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Author Topic: Printer Issues
Rhonwyyn

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Icon 1 posted August 23, 2007 17:27      Profile for Rhonwyyn   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
My husband has an Epson Stylus C86 that recently stopped printing. When sent a printer job, it will act like it's printing, but the sheet comes out blank. We got new ink cartridges, but it's still printing blank pages. He already cleaned out the printer, removed any dust, and cleaned the printer heads. Still no dice. What do we do now to get the thing working?

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Posts: 3849 | From: Lancaster, PA | Registered: Jul 2004  |  IP: Logged
stevenback7
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Icon 1 posted August 23, 2007 20:55      Profile for stevenback7   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
Umm the only thing I can think of is that sometimes with my printer it just dosn't like the way the paper is in the printer so it would print a blank page to show its anger.

But these days that printer won't print anything if there is more then one piece of paper in the tray.

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Posts: 1199 | From: Canada eh? | Registered: May 2006  |  IP: Logged
CoffeeSmack
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Icon 1 posted August 23, 2007 23:14      Profile for CoffeeSmack         Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
Have you tried any of the maintenance functions i.e. cleaning the print heads or alignment? Not so much to check to see if the heads need cleaning, but rather to see if the printer prints any ink at all... Also, I'm assuming you've tried different printing from different applications. And to take that a step further, do you have a second computer you could plug it into and see if it works?

The Epson C-series are pretty inexpensive these days, but still, there's no point in replacing it if you can figure this one out.

Posts: 62 | From: Mount Joy, PA | Registered: May 2005  |  IP: Logged
Stereo

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Icon 1 posted August 24, 2007 07:09      Profile for Stereo     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
May I assume, when you say that you cleaned the printer head, that you did that from the utility that came with the printer, rather than manually?

Was the printer inactive for an extended period of time?

I had one of those, exactly. I didn't use it regularly, and the ink dried on the printer's heads; cleaning the heads with the software didn't do a thing, and trying to clean it manually with a solvent-imbibed Q-tip got it worse.

So you could bring it to some service point to have it cleaned properly, or throw that crap out the window (ok, rather send it to a place that recycle electronic garbage) and buy yourself a laser printer. They're about the price bubblejet printers were five years ago, and they don't decay when unused from some time.

(Anyway, replacing ink cartriges these days cost about as much as buying a new printer... [Mad] And Epson's printer will show up an empty cartrige and stop printing while there is still some ink in them! [Mad] [Mad] )

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Galileo Galilei

Posts: 2289 | From: Gatineau, Quebec, Canada | Registered: Apr 2001  |  IP: Logged
alexo912
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Icon 1 posted August 24, 2007 09:23      Profile for alexo912     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
did you try a test print in the properties of the printer (printers and faxes, right click on the printer, prop. test print) if so, no change? does it print at the same speed as it would normally, or does it just spit the paper out with out stopping. if so what port are you printing to? can you add a generic text printer to that port, and print something out of notepad or an .RTF?
Posts: 7 | Registered: Aug 2007  |  IP: Logged
Rhonwyyn

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Icon 1 posted August 24, 2007 17:11      Profile for Rhonwyyn   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
It appears Stereo's theory might be correct. I ran the printer utility thing a few times and only managed to get the cyan to print very faintly. So the recommendation is to get someone else to clean it, not try to do it myself, or get rid of this otherwise perfectly good printer and buy a different kind?

ETA: A faint streak of yellow prints too.

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Posts: 3849 | From: Lancaster, PA | Registered: Jul 2004  |  IP: Logged
The Famous Druid

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Icon 1 posted August 24, 2007 17:23      Profile for The Famous Druid     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
Some printers these days have 'disposable' print-heads, i.e. they need replaced after about 20 cartridges. You might be able to buy a new print head for less than the price of a new printer, but I doubt it.

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Posts: 10680 | From: Melbourne, Australia | Registered: Oct 2002  |  IP: Logged
CoffeeSmack
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Icon 1 posted August 24, 2007 22:44      Profile for CoffeeSmack         Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
I recently replaced an Epson Photo Stylus 900 printer with an R380 and I'm very happy with it. The reason for getting rid of the 900 was because the black ink would spray (drip?) onto small wheels that guided the paper through the paper path, resulting in track marks on the printed page.

Long story short, it was very frustrating. In spite of everything I tried to do to correct it, in the end I bought the new printer. I'm very happy with the R380; it was rather low-cost with outstanding results. I use it to print a lot of inkjet CR-R media and the results are better than the old 900.

If the 900's symptoms were because of the same reason for your problem then I will just have to make sure I use the printer often enough. Although Canon, HP, and other printers appear to replace the print heads with each cartridge you buy (thus avoiding this problem altogether) I still prefer the look and quality of an Epson print. But that's just my opinion...

I did end up sending the old printer in for recycling. It cost me ten dollars, but I feel good knowing that I didn't just throw it out. If you decide to retire the C86 I wonder if you can find a recycling program that will do it for free.

Posts: 62 | From: Mount Joy, PA | Registered: May 2005  |  IP: Logged
Rhonwyyn

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Icon 1 posted August 25, 2007 06:31      Profile for Rhonwyyn   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
Since you and I live in the same town, CS, I'd like to know where you bought your printers and where you recycled the one. Care to share?

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Posts: 3849 | From: Lancaster, PA | Registered: Jul 2004  |  IP: Logged
Stereo

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Icon 1 posted August 25, 2007 10:01      Profile for Stereo     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
quote:
Originally posted by Rhonwyyn:
(...) otherwise perfectly good printer (...)

