Archive for October, 2010
Xerox, like any other manufacturer, cannot ensure that all machines are going to last a certain time, perform at a guaranteed speed, or promise zero mechanical issues. The bottom line is these machines are made up of hundreds of components, many of them moving. Parts get dirty and worn down, or become misaligned, causing a number of problems. Many issues will require a repair by a professional, but not all. Here is a list of the most common problems and/or questions as well as potential do-it-yourself troubleshooting techniques.
Print Quality is Suffering
- When you are printing, you can select the type of media you are printing on. Be sure that your settings match the paper that is loaded into the machine. If the two do not match, the quality may suffer.
- Certain media types cannot handle the same fuser heat as others. For instance, envelopes with adhesive exposed to the heat of the fuser could be ruined. Many fusers in laser printers can be manually adjusted to make it conducive with specific media types. Check with the user’s guide of your Xerox laser printer as well as the label of the paper type you are using to ensure it is designed for use in a laser printer.
- Open your machine and look at some of the major components, such as the ink sticks or cartridges, fuser, rollers, etc. Check for obvious damage or scratches. If you find some, you may have to replace that part. If you do not find actual damage, wipe the parts down with a towel. It is possible that dust particles or ink residue are hindering performance.
- If your documents have smudges on them, Xerox recommends printing a bunch of blank pages. This can help to clean the rollers and reduce smudges.
Paper Keeps Getting Jammed
- Remove the paper tray, and check the paper path as well as you can. You are looking for any debris, such as chunks of paper or tape. Remove anything you find.
- Be sure the paper is loaded completely straight in the tray. Use the alignment guides.
- Pull jammed paper out of the machine as straight as you can. However, if it is stuck very tightly, do not keep pulling! Depending on which part of the path the paper is stuck in, there should be an access panel you can open or unlock to take the pressure off the paper. This will eliminate the possibility of tearing the jammed paper and leaving debris. Check your manual for specific instructions for clearing a paper jam for your model.
- Check to see if the paper loaded in the tray has static electricity, which makes the sheets cling to each other. This can usually be fixed by simply fanning the paper.
- Make sure the media type that you have selected is supported by the printer.
- Implement proper paper care tactics to ensure the paper is not creased or moist.
Tasks are Not Printing
- Be sure you set your Xerox printer as the default. This can be done by going to the Start menu> Printer and Faxes> right click on your printer> Set as Default.
- Clear the print queue. Sometimes a task can get stuck in the queue, and then everything sent after that will line up behind the stuck task. You can try deleting the stuck job from the queue, but you might want to just restart the machine (and possibly the computer as well) to clear the queue entirely.
- Load the appropriate tray with the correct paper supply.
Printer is Moving Slowly
- What is the print mode set to? It takes longer to print a document at high resolution. If the print job does not require the utmost quality (such as a copy of an invoice), set the mode to Draft. In this low-resolution mode, less ink/toner will be applied to the page, so it will pass through the printer faster.
- Images and complex graphics will take longer to complete than standard text documents.
- Consider upgrading your printer’s memory if the printing demands are becoming too much for the machine to handle.
If you have pulled out all the stops and are stilling having issues, be sure to contact a customer service representative at Xerox or the establishment where you purchased your machine.
A standard (or optical) resolution of a scanner is determined by how many sensors are located in each row and how many small, fine pixels are used to create the larger image. This determines the level of detail of an image that will be picked up by the scanner, thus affecting the clarity of the image being scanned. The overall quality of the optics used to make the lenses and the strength of the light source will also impact the clarity and sharpness of the image. So, when you are purchasing a scanner, be sure to note optical resolution rather than interpolated resolution. Understanding the color and bit depth is also important.
You may be confused by interpolated resolution (also referred to as enhanced resolution and digital resolution), which will be significantly higher than optical resolution. This number is often advertised to mislead buyers into thinking the scanner has an incredible inherent resolution, when in reality, interpolated resolutions are generated by algorithms in software.
