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printer-issues

Hard Drives in Printers and How to Wipe Them

Ever heard of printers having hard drives? Well, they do. What determines this is the type of printer you happen to be asking about. Business-class laser printers, for instance, usually come with a hard drive. Most multifunction printers or MFPs also have this. However, as you go back further to older devices such as inkjet printers, you only get printer memory.

If you already know how to fix a printer that wont print, here is some information on handling the information it stores.

Why Hard Drives Matter

Every time you use the printer to scan a document, take a printout, or even make a copy, a copy of the processed document gets stored on the hard drive, if there is one. This will likely include checks and invoices, documents from HR, customer information, and a lot more.

Working in regulated industries such as medical and legal, you will be required to keep the records safe. This includes PII or personally identifiable information, which should be protected from hackers. That means incorporating any networked printer, scanner or copier in your IT security plan. Additionally, the printer hard drive should always remain inside the building.

How to Delete the Hard Drive

After you have found out that the printer or copier has a hard drive, it is important to ensure that data does not become available to anyone else through it. One problem with reselling copiers and printers is that information may leave the building if it is still on the hard drive, which is unsafe.

It is possible to wipe the hard drive memory of your printer or MFP device. Most models these days come with detailed instructions on how to do this. If the device you are using is leased or available under contract, you will need to check with the service partner before you do anything of this sort.

  • Take out the hard drive and try digitally rewriting it. Alternatively, if you prefer, physically destroy it by melting, incineration, shredding, or sanding. Taking a baseball bat to it like you see in the movies won’t guarantee the data gets destroyed, so don’t go that way unless you really need to take a swing at something and the chance just came up.
  • There is a wipe or overwrite function in most modern copiers. This works well even when you are actively using the copier or printer.
  • You can reformat the drives.
  • Any cached data will need to be cleared, including emails and workflows, which have been set up on the interface.

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printer-issues

How to Troubleshoot Windows 10 Printer Problems

Most of the time, updating the OS would get rid of any of the software bugs that may cause common printer problems in Windows PC, such as printing only a page and stopping or corrupt print jobs. However, when it comes to updating Windows 7 or 8.1 to the latest version of the OS, which is Windows 10, it may trigger printer issues that may be hard to understand for a newbie to printing with Windows 10.

This is especially the case if the new version of Windows does not support previously installed drivers. If you are facing any issue such as disconnection of the printer, an inability to take printouts, or hardware not recognized despite proper connections, get in touch with a reliable printer support team for help. Alternatively, try the below troubleshooting steps and see if that works.

Use Troubleshooting Utilities in Windows 10

To resolve pressing Windows 10 printer problems, you need to check for the said tools offered by the OS. To find the same, click on the Start button and search Devices and Printers in the search box. Then, click the respective option from the suggested listing to open it in Control Panel. After that, run the printing troubleshooter wizard to diagnose and resolve the Windows 10 printer problems automatically.

Uninstall and Reinstall Printer Driver

If the diagnostic fails to resolve an issue, you may have to remove the software driver of the printer installed in Windows 10. For that, choose the printer and click on the Remove Device option. If the OS does not find a different version of the driver automatically, you need to manually search for the corresponding driver of the printer model in the website of the device manufacturer to download and install the same following on-screen prompts in Windows 10.

Other Options to Install Printer

If following manual install has not shown the printer in Devices and Printers, you need to navigate to Start > Settings > Devices > Printers & Scanners and choose Add a Printer option to the right. If it not listed under Printers & Scanners heading, click a button that reveals a window containing five options to find printer in Windows 10 including Add a Bluetooth, Wireless or Network Discoverable Printer. The other three options enable users to add the shared device over a network, and the fifth one lets install a local printer. If Windows detects the printer though, install it following on-screen prompts.

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printer-issues

How to Choose a Different Printer in Microsoft Word 2010

A number of computer users, particularly ones who work in large-scale enterprises, prefer to use more than one printer for their personal and work-related uses. Having an additional printer in your home can be handy, and this will also help you to save plenty of your valuable time. If you have multiple numbers of printers in your home or office, you will be able to use different printers for different printing jobs. For instance, you can use a black and white laser printer to print documents at a rapid pace. However, if you want to print documents in color, then you will need to use a color printer for the task.

Common Printer Issues

The good news is that you will be able to see all the printers that you have connected to your system on Word 2010, and most of the newer versions of Microsoft Word. However, several computer users often feel the need to switch the print job to another printer but they lack the knowledge to do so. If you are one among them, then below are a few simple tips on how to choose a different printer in Microsoft Word 2010.

Choosing Different Printer

Turn on your PC or laptop and then simply open a document in the Word 2010 on your device.

