How to setup a local printer driver

28. February 2012 08:00 by Calvin Yu in Troubleshooting and Printer Tips  //  Tags:   //   Comments (0)

Install printer driver wizardA local printer driver is a special piece of software that enables your computer to communicate to your Dell toner printer or other brand printer that is directly attached to it via a Universal Serial Bus (USB) connection. While it is frequently possible to print without installing a specific driver, installing the correct local driver will give better performance as well as enable the use of all of the specific printer's features.

Many people simply connect the printer to their computer via USB and allow the operating system to install a printer driver. Doing this frequently works, but what the operating system does is install the first driver that it finds that will work with the printer. This may not be the best driver for the specific printer. In addition, installing a printer this way eliminates the opportunity to install any software that may have been included with the driver to squeeze more functionality out of the printer, like printer toner saving modes.

Before installing a local printer driver, computer users should do two things. The first is to disconnect the printer from the computer if it is already connected. The second is to obtain a driver. Usually, the printer will come with a CD that contains the correct driver and software. Although it might not hold the most current version of the driver, it will contain any supporting software that the manufacturer recommends installing to get the best performance out of the printer. An updated driver can always be downloaded from the Internet later, once the printer is working.

Log in to the computer from an account with administrator privileges on computers running Windows Vista or Windows 7. Insert the driver CD into the computer's optical drive. Let the software automatically start and follow the prompts, clicking the "OK," "Yes," "Next," "Continue" or other buttons as necessary to move through the installation process. The computer may need to restart during this process. If this happens, leave the driver disk in the drive unless the software requests its removal. Once the installation process is ready, it will ask that the printer be connected to the computer and powered on. Do this, and let the installation process finish. Once it is done, remove the driver disk from the computer's optical drive.

Installing the printer driver by following this procedure will ensure that the computer can use all of the printer's features. While this is helpful with dedicated printers, enabling the computer to both monitor ink or toner levels and use any quality-enhancing features that the printer has, it is crucial with all-in-one printers. Typically, the only way to access the scanning and faxing features of an all-in-one unit is to install the manufacturer's drivers and software.

Explanation of an imaging drum

25. February 2012 05:47 by Calvin Yu in Troubleshooting and Printer Tips  //  Tags:   //   Comments (0)

Samsung CLX-3170 toner printer drumAn imaging drum is a consumable part in a laser or LED page printer. Although every laser printer has one, some package the imaging drum in the toner cartridge, while others separate the drum from the toner, like the Samsung CLX-3170 toner printer. These printers typically have lower toner costs, and can usually get a few toner cartridges' worth of life from the drum.

The imaging drum itself is a cylinder coated with a photosensitive chemical. The laser or LED array in the printer flashes the image of the page onto the drum as it rotates. Areas of the drum that get struck by light take on a strong electrical charge. After being hit by the light, the drum then gets rotated through the toner supply. The toner carries an opposite charge to the drum, and gets attached to the charged areas of the drum. After picking up the toner, the drum then rotates to the even more strongly charged paper that pulls the toner off of the drum. The toner-coated paper then passes through a fuser that melts the toner onto it, and comes out of the printer as a printed document.

Printers that contain an imaging drum in their toner cartridge assembly, such as black and white Hewlett-Packard LaserJets, have their imaging drum replaced every time that the toner cartridge gets replaced. Other printers, such as Okidata and Brother laser printers as well as many color LaserJet printers, have a separate imaging drum. These printers will typically let the user know when their drum needs to be replaced.

Drum lives vary widely from printer to printer, although they typically run into the thousands, if not tens of thousands, of pages. One major variable in their life is how much they actually print. While a drum will last a long time if it is used to print lightly-covered black and white pages, pages with a high degree of coverage of multiple colors can burn up drums relatively quickly.

Regardless of whether the printer indicates that the drum needs replacement, if a printer is having print quality issues, a new drum may be necessary. Drums can fail due to having their surface damaged or due to being exposed to too much light. If a printer continually makes prints with scratches, spots, blotches, or faded areas and its toner cartridges are full, it may have a drum that needs replacement.

The specific procedure to replace a drum varies from printer to printer. However, it typically requires that the front panel be opened and the main toner cartridge be removed. After that, the drum typically can be slid or lifted out and replaced with a new one. Some color printers allow the drum to be replaced without removing any of the cartridges. In any case, the printer's manual or control panel typically walks users through the process.