Basically, interpolated software adds pixels to the image after it has been scanned, filling in the gaps and making the image appear to have been scanned at a much higher optical resolution. Unfortunately, adding pixels to an original scan can have a negative effect. For instance, when the size of the image is altered, those extra pixels can cause blurriness or discoloration. Most experts advise to disregard interpolated resolution as it is not an accurate representation of the what the image will look like when printed from the digital file.
Many scanners use the TWAIN protocol, which is universal and allows scanners to operate with any image program. The TWAIN driver transfers the scanned image to memory where you can make adjustments and enhancements. Via the TWAIN software, you can set the mode (color, grayscale, line art), scan area, and desired resolution. Most standard documents, such as invoices or legal paperwork, can be scanned at a resolution of 300 or 400 dpi. (This is different than the dpi created by ink and toner). There is no need to set the scanning resolution higher than that unless a color image or graphic is being processed. In fact, higher resolutions will often create a much larger file that can be more difficult to email or share.
To reiterate, optical resolution is the actual quality in which the document is scanned and stored. This is the most important resolution. Interpolated resolution comes from enhancement software and is determined by adding pixels in between the existing pixels. Don’t let this number mislead you. When shopping for a scanner, consider the resolution you are likely to actually use on a regular basis, and whether the higher resolutions will even be necessary.
Inkjet printers work via a series of small nozzles located on the printheads that eject miniature droplets of ink on the paper to create an image or text. When one or multiple nozzles become clogged with dried ink, an automatic cleaning utility should be available for you to run. This cleaning system will use bursts of ink to clear the nozzles. Though this can solve the problem at hand, it ultimately leads to another – wasted ink.
Let’s say the nozzle used to apply black Brother LC51K ink has clogged and it is causing streaks or fading on your text documents. Unfortunately, the cleaning utility cannot be set for a specific color. Rather, all nozzles will go through the cycle, so the colors of ink that are not black – cyan (LC51C), magenta (LC51M), and yellow (LC51Y) – will be completely wasted for no reason at all. Ink is not cheap, so this process seems unnecessary and uneconomical.
Inkjet printers have various print modes, typically consisting of a Draft or Eco mode, a Normal mode, and a Best mode, as well as a Photo mode for some photo printers. To find out how to access these modes and what each one means, see Print Quality Modes. Best or Photo mode is used when the highest print quality is required. To accomplish this, each color is applied in separate sequences rather than in one pass, like Draft mode. (This is why Draft mode often provides a faster output rate than the other modes).
Instead of running the cleaning utility to clear a clog in one nozzle, set the print mode to the best possible one. Change the color of the text in a standard text document to the color of ink that is clogged and print it. Because this will call for multiple blasts of ink, the clog should be cleared by the time the document is done printing. Set the mode back to Draft or Normal and print a test page to see if the quality has improved.
There is no guarantee that this process will work, but it is certainly worth a try before pointlessly wasting ink. Keep in mind, clogs that are really bad may require you to clean the nozzles manually. Refer to Printhead Cleaning for simple steps for cleaning your printheads and nozzles by hand.
These days, most homes have more than one computer. Maybe the kids have their own laptops or perhaps there are two offices with desktop computers in them. So, what do you do if one person uses the desktop PC with a Windows operating system while another person in the house just bought a Mac laptop? Can computers with different operating systems use the same printer on a network at the same time?
The answer is yes, but you will have to make a few changes first. Make sure the printer is physically connected to the Windows PC and working properly before you begin. Also, keep in mind that the PC and printer must both be on to access the printer from the Mac.
On the Windows PC:
- Open Start Menu and go to the Control Panel.
- Click Network and Internet.
- Select Network and Sharing Center.
- Click the down arrow button next to Printer Sharing. (This will expand the sections).
- Choose Turn on printer sharing.
- Click Apply.
On the Mac:
- Start System Preferences by clicking its icon in the dock (or click the Apple icon in the top left corner and choose System Preferences).
- Select Print & Fax. (A list will be displayed of configured printers that can be used).
- Click the plus sign (+) to pull the printer browser up.
- Select the Windows icon.
