Chapter 14. Printer Problems

I suppose that deep within the printer's core, it secretly despises the computer. There's an envy there that's palpable. That's because the computer gets all the attention. The computer has a keyboard, and the printer has a tiny row of input buttons. The computer has a monitor, and the printer may have a multiline display, perhaps even just a single LED. Yet the printer is responsible for that hard copy, for that final result that makes all the toil worth it. I'll bet no one pats their PC printer on the head after printing out a swell job. No one!

Yes, printers have problems. And the problems are more than just emotional ones. Who out there still thinks of a printer jam as a type of sweet preserve? Case in point: this entire chapter on printer troubleshooting. It's necessary, emotionally and electronically.

Don't Blame the Printer

The printer is really a separate computer, a device customized just to print, yet it has many of the same computer components as your desktop PC: a CPU, memory, input, output — the whole nine yards. Therefore, dealing with a printer is like dealing with a second computer. So the first thing to determine is whether the problem is with the printer itself or with some software on your PC. There's an easy way to tell.

When every program has the same printer problem, it's a printer problem, with either the printer hardware or the printer software (the printer driver). If only one program can't print, the problem is most likely with ...

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