  • At the top-left corner of Word 2010 window, you will be able to find a File Click on it before proceeding to the next troubleshooting step.
  • You will now have to select the Print option on the left side of the window
  • Once you click the Print option, you will be able to see the names of the printers that you have connected to your device.
  • All you need to do is to simply select the printer that you wish to use for the print from the list of options.
  • Confirm your selection and then once again click on the Printer

It is vital to note that this method will work only for the current word document that you are printing. So, if you wish to choose a different printer for all future print jobs, it is best to change the default printer on your computer. If you have no clear idea on how to do this, it is best to get in touch with an expert printer support technician who knows how to deal with Windows 10 printer problems or printer problems in windows.

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printer-issues

How to Remove a Toner Cartridge Out of a Stuck Laser Printer

An improperly installed toner cartridge in a laser printer may cause its cover to stay slightly open and that may hinder the proper functioning of the device. Several factors may cause the laser printers’ cover to remain ajar, including the installation of an incompatible cartridge. However, you would have to take out the toner cartridge and replace it with the right one regardless of what caused the printing problem. An error message may show up on the display of the printer or the PC indicating stuck cartridge or a similar message.

Turn off the laser print prior to changing the cartridge. Let the device cool down for a while after that, and feel the temperature on the cover of the laser printer prior to taking out the toner cartridge. If you do not feel the heat on its cover, you can safely open its cover, be it a front-facing or a rear cover as per the design of the laser printer, and get a hold of its drum unit’s handle to pull out the cartridge gently.

You can release the cartridge from the laser printer’s drum unit using a lever, a switch, or a button for that, as per the model of the printer. Do not force out the toner cartridge. If it will not release easily, use a lock and unlock mechanism equipped in the printer for safe removal of the cartridge. If it is still stuck, it is best to call a printer service professional to remove the toner cartridge without having to damage the drum unit.

While it is out of the laser printer, slide a tab along its rear to and fro in order to clean the corona wire inside the printer. Note that not all drum units have the corona wires running through it, but if your printer has that, it is worth maintaining that in order to avoid any print quality issues in the future. After the cleaning, slide both the toner cartridge and the drum unit into the laser printer. If your printer has a toner/drum combination, line it up properly and make sure to slide it in so that you can close the panel of the device.

Turn on the printer after closing its door or panel and resume printing only after ensuring that the device’s control panel shows a green light or displays a ‘ready’ mode. Ensure to use the toner cartridge model as per the model of the printer. If you are unsure, check the printer manufacturer’s website.

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printer-issues

Reasons Why Companies Discontinue Printers

Whenever a new printer is launched in the market, it comes with tremendous hype and accompanying marketing strategies designed to woo the public into buying it. However, all that usually dies down sooner than later. Moreover, people only tend to hang on to one product until a new one comes out. This is why promotion running over a short time is dialled to the max, in the hopes of hooking consumers into making a purchase.

Once you buy though, it is still not an end to the buyer and seller relationship. After the purchase is done, there is also the not-so-small matter of after-sales service. This service is meant to determine how good the product really is, as well as the issues it will serve up. If the selling company notices that the satisfaction of its customers is low for some reason, then the product is discontinued from production.

Main Reasons Companies Discontinue Printers

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Common Printer Issues

Printers use drivers and firmware, and if either of those shows too many errors or fails to respond, the company will discontinue the product. This is because errors in drivers or firmware can severely affect the functionality of the printer. If the printer driver is unavailable, customers will report software malfunctions, and call the support team for advanced troubleshooting. Generally, companies prefer to use measures that save face, like giving replacements and such.

Unpredictable printer functioning is another problem. If after a year of good, constant printing, the printer acts up, then this can be a problem. One example is the monochrome function failing or not working properly. This can be a huge crisis for work environments where a lot of printing needs to be done.

Printout quality getting reduced is a problem to be wary of. Deflated or crumpled printouts won’t be usable in most cases. Having to put up with ruined printouts in an office, for instance, doesn’t bear thinking. Companies and printer support technicians usually tell users to first check if something is blocking the paper feed. If there is and the item is removed, well and good. However if there is something wrong with the printer instead, and fixing it once doesn’t guarantee the problem won’t come back, and that is when the manufacturing company will be inclined to discontinue the product.

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printer-issues

Adopting Green Printing Practices in the Workplace

It is common for businesses to want to the cut down on expenses where possible. Printer expenses are one of the things, which can drag the profit margin down from where it is supposed to be, especially if you have many employees constantly trying to figure out how to fix a printer that wont print. Following are some ways you can offset operational costs by making a greener office.

Using Compatible Consumables

This means you should use compatible toner cartridges, refill kits, and other consumables for the printer. It can drastically cut down the expenses you have on repairing the printer. Additionally, compatible consumables cost only around half as much as their OEM counterparts.

