Printer Troubleshooting GuidePrinters are great until they stop working, most issues are easily resolved quickly and without pain. This guide will help you avoid the PC repair shop and take you through the 'what to look fors' when your printer stops working.
Is it plugged in?Sounds obvious I know, but does the plug get pushed back into the socket after the vacuum cleaner has been used?
Connected to your computer?Make sure the USB cable is connected to your computer and printer securely (and is in the right USB port, I have known printers to be plugged into the ethernet port). If the printer is plugged into a hub make sure the hub has power and is connected to your computer.
If your using older parallel connections to your printer make sure the cable is secure use the wire spring clips to hold the cable in place or you may have 'finger' screws make sure these are tight.
Is the printer listed on your computercheck to see if your printer is listed in 'Printers' (click start>printers in windows, for mac click the apple in the top left hand corner system preferences>hardware>print & fax, if your run linux its usually cups that controls your printers). If your printer is not listed you will need to re-install it using the manufactorers cd that came with your printer or if you do not have that try their website you can download drivers for printers that are at the most 7 years old.
Read the ManualLast hope for all of us, read the manual or RTFM as my father-in-law would say! all else fails get the manual sit down and start reading.
We dont profess to be experts in printer maintenance, because we are not. This is a rough guide and is the basics of troubleshooting a printer. There are other areas not covererd here for other problems such as running out of ink, print head jammed, paper jammed etc.