Anything for sysadmins!


Unreliable printing due to long USB cable

Recently I had a problem with a printer that didn’t print most of the time. Sometimes it would print, but then the print would stop half way through the process. As the printer was located remotely I wasn’t able to view the setup.

After updating the drivers of the printer, motherboard (USB host bus drivers) and removing the drivers completely and reinstalling the newest version, the problem remained. It wasn’t until I heard that they wanted to try a different cable that they told me they were looking for a cable that was 6 meters in length. After checking the maximum length of USB cables I found out that USB only supports cables up to 5 meters (16 feet 5 inches) for high speed USB and up to 3 meters (9 feet 10 inches) for low speed USB. When the extension cables were removed, the printer was functioning properly again.

This is one to keep in mind for a possible next time!

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Posted by Mischa Oudhof

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