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Windows 8.1: The Missing Manual by David Pogue

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Printer Troubleshooting

If you’re having a problem printing, the first diagnosis you must make is whether the problem is related to software or hardware. A software problem may mean the driver files have become damaged. A hardware problem means there’s something wrong with the printer, the port, the cable, the toner, the ink, or whatever.

If you’re guessing it’s a software problem—fairly likely—reinstall the printer driver. Open the Devices and Printers window, right-click the printer’s icon, and then choose Remove Device from the shortcut menu. Then reinstall the printer as described at the beginning of this chapter.

If the problem seems to be hardware-related, try these steps in sequence:

  • Check the lights or the LED panel readout on the printer. If you see anything other than the normal “Ready” indicator, then check the printer’s manual to diagnose the problem.

  • Turn the printer off and on to clear any memory problems.

  • Check the printer’s manual to learn how to print a test page.

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