tp-link USB Printer Controller broken after Microsoft/Windows 10 updates

This thread has been locked for further replies. You can start a new thread to share your ideas or ask questions.
This thread has been locked for further replies. You can start a new thread to share your ideas or ask questions.
tp-link USB Printer Controller broken after Microsoft/Windows 10 updates
tp-link USB Printer Controller broken after Microsoft/Windows 10 updates
2021-03-23 20:55:36
Model: Archer A7
Hardware Version: V5
Firmware Version: 1.1.2 Build 20210125 rel.39623(5553)

Win10 update appears to break tp-link USB Printer Controller!

 

I have two different Windows 10 laptops.  (HP and Lenovo.)

 

For many months, USB Printer Controller worked very well on both computers.

 

I have an Archer A7 (AC1750) router and a Brother HL-L2320D printer.

 

The USB cable from the printer is plugged into the USB port of the router.

 

USB Printer Controller is installed separately on both computers.

 

This configuration worked fine for a long time.  No changes have been made to anything.

 

Over the past two or three weeks, after multiple required Microsoft updates installed on both computers at different times, USB Printer Controller no longer works on either one!

 

I have updated the firmware on the router to the latest level today.

 

I have reinstalled USB Printer Controller from tp-link's website according to instructions on both computers.

 

I have checked all physical connections, and rebooted the router.

 

I have rebooted both laptops multiple times.

 

I confirmed the printer and cable both work properly by plugging the printer cable directly into my laptop and I can print just fine.

 

But the USB Printer Controller does not work, and none of these actions have improved the situation.

 

Remember, it used to work.  Now spontaneously it fails on two different computers.

 

I do NOT suspect a hardware problem because the failure to print on the two computers did not happen at the same time, but rather within a few days of each other.

 

I do not know what updates were installed on which computer, or when.

 

When I start the USB Printer Controller, it does not recognize the printer or even the router, as seen in this screenshot.

 

 

 

Previously, upon startup of this program on this screen I would see the Router (colored in red text I think), and then below that, indented, and in blue text(?) I would see my printer.  Now as you can see, there is nothing.

 

And because there is nothing, there is nothing else that can be done.  All options on this screen are grayed out.  The pulldowns allow me to close the program, set my language preference, and show the level of the program, and that's all.

 

For the record....

 

 

I BELIEVE THE PROBLEM WAS CAUSED BY A MICROSOFT/WINDOWS 10 UPDATE.
 

Two possibilities:

 

The Microsoft Update is bad somehow.

 

-or-

 

TP-LINK needs to provide an update to USB Printer Controller to accomodate the impact of the Microsoft update to their product.

 

My guess is that it's the second one.

 

TP-LINK, any fix planned for this problem?!

 

Thank you!

 

 

1
1
#1
Options
44 Reply
Re:tp-link USB Printer Controller broken after Microsoft/Windows 10 updates
2021-03-23 23:32:44
Known Microsoft issue with the update. They broke it, they should fix it.
0
0
#2
Options
Re:tp-link USB Printer Controller broken after Microsoft/Windows 10 updates
2021-03-24 15:46:38 - last edited 2021-03-24 15:58:30

@Coach-D 

 

Don't know which update @ArcherC8 thinks it is, but in any event, you can go to Control Panel, Programs and Features, select View Installed Updates, and look at the end of the list for the Windows Updates. You can remove them, and you will see the date installed. Also the KB number can be Googled and see if you think one is involved.

 

Once you figure out which one, you might not want to reinstall it. However if there are some that didn't have anything to do with the problem you can reinstall them:

 

  1. Open Settings.
  2. Click Update & security.
  3. Click on Windows Update.
  4. Click the Check of updates button to trigger an update check, which will redownload and install the update automatically again.
  5. Click the Restart Now button to complete the task.

