FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
Last updated: 7/23/02
Also, see How
to Troubleshoot Printer Problems
is wrong when a laser printer prints grey pages?
A. The photoreceptor or drum may be defective.
Increasing the print density setting may fix it temporarily. The photoreceptor
may be part of the toner cartridge.
Q. What is wrong when a laser printer prints all
A. The drum is not being charged. The
charger corona wire is probably broken or not making good electrical contact. The
charger corona wire may be part of the toner cartridge. Try uninstalling
and reinstalling the toner cartridge. If that doesn’t work, try
another toner cartridge.
Q. What is wrong when a laser printer prints dark
pages and double images?
print intensity may be set too high.
Q. What is wrong when a laser printer prints all
A. The transfer corona
wire may be broken.
Q. What is wrong when a laser printer prints pages that are dirty
fuser assembly is probably not working. The fuser melts the toner onto
the page. Be careful; they can get very hot. The toner cartridge
may be leaking. A paper jam can cause this.
|9/24/02 "bigbrother" submitted
the following bit of wisdom via our forums...
Problem: Brother 1250 Printer puts text on
the page ok, but the background of the whole page is gray.
Solution: Try replacing the toner. Unlike
many other laser printers, the 'unused' toner on some Brother Printers
gets recycled back into the toner cartridge. Many conventional
laser printers put the used-toner into a waster toner hopper located
on the drum. This is why many Brother printers have a drum
life in excess of 20,000 pages, and many conventional Lasers have
a drum life of only 6,000 pages.
Once the toner
has been through the printer a couple of times without being used,
it looses it's electrostatic properties. When
these properties are lost, you'll start to get a gray background
on all printed output. Although there may be toner left in
the cartridge, the toner is 'spent' and the cartridge needs replacing.
Conventional Lasers exhibiting gray backgrounds,
the first port of call would be a replacement drum - be aware that
the Brother printer is quite different!!!
Note, the replace toner signal may not illuminate
(at least my didn't).
My 3,000 page toner cartridge lasted 3,800 pages, so no complaints
The last 300 pages were rather grey though!!!
9/25/02 "Twinhead" from our forums submitted this
about Brother lasers...
I had have also such problems.
This time it was with 4 Brother HL 1270N printers on my work.
the pages are printed grey on the entire surface and black letters
are not totally black anymore.
The grey is also not equaly shared across the surface.
I have taken out the drum unit and the toner cartridge, blown the
printer clean with compressed air, replaced the drum unit and a new
toner cartridge and cleaned the corona wire.
It solved the problem.
It seems that the system has difficulties to spread the toner equally
when the cartridge is near empty.
If you take out one cartridge, you can determine if it is (near)
Take it out and lay it flat on a solid surface.
Let it there for about two minutes and pick it up with as less of
movement as you can.
move it between you and a lightsource or a window. (Keep it horizontally!)
Then look at one of its short sides straight with its axis to the
other short side. (As if you attempting to watch through it like
If you can see light through a little round window, it is (almost)
Replace it if so.
Q. What is the "specified" maximum length
of a parallel printer cable for a PC?
are two kinds widely used parallel port printer cables for PCs. The
old "standard" IBM Printer cable and the newer IEEE 1284 bi-directional
cable commonly sold today. The old IBM printer cable was a rather loose
standard having its roots with cables originally designed for Centronics
printers. It was uni-directional from the PC to the printer and had
a 25-pin male DB25 connector at one end and a 36-conductor male Centronics
connector at the other end. The "standard-issue" cable was
six feet. The maximum cable length was commonly stated as 15 feet. I
have operated printers with old 20-foot IBM PC cables and some, not many,
PC/printer combinations will work with a quality 25-foot cable. There
are devices which can extend this length significantly.
