1.0 Hardware

1.5 Given a scenario, detect and resolve common printer issues

  • Symptoms

    • Paper jams

      Paper jam describes the condition when paper becomes stuck in the printer feed and is unable to eject. The printer is rendered inoperative until the paper is removed.

    • Blank paper

      The printer ejecting blank sheets of paper when printing can be caused by a variety of things An empty or defective toner cartridge or one in which the sealing tape or tab was not removed a new toner cartridge are common causes. Make sure the print head nozzles are not clogged by first running the printer through a cleaning cycle. If the issue remains, make sure the sealing tape has been removed from the toner cartridge, or if necessary, replace the cartidge. If you're running Windows, make sure the proper printer is selected as the default printerand that you have selected the correct paper size.

      If every other page is blank, the issue may be the result of improper margin settings on the page layout or possibly a corrupt printer driver. Check the settings for the page layout and if necessary, reinstall the printer drivers.

      What to do if the Printer is Printing Strange Characters or Blank or Partial Pages

    • Error codes

      Whenever the printer is switched on, it automatically performs a series of internal self-tests and initialization sequences. If any of the tests fail, a system error or a system warning will typically be displayed on the LED display of printer. Whether it's a number or a term displayed, printer error codes inform the user as to what is not functioning properly.

    • Out of memory error

      The "Out of Memory" message means the memory capacity of the unit has been exceeded. The amount of memory used depends on the amount or type of data on the documents being faxed, copied or printed. Documents with graphics and/or color will use more memory. Out of memory errors can sometimes be resolved by rebooting the computer or installing additional memory.

      More on Out of Memory Errors

    • Lines and smearing

      Sharp vertical lines appearing on the page can be an indication of scratches on the photosensitive drum inside the toner cartridge. The toner cartridge itself may need replacing.

      Vertical lines that appear smeared may be the result of a fuser assembly that needs replacing.

      Toner smears usually indicate a failure of the fusing mechanism. The fusing mechanism uses a combination of heat and pressure to adhere, or fuse toner to the paper. If toner on the paper is loose or can be wiped off easily, the fuser assembly may be damaged.

      If toner smears appear on the leading edge of the paper, the paper guides may be dirty.

      Laser printer print defects - Toner smear

    • Garbage printout

      A print job that prints garbled text or is otherwise not legible could be a sign of a corrupt or incompatible printer driver. Most printers will have driver software bundled with the Windows CD, but a printer that was released at a later date may not. Under such circumstances, you may need to load the printer driver software manually. If you cannot find the proper printer driver on any of the disks that came with the printer, check the manufacturer's web site.

      If a printer continues to produce gibberish printing after updating the driver, check for cable or port damage.

    • Ghosted image

      Faint, repeating images from a laser printer that is equal to the circumference of the photosensitive drum can be the result of a faulty cleaning blade, erase lamp, or a problem with the corona causing residual toner to stick the drum.

      If the distance between images is equal to the circumference of one of the fuser rollers, then the fusing may not be complete due to damaged rollers or an incorrect temperature setting.

      What Ghosting Is And How It Can Waste Printer Ink

    • No connectivity

      Printer connectivity issues can be the result of a variety of issues and may not necessarily be the fault the printer. It is important to first determine the source of the issue in order to correct it.

      How to Troubleshoot Computer to Printer Connections

      Troubleshoot network printer problems

  • Issue resolution

    • Replace fuser

      How to Replace a Printer Fuser

    • Replace drum

      How to clean the drum in your printer

      Does your printer drum need changing?

      How to Replace Laser Printer Toner / Drum Unit

    • Clear paper jam

    • Power cycle

      To power cycle a device means to reset the device by switching the power of the device off for a few seconds, then restarting the device again. Power cycling a device will clear the device's onboard RAM and allow it to refresh.

    • Install maintenance kit (reset page count)

      Maintenance kits, sometimes called a preventative maintenance kit, is a set of replacement parts for a specific printer. The maintenance kit usually consists of a fuser, which is the heating assembly that fuses or bonds the toner to the paper, a transfer roller, which helps transfer the toner from the toner cartridge onto the paper, and a variety of additional rollers which include pickup rollers, feed or separation rollers, and separation pads.

      Maintenance kits are intended by the manufacturer to be replaced after a predetermined number of printed pages. Each model of printer will require specific actions for resetting the page count after servicing. You should refer to the printer's manual for the proper procedure.

    • Set IP on printer

    • Clean printer

      Cleaning a Printer