 

I'd do the above after you ensure the one you did uninstall was not the problem. If you uninstall many until you find the one with the problem, then look at this link, https://www.repairwin.com/prevent-a-specific-windows-update-or-driver-from-installing-in-windows-10/ as it details how to stop a specific update from installing.

 

EDIT:

 

Might want to look here, https://community.tp-link.com/us/home/forum/topic/172178 and if I read that right, it was REMOVED from the F/W version you have? Not Windows related. However, if so, it would have happened to all systems at once?

 

0
0
#3
Options
Re:tp-link USB Printer Controller broken after Microsoft/Windows 10 updates
2021-03-24 17:56:33

@IrvSp 

 

What I was trying to point out that this appears to be a Microsoft issue and one should not expect a correction to be made by TP Link.

Assuming it is a Microsoft issue, if TP Link was to try and correct Microsoft's issue it could cause issues with others such as Apple users and Microsoft users who have not updated the software that caused the issue. And when Microsoft corrects it, then it could break TP Link's fix. 

I googled the issue and found several recent links on printer issues though not specific to TP link and printers.

For example https://www.techradar.com/news/windows-10-printer-fix-swaps-one-problem-for-another

0
0
#4
Options
Re:tp-link USB Printer Controller broken after Microsoft/Windows 10 updates
2021-03-24 19:50:09

@ArcherC8 , thank you for clarifying.  I agree with you that TP-LINK (or any vendor) should not have to change their code simply to circumvent a bad change by Microsoft.

 

And there might indeed be a bad update, though I'm not aware that any is "known" at this time.

 

I'm talking about the other possibility, which is that the update is good but exposes an existing TP-LINK bug, or closes a loophole they were (unintentionally?) exploiting, or forces them up to a certain level of something which they have not done.  

 

I assumed that was the more likely of the two possibilities, but perhaps it is a mistake to trust Microsoft's code more than TP-LINK's code. 

0
0
#5
Options
Re:tp-link USB Printer Controller broken after Microsoft/Windows 10 updates
2021-03-24 20:08:47

@IrvSp , thank you for your response.

 

I'm very curious about the info in your "ps."  Is that for real?  TP-LINK is taking the function away completely?  I don't believe that.  No one can assume that no one owns a printer without wifi built in.  That's absurd.  But anyway, it wouldn't apply to my issue, because it worked fine and then stopped working with no firmware update in between.  I updated the firmware in an attempt to fix the problem.  The problem was already there with the previous level of firmware, which itself was a level on which it worked fine previously.

0
0
#6
Options
Re:tp-link USB Printer Controller broken after Microsoft/Windows 10 updates
2021-03-24 22:57:53

 

ArcherC8 wrote

@IrvSp 

 

What I was trying to point out that this appears to be a Microsoft issue and one should not expect a correction to be made by TP Link.

@ArcherC8

 

While this is quite true, there are times this isn't. I've seen cases where there are MS bugs and people code around it. Long standing bugs too, but eventually MS fixes it and breaks your code.

 

The link I posted on search seems to indicate it was a removal of the firmware support. TP-Link has been doing this for sometime. On upgrades, or new routers that do not support this feature.

 

Yes, MS has messed up some printer support, and when fixing, broke others. How this happens with the large 'Insider' base of testers is beyond me.

 

However, MS does have a habit of putting code into its release that was tested in-house, had no problems, so they added it to a later build not tested by the testers outside and ship it. Nothing new about that.

0
0
#7
Options
Re:tp-link USB Printer Controller broken after Microsoft/Windows 10 updates
2021-03-24 23:14:34

 

Coach-D wrote

@IrvSp , thank you for your response.

 

I'm very curious about the info in your "ps."  Is that for real?

@Coach-D 

 

Do you mean the EDIT and link I added? Yes, click on it. From that post:

 

 

Archer A7 and even earlier build than you have.

 

TP-Links answer:

TP-Link is NOT alone in doing this sort of stuff. I have a reasonably good Netgear R8000. Netgear added its Security Suite to it, but needed space. Removed DLNA Server and Time Machine feature to make it fit. My recourse, NONE!!! So I dumped them and got a very similar Archer A20.

