Printer Preventive Maintenance
Preventive maintenance is a way to schedule your printer’s downtime when it’s convenient. It’s certainly better from a business point of view than letting the printer go until it malfunctions, which will never happen at a good time.
One of the primary ways to keep your printer operational is to keep it clean. It’s a device that physically moves pieces of paper through itself. If it’s an inkjet, it physically moves print heads back and forth as it applies ink to a page. If you allow paper dust and scraps to accumulate in the paper pathways of the printer, performance will suffer in a variety of ways. Its rollers won’t grip the paper as well as they should, which can lead to printing errors and paper jams. Printer Repair Las Vegas – Paper dust can absorb lubricants, leading to premature wear of moving parts. And of course, debris can obstruct the application of ink or toner, resulting in spotty prints. Follow the manufacturer’s directions for cleaning out your printer every so often, depending on how much your office uses it. For instance, it might have access panels to let you vacuum or blow out dust. Also, the vendor may recommend cleaning the rollers now and again with acetone or a damp cloth.
Laser printers, all-in-one MFPs (multifunction printers with fax, copy, and scan functions), and certain inkjets can generate significant amounts of heat, especially if they see a lot of use. In fact, a laser contains a fuser whose job it is to melt the particles of toner onto each page. If heat can’t escape through the printer’s vents, it can cause print errors or even damage to the printer’s electronics. Make sure there are several inches of unobstructed space on all sides of your office printer.
Sometimes, it’s the simple things. Ensure that your printer’s data and power cables are plugged in correctly. Also, keep the cords out of high traffic areas.
Cycle the power
Quirky behavior can sometimes be corrected by powering down the printer. Wait a minute before you turn it back on.
Before you upgrade the OSes on your office PCs, make sure you can get compatible drivers for your printer . When Microsoft, Apple, and others release new OSes, printer manufacturers may only develop new drivers for their more recent models. Printer Repair Las Vegas - A printer that is four or more years old may still work perfectly fine, but if the new OS doesn’t support it, you may need to connect the printer to a PC with an older version. Speaking of drivers, uninstalling and reinstalling a printer has helped us fix problems such as print jobs that never actually print. If you want to do this, always download the latest driver from the manufacturer first.
Recent networkable printers are typically easy to set up using a wired Ethernet connection to a router or switch, assuming you follow the manufacturer’s installation and setup instructions. That said, you might have the best luck if you set up the printer using a USB-connected laptop, and then hook it up to the network. If the printer is an all-in-one MFP, be extra careful to put the cables in the correct ports. For example, we’ve seen RJ-9 telephone/fax/dial-up modem cables plugged into RJ-45 Ethernet ports, and no, they won’t work that way. Many units now have built-in wireless capabilities, which let you place your printer where it’s needed without worrying about routing a cable to it. One problem with a Wi-Fi printer connection is the need for an encryption passphrase that’s strong, but also supported by every device on the WLAN. For instance, say your WPA2 passphrase includes letters, numbers, and punctuation marks. If your printer doesn’t let you type in special characters when you’re setting up its wireless encryption, you may have to update its firmware or remove the punctuation from the passphrase in your router’s settings (not to mention the rest of the wireless devices on the network). And even if the printer does support special characters, there may be a limitation or two. For instance, we found that a recent MFP wouldn’t accept a passphrase with spaces at the end of it-the printer would simply ignore the spaces. We overcame the hurdle by changing the passphrase in our router’s settings by adding a letter after the spaces. Once we propagated the change to the printer and our other devices, we had a working Wi-Fi link.
Smart Computing | September 2011 p.50
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