What's the point of having an "otherwise perfectly good printer" if it doesn't print at all? We're not talking crumpling a page out of 10 or some other silliness, but non-working printing heads. Just see what is cheaper: repare or replace? And when comparing price, don't forget to also compare the usage costs: cost of a cartrige/number of page that can be printed with a cartrige.

Consider the laser vs. bubblejet question like the owner vs. renter; owning costs more up front, but the amount you pay in interest on the mortgage is lower than the amount of rental. Just be sure not to buy more than you need. So, a laser printer costs more (even truer for a color one), but you get better results, and although replacing the cartrige costs more, it prints a lot more pages and doesn't dry. (Oh, and my experience shows that they don't break nearly as often.)

But that's just my opinion, you may have different needs and limitations.

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Galileo Galilei

Posts: 2289 | From: Gatineau, Quebec, Canada | Registered: Apr 2001  |  IP: Logged
stevenback7
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Icon 1 posted August 25, 2007 13:34      Profile for stevenback7   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
To add to Stereo's post, make sure that if you are going for a really cheap printer (A lot of people do this because a brand new printer with ink is the same as two brand new ink cartridges) that the printer comes with full cartridges of ink. I've seen several of these cheap printers were they only give you half a cartridge full.

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Posts: 1199 | From: Canada eh? | Registered: May 2006  |  IP: Logged
Moe Monkey
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Icon 1 posted August 25, 2007 19:55      Profile for Moe Monkey     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
I came across this a couple of years ago:
Weeno: How to Clean Clogged Inkjet Printheads
Might be worth a try.

Posts: 145 | From: The couch in the living room | Registered: Dec 2002  |  IP: Logged
CoffeeSmack
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Icon 1 posted September 01, 2007 21:33      Profile for CoffeeSmack         Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
Whoops, sorry Rhonwyyn, I got distracted and forgot to check back on this thread...

I bought my R380 at OfficeMax (the one just north of Lancaster in the same shopping center as Barnes & Noble). At the time I believe it was around $129. Look for a sale, I'm sure you can get a good deal. In fact, maybe this weekend being a holiday and all.

Come to think of it, you could get the R260 and pay less, since they are essentially the same printer except for the LCD screen on pricier model; The R380 allows you to use the printer by itself as a printing kiosk of sorts. You can plug in almost any memory card or flash drive (also doubles as a card reader for you Mac) which is a nice feature, though it might not be anything you'd use. Both are photo printers with the six color cartridges.

As discussed, printers are a dime-a-dozen (though not QUITE that cheap!) but not problem-free and I'm inclined to agree with the posters that recommend an inexpensive laser printer. You can pick up a Brother for maybe $99 nowadays. Toner isn't cheap, but hey, it would certainly last you a while.

Editorial: I no longer live in Lancaster, I'm in Mount Joy now. I still work in Lancaster, I just haven't updated my profile yet!

Posts: 62 | From: Mount Joy, PA | Registered: May 2005  |  IP: Logged
Rhonwyyn

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Icon 1 posted September 02, 2007 05:42      Profile for Rhonwyyn   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
I have lots (well, a grandmother and uncle and aunt - Weinhold Chiropractic ring a bell? [Razz] ) of family living in Mount Joy. I actually used to live on N. Jacob St. at the beginning of last year. It's a quaint town, and with the M&M/Mars factory there, the air always smells good.

If you want to shop efficiently, go to The Country Store on Manheim/Mount Joy Road. Lillian Zimmerman's prices on spices, meat, and other staples can't be beat!

Regarding a printer... I'm going to try the method described on Weeno.com, and then if that doesn't work, we'll go shopping. Thanks for the advice, CoffeeSmack.

BTW, have you stopped by Emmaus Road Cafe on Lincoln Highway East yet? They're open from 7 to 10 p.m. on Saturdays. Excellent coffee: fresh-brewed and fairly traded. Plus, there's great music, too. [Smile]

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Posts: 3849 | From: Lancaster, PA | Registered: Jul 2004  |  IP: Logged
dragon34
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Icon 1 posted September 02, 2007 14:00      Profile for dragon34     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
I would throw in the recommendation for a laser printer. Even the color ones are somewhat reasonably priced now, and although the toner cartridges are pricey, they last forever. I've had a little b&w HP laserjet for going on 4 years now, and we still have 1/3 of the original cartridge left. Granted, we rarely print things, but it's nice to have when we need it. Unless you print alot, the inkjet cartridges tend to dry out before they get used! Plus, laser printers don't smudge if they get wet, and you can even get photo paper for them if you get a color model. Personally, I think they save money in the long run. Just make sure you get one that has a Mac driver! (that is if you are still running the PowerBook(s))

B&W ones are under 200 dollars now, and the Color ones start at 300. You can even get one with color, duplexing and a network card for 500 bucks. One of my friends recently retired a really old LaserJet that was manufactured in the early 90s, so they really can last quite a long time. Even more telling, is that it was used in a high volume setting for the first 5-6 years of its life...

Posts: 146 | From: Central PA | Registered: Nov 2001  |  IP: Logged
CoffeeSmack
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Icon 1 posted September 02, 2007 19:45      Profile for CoffeeSmack         Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
(Off topic, I know) All I can say is, there's a lot I'm discovering about my new hometown; where to grocery shop, eat, etc. although I have to say I often shop in Lancaster since that's where I spend most of my day.

On the laser printer front, since I like Samsung products in general I've been courting the idea of buying something like the following: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16828112048

It's small, cheap, and for me, it would probably get a lot of mileage for how very little document printing I do. Alas, no color, unless I wanted to spend about $200 more... Either way, a new printer isn't really in the budget right now (saving up for that Mac Pro!).

Posts: 62 | From: Mount Joy, PA | Registered: May 2005  |  IP: Logged


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