Thanks for the reply.
Yes the printer is connected to the home network. I can use Firefox from within PCLOS client on the Windows 7 host machine and connect to the printer. I can browse settings, status, etc in the printer's web site.
Windows 7 firewall is off and has been.
The printer was originally set up and running in the PCLOS Virtualbox client on the Windows XP host machine. I moved the vdi to the new computer but the differences are: Virtualbox old 3.2 vs new 4.0, old Windows XP host vs new Windows 7 host.
Everything works perfectly, networking, Firefox, Thunderbird, etc. The first time I tried to use the printer, I got the Device communication error. I uninstalled the printer. When reinstalling, the HP setup app discovers the network printer but when I click next, it sits for a long time then gives this error: "Unable to communicate with the device. Please check the device and try again."
I'm thinking it has to be something with virtualbox because it worked great in 3.2 but fails in 4.0.