Karl W. SwartzComputer Notebook — Printing on a Network

Often you will find yourself using a printer that is shared on the network. If you are unable to print, the following checklist will help you to resolve the most common problems:

1.  The printer must be turned ON. If the printer has a switch or button marked "ONLINE", then push this button until its light is also ON.

2.  The printer must have paper in its paper tray. Use only good quality paper to avoid jamming the printer.

3.  If any of the printer lights are flashing, or it shows an error message, then it has been left in a error state and must be cleared. Look for a "Reset" button and push it, then wait until the printer is ready (this may be a shifted key, look for a matching "Shift" or "Alt" key to press simultaneously). In some cases, especially if the printer has no "Reset", you may have to turn it off for a few seconds, then restart.

4.  The printer is connected to a computer by a cable. If it is connected to a computer other than yours, then that computer must also be turned ON, booted up, and logged onto the network. In this case, your computer must also be logged onto the network.

How can you tell whether you are logged onto the network?

If you do not now see listed the computer to which you are printing, then seek help.

   (Editorial note: Isn't it wonderful how Windows becomes more complicated with each upgrade???)

5.  Look in the system tray (lower right-hand corner, next to the clock). If you see a printer icon, then you have attempted to print something which has failed, and needs to be cleared out before you try again. Double-click the icon to open a window listing the pending print jobs. Select all you see, click the "Printer" drop-down menu, and select "Cancel All Documents". Close the window when the print jobs are deleted.

6.  If a network printer was unavailable, your computer may have taken it off-line. Select "Settings", then "Printers", then right-click on the icon for the printer you are trying to use. Look for a menu item "Work Offline", or "Use Printer Offline". If this is checked, then uncheck it to bring the printer back on-line. (Incidently, you can also see the pending print jobs by clicking "Open" from this menu, just as in step 5 above.)

7.  If you are using Windows 2000 and are printing to another computer using Windows 2000, then you must log onto that computer before you can print. Open "My Network Places", then "Computers Near Me", then double-click the computer where you wish to print. A window will open requesting that you log on. For user, enter "guest", leave the password blank, click "OK". When that computer's shared resources appear, you may then close that window and print to that printer normally. If either computer is using Windows 98, then it is not necessary to log on first.

8.  If none of these steps restores your ability to print, then seek help from the technical staff.

Copyright © 2004 Karl W. Swartz — http://KarlSwartz.com
You may freely reproduce and share this text, only if it is not altered and includes this notice.