Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Printer "Driver" Problems

If the printer works but spews strange characters or it appears as if the PC and printer creates errors, it may be a printer driver problem. When a printer acts up and there is no hardware problem (such as a paper jam) the solution is usually driver-related.

The driver is the “software” that allows the computer and printer to "talk" to each other and work together... Often if a printer has worked previously, but won't work with a newly installed program, it’s a driver problem. To remedy this:
  • Re-Download the driver from the printer maker's Web site. Drivers can be found under or with the "support" or “driver download” area of the manufacturer's website. To be honest - consider doing this twice a year to stay current...
  • If you have an inkjet printer and you get smudged or blurry images, you might want to look up the utility on the printer that cleans and or aligns the printer heads. Most inkjet printers either have software that can start this process or have a setting on the printer itself that can kick start it.
  • If all of these solutions fail, you might want to search the manufacturer's support area for printer issues. Often there will be bulletins issued on how to fix newly discovered bugs.
  • If you have a scanner and printer and experience printing problems take heart, this is easily solvable. Detach both devices and remove the software and drivers for both devices. Then reinstall the printer first and then add the scanner second.

Still not working - go to http://www.google.com/ or http://www.ask.com/ and search for the “printer” + “problem” you’ll be amazed at the solutions that will be offered, which will usually correct the problem…

If none of this works-Visit the printer manufacturer’s website or Call the printer manufacturer’s 1-800 number (on their website).

Be sure you have the make, model and serial # of your printer, your computer, know your operating system (Windows 98, XP, Vista, Windows 7 - 32 bit or 64 bit) and any warranty information & make the call from the desk where the printer is installed so you can work with them.

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