Section 2.4: Printer Hardware Troubleshooting
The printer hardware problems are different for each different type of printer.
Section 2.4.1: Dot-matrix printer
Dot matrix printers or the impact printers have print heads that move in back and forth
motions. The common problems with dot matrix printers are:
- Paper jams: The paper jams in these printers occur for no obvious reason. These jams mostly occur when a large chunk of paper gets trapped under the rollers and then gets bunched up by the printer's motion. This prevents other sheets from passing through the printer. They may also occur when a small piece of paper lodges beneath the rollers or the tractor feed. To solve the problem, try to take out the paper of the printer, hit the form feed button a few times, and watch the printer's tractor feeds to make sure they are moving and are in synch with each other.
- White lines in printed text or graphics: This problem occurs when a pin in the print head has stopped working or there is some other problem with the print head. To solve the problem, make sure that the print head data ribbon is connected tightly to the print head. You can also try cleaning the print head with alcohol because sometimes residue can cause this problem.
- Carriage movement but no printing: This problem occurs when the ink ribbon is dried up or missing or the ink ribbon is installed incorrectly.
- Printing a blank line between each line of text: This problem occurs when there is a problem with the printer's dip switch, which controls the carriage return and line feed (CR/LF). To correct the problem, toggle the CR/LF switch. The problem can also occur when there is an incorrect print driver installed on the computer.
- Grinding noise: This problem occurs when foreign matter jams in the printer. To correct the problem remove this foreign matter.
Section 2.4.2: Inkjet and Bubble Jet Printers
An inkjet printer reproduces a digital image by spraying ionized ink at a sheet of paper.
A bubble-jet printer is a type of ink-jet printer. The main distinction is that most ink-jet printers use piezoelectric crystals to create the ink, while bubble-jet printers use heat to do so instead. In a bubble-jet printer, tiny resistors create heat, which vaporizes ink to create a bubble. Each of this bubble of heated ink creates a small drop of ink on printer paper.
The most common problems associated with these printers are:
- Long white lines running through text: This problem occurs due to clogged Print Head that may happen with the repeated use. To correct the problem, you can clean the print head with a cotton swab dipped in rubbing alcohol and then use a tissue to wipe the printer head.
- Paper Jams: This may occur due to paper dust or other debris on rubber rollers of the printer after printing a few hundreds of pages. Cleaning rubber rollers regularly with rubbing alcohol or cleaning with compressed air can prevent paper jams.
- Ink spots on Print Outs: This may occur due to accumulated ink in certain areas of the printer. To correct the problem, you need to clean the printer thoroughly with a slightly damp cloth or with rubbing alcohol.
- Blank Pages or Nonsense Prints: This may occur due to an improper connection between the computer and the printer. To correct the problem, shut down both the printer and the computer and mak sure that all cords are firmly attached.
Section 2.4.3: Laser Printers or Page Printers
Laser printers are the finest quality printers but are expensive of all types of printers.
They use laser beams to produce an image on a drum. The areas on the drum that are hit by laser beams become electrical charged. When the toner is applied to the drum, the charged portions of the drum pick up the toner. Finally, the toner is transferred to the paper through a combination of heat and pressure. The laser printers are also called page printers because an entire page is transmitted to a drum before the toner is applied. The problems associated with laser printers are:
- Black vertical lines on the page: This problem occurs when the photosensitive drum inside the toner cartridge is scratched or the fuser may be bad. In that case you need to check the rollers for scratches and excessive wear. You may need to replace the toner cartridge.
- The printed page is all black: This problem occurs when the charger corona wire is faulty. To correct the problem, you need to remove and reinsert the toner cartridge. You may need to replace the toner cartridge.
- The printed page is all white: This problem occurs when the transfer corona wire is faulty or the toner is low. To correct the problem, you need to remove and reinsert the toner cartridge. You may need to replace the toner cartridge.
- Toner Smear on the leading edge of the paper: This problem occurs when the paper guides are dirty. To correct the problem, you need to clean the printer. If toner on the paper is loose or can be wiped off easily, your fuser may be damaged.
- Ghost images appear on the printed page: This problem occurs due to bad cleaning blade or improper charging of the drum unit. The ghost images appear on the next printed page if cleaning blade does not clean the drum surface.