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Solving Common Printer Issues

solving common printer problemsBefore you go dashing off down the road to your PC repair store to pay someone to fix your printer, there are some things you can try at home first and save some money.

Check your connection

USB cables, unlike their predecessors, serial or parallel cables which could be screwed it, can be displaced or completely dislodged with a wrong step , tugging on another cable in close proximity, or moving the computer connected to the printer. Make sure that both ends of the cable are connected securely when you are printing.

Check the power cable

Similar to USB cables, the power cables can be unplugged very easily as well. It is especially easy for this to happen if the cable connects via a power brick in the middle. A cable will connect from the outlet to the brick, and the cable with the brick on it comes out of your printer. Check and make sure that everything is secure and that you hear the printer performing a start-up routine or self-test.

Blank Pages

If you use an inkjet printer, blank pages could be caused by dry print heads or you could simply be out of ink. It's not uncommon for ink to dry up if you don't print often. The first step to fix this would try to install a new print cartridge. If that fails to succeed, make sure to print a page or two at least every couple of days to keep the ink fresh.

Issues with Drivers

Most of the time, all it should take is plugging your printer into your computer and the drivers will be recognized automatically. If this does not work for you, the first step is to find the installation disk that came with your printer and install the drivers from the CD. Don't despair if you can't find the CD, the majority of companies that sell printers have the drivers available as a free download from their respective websites. To do this, all you need is to match up the driver to the printer, download it, and then run that executable file.

Error Messages

Sometimes you can get some strange error messages from your printer. Don't panic. There are a couple of things to do. First, you can try the owner's manual that came with your printer and see if it is mentioned in there. If you can't find what you are looking for in the manual, a simple search on the Internet can help because it can point you to people who encountered similar problems and what they did to fix them.

Paper Jams

There will certainly be times when a paper jam is obvious. If it's not obvious, open up your printer and perform a thorough visual check to make sure no fragments of paper are in the way.

Ink Smears

When your printer continually smears ink on your documents or photos, it usually means that the print heads are dirty. If your printer came with software that can tell it to clean the print heads, try that first. If not, you can open up the printer and using a Q-tip and some alcohol, gently clean off the dirt.

Updated 10/28/2019