 

I cannot explain how you had it working on one PC and not another though? Not unless it was working on both and then upgraded the F/W and then noticed it wasn't working on one PC. Sometime later used the PC that was working and then that too didn't. My printer is not used daily, even with more than one PC and other devices like iPad's and phones that can print to it.

 

I didn't have to dump the R8000 either as it was working well with the older F/W that did support DLNA Server. However, I'd give up 'security' as I'd not be able to get the latest, which it seems is usually included in all F/W (at least the Netgear released). Eventually it is possible I'd have a security problem. Same would happen here if you back-leveled the F/W to get the function back.

 

According the A7 V5 Emulator there is no automatic Update feature. Did you update the F/W recently, or do you not have an Archer A7 V5, which could be the reason that doesn't apply to you?

0
0
#8
Options
Re:tp-link USB Printer Controller broken after Microsoft/Windows 10 updates
2021-03-24 23:17:25

@Coach-D 

 

Unfortunately, the USB printing feature was removed with the newer firmware releases.

 

You can downgrade the firmware of the Archer A7 to the build where it did have the function by downgrading to this firmware version:

 

https://static.tp-link.com/2019/201904/20190417/Archer%20A7(EU)_V5_190403.zip

0
0
#9
Options
Re:tp-link USB Printer Controller broken after Microsoft/Windows 10 updates
2021-03-25 12:14:35

I do not like it when features are dropped from a product in firmware updates. After all, I got that product because it has those specific features. As a former software developer, I understand the issues, problems, constraints, and such to adding features to existing software. Sometimes enhancements or fixes will break other things, sometimes other features need to either be removed or redesigned to work with new features or to even add the feature. Most router companies have enough product lines that one would think that they would not need to change a product via firmware to add or delete functionality. It is bad enough when they change the features with different versions of the the routers. Just another reason I would not buy a router based on the promise that the feature will be added at a later date as we have seen, sometimes it does not happen or at the cost of other features. 

0
0
#10
Options
Re:tp-link USB Printer Controller broken after Microsoft/Windows 10 updates
2021-03-25 13:57:29

 

ArcherC8 wrote

I do not like it when features are dropped from a product in firmware updates. After all, I got that product because it has those specific features. As a former software developer, I understand the issues, problems, constraints, and such to adding features to existing software. Sometimes enhancements or fixes will break other things, sometimes other features need to either be removed or redesigned to work with new features or to even add the feature. Most router companies have enough product lines that one would think that they would not need to change a product via firmware to add or delete functionality. It is bad enough when they change the features with different versions of the the routers. Just another reason I would not buy a router based on the promise that the feature will be added at a later date as we have seen, sometimes it does not happen or at the cost of other features. 

@ArcherC8 

 

Yes, as a former programmer myself, I too feel like you do. We don't run the companies though. Netgear in particular pulled features that I'm sure many people bought the router for. In thier case, I felt it was a MONEY grab. Screw the ones who had bought it already. Why were the features removed, because they wanted space to add the money stream of the Security Suite.

 

To its credit, they DID announce the removal and you should stay on the lastest F/W if you need those features. However, like I said above, at the loss of future updates, fixes, and security updates. If they had only carried 2 lines of F/W it would have solved the problem, one with the lost features, the other with the new Security Suite. However that probably would have been more work and counter productive.

 

As for this specific feature, well, a lot of other vendors do not include it now either. In some cases, alternatives could be hard to find. Just like the old Floppy diskettes, they started to fade away surplanted by the 3 1/2 hardshell diskettes. Those are gone now.

 

There could be other reasons for removing it as well, such as the space it took was required for future fix growth? A license fee was paid for the code, and not many users? Who knows?

 

However, I agree, it isn't a good thing to remove a feature from a product sold with that feature.

2
2
#11
Options