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My printer is not responding to prtnt - HP Printers & Copiers

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  • first, check to be sure the printer is on, especially if the trouble occurs first thing in the morning. Perhaps someone turned the printer off when the day's work was finished.
  • Check the printer status lights, or the status LCD screen. If there's a flashing light, or if the status screen shows an error, then it's your first clue to a problem.
  • Check to see whether the paper tray is empty. If so, refill it but not necessarily with as much paper as it can possibly hold - many printers like a little elbow room in their paper trays. Make sure to feather the pages to eliminate static. Hold the pages in one had and flip through the pages at a fast rate with your thumb. If the paper tray is not empty, check for a misfeed. A sheet may have been caught in the mechanism. There may be a variety of printer access doors to check. Pull out any remnants. Even the smallest piece of paper could be causing the problem, so check carefully. Tweezers are handy for this procedure.
  • Many common problems are related to toner or toner cartridges. If the problem is toner-related, check to see if the toner cartridge is empty or low. The printer warning should indicate this. Swap it for a new one and the unit should work.
  • If all the physical hardware on the printer seems to be fine, check to be sure that it is connected to your computer. Personal printers connect via either a parallel or USB (universal serial bus) connector to the back of the printer. Follow the cable from the back of the printer to the back of the computer to make sure the connection is good.
  • If the printer works, but spews strange characters or it appears as though the PC and printer aren’t working together properly, you probably have a printer driver problem. When a printer acts up and there is no hardware problem, the solution is often driver-related. A printer driver is a piece of software that allows a computer to "talk" to a printer. It's a kind of translator. Occasionally, if a printer has worked previously, but suddenly doesn’t work with a newly installed program, there could be driver problems. To remedy this, download a driver from the printer maker's website, remove the old driver, and install the new driver. Drivers are normally available under the "support" area of a website.
  • 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 have either software that can start this process, or a setting on the printer itself that can kick-start it.

Posted on Sep 16, 2008

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