Monday, September 20, 2010

Brother HL2170W Printer in Perpetual Sleep

Issue:  Brother LaserJet (HL2170W) printer is in Sleep mode and does not wake up.  Printer does not print.  Printjobs stacked in queue. 

Other symptoms:
  • Printer Control Panel shows the printer is "offline"
  • The Printer Control Panel does not offer an option to put the printer "Online"
  • Power On/Off does not resolve the issue
  • Printer replies to a DOS PING test
  • BRAdminLight utility responds and can see the printer
  • Using BRAdminLight to reset to Factory defaults or to re-configure the printer, does not help
  • Diagnostic printing (from printer's configuration pages) works properly; pages print
This article assumes you are using Network Printing (and not a USB cable).


Follow these diagnostic steps to confirm the printer is talking on the network.

a.  From a DOS Prompt:  Ping   (where your IP Address may vary).  Ping responds in xx milliseconds; the printer responded to the PING properly.

If the printer does not respond to the expected IP Address, it's assigned address may have changed via "DHCP".  See the end of this article for a discussion on how to fix this.

b.  Using BRAdmin Light, confirm you can see the printer's configuration screens.  (BRAdmin is the utility used for configuring the printer when it was first brought online and installed in your network.)

If BRAdmin shows a different IP Address than the one you were expecting (see also, Printer Control Panel, PORTS, illustrated below), the printer is being re-assigned a different address via DHCP and this will confuse the printer control panel.  See the end of this article for recommended steps.

c.  Using a Browser, type the printer's URL (e.g.  (your address may vary)).  This should open the web-based configuration screens.  If prompted for login credentials, use  "admin" and "access" or the password you set when first configured.

These diagnostics show the printer is alive and well, talking on the network without problems.

Likely Solution:

In the workstation's Printer Control Panel, the TCP/IP port has likely changed.  Confirm the address is an IP Address and not some other type of port-setting.  In the illustration below, my printer had an "ADW" port, followed by a GUID ID.

If an IP Address is displayed, confirm the address (illustrated below as matches the expected IP address used above in the PING test. 


1.  Open the Windows Control Panel, "Devices and Printers"

2.  Locate your printer:  Illustrated "Brother HL2170W series Printer"

a.  "Other-mouse-click" printer
b.  Choose "Printer Properties"  (do not choose Properties)
c.  Click the [Ports] tab

d.  Scroll down the list.  Confirm printer is setting on a real IP Address.

In my case, the printer was on a port named something like "ADW {EF6012...."  (followed by a GUID number).  It should be pointing to an IP Address, such as  Your address may vary. 

If the Port is not an IP Address or is the wrong IP Address, continue with these steps (Windows 8 / Windows 7 similar):

e.  Click button: "Add Port"
     You will be adding a "Standard TCP/IP Port"

f.  Choose "Add a printer using TCP/IP address or Hostname"
g.  For the Port Address, type the IP Address of your printer.

Once setup, pending print jobs in the spool should immediately begin printing.

Bad Ports:

In my case, I am unsure how the printer's original TCP/IP port changed to a corrupted "ADW" value.  Using BRAdmin, I kept seeing the printer's status as "Sleep".  In fact, this is a red-herring.  During normal operations, the printer will always be in a Sleep mode when no jobs are pending.  Some sites recommend disabling Sleep; this is not recommended because of the power and wear-and-tear on the fuser assembly.

Followup Notes:

Once re-configured, you may find two Brother Printer icons in the Printer Control Panel.  The "real" printer will likely be marked as default.  You can safely delete the older printer icon.

DHCP Printers:

If you are finding the printer's IP address changes, especially after a power failure or after rebooting the printer, the printer is configured improperly -- using DHCP for its network address.  It should be using a Static (fixed) IP address.  Likely, you accepted the default settings when the printer was first configured and you likely used the installation CD that came with the printer.  DHCP addressing is a poor way to configure printers.  See the Keyliner article for proper steps:  Setting Up a Brother Wireless Printer.  Use these steps for both wired and wireless printers.

Related Articles:
Setting up a Brother Wireless Printer
Brother Wireless Printer fails after Power Failure
Brother Wireless Printer fails after a New Router
Extending Brother Printer Cartridges

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