Printing problems

MetricRocketeer

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Hi TRF colleagues,

I have recently started having this printing problem.

I have a Windows 10 64-bit computer with 32 GB of RAM, and an HP Envy 4520 printer.

The printer has always worked fine, except that on rare occasion, when printing something, I would get a printing error saying that the printer was in an “error state”. I needed to clear the print queue, but I could not do so. Finally, I learned the way to solve this problem was Administrative Tools > Services > Print Spooler, and next hit Stop and then Start. That cleared the print queue, and everything worked fine.

OK. This is a bit annoying, but not too bad. Lately, however, this error is happening with increasing frequency. I can always solve the problem using the sequence that I just described, but I am getting frustrated having to do it.

Does anyone know why it happens?

Thank you.

Stanley
 

QFactor

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Have you considered updating the drivers & firmware for the HP printer?

I recently had a Windows update thrash my setup on a new wireless HP plotter. I had an assortment
of errors popping up. I reinstalled the plotter's drivers and firmware. Then everything was fine.

The only mistake I made was not uninstalling the HP program first. It created another of the same
plotter/printer in the device list but added a "(Copy 1)" to the plotter's listing name.
 

QFactor

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Hi @QFactor,

Thank you for your response.

I think that my printer drivers are up to date. I will look into this.

Stanley

If you're comfortable "uninstalling" the printer's app from your Windows, I would start there. Then go out to HP's website
and download the printer's app (management app). This starts you with a clean sheet and any updated drivers & firmware.
 

MetricRocketeer

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Hi @QFactor,

Your advice is probably excellent. The problem is that I would not be comfortable uninstalling the printer's app and then reinstalling the drivers. I guess that a lot of things could go wrong.

Ideally, I would want to do this only if I had a computer expert sitting next to me.

So, unless things start to go really haywire, I will keep your highly useful message nearby and handy.

Thank you.

Stanley
 

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Marc_G

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Do you have any other computer you can try printing with, to verify that it's indeed an issue with the drivers etc. on your main computer? I once had a Canon printer die on my, randomly got errors during printing similar to what you reported. At first I thought it was something with my computer/drivers, but then a second computer saw the same intermittent issues. Wound up replacing the printer.

Edit: Also, I've had issues when the printer gets a firmware update but the drivers are behind, or vice versa when the drivers auto update but the printer needs a firmware update to keep up.
 

Marc_G

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Hi @Marc_G or anyone else,

Is there a way to force an update to printer firmware? Or do I need to uninstall the printer app?

Stanley
Check the printer manufacturer for info on how to update the printer firmware. Usually, it is a specific program you will run in windows that sends the new firmware to the printer. More advanced printers that are network-connected might offer to download new firmware from the internet on their own. My Brother laser printer is in this camp.
 

heada

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Wireless/wifi printers have the habit of going into a power save mode and disconnecting from the network. This disconnect makes your PC think it is either offline or broken. Next time you want to print, try going to the printer and hitting whatever button you have for checking the status. That should force it to wake up and reconnect. If you can successfully print after that, then you know it is the disconnect that happens when it goes into power save mode. Long-term, you could try having it connected via USB or wired to the network if that is an option or know that you'll have to force a poll somehow if the printer has been idle more than it's idle-timeout limit.

More than likely the reason that restarting the print spooler service on the PC works is that it forces the PC to go out and poll all the defined printers for their status.
 

heada

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Hi @heada,

Thank you for your message.

The printer is connected via USB, so that is not an issue.

How do I force a poll? I had not even heard of that.

Stanley
Forcing a poll is just restarting the spooler service or going into the printers list and getting the properties of the printer. Both of those will force the PC to talk to the printer to get the printer status.

If you're directly connected via USB and not wireless, then it probably isn't the idle timeout/disconnect issue.
 
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