computer help urgent please

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sunnybob

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Said it before, aint got no idea on software.
I have a 10 year old laptop running vista. It works perfectly for me in all other respects except the following.
I have an even older HP desktop printer. It also up till now has done sterling work and it owes me nothing.

For the last three weeks I have had problems printing and I cant work out where the problem is.

I click print, and it prints.
I click print again, and it stops half way through a page showing "paper jam".
The paper is NOT jammed. I can push the button and it will run through fine. I can turn that same page over and press print again, and it will print, MAYBE. Or maybe it will jam again and again.

I'm wasting lots and lots of paper and ink and losing weeks off my life with this hassle.
I need to print some urgent legal documents and its started "jamming" again.

I have tried updating the printer driver, it tells me its current.
The printer functions perfectly as a copier.

I managed to print several sheets recently by restarting the computer, but within a few sheets it "jammed" again. I had to restart several times.

Can anyone tell me 100% definite if I need a new printer or a new laptop? because I need to solve this puzzle tomorrow but I dont want to spend several hundred quid to replace something that aint broke.
Thanks
 

Garno

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It's the printer.
Probably some muck on one of the wheels or something that is causing it.
The remedy would be to get it serviced, but it would be cheaper to buy a new one.
Now buying a new one may also give you problems on the compatability, so make sure it will be able to run on Vista before splashing out your hard earned cash.

Gary
 

Brandlin

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It is nothing to do with your computer.

To detect a paper jam, most printers use optical sensors that watch some form of a rotating disc with radial marks etched on it. If the printer is sending current to the motor to advance the paper, but the sensor does not detect motion then it will register a 'paper jam'. This is often caused by general muck and paper dust on the disc. If you are handy then you should be able to remove the outer case locate the sensor and clean it with a puff of compressed air.

If you do decide to buy a new one then you wont have any compatibility problems with Vista. The protocols used to communicate with a printer are independent of windows and are encapsulated within the printer driver. As Vista is still a supported Windows product, you should have no problem getting the correct printer driver.

If your print need is urgent, i'd be inclined to take the file on a stick to a local printers and have them print it, and then resolve your printer issue more leisurely. Local libraries offer this service, as do places like office world and staples. Make sure you save your document in common a format like .pdf so it can be read. If not, then most places will be handle .doc from MS word... might be worth phoning them first to ask. Or even take your laptop with you.
 

sunnybob

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Gary, I'm reasonably good with hardware, do you know if I could access the wheels without special tools?
 

Garno

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sunnybob":ghc2k77h said:
Gary, I'm reasonably good with hardware, do you know if I could access the wheels without special tools?

Brandolin had the correct terminology Disc instead of wheel.
It can all be done without the use of specialised tooling.

Gary
 

sunnybob

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next question...
how do you get toner impregnated grease off your fingertips?

I've had it apart and brushed out a lot of dust, but theres a large area covered in wet toner and what appears to be solidified grease.
I think its a trip to the printer shop tomorrow.
I'll be sad to see this one go though, it has performed faultlessly right up to the end, and i think I've worked out the purchase date to be 20 years ago.
not bad a for a £30 printer
 

Brandlin

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If you search youtube you'll find some examples. Not necessarily for your specific printer though.

The discs and sensors are called an "Optical Encoder". Search using that term might get you better results?
 

Geoff_S

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I have just had a very similar problem with my Epson printer that for no apparent reason decided to not connect to either of our
iMacs or our Windows laptop after years of faultless operation.

Having spent 35 years in IT, I knew just what to do ...... but none of it worked! What on Earth could it be?

Oh of course. The printer was having a sulk. I just left it for a few days until it learnt that I wasn't impressed with sulking.

And now it is working again.
 

sunnybob

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I left mine for two weeks while on holiday (after taking half a day to print boarding passes).
First time I needed it yesterday it ruined 8 pieces of paper trying to print 3 pages.
Its gone, 20 years service or no.

Bought a HP 3835 inkjet because it was a third of the price of a laser.

Printed almost 40 pages today. perfect.
sulking doesnt cut it with me.
 

Geoff_S

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sunnybob":cbj0lbex said:
I left mine for two weeks while on holiday (after taking half a day to print boarding passes).
First time I needed it yesterday it ruined 8 pieces of paper trying to print 3 pages.
Its gone, 20 years service or no.

Bought a HP 3835 inkjet because it was a third of the price of a laser.

Printed almost 40 pages today. perfect.
sulking doesnt cut it with me.

Yes, but at 20 years old? You're glad to see the back of them 8)
 
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