HP P2055 reconfiguring themselves
Hello! For the last couple years my district has had a huge push to get laptops to each student and a printer and Promethean board in each classroom. they're doing it bit by bit, so this is year two. The hardware is the aforementioned Promethean board, Lenovo Netbooks, and HP P2055dn printers. If the rooms has a printer of an acceptable model, then we don't replace it, though. The servers run Active Directory and the print queues are hosted on each school's server and published in the directory, so we don't have to deal with installing drivers on workstations (which are locked down as tight as possible). This school year (started in 09/2010), we've switched to Dynamic DNS for addressing, as we are running out of IPs.
That's the background. Last year's batch of HP2055s had a party trick of what i called 'going walkabout' -- the printer would just suddenly lose its static IP and reset itself to DHCP. Annoying at first, then i could deal with it (i'm the one in charge of remotely configuring and managing the printers and queues) and came to expect it. A firmware update seems to have corrected the problem -- applied via USB by techs going out to each site and each printer with a laptop and USB cable. We discovered the hard way that me doing it remotely through WJA often caused more problems than solved (the printers - just this model! - would be left unusable until someone could go out and reapply the update). Those printers were the last of the static-assigned IPs. so once i knew where they'd wandered, i'd just corral them back to where they belonged and hey, presto - printing.
This year, we've switched to DDNS and all printing is done through hostnames. so i get the DHCP IP of the printers as they're installed, configure them with the settings and names we want, then i have to wait at least a day until the DNS server is aware of the hostname, *then* i can connect the AD queue and the printer hostname. Oh, joyous rupture.
This batch of HP2055s trick is to spontaneously switch to manual IP. The printers that do this *keep* their DHCP IPs, but because their IP configuration is 'manual', they never talk to the DNS server, which means the hostname never becomes active. At first i thought it was just an overzealous site tech wanting to keep control, but it happened too many places, too randomly (if it were a site tech, the entire batch delivered to that site would've changed, yes? not just a room here or there!).
So now i've had to add a step: IF hostname doesn't ping, THEN check last-known IP and TCP/IP configuration. Reset back to DHCP if necessary, check hostname next day.
Has anyone else had problems like this? i don't know if anyone else is using hostnames to print; i think you'd only notice this if you left the printer on DHCP but needed the hostname (if you're printing via Bonjour to Macs, you wouldn't notice, because manual or DHCP, the Bonjour name is immediately available on the network).
Other than last year's speciality and this year's new trick, these seem to be good printers. Just wish HP'd been honest about the fact that the toner it ships with is small-capacity; when they ran out much earlier than expected, many of our smaller schools did not have the budget to replace the cartridges! 8(
Thanks in advance for any ideas, assistance, comments -- whatever. 8D