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 means the driver files have become damaged. A hardware problem means there’s something wrong with the printer, the port, or the cable.
Test the printer by sending it a generic text file from the command line. (Printing a regular printer disk file isn’t an effective test, because if there’s a problem with the driver, the codes in the file are likely to contain the problem.) To perform such a test, locate a text file, or create one in Notepad (Section 7.1.8). Then choose Start→All Programs→Accessories→Command Prompt; send the file to the printer by typing copy filename.txt prn and then pressing Enter. (Of course, remember to type the file’s actual name and three-letter extension instead of filename.txt.)
If the file prints, the printing problem is software-related. If it doesn’t work, the problem is hardware-related.
For software problems, reinstall the printer driver by opening the Printers and Faxes window, right-clicking the printer’s icon, and choosing Delete 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 besides the normal “Ready” indicator, check the printer’s manual to diagnose the problem.
Turn the printer off ...