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2:53pm on Saturday, 12th February, 2011:

Printer Problems


Because I can no longer show my face in the General Office, I'm now having to print off the handouts for my CE317 class myself. This time, it means 15 (just in case all the students turn up) copies of a 23-sheet chapter from Understanding Comics. I believe I'm allowed under UK law to reproduce this material for legitimate academic purposes, but I'm sure a lawyer could find some reason to disagree.

Mid-way through the print run last night, I got a warning from my printer that it was low on black toner. Also, it was low on magenta toner. Also, it was low on cyan toner. Also, it was low on yellow toner.

OK, well I've discovered from experience that this means it actually has lots of pages of toner left and it just wants me to buy some more, so I carried on printing.

Then, it told me it needed a new waste toner collector. I didn't even know my printer had a waste toner collector, but it does, and it needs a new one. Unfortunately, unlike the case with the toner cartridges, it refused to operate without a new one.

So, today I went to Staples and bought four new toner cartridges. That's £190 I won't be seeing again any time soon. I looked for a waste toner collector, but they didn't sell them. I went to PC world next door, and they didn't sell them either. I had to order one off the Internet when I got home, and hope that it would arrive on Monday. The invoice said: "Print this page and keep it for your records". Yes, well if I could print that page, I wouldn't need to order any of their products.

Of course, because I can't be sure that the new waste toner collector will arrive on Monday, I still have a problem. I therefore took the decision to empty the old waste toner collector myself. This is dangerous, because toner is not something you want to inhale, so I had to get out a face mask from when we lagged the attic and try to do it with the component inside a bag made of the right kind of plastic not to generate static electricity from the powder and ignite it.

I did all this, installed the new toner cartridges, rebooted the printer, and voila! A working printer!

Unfortunately, it's long soujourn from the network meant my computer was unable to access it. It refused to find it. I knew the printer's wireless connection was working, because it could print out a configuration sheet telling me its IP address, but nothing I did on my PC could access it. Firewall off, Samsung special find-your-printer software installed, multiple reboots of both PC and printer: no joy.

Eventually, the following did the trick:

  1. Uninstall the printer on my PC.
  2. Reinstall the printer drivers.
  3. Run Samsung's change-your-printer's-network-address software.
  4. Change the network address to something that doesn't exist, ignoring its complaints.
  5. Reboot the printer.
  6. Rerun Samsung's change-your-printer's-network-address software.
  7. Change the network address to the original network address.
  8. Reinstall the printer drivers.
  9. Give the printer a new name because the drivers still know about the original name.
  10. Reboot the printer.

Gawd knows what machinations I would have gone through if my printer was HP, though — installing the software for one of those takes three quarters of an hour and isn't guaranteed actually to finish.

Still, at least I can print now. For how much longer I can print I don't know though: as soon as it established a connection to the printer, my PC popped up a little window telling me "Replace imaging unit".

And my watch battery has run out. Damned hardware...

Referenced by Nexus.

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Copyright © 2011 Richard Bartle (richard@mud.co.uk).