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Top 5 Printer Issues and How To Fix Them

There are a lot of quirks to running a Dental Practice.  With so much technology (and more developments every day) there is always something that can go wrong.  We see service requests from our clients that span the full gamut of issues from Imaging hardware/software to network connectivity and everything in-between.  With advances in cloud computing there is sure to be yet another leap when it comes to Dental Technology as well.  With so much leading-edge tech you’d think our most common client concern would be with the latest technology.  You’d be wrong, in fact one of the most common issues we run into has been around since the technology itself – Printer Issues.

Seeing as printer issues are one of the most common frustrations in any Dental Practice (and even though we will continue fielding these concerns regularly) it only makes sense to provide a run down of the most common printer issues, and how to fix them.

Printer Issue #1: Paper Jam

Paper jams are one of the most common concerns when it comes to any high-volume printing scenario.  Often, the issue is that the components are dirty, the paper is incompatible, or the rollers are worn.  Each of the previous scenarios can be handled in-house (clean the components with a dry rag and vacuum the inside of the printer, make sure you are using paper that is compatible with your printer, replace worn rollers by visiting the manufacturer’s website).  However, you still must deal with the jam itself.  While each printer is different you can find manuals on the manufacture website and follow these steps:

  1. Open printer and take out toner and drum
  2. Gently remove paper (always in the direction the paper should move)
  3. Check for any loose or ripped pieces of paper
  4. Reinstall toner and drum, close printer, go to town

Printer Issue #2: Wrong Printer

With multiple staff members accessing most computers in a Dental Practice you can be sure that print settings are changed as needed.  With more than one printer in an office it is very common for print jobs to be sent to various printers.  To make sure that you are sending your print job to the correct printer follow the steps below:

 

  1. Can vary by computer  – go to “Devices and Printers” folder, right click on the printer you want, you should be prompted to make this your default printer
  2. Print that thing you wanted “for work”

Printer Issue #3: Poor Network Connection

From the Wi-Fi or hard lined connection itself (router/wireless access point) to the physical connection, poor network connection is another leading cause of printer issues.  While you may need to check that your internet is up and running as a first step you can make sure the printer itself is connected by:

  1. Check to see if printer is connected to network (plug in network cable, check Wi-Fi status)
  2. Full power cycle > unplug power cord for 60 seconds, plug back in (classic)
  3. If printer is on Wi-Fi, restart Wi-Fi access point

Printer Issue #4: Drivers

What are drivers anyway?  Drivers are software on your computer that converts the data you are looking to print into a format the printer can understand and convert into a print job.  This may be the most involved issue especially for anyone who does not consider themselves “particularly good with computers”.  Luckily the steps are straight forward and should get you the results you are looking for, those steps are:

 

  1. Click on control panel > ”view devices and printers” > click on any of the installed printers and click “print server properties” > click “Drivers” tab – if installed you can check for latest update via Windows Update: Start > Settings > Update & Security > Check for updates
  2. If you need to reinstall drivers – Use the software (disc) your printer came with
  3. If you don’t have the software, go to the manufacturer website and look for “Drivers” section (you can google the make of your printer + support to find the site you need)
  4. Once you download the drivers you will need to remove and reinstall the printer: Start > Settings > Devices > Printers & Scanners > select the correct printer and “Remove Device > Add printer or scanner > Add appropriate printer

Printer Issue #5: Spooler Issue

Much like the driver situation above, spooler issues are connected to software on your computer.  Spooler software is built into your operating system to temporarily store the print jobs in the computer’s memory until the printer is ready to print.  Often, the spooler acts like a merging highway, sometimes it gets clogged up for seemingly, NO REASON!  When you are on the highway you just have to wait it out but when you are printing you can fix the issue by following this simple process:

  1. Turn off and unplug printer (save document first)
  2. Open Windows Services (tool bar) > right click on “Print Spooler” and click “stop”
  3. Open Windows Explorer browser to search: C:\Windows\System32\Spool\PRINTERS
  4. Delete all existing files in your queue and shut down your computer
  5. Turn on your printer then turn on your computer again.
  6. Restart the print spooler service > print that cat picture (prrr)

About Darkhorse Tech

Whether you’re just starting out or a well-established organization, Darkhorse Tech has the experience and technology to help get you moving, cut costs, and streamline your operations via unlimited IT support. We are here to help you do what you do best: focus on providing top-notch care and service for patients – not dealing with IT problems, lag time spent talking with technical support, or complicated technological mishaps. Unlimited IT support services help the whole team work efficiently without worrying about significant system issues or constant interruptions.

Our additional security services include:

  • Unlimited Remote and/or On-Site IT Support of All Your Hardware and Software
  • Improved Network Performance and Security
  • HIPAA Compliant Off-Site and Local Backup Service (Darkhorse Secure Backup)
  • Managed Antivirus, Anti-Malware, and Anti-Ransomware (Darkhorse Security Products)
  • Compliance & Security Laws Standards
  • Microsoft Security Patch Management
  • Vendor Management: We will be on the phone, not your employees
  • Secure, Remote Access to Your Office
  • Firewall Management
  • Network Management
  • Long Term Planning and Budgeting​

Contact us anytime if you want to learn more about our dental-specific solutions and unlimited support packages. Our friendly customer service team will get back to you in no time.

 

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