Common Oki printer error codes

20. February 2012 05:39 by Calvin Yu in Troubleshooting and Printer Tips  //  Tags:   //   Comments (0)

OkiWith any Okidata printer, there are certain errors that may occur over time. Some of these issues have quick fixes that the user can perform, but others may require replacing the components or contacting a technical support professional. Below is a list of the most common errors and possible solutions.

Error Code Error Description
001 This is a machine check exception error. It indicates a problem with the printer's hardware or CU board. Restarting the printer should resolve this issue.
051 This means the printer's fan has stopped or is not working properly. Restarting the printer may reset the fan's operation, but it may need replacing.
073 This is a H/W overrun detect error, which means there is a problem with the toner's input area. First, try printing a different job before attempting to print the original job again. The next solution is to switch to a different driver.
080 There is a parameter I/O error. The main controller board and operator panel experienced an interface time-out. There is a problem with either the printer's input or output area. The best solution is to call a professional for assistance.
102 This is a common RAM error that indicates a problem with reading or writing the RAM during start-up. The user may restart the printer while keeping in mind that some data may be lost.
103 There is a problem with the SRAM in the printer's engine. The printer detected an error while reading or writing the static RAM during start-up. Restarting the printer can solve the problem.
123 The humidity sensor either detected abnormal humidity or was not properly connected. Reconnect the humidity sensor and restart the printer. The sensor may also need to be replaced.
124 There is a problem with the temperature sensor. A possible solution is to reconnect the sensor and restart the printer. If the temperature is abnormal, there may be a problem somewhere else in the unit.
131-134 These errors are related to the LED head connectors. They are either not connected properly or are not being detected. Each code corresponds to a different color in the printer. Restarting the printer or reconnecting the components may solve these errors.
140-142 These codes indicate problems with the printer's color drums. The user must reseat the drums and toner by Oki. If the error still occurs, it may be necessary to reseat the sensor spring.
150-153 These errors are associated with the different inks of the printer. They indicate problems with the drum fuses. The user can reconnect the associated part or contact technical support for troubleshooting ideas.
154 There is a problem with the printer's belt. The component may need to be reconnected, repositioned or completely replaced. It is best to restart the printer first to fix the problem.
160-163 There are errors with the various toner sensors. A quick fix is to check the toner lock lever and ensure it is in the correct position before restarting the printer.
181 The printer's duplexer is having problems. This message typically occurs during a paper jam when the user is trying to print on both sides of the page. The best solution is to remove and replace the printer paper before printing the job again.
132 There is a problem with the printer's tray. It may be related to a paper jam, or the printer may be out of paper. Remove the tray to check for paper jams and replenish its supply if necessary.
1870 This message indicates a general problem with the printer's control panel. Restarting the unit may resolve the issue, but the user can contact a professional for troubleshooting steps and walkthroughs.

Top 3 reasons to get a wireless printer

18. February 2012 07:33 by Calvin Yu in Troubleshooting and Printer Tips  //  Tags:   //   Comments (0)

HP 8500 ink printerThe age of wireless is upon us, with wireless Internet, wireless telephony, and wireless networking transforming the way we communicate, learn, and work. The advantages of wireless also carry over to using wireless printers, the new revolution of devices that print seamlessly, quickly, and without the use of wires.

Here are the top three reasons to get a wireless printer:

