Jumbo Sunshade - Blogpost

Hewlett Packard JetDIRECT 170X - Telnet to the rescue!
Every computer in customer's studio prints to the same networked printer(s) via Hewlett Packard JetDirect 170X print servers (static IP addresses).  ISP is Comcast; phone service is Vonage.  The Vonage box is also the NAT, serving up internet access to all computers that are allowed.

And then:
Customer dropped Comcast and Vonage to go with Wide Open West for internet and phone service.  WOW's cable modem also serves up IP addresses via DHCP, but uses a different internal network than the Vonage NAT used.  The WOW cable modem *is not* user-configurable.

None of the computers are able to print anymore.  They hooked one of the printers up to somebody's PC and everybody has to use sneakernet in order to print their stuff.  [Sneakernet = put your document on a floppy disk or USB device and walk it over to the computer that has the printer hooked up to it.]

* Everybody is pissed, BUT, nobody is *freaking out*.
* Customer has saved and was able to locate one original JetDirect box, including the manual and installation CD (unbelievable).
* The secretary that i have to work with looks like the early 90's Molly Ringwald.

Somebody there who actually knows quite a bit about computers was trying to figure this out but he was never going to get anywhere with it.
Everybody assumes that the internal network used by the WOW cable modem is 192.168.100.x, because you can hit that modem's internal web/configuration page by typing into your web browser (internal network).  But in reality, DHCP is not handing out 192.168.100.x addresses internally.  So even if he could've managed to get those JetDirects reprogrammed on that network they still would not have been able to print.


Ok, so here goes...

First of all, they have no idea what the original network was, let alone the individual IP addresses of the JetDirect print servers.  The best guess is 192.168.0.x,  I try to get this information by printing test pages fromt he 170X's.  One comes out blank; the other just repeats this line over and over:
"Courier-Bold findfont 12 scalefont setfont 612 Courier-Bold..."

I reset the print server by rebooting them while holding the Test button in.  I know that if the print server can't acquire an address via DHCP in 120 seconds, it will assign itself this address:, (no subnet mask).
To confirm network the WOW modem is actually handing out addresses for, i let DHCP assign it and then i print out the test page (which is working fine after resetting to factory defaults).  I can see that they're on a 24.192.x.x, network.  I write down the address handed out to the JetDirect and then i reset it again; this time with the WOW modem *unplugged* from my teeny 4-port hub.

I assign my PC a 192.0.0.x address and pop the original installation CD in.  First of all, the disc doesn't happen to have the HP JetAdmin program on it, which could've maybe saved me a whole bunch of time.  Then the installation software was unable to locate (and therefore allow configuration of) any JetDirect print servers on the network via auto-locate OR manually.  I can ping it so i know that it's there.  [that software couldn't find a damn thing on any network at all]

I pull up a browser window and punch in, and the JetDirect's internal webconf page shows up, but withOUT anything other than frames and background color.  I set IE for the lowest possible security setings but it still doesn't work.  I check out the code and realize that i'm looking at JavaScript that was written sometime around 1998 or 99.

Telnet to the rescue!

I launch Telnet and connect to the JetDirect
"o" <cr>

Turned off DHCP
"dhcp-config: 0" <cr>

Changed the IP address
"ip: 24.192.x.x" <cr>
"subnet-mask:" <cr>

Then "quit" to save and exit the session.

With my first test i manually gave my PC a 24.192.x.x address to see if i could ping and telnet into the JetDirect.  Success.
Then i set the PC to DHCP and let the cable modem give it an address and of course i could still see the JetDirect.  Sweet!

Add Printer > Local printer attached to this computer
Create a new port: > Standard TCP/IP Port
Printer Name or IP Address: (whatever i assigned to the JD)

Chose the printer and started printing to it.  Then i just had to add that printer to every other computer and i was done.

I love Telnet.


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