My HP LaserJet P1606dn stopped printing duplex—here’s how I fixed it

HP LaserJet Professional P1606dn
HP LaserJet Professional P1606dn

I have an HP LaserJet Professional P1606dn, which has been great. It prints double-sided (duplex) — that’s the ‘d’ in P1606dn — and it connects to the network — that’s the ‘n’ allowing Jane to print wirelessly from her laptop.

The problem

But today… for some reason my P1606dn stopped printing double-sided. The option was still there in the printer properties—on the Device Settings tab, under Duplex Mode both “Allow Automatic Duplexing” and “Allow Manual Duplexing” were both ticked.

Hmm…

I tried changing various settings but nothing seemed to fix it. I checked if the driver had been updated. I rebooted the PC. Again, no improvement.

How I fixed it

I was actually in the process of trying to downloading the HP Smart Install software when I stumbled upon the answer.

If you have this printer, you’ll know that you can also connect to a configuration screen via the network. All you need is the printer’s IP address. Mine is at 192.168.1.73 on my local area network.

Well, lo and behold, under the Settings tab there is a section called Paper Handling, and the Duplex option was set to Off. Changing it back to On fixed things for me.

HP P1606dn network settings
HP P1606dn network settings

At least, it did for the first document. I then discovered that (again for another mysterious reason) the next document’s paper settings were blank. Setting it to A4 restored the option to print double-sided.

So, in summary:

  • Check settings (Control Panel > Devices and Printers > Right-click the printer and select Printer Properties > Device Settings tab).
  • Connect to the printer settings via the network.
  • Make sure the print dialog shows the correct paper size.

At least, that’s what fixed it for me.

Update

Sunday 24 July 2016

I’ve come across the same issue today, but this time I’m not connected to a network, the printer is connected via USB.

To resolve this — I had a couple of Word documents that would only offer the ability to print duplex (double-sided) manually — I changed the page size to anything and then back to A4 and then made sure the margins were set to normal or wide, as I noticed that the document margins were oddly small.

Changing the phone number on your SIM card with a Sony Ericsson K800i

Sony Ericsson K800i
Sony Ericsson K800i

A few weeks ago I moved my mobile phone contract from O2 to T-Mobile/EE at the Carphone Warehouse. It was the first time that I’d ever moved networks since I first got a mobile phone in 2001 or 2002, and the process was very simple. I wanted to keep my old number so this is what I did:

  1. Contact O2 to ask for a PAC. I did it online using their live chat facility.
  2. Buy new mobile phone contact.
  3. Phone customer service on new network (T-Mobile) and tell them the PAC.
  4. Wait 24-48 hours for the old number to transfer over to the new SIM card.

However, I discovered that the SIM card was still reporting the ‘temporary’ T-Mobile number rather than my original number, and it turns out that Android doesn’t provide a way to edit the number stored on the SIM card.

After a couple of hours of searching on Google, I ordered an old Sony Ericsson K800i phone on eBay as it turns out that this device does allow you to edit the number stored on the SIM card. It arrived a few days ago, as did a micro-to-SIM card adapter and today I popped the SIM card out of my new Google Nexus 4 and edited the number on the SIM.

Here’s what I did on the Sony Ericsson K800i:

  1. Contacts
  2. Options
  3. Special numbers
  4. My numbers
  5. Select your main number, it may be called something like “My mobile” or “Line 1” or similar, and press Edit
  6. Enter your new number, e.g. +447123456789
  7. Save

And it worked: Android now reports my original number. I’ve done the same for Jane’s phone too, as she moved from O2 to T-Mobile a few months earlier and experienced the same issues.

Jane has a Samsung Galaxy Ace running Android 2.3.6 (Gingerbread) and it would appear that on this phone/operating system it is essential to make sure the date and time are set correctly otherwise it won’t connect to the internet and will report a “no connection” error.

I’m posting this in case it helps anyone else. Oh, and does anyone else need a third-hand Sony Ericsson K800i?

Set up a cheap network storage with a USB flash drive and a BT Home Hub 2.0 in 4 steps

This evening I put the finishing touches to my new cheap-and-cheerful network storage: a USB drive attached to my BT Home Hub 2.0 (the shiny, black one).

Step 1: USB drive

The first step was to buy a new USB flash drive. I went for this one from 7DayShop.com. It’s a 32GB USB 2.0 drive and cost me £20.99. Usefully the swivel cap comes off quite easily.

20110610-32gb-usb-drive

(When I tried this out at first I used an old 256 MB flash drive that I had in my Big Boy’s Drawer of Interesting Things™.)

Step 2: BT Home Hub 2.0

Round the back of the BT Home Hub 2.0 is a USB port. They’ve even, conveniently labelled it “USB”. Plug the USB drive into the port.

20110610-bthomehub-rear

(The dust is optional.)

Step 3: Connect with Windows Explorer

Assuming that you’re connected to your BT Home Hub, open a Windows Explorer window and enter the following network address in the address bar: \\BTHUB\Disk_a1 then hit Enter.

20110610-BTHUB-Disk_a1

Step 4: Map a network drive

To save you having to type in the network address every time you can map a network drive to that location.

In Windows 7, open My Computer and click on the “Map network drive” button on the toolbar at the top:

20110610-map-network-drive

A dialog windows will pop-up. Select a drive letter and enter the network address, as before, in the Folder input box:

20110610-map-network-drive-dialog

Then click Finish.

You now have a network drive:

20110610-network-location

Security

I’m going to use mine for backing up a few files and as a useful location for sharing documents between PC and laptop.

I imagine that this isn’t the most secure of solutions, as anyone with access to the network could gain access to the files, if they know the network address, but as a cheap and cheerful way to share files across multiple computers without the other PCs needing to be switched on this is ideal.

Update

Oddly, after a couple of weeks of this working fine I can no longer connect to \\BTHUB\Disk_a1, the PC just tells me that it cannot find the hostname.

It appears that this is not an exact science.

No O2

Presumably the British mobile phone network O2 chose that name because it’s the chemical symbol for oxygen which is absolutely essential for life on this planet.

It’s just as well my mobile phone isn’t similarly essential because I’ve had pretty much no mobile signal all day. Jane is the same.

When I couldn’t find anything on the O2 website about I gave their customer support a call and got through to a nice Scottish guy called Mark who confirmed that there had been a network outage east of Edinburgh.

A few minutes ago I spotted this story on the Scotsman website:

Mobile phone network down in Lothians

MOBILE phone users in parts of the Lothians have been left without a signal after a fault on the O2 network.

The company said a power cut earlier this afternoon had caused the network to close down in parts of Fife and areas to the east of Edinburgh.

The Capital itself has not been affected.

A spokeswoman for O2 said engineers are attempting to fix the fault but could not confirm when the network would be back up and running.

There is something similar on the BBC News Scotland website too: Mobile network failure reported.

All I can say is that I wish the engineers well and look forward to seeing more than “Searching …” on my mobile phone display tomorrow.

Synergy

Synergy is a pretty cool piece of software, that I’m sure I blogged about ages ago at the Other Place™.

Synergy lets you easily share a single mouse and keyboard between multiple computers with different operating systems, each with its own display, without special hardware. It’s intended for users with multiple computers on their desk since each system uses its own monitor(s).

I’ve used it to connect my laptop to my PC … three screens is cool!  We have folks at work using it to connect two PCs running Windows 2000 to Mac OS X.