  1. You will save time and money
    Printing with a wireless device is cheaper than using a traditional printer.  Imagine the amount of wires you can cut from your budget by switching to a wireless printer, like the HP 8500 ink printer with the wireless option. You can easily save up to hundreds of dollars on wires, especially in an office or home where you need to connect the printer to multiple computers.  On top of that, you will only need one wireless printer for all your printing needs instead of buying more printers when printing jobs are coming from more than one location.  Suppose that your family members use computers in the living room and your children use computers in their bedrooms. Connecting them all to one wired printer could require yards and yards of cords strewn along the ground and through walls. Your family members may be forced to carry their computers to the printer in order to print something, or you may have to buy a printer for each room or each computer.  With a wireless printer, you don’t need to do either, saving you money and hours of setup time.
  2. They are easier to work with
    Connecting a wired printer to networks and desktops is a complex process that can easily give you headaches and frustrate you.
    To set up a wired network, you will need to connect the printer via wire to a host computer and connect the network and its other computers together.  Making sure that all computers are connected to the appropriate workgroup and network is a hassle that can irritate even the most experienced network administrators.  In a wired printer setup, the host computer that is directly connected to the printer must be turned on whenever someone wants to print. If it is turned off, the printer will not accept jobs and will not work.  A wireless printer is always on. It does not require a host computer to be turned on in order to process printing jobs.
    Additionally, wireless printing erases some annoyances of wired printing. Printing from a smartphone, tablet computer, or other mobile device that does not have an Ethernet port is nearly impossible with a wired printer. With a wireless printer, it’s a cinch since any electronic device that is capable of picking up a wireless signal can send printing jobs.
  3. Wireless Printing Technology Has Caught Up
    It would be one thing if wireless printers were costlier and slower or if the selection of wireless printers were poor.
    But that’s not the case anymore. All major printer brands make wireless printers of all varieties: inkjet, laser, and the like.  Prices for wireless printers are comparable to traditional wired printers. With today’s wireless network technology, the speed of printing from a wireless printer is on par with or quicker than doing the same with a wired printer.

3 reasons you should keep your printer manual

12. February 2012 05:28 by Calvin Yu in Troubleshooting and Printer Tips  //  Tags:   //   Comments (0)

Samsung CLP-310 Toner Printer ManualUsually, when you purchase something new, it comes with directions for use. When it comes to electronics, however, you get a whole manual. The manufacturer took the time to put together a booklet of instructions and other important information for the consumer so they would know how to use the product and where to go if they need something for the product. This is especially true for printers.
After the initial set-up, consumers tend to think the printer manual can be thrown out since it has served their purpose of assisting them in connecting the printer to the computer. However, it is important to keep your printer manual and have it easily accessible, and below are three good reasons why.

Replacement Parts
Most manuals have a list of parts and part numbers, like the Samsung CLP-310 toner printer manual. This is especially handy for those parts that need replacing routinely, such as ink or toner. The manual will tell the owner exactly which model of ink or toner cartridge to purchase and how to replace the cartridge. For color printers, this is especially important as there are many different types of color cartridges. Some printers are designed for the consumer to replace the imaging drum, which is quite specific to the printer and will require the exact part number from the manual.

Printers these days are more computer programming-intensive than the old Daisy Wheel and Dot Matrix printers of old. They have many features that can be programmed on the computer as the default format for printing. However, sometimes these defaults are accidentally changed, to the frustration of the owner. Having the printer manual at-hand can help the owner troubleshoot why the printer is not printing the way the owner wants it to print. A standard printer manual will have a section devoted to troubleshooting such problems. It will also have a list of error codes and their meaning, which can tell the owner exactly what is happening with the printer and what steps the owner should take to correct it.

Manufacturer’s Warranty Information
While nobody wants to think of their new printer breaking down or having problems, it does happen upon occasion. Sometimes a part is faulty or a screw dislodges and damages other parts. This is not the fault of the consumer, so manufacturers typically supply a limited time warranty on parts for the machine. The information on how to place a warranty claim and where to send the claim are included in the owner’s manual. Owners should be aware that many companies require the product to be registered immediately after purchase in order to activate the warranty. Registering the product can also be helpful to the owner because the registration list can be used to notify the customer if there is a recall on the printer.

Of course, there are other reasons why you should keep your printer manual for the entire time you own your printer, but these are the most obvious. Keeping the manual will help you in more ways than they realize.

What are printer maintenance kits?

8. February 2012 05:18 by Calvin Yu in Troubleshooting and Printer Tips  //  Tags:   //   Comments (0)

Printer Maintenance KitPrinter maintenance kits are collections of printer parts that you can order to help keep your printer in tip-top shape. These kits provide all the parts necessary for you to perform do-it-yourself maintenance on your printer and to help extend your printer's life.

Printers that have maintenance kits for them will usually have maintenance cycles built into them, like the HP CM1415 toner printer. These printers will inform you whenever it is time to perform maintenance on them after every interval, which is a set number of pages that the printer has printed. Whenever it passes this cycle or interval, the printer will let the user know that it is time to buy and install a maintenance kit, usually with a display message similar to "Perform Printer Maintenance."

