Basic Wired, Wireless & Bluetooth Printer Troubleshooting

Printer issues form a sizable bulk of calls to the Technical Service Desk.

Let’s take a look at some of the basic troubleshooting steps:

  1. Confirm the type of the printer – is it ‘wired’ or ‘wireless’?
  2. Confirm if it is a local printer or a network printer.
  3. Confirm the make and model of the printer.
  4. Check in Device Manager and see if it is listed there – check the driver for the printer. Check the ‘Device Status‘. It has to say ‘This device is working properly‘. Check for any driver updates.
  5. Check the physical connections of the printer.
  6. Is it the ‘Default Printer‘? If it is not, make it the default printer.
  7. Clear all the documents from the print queue – but before that ensure that the printer is powered off and disconnected from the computer.
  8. Drain the ‘Flea Power‘ from the printer – by disconnecting it from power and the computer, removing the printer cartridges and pressing and holding down the printer’s power button for 3 – 5 minutes.
  9. Are there any other printers that are listed in the ‘Printers & Faxes‘ window? If they are not being used, uninstall them.
  10. Stop and Start the Spooler service using the Run commands ‘NET STOP SPOOL‘ and ‘NET START SPOOL‘ respectively.
  11. Uninstall and reinstall the printer if necessary.
  12. If it is a network printer, ping the printer’s IP address to check connectivity.
  13. If it is a local printer, check connectivity by using the ‘Run‘ command DIR >> LPT1 or DIR >> PRN
  14. If it is a HP printer, try to manually add the printer and use the printer driver that shows up as ‘HP Deskjet Printer 990C‘ . This is a generic driver and works with most of the HP single function printers.
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