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How to determine printer hardware or software issue


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If your printer is not working and unable to print, the possibility could be either the printer is experiencing a hardware or software related issue. It is always recommended that the printer be tested for hardware issues first before testing the software.

Testing Hardware

First step is to check that paper is loaded and that there are no paper jams.

Second step is to check the cable connections; both power and data cables connecting from printer and to your computer. Also insure that the printer power indication light is on and also verify that the printer has no flashing lights or Red or Orange lights. It is common for printers to have red, orange, or any other flashing lights when the printer is malfunctioning.

Next step is to run a self test on the printer. Running a self test should print a basic page of information indicating that the printer itself is working. Your user’s manual should have the instructions for printing a self test. If your printer does not print a self test it’s a possibility that there is a defect or misconfiguration with your printer, and you should contact the printer manufacturer.

Testing Software

Windows users

If possible, make sure your printer can print using the above hardware tests.

Install the printer software provided with your printer, if no software was provided with your printer, see the printer drivers page for a listing of printer drivers. Drivers are required for your printer to properly work with the operating system.

Click “Start”, “Settings”, “Printers”

Now ensure that within the printers box your printer manufacturer and model is listed

Print a test page by clicking the icon with the “right click”

Next step is to click the properties option and click print test page

If the test page does not print then download the latest drivers from your printer manufacturer

A listing of printer drivers can be found on our printer drivers page.

If the page prints successfully, get back into the printers window

Right-click the printer and check next to Set as default.

Newer versions of Windows also show a check next to the printer icon once it has been set as the default printer

Once the printer is set as default, click Start, Run, and type notepad and press enter. In notepad, type a test message and click File and Print. If the printer also prints successfully from this program but you are still unable to print from the other program, it is likely that program has an issue and not your printer.

Windows 2000, XP, Vista, 7, and 8 users – Older printers that worked in previous versions of Windows may no longer work in new versions. If your printer has worked in a past version of Windows, but isn’t working with a new one, check with your printer manufacturer to learn your options.

After doing the above command, your printer should begin printing the directory listing. If your printer prints it, it is recommended that you reinstall your printer drivers. If your printer does not print and you have performed the hardware tests, it is likely that your printer or the cables are bad. Contact your printer manufacturer for additional support and repair.


If you are facing any kind of issues call us on our toll-free number 1-800-293-9401.

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