When you see this message, there is no need to fret. It does not mean that something is broken or that your printer is about to die. It just means that the manufacturer has decided this is the best time to perform maintenance on your printer in order to ensure optimal performance and minimal wear and tear on your machine.

Most printer maintenance kits will include a fuser assembly, pickup and transfer rollers, and separation pads. Some will even come with fan and corona assemblies or cleaning gloves and fabrics that you can use to help install your printer parts.

These parts come standard in most manufacturers' printer maintenance kits:

  • Transfer rollers: After a piece of paper passes through the printing drum, the transfer roller is responsible for placing toner on the page. This roller is gray or black and has the texture of a sponge. The transfer roller is electrically charged and is subject to wear and tear and can lose its electrical charge.
  • Fusing assembly: This printer component is the most crucial part to a laser printer's functionality and is the reason why some call printer maintenance kits "fuser kits". The fusing assembly is the device in the printer that uses pressure and heat to melt toner onto the paper. This assembly wears out after many pages are printed and the fusing action is repeated thousands of times.
  • Pickup rollers (also known as feed or separation rollers): These rubber cylinders are used to pick up and feed paper into the printing compartment of the printer. They grab onto the paper and spin the paper into and out of the printer. Rollers can face wear and tear as well as the threat of oxidation. A maintenance kit may include new rollers that the user can use to replace the old worn-out ones.
  • Separation pads: These pads help to tug on paper so that they are properly pushed into the printer. A worn down separation pad can cause paper jams in the printer.

These parts are not found as often in printer maintenance kits:

  • Corona assembly: The printer part responsible for electrical charges in the printer's drum and toner.
  • Fan assembly: A printer mechanism that blows air to ensure that paper is flat just before it is printed.

What is SoyPrint?

2. February 2012 05:06 by Calvin Yu in Technology News  //  Tags:   //   Comments (0)

SoyPrintThe SoyPrint brand was developed by Print Recovery Concepts, Inc. as a green alternative to oil-based printer cartridges. Traditional cartridges use oil to produce the toner, like the HP CM1415 toner, but SoyPrint uses environmentally friendly soy beans as the base for the toner. To make the one pound of powder required for a single cartridge, it takes two liters of oil. Soy-based cartridges eliminate this dependence on oil as a material for the toner. While soy-based ink has been around for awhile, Print Recovery Concepts, Inc. has utilized this eco-friendly material to produce cartridges compatible with laser printers.

Users of the SoyPrint technology do not lose any quality or efficiency when making the switch from oil-based cartridges. Research has proven that the soy-based cartridges print the same quality and same number of pages as their oil-based counterparts. The main difference lies in the ability to renew the materials used. SoyPrint brand cartridges also use recycled plastic and are compatible with several different laser printer models.

In an effort to make printing even greener, Print Recovery Concepts, Inc. also provides buyers with return UPS labels for the empty cartridges, like toner cartridges by HP. Users can send their used cartridges back to the company in order to be recycled into other plastic products. SoyPrint encourages businesses, schools and other industries to make the switch to soy-based ink. By shopping online, buyers can input their printer models to find compatible cartridges for green printing solutions.

In conjunction with using SoyPrint cartridges, businesses can also join programs that reduce their environmental impact. These companies and schools have a choice to switch from oil-based toner to the new SoyPrint cartridges, but they can also rely on recycled paper for all of their printing needs. When replacing old printers, businesses no longer have to throw them out. SoyPrint will offer a list of school districts that accept donated printers in order to reduce the amount of waste in landfills. This effort not only helps the environment, but it assists schools by providing them with printers for office and student use.

SoyPrint is also keeping track of its efforts to improve the environment. When customers sign up with one of the sustainability programs, SoyPrint tracks the pounds of soy-based toner used, pounds of plastic recycled and reams of recycled paper used. These reports are then sent directly to the customers for their own records. SoyPrint is making it easy for industries to reduce their environmental impact simply by switching to compatible, recycled, soy-based printer cartridges. is actively working on sourcing eco-friendly products and is evaluating SoyPrint products for resale on our website.

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