Frequently Asked Questions about Printers


    I'm printing to a networked printer but it is not printing. What do I do?

    1. First, make sure that the printer is plugged into an outlet, turned on, and online. Also verify that there are no paper jams, and that the printer has paper loaded.
    2. From the Start menu, choose Settings, then choose Printers and Faxes.
    3. Double-click on the printer icon. This will show any jobs in the print queue for that printer. If there are no jobs in the queue, skip to step 8.
    4. See if there are any printer errors in the status column of the printer window. If you don't see any errors, skip to step 8.
    5. If you see an error, delete the print job, if it is your own. If it is someone else's, that person will have to delete it. To delete a print job, point at the item with the mouse, right-click and choose Cancel Printing.
    6. Resubmit your print job.
    7. If it doesn't print, log a ticket via ihelp.
    8. Reset the external jet direct box that is attached to the printer. You can do this by disconnecting the power cord from the outlet and then plugging it back in.
    9. Check the cable connections between the external jet direct box and the printer. Disconnect the yellow patch cable at both ends, and then re-insert. Make sure that the connection between the jet direct box and the printer is secure also.
    10. If this doesn't work, log a ticket via ihelp.

    How do I attach to a network printer?

    1. From the Start menu, choose Settings, then choose Printers and Faxes.
    2. Double-click Add Printer.
    3. Click Next.
    4. Select Network Printer..., then Next.
    5. Select Connect to this printer... and type in the network path (Ex: \\itsprint\\admp0205).
    6. As you type, the list will be reduced to one printer. If it's the correct printer, select it and click Next.
    7. Choose Yes (if you want the printer to be your default printer), then Next.
    8. Click Finish.

    How do I replace the toner cartridge in a laser printer?

    First, remove the cartridge from the packaging. Hold the cartridge on the sides and rock it gently from side to side. This will loosen the toner inside of the cartridge. If you look on one side of the cartridge, there will be a piece of tape sticking out of it. Carefully break the plastic connector that is holding this to the unit. Slowly but firmly pull on this tape. It will come out of the cartridge. (Be careful when disposing of this tape - there will be toner on it.) Remove the old toner cartridge from the printer. Pay close attention to how you remove the old one. Insert the new cartridge in the same manner. Close the printer and test it.

    These instructions (with diagrams) may also be found in the printer manual or in the box with the toner cartridge, and sometimes on the underside of the printer cover.

    What does a "Print Overrun Error" mean?

    This occurs when the document being printed requires more memory than the printer has installed. A printer cannot print a document until it has received a full page of information to print. If the printer does not have sufficient memory to print the page, then the printer will display this error. If this occurs, you can change some of the properties of the printer. From the Start menu, choose Settings, then Printers. Right-click on the printer and choose Properties. Under the graphics section (if there is one), change the graphics mode to "Use raster graphics". You might also try to print one or two pages at a time, rather than the whole document. If it continues to occur, you may need to upgrade the memory in your printer. For purchasing information, please log a ticket via ihelp.

    What does a "50 Service error" mean on my printer?

    This error indicates that the fusing assembly is not heating up to the correct temperature. The fusing assembly is the device that melts the toner to the paper.

    Turn off the printer and leave it off for 30 minutes. Turn it back on and try to print again. If the error still occurs, the fusing assembly or the AC power module may need to be replaced. Please log a ticket via ihelp.

    What causes a black line or smudge running down my page?

    A faulty toner cartridge or a faulty fusing assembly can cause black lines and smudges. To check the toner cartridge, remove it from the printer, turn it over and pull back the shutter until you see the drum (a long cylinder). The drum normally has lines along the outer edges, but if there are lines in the middle section, you'll need to replace the toner cartridge. If there is no line, the problem is probably the fusing assembly. Please log a ticket via ihelp.

    Why does my printer jam?

    There are three primary causes of printer jams:

    • There could be some small pieces of paper stuck in the paper path. To fix this, remove the paper pieces. If you are unable to remove all the paper pieces, please call the IT Support Center for assistance. The printer may need to be disassembled by a qualified technician in order to remove all the paper.
    • The rollers may be worn. The rollers are designed to be a bit tacky, but they may pick up dust from the paper, causing them to slip. Cleaning the rollers with alcohol will remove the dust. It is also helpful to clean them with some type of rubber rejuvenator to make them tacky again.
    • The paper may be sticking together. Dampness and static buildup can cause this to happen. Keep your paper stored in a dry location. To eliminate static buildup, remove the paper from the printer, "fan" it, then reload the paper try.

    Other physical problems with the printer can also cause jamming.

    What is duplexing?

