Knowledgebase : Hardware > Printer
Printer Issues
Posted by Administrator on 22 January 2016 02:33 pm

Troubleshooting Printer Problems
When you troubleshoot a printer, you must first determine if
the problem is in the printer itself, the computer hardware,
the application software, or the printer driver. To isolate the
problem, try these things:
• Make sure the printer is turned on and is online.
• Check to see that the correct printer is selected as the
default printer.
• Ensure that the printer driver is correct and that it’s
correctly installed and updated.
• Move the printer to another computer and try printing
on it.
• Check that the cables are plugged in all the way. Replace
any suspect cable with a known good one to check.
• Is there enough memory for print spooling? Is there
enough hard drive space to store print files?
• Is print spooling turned on in Services (Administrative
Services> Control Panel)? Sometimes a problem with
printing can be fixed by disabling and re-enabling print
or print controller services.
• Is the print queue full or bogged down with a large or
bad file? Purge the queue. Sometimes this can be done
by turning print spooling off and back on.
• If it’s a network printer, is the proper one selected? Do
you have user rights to access that printer? Is the network interface card working and the cables plugged in?
• Was the printer on when the system booted? Sometimes
the printer won’t be found after boot if it wasn’t turned
on ahead of time.
• Has paper jammed? Are the paper trays empty or out
of position? Is a piece of paper blocking a sensor?
• Is the printer overheating? If the printer has a fan, is it
• Does the ink supply read “low” when you know it isn’t?
Maybe you forgot to run the printer cartridge setup
• If a self-test works, check the printer interface.
• Make sure that the correct quality paper is being used
for the printer.
For dot-matrix printers:
• Is the printing dark and then light? Check the ribbon
• Missing or broken printhead pins can cause incomplete
• If the printing is patchy or uneven, replace the ribbon.
A ribbon that’s too tight will cause flecks and smudges
on the paper.
• Bad printing may be the result of an overheated print
head. Clean it periodically with denatured alcohol and
nonlint cloth.
• Make sure the print head is spaced correctly from the
paper. Adjust it if necessary.
For ink-jet printers:
• Is the ink supply low or the nozzle clogged?
• Is the print head too close or too far away? If information
is missing on the page, replace the print head.
• Have you used a substitute ink cartridge or refill and not
the recommended quality or brand?
For laser-jet printers:
• Remember that the drum can be damaged by sunlight.
If performing maintenance, put the drum in a lightprotective bag or covering.
• If characters smear, the fuser assembly isn’t working
• Random specks could signify inadequate cleaning of
residual toner by the blade. It may also signify cartridge
problems or a printer power supply problem.
• Distorted images may be due to blockage or the toner
cartridge. Redistribute the toner in the cartridge by
tapping it and moving it back and forth. Be careful not to
spill toner. Retest. If it still looks bad, replace with a
known good cartridge and check again.
• If you see white streaks, redistribute the toner in the
cartridge. Dark spots indicate loose toner particles.
Feeding several sheets of paper will usually resolve this.
• If the printing is too light, check the transfer corona.
• The ozone filter sometimes needs replacing. Make that a
part of routine maintenance.