) indicates the active selection. To change the BOOTP setting, press [Value] . Then press [Select] . Be sure “*” appears alongside your selection.
6. When BOOTP=NO*, the printer is configured to accept TCP/IP parameters from the printer's control panel. Press [Item] to begin configuring each TCP/IP parameter.
7.  IP BYTE 1=<value>* should appear on the control panel first. To enter the first byte of the IP address, press [Value] until the desired value appears. (If you press and hold [Value] , the values scroll rapidly.)
To save the value, press [Select] . Press [Item] to continue.
Configure the remaining bytes of the IP address in the same manner.
8. You can configure the subnet mask bytes (SM), syslog server IP address (LG), default gateway (GW), and timeout (TIMEOUT) in the same manner.
9. To activate the printer and save your changes, press [Go] .

Older Laserjets with displays like the LJ 4 and 4-Plus

1. If the printer isn’t already offline press the Online button to take it offline.
2. Press the Menu button repeatedly until the MIO Menu appears.
3. Press the Item button until you see CFG Network=NO, then press the Plus(+) button to change NO to YES, then press the Enter button to save the setting (an asterisk appears).
4. Press Item until CFG TCP/IP appears, press the Plus(+) button to change it to YES, and press Enter.
5. Press the Item button until BOOTP appears, change this to BOOTP=NO*.
6. Press the Item button and use the Plus/Minus button to change the IP address (one byte at a time) and subnet mask (one byte at a time).
7. When you are finished, press Online to bring the printer back online.

Newer LaserJets with graphical displays (e.g. LaserJet 42x0, and 43x0 series)

1. Press the Checkmark button, Down-arrow to Configure Device, press Checkmark.
2. Down-arrow to I/O, press Checkmark, Down-arrow to EIO #, press Checkmark.
3. Down-arrow to CFG Network, change it to read CFG Network=YES, press Checkmark and an asterisk appears next to YES indicating the setting has been saved.
4.  Continue pressing the Checkmark button until CFG TCP/IP appears, change this to read CFG TCP/IP=YES*, press Checkmark.
5. Set BOOTP=NO*, press Checkmark. If DHCP appears make sure it also reads DHCP=NO*, press the checkmark.
6. Enter the IP address (one byte at a time) and the subnet mask (one byte at a time).

LaserJets with no display panel
If your printer doesn’t have a display panel (LJ 2100, 2200, etc.) you still have a few options for programming the JetDirect. If you have access to another printer with a JetDirect slot and a control panel, just pop the card in that printer and do the configuration on that printer. The settings save to the card, so you can transfer the card back in the printer without the display panel. Other options: You can wait for the card to pickup an IP from a DHCP server and then follow method 2 below; or use Web JetAdmin software or the Network Install Printer Wizard.


Method 2: Entering an IP through the JetDirect's embedded Web server.

With this method you want the printer to pickup an IP address from a DHCP server. Once the printer is assigned an IP address, you can print out a configuration page to find out what that IP address is, and then enter that IP into a web browser to access the JetDirect card’s embedded web server. Then you can change the IP from the web interface.

If the JetDirect card had previously been set with a static IP address then you can follow the procedures described above to set BOOTP=YES*, or simply cold reset the printer. Cold resetting the printer and JetDirect card should restore the printer and the JetDirect card to factory defaults, which includes resetting the JetDirect to be configured by DHCP. (Note: Since cold resetting restores factory default settings, if you have made any changes to your printer’s settings, print a configuration page before doing a cold reset. This will give you a printout of the previous settings in case you need to remember what they were.) After cold resetting, wait a few minutes and see if the printer picked up an IP. If not, wait, relax, do something else for 15 minutes and come back and print out a configuration page. If it still hasn’t picked up an IP, manually enter an IP as described above.

Once you know the JetDirect’s IP address, enter it into a web browser and you can change the IP address to a static address of your choosing.


Method 3: Configuring a JetDirect through software.

Go to and search their site for HP Web JetAdmin or HP Install Network Printer Wizard. Download the software and follow the instructions provided with the software.

Trouble-shooting a network printer

Print a configuration page to verify that the IP and subnet mask are configured correctly on the printer. Make sure that your network is active at the network jack and that the network cable is good. Ping the printer’s IP to test whether you can communicate with the printer. To ping the printer you would open a command window as described previously. Type in ping and then the IP address you gave the JetDirect card and press enter. If you have communication you will get a response as shown below.

If you don’t have communication with the card you will get a time-out as shown below.

If you can't ping the Jetdirect card, double check to make sure your printer's IP address and subnet mask are correct. Make sure your network cabling isn't faulty.

If you have a software firewall installed on your computer you might try turning it off and then ping the printer. Some security software will block pings and anything else you that don't specifically give permission to access your network.

The procedure for setting up your driver with a JetDirect card is virtually the same as setting it up through a parallel cable. The main difference is that instead of printing to an LPT port you are printing to a port that points to the IP of the JetDirect card.

When setting up the driver with a JetDirect card you will select local computer, as show below.

Then select either Standard TCP/IP Port or HP Standard TCP/IP Port.

You will then get a new window that will allow you to enter the IP address of your printer.

You may get an additional option where you would select Hewlett Packard JetDirect.

You can then complete the Add Printer Wizard in the same manner that you would with a parallel cable connected printer.

Printer sharing

A printer can also be accessed via a network if it is hooked up with a parallel cable directly to a networked computer and then “shared”.

As long as the computer is turned on, others on the network will be able to access the shared printer. If the computer is turned off, then nobody can print to that printer. This is where networking the printer with a JetDirect card allows for greater flexibility. You can print without having to worry about having a host computer turned on, and you can locate the printer wherever there is a network connection.

This brings up the question, where do you install the printer drivers? If you have a small network you could go around to each computer and install a driver on each one. But that becomes a big chore when you have lots of computers. An easier method would be to install the drivers once on a server, and share the printer from the server. Of course the server will need to remain on in order for you to access the printer, but servers are usually left on 24/7.

As you can see, networking a printer requires the same type of knowledge you would use to network a computer. We do not officially offer tech support for configuring networks and JetDirect cards. There are far too many variables for us to know how your network is configured and how to setup your networked printer. The above is only offered as general advice. If you are having problems printing to your networked printer, don’t immediately assume the JetDirect card is defective. Almost all of the returned JetDirect cards we receive are in fact in perfect working order. If your printer recognizes the card on the configuration page, then your problem usually lies in your JetDirect setup, your network hardware, or your computer.

Printing a Configuration Page

Procedures for printing a configuration page on most HP Laserjets

Laserjets 5, 4000, 4050, 4100

Perform the following steps using the printer control panel:

1. Make sure the printer is on and the READY message is displayed.

2. Press [Menu] until the display reads INFORMATION MENU.

3. Press [Item] until the display reads PRINT CONFIGURATION (or PRINT CONFIG PAGE).

4. Press [Select] to print. If necessary, press [Go] to bypass additional messages.

5. The Printer Configuration page(s) show how the printer is configured.


Older printers -- Laserjet 4/4-plus

If the printer is not offline, press the Online button to bring the printer offline. Press the Menu button until the TEST MENU appears. Press the Item button until SELF TEST appears, press the Enter button. A configuration page will print.


LJ 4200, 4300, 4250, 4350, and other newer style HP printers

Press the green checkmark button, arrow down to the Information Menu, press the green checkmark button, arrow down to Print Configuration, press the green checkmark button. A configuration page will print.


Printers without a display – Laserjet 2100 and 2200

With the printer turned on, press the GO and JOB CANCEL buttons simultaneously. A configuration page will print.