    Duplexing is a feature that allows you to print on both sides of the paper. This is a very convenient and paper saving feature when you are printing many pages at one time. On most printers, a duplexer is not standard equipment and must be ordered as an option.

    Why does my printer print garbage?

    There are generally two reasons for this. The first is that there is a problem with the parallel cable that connects the printer to the PC or to the external jetdirect box. The cable may have come loose or there might be some dirt causing a bad connection. Disconnect this cable at both ends and then re-connect to make sure that the connection is secure. The printer cable may also be damaged. This can occur if it's been cut or run over many times by a chair or other device.

    A corrupt or incorrect printer driver will also cause your output to print as garbage. The printer driver is basically the translator between the computer and printer. If you use the wrong translator, the printer will not understand what to print. Check to see what driver is installed by following these steps:

    1. From the Start menu, choose Settings, then Printers and Faxes.
    2. Point at the printer icon and right-click. Choose Properties.
    3. Click on the Details tab. Read the description under "Print using the following driver".
      1. If the model number on the driver is different from the model number on the printer, you may not have the correct driver installed.
      2. If the driver and the printer model are the same, you may have a corrupt file. Delete the printer and re-install it using the disks that came with the printer.

    Why will my printer print some things correctly, but prints garbage for other things?

    An incorrect printer driver usually causes this. Some printers are very similar and can use the same drivers, but it may not be able to use all of its features. For example, the text may be printed fine, but any special formatting (bold, underlining, etc.) will print as garbage or something unexpected or unwanted. The best solution for this is to make sure that you have the correct driver for the printer.

    What does "duty cycle" mean when buying a printer?

    Duty cycle is the maximum number of pages that the printer manufacturer recommends going through the printer in one month. For example, the monthly duty cycle for a printer could be 7000 pages. This means that the manufacturer does not recommend printing more than 7000 pages to the printer in a month.

    Why are the letters on my printout from my inkjet printer not entirely there?

    The ink in the cartridges is running low. Replace the ink cartridges and try again.

    I installed a new ink cartridge in my inkjet printer several months ago, but have not used it very much. It is now acting like the cartridge needs to be replaced. Why?

    When an ink cartridge is exposed to the air for an extended period of time without being used, the ink starts to dry in the nozzle of the cartridge. Clean the nozzle on the cartridge by taking a dry cloth and wiping it off. If this doesn't work, dampen the cloth with alcohol and clean the nozzle. If this doesn't fix it, you'll need to replace the cartridge.

    When I print to my inkjet printer, there is a line that runs across my paper. What causes this?

    This occurs when the printhead or something on the printhead is too close to the paper. Keep in mind that the ink is still wet whenever the paper comes out of the printer, so if anything rubs against the paper in the process of printing, the ink will smear or look like a line across the paper. To correct this, check the thickness of the paper. If it is too thick, the head will rub on the paper causing the problem. Some printers have an adjustment for the head. Try backing this adjustment back away from the paper. You may also need to use a lighter weight paper.

    Ink may also build up on the bottom of the head, creating a bump on the head. This bump may rub on the paper and cause the lines. This may be fixed by cleaning the printhead. It will also need to be cleaned under the carriage. Please log a ticket via ihelp if you feel that the printhead needs to be cleaned.

    Should I buy a color laser printer or a color inkjet printer?

    That depends on the quantity and quality of the printouts. If the printouts need to be extremely high quality, and you have a high volume of color printing, then a color laser printer may be a good investment. The inkjet printers are not designed to handle large volumes of printing. For example, the monthly duty cycle for the HP 970c Deskjet is 5,000 sheets while the monthly duty cycle for LaserJet 4500 series is 35,000.

    Another factor to consider is the high maintenance cost of a color laser printer. Many color laser printers use as many as four toner cartridges. In addition to this, the photosensitive drum needs to be replaced on a regular basis.

    How do I clear the print queue when there is a problem?

    If it is a print job that you sent to the printer, you can cancel it. From the Start menu, choose Settings, then Printers and Faxes. Double-click on the printer to view the prints jobs. Right-click on your print job and choose Cancel.

    If this doesn't work and it's a networked printer, please log a ticket via ihelp to remove the job from the print queue.

    Please note that if the job is printing and you wish to stop it, some printers have a "Cancel Job" button which can be pressed to cancel the job currently printing.

    Can someone in another office print to our networked printer?

    Only if that person has specifically been granted access to print to your printer. When a printer is set up on the administrative network, only users within the designated office are granted access to the printer. If someone in another area needs to use your printer on a regular basis, the primary network contact for your area needs to send a request via e-mail to indicating the name of the printer (eg - admp0121) and the security changes that should be made (who should have access).