- Choose the appropriate workgroup name (it will be in the first column) and click the computer name of the Windows PC.
- Select the appropriate printer.
- Using the Print Using dropdown menu to choose the driver required to install the printer.
- Click Add.
Once these steps have been completed, you should be able to access the network printer via your Windows PC and Mac. It may take a few minutes of your time, but it certainly is easier and less expensive than adding a second printer.
A printer drum, also referred to as an imaging drum and a photoconductor, is an essential component of a laser printer as it serves as the catalyst for creating text and images. The drum hosts a positive charge and the text or image is written on it with a negatively charged laser. The positive charge of the toner is attracted to that negative charge and clings to the drum. That toner is then applied to the paper and fused into the paper’s fibers with a heated fuser.
As you can imagine, the drum does take a beating and will inevitably need to be replaced. However, if you start to notice quality issues such as blotchiness and streaking, you may want to consider cleaning the drum before purchasing a new one. Keep in mind, the surface of these drums are extremely sensitive and you should only attempt to clean it if you are willing to risk damaging it further.
There are primarily two types of drums: Ones that are built into the cartridge itself, such as a Canon L50 toner cartridge, and ones that the cartridge actually snaps into, such as a Brother TN115BK toner cartridge. You may want to consult your manual or manufacturer if you are unsure which type of drum your model uses. Most drums have a similar look, which is generally a long, green cylinder.
To clean the drum, you will need a soft lint-free cloth, standard rubbing alcohol, cotton swabs and potentially a set of tweezers.
Be sure to turn off and unplug your printer before following these steps:
- Remove the cartridge or drum assembly from the machine.
- If applicable, remove the cartridge from the assembly.
- Inspect the drum surface. If obvious damage is detected, such as a scratch, this cannot be cleaned. A replacement will be needed.
- Use the tweezers to remove any chunks of toner or debris. Be careful not to scratch the drum surface with the tweezers.
- Soak a cotton swab with rubbing alcohol and wipe away any visible toner or dirt particles.
- Slightly dampen the cloth with rubbing alcohol or warm water and gently wipe the entire drum unit, including the cartridge if conjoined.
- If applicable, reattach the cartridge.
- Put the drum or drum assembly back into the machine and print a few test pages.
- If the same issues are present, consider replacing the printer drum.
Cleaning your printer drum on a fairly regular basis could potentially reduce the number of replacements that are required over the lifespan of your machine. It could also limit issues with quality. To reiterate, cleaning the printer drum yourself comes with a risk of damaging the sensitive surface and might mean you will need to replace the drum.
Whether it is thrown away with the packing material or lost in translation along the way, so often the essential user’s manual for your printer is nowhere to be found. It can be extremely frustrating not to have your printer’s manual when you need it, but don’t worry, you are not out of options.
A software CD comes with most printers and is typically required to set-up the printer on a network. Sometimes this CD will contain a PDF copy of the printer’s manual. Insert the disc and look for a file called “User Guide”, “User Manual” or something similar. Chances are, though, if you misplaced the manual, you probably aren’t certain of the CD’s location, either.
If you pull up the internet and use a standard search engine, such as Google or Bing, you should be able to find some helpful results. Simply enter your model number, Brother DCP-7045, for instance, along with the term “user’s guide” or “manual” and click search. You should be able to find your manual on one of the sites that match your search.
Most printer manufacturers provide a PDF of the manual on their website that you can download for free, and this is usually the quickest and easiest option. Below is a list of the major printer manufacturers and links to their support and download sections. In most cases you are only required to enter your model number into the search box:
|Canon||Support & Drivers|
|Lexmark||Support & Downloads|
|Xerox||Support & Drivers|
|Dell||Support – Manuals|
|Brother||Download Manuals and Product Documentation|
|Samsung||Samsung Download Center|
You should be able to locate your manual if you follow the provided links. If you are still having trouble, contact the manufacturer directly via email or phone.
Samsung has gained respect for making a number of top-of-the-line electronics, ranging from televisions and cell phones to office equipment. Samsung printers are widely known for being affordable and reliable, however, as with any device that is made up of multiple small components working in unison, issues may arise.
