Printing problems can be divided into three basic types:
- The printer equipment may be causing the problem. Examples of equipment problems are: Faulty rollers; broken paper trays; printer display menu “maintenance” messages; odd sounds; paper jams; “low toner” messages. This problem is handled by LBIS printer technicians.
- The print queue on the network may be causing the problem. Examples of print queue problems are: Error messages saying queue is “unavailable” or “cannot connect; “printer busy or error” messages, indicating print job is stuck in the queue; problems adding a network printer; printer not communicating with the network. Queue problems are handled by LBIS network managers.
- The software through which the print job is being printed may be causing the problem. Examples of software problems are: corrupt printer drivers (software)have to be re-installed; error messages in application being used, stating that paper trays, paper feeds or paper sizes are incorrect; “error initializing output device” messages, indicating a temporary glitch in communication between the software and network; “insufficient memory” error messages, indicating an (image) file size may be too large for the printer. Software problems are investigated by LBIS academic or adminstrative liaisons.
Two Kinds of Printers: Networked and Attached Printers
There are two kinds of printers on campus. Attached printers are those that are directly connected to a single computer. Networked printers are available for use by many users working from many different computers on the network. Print job requests for a particular networked printer are sent to a print queue on the server.
If an attached printer won’t print, here are some preliminary things to check:
- Check to see that the printer is powered on.
- Make sure that the printer cable between printer and computer isn’t loose.
- If both computer and printer are on but computer can’t find the printer: Turn both devices off and wait 20 seconds. Power printer back on first and then power on the computer.
- If, after all of the above, the computer still can’t find the printer, the drivers may have become corrupt ted and need to be re-installed. Call the dept. liaison for this.
- If the computer can find the printer but it still won’t print, check the local print queue screen in the software(Word or WP, for example). A print job may be stuck in the local print queue and deleting it from the queue may help.
If a networked printer won’t print: here are some preliminary things to check:
- Check to see that the printer is powered on and the network cable is properly connected to both the printer and the wall jack.
- Check the network print queue to see if any jobs have become stuck. Clear them if necessary (instructions for doing this are given in the next section).
- Try sending a test print job to see if the printer is working.
- If you get a “printer unavailable” error message when trying to view a print queue, the printer server may be down.
- If the print queue appears to be available and a test job causes a “printer busy or error” message, try to ping the printer’s IP address to see if it is still communicating with the network. The printer may need to be recycled to reestablish its connection.
- Note: Detailed instructions for performing the diagnostic techniques mentioned above are given in the remaining sections of this document.