Printing on Reverse

When you make photocopies, they usually only serve as duplicates for reports and files. These will generally be stored or thrown out, so there is no need to use new printer paper. Reuse the paper already printed on.

Turning off Equipment When it Isn’t Being Used

Remember to switch off the office printer when you are going out for lunch or for fieldwork. Doing this will save on power consumption, as well as let your equipment take a breather, which is good.

Buying Supplies in Bulk

When buying supplies for the office, it is almost always better to buy in bulk. This is because you will get the supplies for cheaper, as well as be able to save on frequent freight charges.

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Repair

If your printer makes funny noises or starts getting buggy, it is best to get repair done. There may be times when all it takes to get it back on track are a few simple troubleshooting steps, so always start with those. Make sure that your employees have basic knowhow on fixing a simple breakdown. If at all you need a technician to come check it out, make sure that is cheaper than buying a new printer.

Make Green Printing Official

Apply green printing policies in the workplace. This way, all employees will be obliged to follow the new rules.

Encourage Those That Step Up

If you reward people for being enthusiastic about green printing practices, you can slowly push others to follow in the same steps. It is also good for employees to know that their smallest efforts are appreciated.

Green practices are not the only way to cut down costs but they are a start. As far as the printer is concerned, buy a compatible toner cartridge for equal page yield and quality.

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printer-issues

How to Override the Low Ink Warning in Windows PC

A ‘Low Ink’ error that occurs even when the ink cartridge has sufficient ink is one of the most common printer problems in Windows PC. The error may mislead you to think that the cartridge requires replacement soon enough but it is just a case of troubleshooting it with expert professionals in printer service. If ‘Low Ink’ error slows down the productivity of your office printer, you can still override it in order to resume productive printing. Follow the below steps to disable the ‘Low Ink’ warning in Windows.

  • Right-click anywhere on the Start Screen of Windows 10 and select All Apps from the context menu that pops up below the desktop.
  • Choose the icon that denotes the Print app of the printer model connected with the computer or Printer Configuration or something likewise.
  • After that, click on Configuration, Utilities, or Tools on the app’s toolbar. If the app has an icon that shows Estimated Ink Levels, click on it instead. Then, wait for a while for the app to communicate with the connected printer and thereby determine connection status alongside the ink levels in the cartridge.
  • Click on Advanced Settings, Warnings, or Advanced Configuration tab or the respective link that denotes ‘Low Ink’.
  • Select Do Not Show Me Low Ink Level Warnings or an option similar to that and click OK. Also, close the application that lets you take printouts in Windows 8 or above.
  • In some printers, you can insert a remanufactured cartridge to override the ‘Low Ink’ or ‘invalid cartridge’ prompts that pops up on the desktop. However, it is advisable to first try the basic troubleshooting steps explained above before you insert a cartridge compatible with the specific printer model to troubleshoot what is arguably a temporary printer issue.

    Reinstalling the older cartridge with a remanufactured or refilled cartridge that is printer-compatible may lead to printing clogs, or even cause leakage and subsequent damages on the printhead depending on how many times you have chosen to refill the ink cartridge. Always use Original Equipment Manufacturer cartridges for an office printer to ensure smooth operations and perform printhead cleaning from time to time with the inbuilt software to avoid potential errors that cause bottlenecks in the Windows printing process.

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printer-issues

What to Do When your Printouts are Blotchy

It is not unheard of for high-performing machines to play up every once in a while. One example of this is laser printers. If a single component fails to perform the way it is supposed to, everything that follows can be a failure as well. While major problems are rare with laser printers, there are times when this can happen, mostly due to the lack of a toner.

One of the common printer problems in Windows is a blotchy printout. This means the page will have smudges of toner on it, which makes words hard to read. Following is how to troubleshoot the printer issue.

If it is a Leaking Cartridge

  • Switch off the printer and pull out the power cord.
  • Remove the toner cartridge.
  • Take a look at the printheads. If they are clogged, that may be causing the problem. Clean it with toner wipes, cloth, or alcohol-soaked tissue.
  • Check how the toner cartridge is holding up. See if you can reuse it, or if you need to get a replacement.
  • Put a toner cartridge, old or new, into the printer.
  • Plug the printer in and power it on.
  • Do a test print.

If the Toner has Built Up on the Drum Unit

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  • Corona Wire Has Failed
    Switch off the printer and pull out the power cord.
  • Take out the drum unit from the printer, and put this over a clean cloth to prevent a stain or spill.
  • When using a color laser printer, remove the blotchy printout so that you know which drum unit needs cleaning. This will be evident from the color of the blotches.
  • Turn the drum unit around to figure out the spot where the toner has built up.
  • After you find this, clean the surface with a swab until you have removed the buildup.
  • Move the drum unit back into position, and put it back in the printer.
  • Plug the printer in and power it on.
  • Do a test print.

