Epson Status Monitor will not load on remote client – Communication Error

It took me sometime to find the answer to this question because Epson’s FAQs are extremely limited and mostly useless. I have a Epson Stylus DX4200 (All-in-One). If you have your printer shared across a network then, by default, the drivers should install without any hassle, but if you try and access the Epson Status Monitor from a remote client (Windows XP) then the that client fails to communicate with the print server (Windows XP). Failure to communicate usually suggests that one device is unable to communicate with another, and generally that is because either that device doesn’t exist or something is blocking access to that device.

First check that you have allowed File and Printer Sharing and then check your Window Firewall exception list for this. If you have never been able to print from a remote client then this is the first place you should check.

However, since I know both computers can see each other over the network and that I have previously been able to print from one to the other, then the only possible reason is that the Epson Status Monitor is being blocked by the print server or the blocked by the remote client.

Searches on the Epson FAQs for my model and “network” revealed nothing, but that didn’t surprise me because their support sucks anyway. Google finally revealed the answer after a bit of time searching.
The Windows Firewall is not the problem as my initial thought was that the firewall was blocking the Epson program. I knew I had File and Printer sharing enabled, the SP2 Windows Firewall exception set up correctly, my remote client had installed the printer drivers successfully and I could previously print. What I could not do is access the Epson Status Monitor due to a “Communication Error”. That communication error is because, by default, you cannot monitor the printer from a remote client. Specifically, the answer you are looking for is:

“To monitor a shared printer from the client through the server machine, select Allow monitoring of shared printer in the Monitoring Preference dialog box in the server machine”.

To actually find that setting you’ll need to delve into the extremely long-winded Epson Status Monitor Advanced Settings. Specifically follow these steps:

  • Right click Epson Status Monitor
  • Select Printer Settings
  • Click on Advanced
  • Click Continue when it asks you if you are a n00b
  • Click on the Maintenance Tab
  • Click on Speed & Progress
  • Click on Monitoring Preferences
  • Check all the events
  • Check the box marked Allow Monitoring of Shared Printers
  • Congratulate Epson on hiding it so well

Send Epson a complaint because you know that you still have the possibility of printing 100 pages of black even though the “Epson Status Liar” reminds you every time you print that you are “nearly” out of ink and should replace “as soon as possible”.

It was this “disinformation alert” that started my frustration. Simply the “alert” from the printer server could not reach the client and the client could not respond, hence preventing any further printing, because the print server was asking the client to respond when it already knew it was not permitted to because the server itself was refusing any communication!

To explain that logic I will use a simple example:
“Talk to me or I won’t print. By the way, I’ve banned you from talking to me! Now I won’t print! Ha Ha Ha!!”