Printer communication problem

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Although your printer is not on the list HP states that for security reasons the USB protocol is separate from the network functions.
In your current setup you are no longer using the M402dn network's functions, entirely on features of the OS which may or may not be compatible with the printer.

http://h10032.www1.hp.com/ctg/Manual/c04604758

HP LaserJet Pro printers have guaranteed secure separation between USB and Network resources and their communications.
The firmware architecture and design separates the USB processing circuitry and the network controller, preventing system components that control the USB hardware from accessing the network hardware.
Similarly, the network hardware components cannot access the USB hardware and functions.
Data cannot be sent via the USB circuitry into the network or used to directly communicate with other resources on the network.
When connected via USB, the printer can perform a limited number of functions. Only data relevant to these functions can be shared via USB communication.
This includes Print, Scan, Fax, Device Status, and Configuration functions for which data may be sent from, or received by, the printer.
Sending and receiving of this limited data through USB can only occur by using the USB Protocol Specification. The USB protocol cannot be used to directly transmit data or to directly communicate over the network.
The printer can only maintain one USB connection at a time by physically connecting to the printer via a USB cable.
 
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This may help:
https://www.howtogeek.com/191323/how-to-share-printers-between-windows-mac-and-linux-pcs-on-a-network/

The only thing I could spot on their instructions is to ensure that you followed that extra step when sharing the printer from your wife's desktop:
Click the Sharing Preferences button and ensure the Printer Sharing service is enabled.

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Thanks for looking all this up, Morty. But what is puzzling is that the printer worked fine through the internet connection for at least two years until this problem popped up a few months ago. I could print to it from any computer in the house, including those connected to the network wirelessly.

I wonder if a new ethernet cable might fix it.
 
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However I am not too hopeful as this recommends avoiding that type of setup:

https://www.macworld.com/article/2029528/mac-troubleshooting-what-to-do-when-you-cant-print.html


Avoid printer sharing if you can: If you see your printer listed with an @ sign, such as CannonMP990 @ MacBook Pro, selecting this means you will connect to the printer via printer sharing—a feature enabled from the Sharing System Preferences pane. Unless you have a setup that requires accessing the printer this way, don’t select this. Instead, choose an alternative listing for the printer. Otherwise, even if your attempt to re-add the printer succeeds, you will only be able to print when the sharing Mac is available.
 
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Thanks for looking all this up, Morty. But what is puzzling is that the printer worked fine through the internet connection for at least two years until this problem popped up a few months ago. I could print to it from any computer in the house, including those connected to the network wirelessly.

I wonder if a new ethernet cable might fix it.
That is a very good idea worth trying.
There are so many things that could have changed over two years with a variety of firmware, software, OS updates.

You are more likely to solve the problem by sticking to proper network connections and using ePrint if you can.

At home my printers are all ePrint enabled and have their own dedicated email address, it solves almost all my problems as it is driverless.
However they are all IP connected as well, with fixed IP addresses so that I can use the full features of the printers, such as network scanning, duplex, etc...
 
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I had never heard of "ePrint" but apparently my printer isn't compatible.
Darn.
I thought it was reading this from your printer's set up guide.
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I may be able to borrow another internet cable so that's what I'll try next.
Look into ePrint as well, the HP site seems to indicate yours is (provided it is networked connected).
You could also use Google Print, similar to what you are trying to do with the USB networked sharing.

https://store.hp.com/us/en/pdp/hp-laserjet-pro-m402dn

Mobile Printing Capability
HP ePrint; Apple AirPrint™; Mopria™-certified; Google Cloud Print 2.0; Mobile Apps
 

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I think you mean ethernet cable.
I got confused as ePrint requires internet connection and network connection (which may be with an ethernet cable or wifi -but you would need a dw printer, not a dn, for wireless).
 
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Jim, Does it print your PDF files when directly connected to either your or the wifes IMac?
It does seem to print from the computer it's connected to via USB. But even though the printer is set up to be shared on the network I get the error reported above when I try to print from another computer. (It's not just pdf files now.)

P.S. when I get that error and open the print queue on the computer it's attached to, it says the printer is "paused". Restarting it doesn't help, however.
 
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Go back to first principles as Morty has suggested.
Stop using USB and remove that cable.
Connect the printer ethernet cable to the network not to a computer.
Give the printer a fixed IP address. Set that IP address as the one to use in each computer.
This is the normal way to set up a networked HP printer. I have three different HP printers set up like this.
 
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Go back to first principles as Morty has suggested.
Stop using USB and remove that cable.
Connect the printer ethernet cable to the network not to a computer.
Give the printer a fixed IP address. Set that IP address as the one to use in each computer.
This is the normal way to set up a networked HP printer. I have three different HP printers set up like this.
I'm going to try a new ethernet cable first.
 
One thought,

It looks to me that you are NOT connecting to the printer directly BUT to your wife's printer that is being shared on the network by her laptop..
That will only work when your wife laptop is on.
If her laptop is off, you will not be able to print.

Also, reading the manuals I am not sure the printer can be both networked AND connected with USB.
Try connecting DIRECTLY to the printer through the printer's IP address.

http://h10032.www1.hp.com/ctg/Manual/c04642979

You can always use Airprint or ePrint to print to the printer without having to setup a permanent connection from the laptops.
This is exactly what I was thinking, that the system is confused by having the printer both connected to a couple of computers with a wired setup and then also having it supposedly wirelessly connected to another. I don't think that's how it is supposed to work, it should probably be "all or nothing." That, and also it probably would be helpful if all the computers and the printer were on the same wavelength as far as versions of the OS and iOS as well......

The ePrint thing is somewhat different than the wireless capability offered by HP for iOS devices and for computers..... If I recall correctly that is called AirPrint and it is what I use with my computers and my printer. No need to plug anything into an ethernet cable; everything is done wirelessly through my WiFi connection. It is easy to set up and so far for me at least, it has worked flawlessly over the two or so years that I've been using it, even when changing/replacing/updating computers. Works with my computers and with my iOS devices (iPhones and iPads).
 
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This is exactly what I was thinking, that the system is confused by having the printer both connected to a couple of computers with a wired setup and then also having it supposedly wirelessly connected to another. I don't think that's how it is supposed to work, it should probably be "all or nothing." That, and also it probably would be helpful if all the computers and the printer were on the same wavelength as far as versions of the OS and iOS as well......
That is not really the case. For the first two years or more, the printer was connected only to the router and was accessed by all computers as a network printer. That worked perfectly until a few months ago.

For the past week, the ethernet connection to the router has been removed and the printer has been directly connected only to one iMac with a USB cable. That is the way my old LaserJet 4 was connected and allowed printing from all computers in the house for about ten years.
 

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