Friday, October 03, 2008

Configuring a Wireless HP Photosmart C4380

Updated on 2009-11-16:
It's been over a year since I wrote this, and lot of people continue to find this page from Google, which leads me to believe that people are still having problems with their HP Photosmart C4380s. For the record, over a year later the workaround I detailed here is still working for me. If you have something to add that might help others, please feel free to add to the comments. The original post follows below.

So, we bought a wireless printer. After some initial back and forth, we settled on a wireless HP Photosmart C4380. I thought we did a fair bit of research before purchasing the product, but apparently not enough, as there were many issues and surprises that we discovered only after we setup the device.

I'm posting this to relate the significant difficulties we encountered setting up the printer and post workarounds I've implemented for the benefits of others who might be considering this product or who may have already purchased it and are looking for support.

The printer configuration was not easy. It took me over a dozen hours spanning multiple days to resolve all of the issues, and I was really forced to draw upon all of my IT experience to get everything working as expected.

Of course, operating system setup and configuration plays a role when installing any device, so let me preface everything by reporting that the system I was configuring to use the printer is a fully-patched, high memory and CPU Windows XP desktop that's connected to a Linksys WRT150N wireless router.

I've condensed the problems I encountered into three core issues and workarounds:

1. The HP Setup software (installed on my desktop) could not find the printer wirelessly.


  • Add the printer as a wired printer, installing all required drivers and services (minimum HP software).
  • Determine the printer's MAC address.
  • Add the printer's MAC address to the router's MAC address filter list. You may need to turn on MAC address filtering.
  • Install a new device using the HP setup software.
  • Now the software will find the wireless printer.
  • Add the printer as a wireless printer (remove the wired printer).
  • If you initially had MAC address filtering disabled, you can disable filtering again.
The wireless printer should now be working and you should be able to print. However, post-install, you will encounter other issues:

2. After getting the printer setup, the computer runs sluggishly, and the CPU eventually locks at 100%.


  • Remove or disable all HP software (if you installed any) other than the requisite drivers.
  • Change the Startup Type of the "HP Network Devices Support" service from Automatic to Manual.
3. The printer goes offline and will not come back online.


  • Change the Startup Type of the "HP CUE DeviceDiscovery" service to Disabled.

For further information, check out the forum link below, which delves into some of these issues in greater detail:


  1. Anonymous7:45 AM


    I don't know whether you'll ever read this page back but this solved a lot of head crunching problems for me. many many thaks,


  2. Anonymous9:33 AM

    Followed your instructions, but still doesn't find my printer on the network. According to the network configuration sheet, the network status is offline and there's no active connection type. driving me nuts!

  3. my computer picks it up and says printer is ready to print wirelessly but it just wont print with out the cable how do i get the printer to find my computer i think thats all that needs to happen... i dont know though im very confused

  4. Lucas - Sadly, my hacks no longer work, and I've recently given up the fight and started using a printer cable.