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PC Hardware Annoyances by Stephen J. Bigelow

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PRINTER AND FILE SHARING ANNOYANCES

TRASH THROUGH A PRINT SERVER

The Annoyance:

I connected my printer to a print server so that all the PCs on the network in my house can share the printer. It was a fine idea in theory, but now the printer spits out garbage regardless of what I try to print.

The Fix:

Attaching a printer to the network through a print server is an excellent way to allow printer sharing, so take heart. The first thing that I’d suspect is a cabling problem. Perhaps the USB or parallel port cable is loose. Maybe the cable chose this particular opportunity to manifest wiring problems. Make sure that each end of your printer cable is secure, and if that doesn’t work, try another cable. If you need to replace the cable, make sure that the replacement cable is relatively short (less than 6 feet; even shorter for a USB cable). Long cables can introduce all sorts of data errors that result in printing problems, so avoid them at all costs.

Drivers are critical for both networked and local printers. When you installed the print server on your network, you should also have installed a driver that allows your PC to “see” the print server. Make sure that you’ve installed this driver on your PC, and on every networked PC that will access the print server. Don’t forget that you eliminated the local printer when you attached the printer to the print server. Therefore, you’ll need to reinstall the printer as a network printer. Use the Add Printer Wizard to install the printer over your ...

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