Laser – Replace Toner, applying maintenance kit, calibration and cleaning
Thermal – Replace paper, clean heating element and remove debris
Dot Matrix – Replace ribbon, replace print head and replace paper
Ink Jet – Replace ink cartridges, maintenance alignment, monitoring ink level and replace paper
General Printer Troubleshooting Issues
Printer will not print – Check connection, it is plugged in, printer online, AC outlet, cables, does it have paper and spooler
Problems with Feed Mechanisms – Either user error or too much paper
Spooler Problems – Print Directly to Printer, Restart, Pause or Stop Services
Garbled Characters or Garbage Printing – Driver Issues with Printer, Circuit Board or loose printer cable
Wrong Settings – Check settings and use correct paper
Low Ink and Toner – Replace the Ink and Toner cartridge immediately
Connection Errors – LPT error, COM error and USB cannot detect PnP
No Printout – Check ribbon, toner cartridge or ink cartridges also take sealing tape on Toner Cartridges
Paper Jam – Check pathway, rollers, paper types, too much paper, creased paper and misalignment issues
Out of Paper Errors – No paper in the printer
Calibration – Setup printer properly before use
Maintenance, Alignment and Settings – Right Click Printer Icon and click on properties
Networking problems – rights, permissions, network connections
Compatibility – Make sure your printer is compatible with your OS
Error Codes – Certain printers have error codes to tell what is wrong with it
Printer Hardware Failure – unless it’s a high end laser printer it’s better to replace and get a new one
Out of Memory or Low Memory - Check Spooler and RAM of Printer
Connectivity Issues – Printer connection, drivers, network, IP configurations, Remote Connections, Default Settings
Access Denied – Permission and connectivity Issues
Unable to install printer – Hardware or Driver issues
Color prints in wrong print color – settings and compatibility issues
This happens when the computer is unable to communicate with the printer:
Is the printer plugged in?
Is the printer turned on?
Check the cable connection?
Is the printer driver installed?
Is there any system resource conflict (IRQ or DMA)?
Dot Matrix Printer Troubleshooting
No Printout – Check Ribbon
Bad Looking Text, White bars or Chopped Text – Print Head
Smudges or Dirty Printout – Clean Platen with denatured alcohol
Uneven Printout – Adjust Platen
Ink-Jet Print Quality Issues
Unclear Images – Running low on ink and needs to be replaced
Blank Printouts – No Ink or Nozzle is clogged
Smudges on Printouts – User Error (touch the printout before the ink is dried)
Wrong Colors in Printouts – Low Ink or Dirty Nozzle
Alignment Issues – Check printer properties and run the alignment program
Laser Printer Troubleshooting
Unlike with PCs, laser printer maintenance follows a fairly well established procedure. Follow these steps to insure a long, healthy life for your system.
Keeping it Clean
Laser printers are quite robust as a rule. A good cleaning every time you replace the toner cartridge will help that printer last for many years.
Although keeping the printer clean is critical to its health and well being, every laser printer has certain components that will need to be replaced periodically. Your ultimate source for determining the parts that need to be replaced (and when to replace them) is the printer manufacturer. Following the manufacturer’s maintenance guidelines will help to ensure years of trouble-free, dependable printing from your laser printer.
Laser Printer Problems
Blank Paper - Blank sheets of paper usually mean the printer is out of toner or transfer corona wire
Black Paper – primary corona wire
Dirty Printouts – Clean Printer and Fuser using maintenance program
Ghosting, Vertical White Lines, Blotchy Print or No Printout usually you need to shake the toner
Paper Jams – To much paper, misalignment, wrong paper and check sensors if no paper causing paper jam
Lines, Smearing, Not Fused – Scratch in the EP drum, Dirty Transfer Corona, Fuser needs to be replaced
Pulling Multiple Sheets
If the printer grabs multiple sheets at a time, first try opening a new ream of paper and loading that in the printer. If that works, you’ve got a humidity problem. If the new paper angle doesn’t work, check the separation pad on the printer. The separation pad is a small piece of cork or rubber that separates the sheets as they are pulled from the paper feed tray. A worn separation pad will look shiny and well, worn! Most separation pads are easy to replace.
Warped, Overprinted, or Poorly Formed Characters
Poorly formed characters can indicate either a problem with the paper (or other media), or a problem with the hardware.
Wavy Image – Defective Laser Scanner
Strange Sizes – User mistake (printer settings) or wrong paper
Reverse Power Up – Turn on Laser Printer first before you turn on PC
Managing Printers and Print Jobs
Local vs. Network Printer Setup