Computer printers are a necessary peripheral that supports modern computer usage. In fact, most printer manufacturers have converted to the universal service bus, or USB, connectivity standard, moving away from parallel ports that once connected printers of the past. USB connections are the easiest to make between a PC and other peripherals and accessories. In many cases, modern operating systems support a process called plug and play, where users do not need to install any additional software to get the printer to sync up with the PC.
Unfortunately, at times the printer may fail to process a job that was sent from a PC. Finding the root cause the problem is often difficult because the PC is no longer in control after the job is sent to the queue inside the printer. If this is your predicament, there are a few things that you can do to troubleshoot printer problems.
Update the device drivers. The operating system on most PCs use these device drivers to recognize computer printers. When you first set up the printer, inserting an installation CD into your PC, you are also installing these device drivers, along with the manufacturer's proprietary printer control software.
Over time, these original device drivers can become outdated as your operating system is updated by Microsoft or Apple. When your PC performs a system update, it may fail to again recognize computer printers and their drivers.
You can visit computer printers manufacturer support website to find updated driver files. Alternatively, you can use the update service in your operating system, such as the Windows Update service, to find default, but current printer device driver files.
You should regularly monitor ink levels on computer printers. Many people may not use a printer, not even once a week, let alone on a daily basis. The ink supply may appear to be almost unlimited, because the printer is always there and ready to print. However, over time the liquid in the inkjet cartridges can dry up and solidify to the point of making the printer unusable, until you resupply the machine with a fresh cartridge. Worse, the dried up ink can clog the nozzle and spraying mechanisms in your printer, permanently impairing the machine.
Use the ink level monitoring software supplied by the manufacturer to be set u alerts for when the ink levels become low or undetectable. The Microsoft Windows 7 operating system also has an ink monitoring feature that can read the ink levels on most printers.
Be sure to select the correct printer from the drop-down list in the properties dialog that appears for computer printers on your monitor. For example, when you print from a word processing application, you might see a few extra printer icons, in addition to the icon for the only printer you wish to use at the time. For example, in Windows you can Print To File, which stores documents on the hard drive instead of sending the job to the printer itself.
Sources and Citations
- "Mac 101: Printing (Mac OS X V10.6)." Apple. Web. 20 Feb. 2012. andlt.http://support.apple.com/kb/HT3771andgt..
- "Mac 101: Printing (OS X Lion)." Apple. Web. 20 Feb. 2012. andlt.http://support.apple.com/kb/HT4670andgt..
- "Mac OS X 10.4: Can't Print to a Printer Shared by Microsoft Windows." Apple. Web. 20 Feb. 2012. andlt.http://support.apple.com/kb/HT2398?viewlocale=en_U.S.andgt..
- "Mac OS X: How to Reset the Printing System." Apple. Web. 20 Feb. 2012. andlt.http://support.apple.com/kb/HT1341andgt..
- "Printing Quick Assist." Apple. Web. 20 Feb. 2012. andlt.http://support.apple.com/kb/HT1150andgt..
- "Troubleshooting Printer Issues in OS X Lion and Mac OS X V10.6." Apple. Web. 20 Feb. 2012. andlt.http://support.apple.com/kb/TS3147andgt..
- "Install a Printer." Microsoft Windows. Web. 20 Feb. 2012. andlt.http://Windows.microsoft.com/en-U.S./Windows7/Install-a-printerandgt..
- "Install, View, and Manage Your Devices and Printers." Microsoft Windows. Web. 20 Feb. 2012. andlt.http://Windows.microsoft.com/en-U.S./Windows7/Install-view-and-manage-your-devices-and-printersandgt..
- "Mac OS X 10.5: Included Printer Drivers." Apple. Web. 20 Feb. 2012. andlt.http://support.apple.com/kb/HT1370andgt..
- "Mac OS X: How to Delete Printers and Print Job Lists in the Print Center." Apple. Web. 20 Feb. 2012. andlt.http://support.apple.com/kb/TA20637andgt..
- "Open the Printer Troubleshooter." Microsoft Windows. Web. 20 Feb. 2012. andlt.http://Windows.microsoft.com/en-U.S./Windows7/Open-the-Printer-troubleshooterandgt..
- "Print a Test Page." Microsoft Windows. Web. 20 Feb. 2012. andlt.http://Windows.microsoft.com/en-U.S./Windows7/Print-a-test-pageandgt..
- "Why Can't I Print?" Microsoft Windows. Web. 20 Feb. 2012. andlt.http://Windows.microsoft.com/en-U.S./Windows7/Why-cant-I-printandgt..
- "Why Can't I Print to a Printer in My Homegroup?" Why Can't I Print to a Printer in My Homegroup? Web. 20 Feb. 2012. andlt.http://Windows.microsoft.com/en-U.S./Windows7/Why-cant-I-print-to-a-printer-in-my-homegroupandgt..
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