There is not enough time or space to list every single possible problem that could come up when using a Samsung laser printer, so we have narrowed it down to the 5 most common problems. We have also included some simple troubleshooting tips for you to try before enlisting help from technical support.
When the LCD display on the top panel of the machine says Paper Jam, the first thing you need to do is open the printer up and check for jammed paper. If there is nothing there, it may be a sensor issue. Be sure that the sensors that are near the side of the input tray do not have debris on them. Here is a video tutorial about the various ways to fix a paper jam on a Samsung printer:
When this error appears, it usually means that the fuser in your Samsung laser printer is not heating up properly. Often, this can be fixed by powering down the printer and checking that all cables are securely plugged in. If the problem persists, you might need a new fuser, which could be a costly repair. It is recommended to contact technical support if you continue to receive this error message.
Error 24 indicates that the printer’s memory capacity is not large enough to handle the size of a document or the number of documents in the queue. There are two solutions to this problem – you can reduce the amount of data that is being sent to the printer at one time, or you can upgrade the memory. Try clearing the queue and sending fewer documents or pages at one time. If this error occurs frequently, you will definitely want to add more RAM (if the device supports it).
More of a helpful warning than an error, if the code 16 is displayed on your printer’s LCD, it means the toner is running low. If you suspect that there is still toner remaining, you can try removing the cartridge and shaking it to distribute the remaining toner evenly. If this error still occurs, you will need to order some replacement cartridges. Keep in mind that many Samsung models have remanufactured cartridges available, such as the Samsung CLP-300A, from reputable third-party suppliers.
While not an error message, this is a commonly reported issue with some Samsung printers. It means that small squares are printing instead of the text, usually when printing from an unknown source (like a website). When this happens, it does so because the font is not recognized by the printer software. To remedy this issue, you can try reloading the most updated drivers. You can also go to the Start menu and choose Printers and Faxes > Select your printer > Properties > Advanced > Print Processor and change the graphics mode. Print a test page to see if this eliminates the issue.
Though other issues may arise when using your Samsung printer, these are the 5 most common problems that you will likely come across. It is always frustrating when your printer won’t print, but take a deep breath and try some of these simple troubleshooting tasks before you contact technical support, and you could save yourself some time and hassle.
Printers can sometimes encounter a lot of different problems that can be difficult to troubleshoot. One of the more annoying symptoms that may crop up is that a printer starts printing blank pages instead of the output you are expecting.
Update the Printer Driver
Printing blank pages can often caused by an incorrect printer driver installed on the computer, or one that has become corrupted. The best solution in this case is to track down the correct driver and install it. See Installing a Printer Driver for details on how to install correctly.
Check the Cables
In some cases, a communication error due to a loose cable can cause blank pages. First, turn off the printer. Unplug the USB, parallel, or ethernet cable from both the computer and the printer, then reconnect both, making sure they are securely inserted.
Check the Cartridges
The first thing to check is to make sure that your inkjet or toner cartridges are not empty. You can generally view the level of ink or toner available on the control panel of the printer or in the software on your computer.
Reset the Print Spooler
The print spooler is responsible for managing multiple print jobs. Reseting the print spooler could resolve the issue. Click the Start button and type “services.msc” in the box (without the quotes), then hit Enter. Right-click the “Print Spooler” heading and click “Stop”. Then right-click the “Print Spooler” line again and click “Start”. Print a test page to see if the problem is resolved.
Clean the Print Heads
When inkjet print heads become clogged, they can have trouble transferring ink to the page. By running the print head cleaning utility, the printer will attempt to flush the heads to get them working again. For most models, you will open the printer software and go to the Tools or Utilities section and choose the print head cleaning utility. Consult your manual for specific instructions for your model.
For models with removable printheads, Canon models in particular, you can try manually cleaning the heads. See the video below.
With any luck, the issue of printing blank pages will now be resolved. If you are still having problems with your printer, you may need to try a repair shop or contact the manufacturer for more detailed information.