Diagnosing printer toner and other SNMP problems

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PaperCut can retrieves a variety of printer information using SNMP, including:

  • Toner levels
  • Model/make information
  • Serial numbers

The information is retrieved over the network using the SNMP protocol. For this to work the printer must have SNMP v1/v2 enabled and have read-only access enabled for the “public” community. Non-public communities are also now supported with PaperCut version 16.0 (build 35320) or later.

With PaperCut version 16.0 (build 35320) or later, you can use the advanced config key printer.snmp.community to change the SNMP community name for Toner/Model/Serial information.

Note that this is different from changing the SNMP community for Hardware Checking - as detailed here.

For PaperCut to retrieve the printer toner levels, the printer must support the standard SNMP Printer MIB RFC1759 and RFC3805. Some that support this standard, still do not include toner level information in the standard fields.

If PaperCut is not detecting toner levels, serial numbers, etc from SNMP follow the following steps.

1. Check that PaperCut detects the printer’s hostname/IP

In PaperCut select the printer from the Printers tab, and verify that the Physical Identifier lists the printer’s correct network address (see screenshot below). SNMP only works with network based printers, so the physical identifier must be in the format of: net://<printer-hostname>. If the physical identifier is not listed, or is incorrect then PaperCut will not retrieve SNMP data.

If running Mac/Linux/Novell, first try rebooting the print server. Restarting will force PaperCut to re-check the print identifier. After the system is restarting, check if the printer identifier is populated and whether the toner levels are recorded.

If the physical identifier is still not listed, we need to collect info as follows:

  • Enable debugging in the print provider (see here).
  • Restart the PaperCut print provider service. On Windows this is done in the services control panel. On Mac/Linux/Novell reboot the print server.
  • Collect the logs described in the above article and send these to support along with the following:
    • Windows: a registry export of the printer settings - Use regedit to export the key (right click on Print entry and choose export option): HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Control\Print
    • Mac/Linux: A copy of the CUPS configuration. e.g. /etc/cups/printers.conf
    • Novell: A copy of printer database backup. /var/opt/novell/iprint/padbtxt.xml

2. Verify that your printer has SNMP enabled

Check that your printer has SNMP v1/v2 enabled, and the “public”community name (or your own community name via the advanced config printer.snmp.community from version 16 or later) has read-only access to the printer’s SNMP data.

The printer SNMP configuration is usually available through the printer’s web configuration interface.

3. Verify that your network allows SNMP connections between PaperCut and the printers

The SNMP protocol uses the UDP over port number 161. Verify that your network, firewalls and routers allow UDP port 161 from the PaperCut server to your printers.

4. Collect SNMP dumps and send to support

If all of the above is correct and PaperCut is still not retrieving SNMP information, you should collect an SNMP dump of the problem devices as follows:

  • Logon to the server running PaperCut
  • On Windows: Open a command prompt (cmd.exe) and change to the “C:\Program Files\PaperCut NG\server\bin\win” directory.
  • On Mac: Open a command Terminal prompt and change to the “/Applications/PaperCut NG/server/bin/mac” directory.
  • On Linux or iPrint: Open a shell session a change to the “/home/papercut/server/bin/linux-x64” directory.
  • Run the following command for each problem printer (adjusting the IP address and filename as appropriate):
       server-command snmp-tool 192.168.1.20 dump > savepath\myprinter.txt
You can also just run to following to see what toner information PaperCut will retrieve:
       server-command snmp-tool 192.168.1.20 toner
  • For each printer you have problem with, provide the following information:
    • The text file create with the above command
    • The make/model of printer
    • If possible, the approximate toner levels (i.e. check the toner levels from the printer’s built-in web interface)
    • If possible, the device’s serial number

Send this information to support, so we can diagnose the cause of the problem.

Known Issues

  • HP LaserJet 8100N - While this device does have a toner indicator on its own Admin Web Pages, it does not give a numerical value and does not reset its value when a new cartridge is installed. As a result, toner levels for this device are unavailable.
  • Brother printers and copiers. Brother generally does not support the standard Printer MIB for toner levels. Brother uses a custom MIB which we added support for in PaperCut 14.2.
  • Ricoh printers and copiers. The toner levels from the standard Printer MIB seem to work for some and not others. We have had reports of problems on the following models: C420DN, C430DN, C4000, C4001, MPC 3001, MP 6001, 3500, MPC 400, and MPC 2051. Custom MIB support for Ricoh for toner was added in PaperCut 14.2.

Keywords: ink, cartidge, supplies, levels, type, model, toner debug, toner, debug

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Article last modified on May 09, 2017, at 04:34 AM
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