If the Corona Wire has Failed

  • Switch off the printer and pull out the power cord.
  • Let the printer be for some time, so that the corona wire cools.
  • Take out the drum unit, and put it on a clean dry cloth.
  • Wipe clean the corona wire. For this, you just have to slide the blue tab to either side. Do not touch the wires while you are doing this.
  • Push the blue tab into position.
  • Move the drum unit back into position, and put it back in the printer.
  • Plug the printer in and power it on.
  • Do a test print to confirm that the printer issues is fixed.
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printer-issues

How To Resolve Printer Offline Issues

The printer becoming offline and unavailable for printing is a commonly occurring issue in most printers, especially those that are connected to a network. It can occur quite unexpectedly and prevent you from taking printouts. This issue can still occur even if you have kept the printer on and ready to print. The device will go offline, which prevents communication between your printer and computer. Several trivial issues such as loose cables or a paper jam can also cause your printer to go offline.

Such a printer offline or printer driver is unavailable issue is also attributed to other serious problems like a driver error. However, you can easily diagnose the problem by checking some basics related to connectivity, and then going for the software and drivers to determine the problem. The following are some effective ways to resolve a printer offline issue, and re-establish normal printing.

Rechecking the Connections

Mostly, a simple connectivity issue with the USB cable that links your printer to the computer can cause your printer to become offline. You first need to recheck such connections. Remove the USB or Ethernet cable from the ports of the printer and computer, and insert it back again properly.

You can also switch the printer USB to another port on your computer to check whether the printer is back online. Also, check if a faulty cable caused the problem, by connecting a working USB or Ethernet cable between the printer and your computer.

Manually setting it Online

You can also restore your printer and make it online by manually setting it so that your computer recognizes it. If you are using a Windows computer, click on the Start button and then open the Control Panel. In it, click on Devices and Printers, which will display the connected printers on your computer. Right-click on the printer that is experiencing the issue, and click on the See what’s printing option.

Then, right-click on the menu and select the Printer option appearing at the top left of the window. Click on the Use Printer Online from the drop-down menu to manually enable your printer. You can also cancel the pending print jobs by selecting Cancel All Documents from the menu and then manually bring the printer online.

Reinstalling the Printer

Another way to bring your printer online is by removing and then again reinstalling the printer. For this, you need to choose Devices and Printers from the control panel. Select the Remove device option in the drop-down menu by right clicking on the printer having the issue. After that, add the printer again into your computer by clicking on the Add a Printer option in Devices and Printers and following the onscreen instructions.

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Five Warning Signs of a Faulty Transfer Roller in Laser Printers

The transfer roller is one crucial component of a laser printer, which transfers the toner from the cartridge drum and imprints it on the paper. The transfer drum is electrically charged with the opposing polarity, to attract the toner particles onto the pattern created by the laser beam. The toner particles are then transferred onto the paper at the specific pattern in order to recreate a text or image. Many of the issues that occur with laser printers are due to the malfunctioning of the transfer roller.

Faulty Transfer Roller

A faulty transfer roller will cause the printer to exhibit certain warning signs. It is always recommended to pay attention to such signs to determine whether the transfer drum caused the issue or not. It is also advisable to rely on a professional technician to resolve the issues related to the transfer drum. Below are some warning signs that indicate a faulty transfer roller in a laser printer.

Recurrent Paper Jams

Recurrent paper jams are likely to be caused by the malfunctioning of the transfer roller. A failing transfer roller can actually prevent the proper intake of the paper. This causes it to lose its positioning and thereby get stuck inside, causing a paper jam. Following the instructions given in the printer’s manual can clear this, but it is recommended to leave it to a technician.

Squealing Noises

The other common sign of a malfunctioning transfer roller is the presence of squealing noises when the printer is functioning. This is usually the result of a misaligned or broken transfer roller. A simple misalignment of the transfer roller can be easily cleared by referring to the printer manual. In case the roller is broken, have it replaced by a printer technician.

Common Printer Issues

Foul Smell

The emission of a foul and unpleasant smell during printing is another sign of a faulty transfer roller. It is usually caused due to the accumulation of dirt on the sensitive surfaces of the roller. Doing simple cleaning using a soft cloth or compressed air can usually resolve the issue.

Fade Printouts

A faulty transfer roller can result in the production of faded printouts without legibility in the text or image. A dirty roller usually causes this, and carrying out a gentle wipe over the roller surface can restore normal print quality. Such cleaning should be done with caution, as the drum surface is highly sensitive.

Spots in Printouts

If the printout contains spots and streaks in different areas, it is a sure sign of a faulty transfer roller. Wiping the roller surface and carrying out several test printouts can somewhat resolve the issue. However, it is recommended to contact an expert printer technician to have it serviced for restoring normal printing.