« The Fall (and music) | Main | New eMusic Acquisition »

December 06, 2009

Have You Tried Turning It Off And On Again?

Our household has been plagued by printer problems for months. So much so that Jean and I have even considered purchasing a new printer, though without any assurance that this would help, so I've procrastinated on that approach.

Anyway, in case anyone is Googling for help with printer problems which are similar to ours, I'll describe the problems and the solution which worked for us. Your mileage may vary, local laws may apply, etc. etc...

The Problem(s)

Our setup consists of two Mac OS X computers, one a rather old PPC in the dining area with an Epson Stylus Photo R260 inkjet printer attached via USB (printer sharing enabled), the other a newer but still 'mature' Intel version in the den.

The first problem was that the den computer could not always see the printer, even when the dining area computer was awake with the printer turned on. Over the months, attempts to get the den computer to 'see' the printer had resulted in multiple listings of the same printer in various print dialogs. Selecting any one of these printers was a coin toss, and the job could either get printed, or disappear into the ether, never to be heard from again. The print queue tool might indicate that the job was printing, the printer unavailable, or busy.

The second problem was that even when the printer was visible, available and printing jobs from the den, they would invariably print out in a muddy sepia tone, i.e. a monochrome shade of brown. I should also mention that Jean says that even the dining computer, attached directly to the printer, had problems printing photos with any sort of faithful color.

The Solution (So Far)

This weekend I resolved to solve the problem or prove that we needed outside help (paging Apple Store Genius...). After a bit of Internet browsing and multiple forays into the Apple Help menus, I resolved to do the following:

  1. Delete all printers, print queues and configurations from both computers
  2. Download and install the latest drivers from Epson for this printer onto both computers
  3. Reestablish printer sharing from the dining room computer
  4. Re-add the printer to both computers' printer lists
  5. Test printing several color documents from both printers

After this full system teardown and rebuild (hence the title of this article), I found that indeed, for now, the printer is visible, active and available to the den computer. Any given document printed from both computers appears to be identical in color and layout.

So for now, problem solved. I'll be watching for degradation in performance over the next few weeks/months.

Posted by dpwakefield at December 6, 2009 08:30 PM


Post a comment

Remember Me?

(you may use HTML tags for style)