"Feature?" A total novice asks

Must printer be connected to Octo Pi machine before WiFi will log on? If so, how to disable that "Feature".

are you asking about the pi connecting to wifi? if so, no, it has no bearing on whether the pi connects to your wifi or not

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Definitely not. You don't even need a printer- at all- to use OctoPrint. It should boot up and everything.

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MANY THANKS. Invested in wifi kbd/mouse,visio hdmi TV AND hdmi cable. Flashed to current Rasbian patched WiFi. Boots, works.
Flashed to current OctoPi, SCREEN OF TEXT, LAST LINE "[ 1,1694721] ---[ end kernel panic - not syncing: VFB: Unable to mount root fs on unknown-block(179,2)" no kbd mouse seen...

That error is a failed/failing SD card. We've seen it before around here.

Keybaord/mouse/monitor are a LOT of help, eh? I drag them out when this type of thing happens.

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You nailed it, sir. SD card marginal...

I'm guessing that this is a problem with the way you installed the image.

Try this set of instructions.

Many thanks, plagued by a plurality of marginal "SanDisk" branded cards.