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More Printer Troubleshooting Tips

Friday, July 13th, 2007 by | Filed Under: Printing Help

More Printer Troubleshooting Tips

Many issues can occur when printing with any application you may use on your computer. The causes of these issues will vary though and that’s exactly what we’re going to go over today. The following procedures will help resolve general printing issues that may occur.

The most common cause of printing issues involves conflicts between the program and the printer driver, which acts as a translator between the printer and the application. First, verify that the driver for your printer is up to date. You can contact your printer’s manufacturer for the latest driver for the printer in use as well. Most manufacturers offer these updated drivers as a free download from their Web site.

Below are some additional suggestions for troubleshooting printer issues.

Print a Bitmap Image Using MS Paint

This procedure will verify that the printer is functioning properly, using a program other than the one used when the printing issue occurs.

1.) Close any open programs or windows and return to your desktop.

2.) Click Start, All Programs, choose Accessories and then click Paint. This will launch the Microsoft Paint program.

3.) Click File in the menu bar and then click Open.

4.) Locate and double click on any Bitmap (*.bmp) file. The bitmap image you selected should now be open in Microsoft Paint.

5.) Click the File menu and select Print.

6.) Click OK to begin the printing.

7.) If the printout appears faded, the ink cartridge may be low and may need replaced. If the printout appears clear, verify that the latest print driver for the printer is installed. Contact the printer manufacturer for updated information and procedures.

Printer Emulation

If the printed output from a particular program is incorrect or if nothing prints at all, there may be a conflict between the program and the printer. This is a common issue, especially when printing to newer printers from software that is a few years old. Printer conflicts are typically resolved by loading a different printer driver to emulate the printer being used and selecting that printer emulation when printing from the affected program. Contact your printer’s manufacturer to identify what driver or drivers will emulate the particular printer in use. The steps below describe how to change the printer driver.

Changing the Printer Driver

1.) Close any open programs or windows and return to your desktop.

2.) Double click the My Computer icon.

3.) Double click the Printers icon.

Note: For Windows XP users, perform the following procedure and then skip to Step 4.

  • In the Other Places panel on the left side of the window, click Control Panel.
  • Click the Printers and Other Hardware button.
  • Click the Printers and Faxes button.
  • In the Printer Tools panel on the left side of the window, click Add a Printer. The Add Printer Wizard dialogue should now open.

4.) Click Next.

5.) If the printer is connected to the computer directly, select Local. If the printer is accessed through a network, select Network.

6.) Click Next. The window that appears displays a list of printer manufacturers on the left side and the corresponding models on the right side.

Note: For Windows XP users, remove the checkmark from the option to automatically detect Plug and Play printers.

7.) Select the appropriate manufacturer and model for the emulation printer obtained from the printer manufacturer (see Printer Emulation).

Note: If the manufacturer or model is not in the list, refer to your printer’s manual or contact the printer manufacturer to determine another emulation driver for the printer.

8.) In the screen that opens, configure the port the printer is attached to. (Most of the time, a local printer will be attached to LPT1). If a different LPT port or alternate connection is used, such as USB, select the appropriate option and click Next.

9.) Name the printer or use the default printer name. The opportunity to select this printer as the default printer is also presented. If Yes for the default option is selected, all Windows applications will use this printer automatically. Select No if a default printer in Windows is already selected and you want to have this printer driver available for printing when using a particular program.

Note: Some programs (typically older programs) only print using the default printer and will not allow a different printer to be chosen when printing. If the program you are having issues with when printing does not allow a different printer to be chosen when printing, set the emulation printer you are installing as the default for now. After troubleshooting, the default printer can be changed back to the correct printer by repeating Steps 1 through 3 to open the printer’s window. Then right click the correct printer icon and left click Set as Default from the menu that appears.

Hope this one helps to fix all your printing problems!

~ Ramachandran Kumaraswami

P.S. – Read here for even more printer troubleshooting tips!

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