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We have a new Xerox 6121MFPN laser printer in the office. We use network printing, so this printer is connected to a Linksys WAG320N router (to port 1, if it matters).

When we do not print anything for a while, in 5 minutes the printer goes to sleep. The 5 minutes is a config parameter of the printer.

The problem is that even after we do not print anything for a long while (and no incoming faxes or scan jobs, etc), the printer wakes up every 15 minutes, warms up, waits for 5 minutes (since there's no print job) then goes back to sleep.

We can not figure out why it is waking up, it is quite annoying. If I disconnect the Ethernet cable to the printer, it no longer wakes up. If I connect the network cable but turn off the WAG320N, it no longer wakes up. My guess is that the printer is waking up due to a computer doing some sort of status check or query, but I can not be sure.

All our machines are Win 7 machines, connected wirelessly to the same router.

Update-1 (edit): I added a firewall rule to block all requests from my computer to the printer and make a log of the requests. Turns out, at every HH:MM:55, HH:MM:05 and HH:MM:15, there is a UDP packet transmitted to the printer, from source port 60732 to destination port 161.

And, approximately every 20 minutes, there is a TCP packet from port 60691 to port 139 of the printer, followed by 2 UDP packets from port 137 of the PC to port 137 of the printer. Any ideas of what these might be?

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up vote 3 down vote accepted

Good work with the firewall setup/test by the way, smart thinking.

161 is SNMP, 137/139 are Netbios packets - so unless your machine needs an SNMP service (I doubt it needs a Netbios one at all) then you could turn off those two protocols on you machine and hopefully that should be the end of it.

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I turned off NETBIOS from TCPIP network properties of the network adapter and so far, no wake-ups! Keeping fingers crossed. I think that was it. Thanks. Will update the thread if I confirm this solves the problem – SomethingBetter Jun 1 '11 at 11:41

This is a multi-function printer according to a quick Google (and the "MFP" in the name kind of suggests that too) so it's likely you have an agent installed as part of the Xerox driver/software suite that's periodically polling the printer; probably for the Scan-to-PC functionality or perhaps to check toner levels (SNMP).

There may be an option/setting as part of this software suite something to the effect of "poll printer every x seconds," so you can quiet it down, but dropping egress packets on your workstation(s) to the printer might kill the scanning/management functionality.

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That's what I suspected too. I turned off Scan-to-PC functionality and killed the related background processes running on my PC. The printer would still wake-up unnecessarily. Turning off NetBIOS seems to solve my problems. – SomethingBetter Jun 1 '11 at 11:37
On another note, when the printer is asleep, it still responds to pings, which makes me believe that its network interface never actually goes to sleep, ie, it is not a traditional wake-on-lan device. (This observation is based on my limited knowledge of wake-on-lan though :) – SomethingBetter Jun 1 '11 at 11:38

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