Commonly available IEEE 1284 cables have a 1284 Type A,
25-pin male DB25 connector at one end and either the older 1284 Type B, 36-conducor
male Centronics connector or the newer 1284 Type C, 36-conductor Mini-Centronics
connector at the other end and
are available in 6, 10, 15, 20, and 30 ft lenghts. The
specification also calls for various cable configurations with different
connector genders. The maximum specified length of a IEEE 1284 cable cable
is 10 Meters (approx. 30 feet) for data transfers at rates up to 2 Mhz (of
course, this maximum requires that the ports at both ends of the cable meet
the IEEE 1284 spec as well as the cable). IEEE 1284 cables should work
with older IBM printer ports (SPP = Standard Printer Port) and uni-directional
Q. Where can one find help with a LaserJet IIIP
that is producing an ERROR 52?
A. Early models of the
LaserJet IIP/IIIP, Apple Personal Laserwriter, QMS PS410, and other printers
with the Canon LX laser engine have a defect in the scanner assembly that
causes the scanner speed control IC to overheat and burn out. This is sometimes
indicated by the smell of a printed circuit board burning. This error
can begin as an intermittent error which can be corrected by pressing Alt-continue
(on HP printers), but eventually it cannot be worked-around this way. HP's
web sit suggests taking the printer to HP
Authorized Service Center for repair. An
upgraded assembly with step-by-step instructions can be purchased from All
Laser Service for about $70 U.S. The assembly is buried deep in
the center of the printer, and takes about three quarters of an hour to change.
Q. I Keep getting a message saying 'There
was an error trying to write to...' when I try to print to my HP printer. Any
A. The printer software is loosing communications
from/with the printer. Are you using the same cable as the one you used on
the laptop? You may have a marginal cable which will work on one computer
printer port and not on the other; not likely. It should be an IEEE-1284
(bi-directional cable). Check for pushed-in pins on the printer cable. Screw
the PC end down and latch the Centronics end at the printer. Remove any other
device you may have attached to the port; e.g., scanner. Click Cancel, turn
the printer off, unplug the printer cable, wait a few seconds, reconnect
the cable, make sure the printer is on with no error lights, restart Windows,
and try again. Remove and reinstall the paper (paper out can cause a printer
communications error, at least it can in DOS). Try the various printer modes
in your computer's CMOS Setup. ECP+EPP usually works with bi-directional
printers, but others may fix the problem. Try F8 just as Windows starts to
boot, select the DOS prompt from the resulting menu, find a non-zero length
text file (one that is 1-2K would be a good choice) (e.g., autoexec.bat or
something ending in .txt), and print from DOS with:
If that works consistently, the problem is probably in Windows.
Be sure Windows is set-up correctly with the correct printer driver and something
else (another printer, FAX, etc.) is not assigned LPT1: Be sure the 710 is
set as the default Windows printer. Try it on another desktop computer. If
that works, try another printer on the suspect computer. I have seen cases
where a baby AT motherboard was upgraded, but the printer cable/header assembly
from the old motherboard was used and caused problems, but that is very rare.
Also, the cable connecting to the motherboard could be backwards or loose.
Q. Why do Spool32 errors occasionally occur when printing
with an HP LaserJet in Windows 95/98/Me?
A. This can be caused by interference
with the spooler by FAX or answering machine software. Try these steps:
- In Start, Settings, Printers, click the printer driver
with the right mouse button, Details, Spool Settings, change Spool Data
Format settings from RAW to EMF or vice versa.
- In the Spool Settings, select Print directly to printer.
- In Port Settings, try unselecting everything that is
- Run a virus scan.
- Upgrade the LPT.VXD file. (Windows 95 only)
- Use one of the built-in Microsoft drivers.
- Download the latest version of the product driver from
- Temporarily close the interfering program for printing
purposes. Press CTRL + ALT + DELETE to open the
Close Program window. Highlight any fax/answering
machine program listed and select End Task. Repeat this process for each
program listed that may interfere with the printing process. Try
again to print. If printing is successful, the program(s) closed was interfering
with the printing process. Uninstall or deactivate it.
- Remove temporary files in C:\TEMP and C:\WINDOWS\TEMP.
- Windows 95 only... install the alternate Lpt.vxd
file. Rename C:\windows\system\lpt.vxd to
lpt.old. Copy the Lpt.vxd file from the Drivers\Printer\Lpt\lpt.vxd
on the Windows 95 CD to C:\Windows\System.