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Troubleshooting Reference: Printers

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12/12/2012 9:07:35 AM

For many small businesses, the printer is a vital cog in the machine; when it goes down, productivity suffers and some important work effectively stops. But before you call in a professional, try to fix the problem yourself. You can do it by following these simple troubleshooting tips.

productivity suffers and some important work effectively stops.
For many small businesses, the printer is a vital cog in the machine; when it goes down,

For many small businesses, the printer is a vital cog in the machine; when it goes down, productivity suffers and some important work effectively stops.

When in doubt, check the LCD

Most printers feature some sort of LCD display that reports that status of ink cartridges, toner, and most importantly, any error messages you should be aware of. It’s a good idea to periodically glance at the display, but make it your first stop if you run into problems. Often you’ll find errors and messages displayed here that give you specific instruction for how to solve the issue. Some common LCD messages include “drum error” (remove and replace the drum), “jam” (paper jam), and the self-explanatory “low ink” or “low toner.”

Printer fails to print

If the printer stops printing, start by making sure the unit has power and is turned on. Allow enough time to pass to account for the warm up period (if your printer requires one). If the printer is new, make sure any packing material, tape, and protective plastic has been removed from the unit. Check that the drum, toner cartridge, or ink cartridges are in their proper places and the compartments that provide access to the inner part of the printer are closed. Make sure there’s plenty of printer paper in the tray(s).

If the printer is connected via USB or Ethernet, make sure the cable spanning the two devices is securely connected

If the printer is connected via USB or Ethernet, make sure the cable spanning the two devices is securely connected

If the printer is connected via USB or Ethernet, make sure the cable spanning the two devices is securely connected. If the printer is connected wirelessly, make sure it can detect the wireless network and that the printer and PCs on the network can communicate.

If your printer supports it, it might help to try an alternate connection method. For instance, connect a Wi- Fi-connected printer to your PC using a USB cable instead, and then retry the print operation.

Prevention

The best way to avoid problems is to perform some regular maintenance on your printer. Every time you replace the toner or ink, take a moment to inspect the unit, remove the paper trays, and wipe it down with a clean, dry cloth. Don’t regularly exceed the recommended duty cycle for your printer. Replace the ink and toner cartridges exactly as described in the printer’s manual and only use the ink, toner, and paper recommended for your device.

The best way to avoid problems is to perform some regular maintenance on your printer.

The best way to avoid problems is to perform some regular maintenance on your printer.

Fix-it checklist

It’s helpful to have a few things on hand when your printer goes on the fritz. Here’s a short checklist that’ll help you solve the problem.

·         Printer’s user manual

·         USB cable

·         Working Wi-Fi connection

·         PC with an active Internet connection

·         Driver disc that came with your printer

·         Replacement ink or toner cartridge(s)

·         Paper for printing test pages

 

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