Note: This material is provided for educational purposes only. Consult with a computer expert at MyCuredComputer for professional assistance and the best intended outcome.
Having a printer problem is one of the most frustrating issues a computer user can experience. In troubleshooting printer problems it is important to isolate the details, determine the cause, and then find the solution. These are a couple of important things to consider:
- The hardware and physical connections between printer and computer must be good. The printer itself needs to be in good working condition, with a non-empty ink cartridge, connection should be properly setup whether if it’s parallel, USB, wireless, wired LAN.
- The software (drivers, operating system, and program being used should be properly loaded and in working condition. The computer should detect the printer, and the driver should be loaded and compatible with the operating system.
To prevent frustrations in troubleshooting, we need to be able to differentiate these two possible causes. You can perform the following steps to check the problem:
- Double-check the physical connections of the printer and the computer. Make sure they are properly connected. Turn off the printer and the computer. Unplug them from the power outlet and then wait for several seconds before restarting them.
- Check if the computer properly detects the printer. In Windows, click on Start, and then click on Devices and Printers. You should be able to see your printer in this window. Set your printer as the default printer by right clicking on it and choose Set as default printer. If there is an error (indicated by an “x” mark), this is most likely a software issue. If this is the case, you may need to reinstall the driver. If the printer is not showing in this window at all, try to unplug then reconnect the USB cable of your printer to the computer or try it on another USB port. Observe if there is any noise, activity or change. Also, observe the system tray icons on the lower right corner of your windows screen to see if there would show a message that a device has been detected.
Printing a test page
If your printer is detected properly in Devices and Printers window with no error, you can try to print a test page. Right click on the printer icon and choose “Printer properties.” Under the general tab, click on the button that says, “Print a Test Page.” If you are able to print a test page, this means the printer, the driver and OS are functioning properly. If you are still unable to print documents on the program you are using, the program itself, or the printer settings for that program is not configured properly. Check to make sure the correct printer is selected on the program you are running.
Reinstalling the printer driver
If there is an error on the printer or if the printer is not detected at all, the next step is to uninstall and re-install the printer driver. It is very important that the driver should be compatible with the version of your operating system. Uninstall the printer driver by going to Devices and Printers; right click on the printer and then Remove Device. You can install the driver from the drivers CD that came together with your printer or you can download one from the manufacturer’s website. In older versions of Windows, you can uninstall the printer driver by going to Add remove programs in the control panel.
If problem persist, then it may be that there is a hardware issue, either with the connections, the USB port of the computer or the printer has failed and it’s time to get a new one or send it for repair. We recommend having a computer expert at MyCuredComputer assist you with diagnosing and troubleshooting your printer problems. To get started call or start a Live Chat today.