Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Two Common Printer Problems – Suggestions and Troubleshoot

Have you ever felt frustrated with the printer that just won’t follow your printing instructions?

Have you been spending tons of fortune on toner cartridges because your printer kept telling you the toner/ink is running low?

Have you ever wanted to smash or kick that machine badly but had to suppress the thoughts since there’re at least 10 other people in the office?

Here are two of the common “issues” that made us wanting to toss the printers outside the window. Of course, some suggestions and troubleshooting tips are provided, hopefully will save some headaches in the future.

Headache Issue One:
Why does the low ink notification keep popping up, or pops up only a short period of time after I changed to the new unit?

Possible Solutions:
There are several reasons causing your printer to tell you that the toner cartridges are low in ink. First, you might be printing way more than you expected. The page yield written on the toner packaging generally speaks for 5% page yield. What does that mean? If the toner states that it has 2,000 page yield, do not think that your printer can really print out 2,000 full page documents with that one single toner. The term actually stands for 2,000 page yield at 5% coverage as a common standard understood and used among printing industry.

So how big is a 5% filled paper? Generally speaking, about two to three short paragraphs on an A4 sized paper, not much huh?

Moreover, some printer/toner units are programmed to pop up that low in ink notification even though there can be as much as 40% ink left in the cartridge. Some experts said the reason is that using cartridges till the last drop might damage printers in the long run, but 40% seems a bit to high.

The easiest way might be taking out the toners, shake them well using a back and forth rocking motion. Once done, insert them back to the toner. However, this will not last you for long and the annoying low ink window will pop up once again after few uses.

If you do print a lot of documents, one way to improve the situation is to use “high yield” toner cartridges only. Some printer models come with different page yield toner types, such as standard yield vs. high yield. By using a higher capacity toner can definitely reduce the number of times you need to replace the old cartridges.

One other way is to trick your printer, making it think that there are still some inks left in the cartridge. This can be achieved by resetting the printer and instruct the machine to continue printing even when the ink level is low, or a slight re-modification work on the toner itself.

Here is one example used in Brother HL-5250DN printer model. Please note that there’s always risk involved even through it worked for many users in the past:

Remove the cartridge from the printer. Prepare an electrical tape and use it to tape over the small hole on the side of the toner. By covering the sensor hole; the printer is fooled and thinking that the toner is still full with ink.

Since every printer brand has slightly different setting, you can refer to the printer manual or simply leave us a note and ask for help!

Headache Issue Two:
My printer takes forever to print!

Possible Solutions:
If you’ve been using the same printer for the past 5 years, maybe it’s time to consider updating this office equipment. Otherwise you can also try lowering the printing quality a step down. This method not only let you print faster, but also save some costs on toners. The setting can usually be found once you select “print” and then “properties” within your document file. It is recommended that you perform a test page to see if you are satisfied with the quality before proceeding with the remaining documents.

One other way is to print without images or simply print black and white documents. To print web pages without images from Explorer, select Tools, Internet Options, Advances Tab, then scroll down to Multimedia category. Uncheck the Show Pictures box then you can start printing without images. From Firefox, select Tools, Options, Content tab, then uncheck the Load Images Automatically box.

If you have perfect eye sights, there’s one more option – set the layout as printing two pages in one sheet. Even through the fonts get smaller, but definitely cut down the processing time by almost ½.

This is just a sneak peek to our troubleshooting blog post series. We will be solving more brand and printer/toner model specific problems at Toner-Spot.blogspot.com. Please email or leave us a comment anytime if you have any questions. Our technicians will be more than happy to assist you. Let’s terminate all these printing-related headaches together!


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  2. To Reshma Resha,
    Thank you so much for the kind words, it really means a lot to us. Please let us know if you have further questions in the future and we will try to solve it for you as best as we can. Happy holidays!

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