-If you own a printer that sees a lot of action you most likely have had problems with it. Most of the troubleshooting in a printer is the software of the settings of the printer in your software. The second culprit is just dirt and grime. This is called preventive maintenance for the most part. People simply do not clean there work space nor there printers.
-Laser printers are the worst for getting nasty and causing all kinds of problems in printing. The first thing you should look into is cleaning the printer. Using a paint brush (not a used one) and some compressed air and you are in business. A Q-tip here and there is also a good idea.
-The main reason a laser printer will act up is the toner itself. The toner is loaded with iron oxide making it somewhat dirty to begin with and abrasive. The static charges that are involved in laser printing can attract dust on top of all the other problems. Clean your printer!
-Also a note about cleaning the printer is never use liquid or a liquid solvent when cleaning. You are running a risk of making things worse. Use a clean paint brush and Q-tips.
-Your most typical problems with the inkjet printer isn't so different from the laser. You will also get a build up of dirt, hair, paper, and any other act of god on the inside. Cleaning a ink jet printer is a breeze and should be done with compressed air.
Getting Out Easy
-Here are some easy outs when diagnosing the printer and what the problem is.
Check the printer cable first off.
Check power. This sounds stupid but it happens.
Check and make sure printer is online.
Check paper, toner, ink. These are common to go out and need replacement.
Try a print test page. There may be a button on the printer itself that will do a test page for you. If the page prints out you know that the problem isn't the printer itself.
Look at your printer settings. Make sure you are sending to the proper printer. Is the right one installed?
Inspect any pass through device such as parallel switchers. Inspect the cable itself. I have bought new printer cables that were faulty.
Not So Easy Outs
-Well now you have to get to the nitty gritty.
-We want to see first off if the printer is properly installed. Follow the steps below.
Go to control panel in windows and select Printers.
Select your printer and then click file, properties.
Look and see if the printer is pointed towards LPT1 port. If not then change it.
-Now if that isn't the problem and the printer is pointing towards the LPT1 port we need to look at Windows Device Manager.
Go to control panel windows and select Systems.
Select Device Manager Tab.
Look down the list and sport ports. Double click.
Check for any exclamation points or a question mark. If this exist you may have a conflict.
If so double click the port with the problem and choose resources tab.
Under the resources tab look at the last box. Does it say "conflicts"?
If a conflict exist simply uncheck "automatic settings" and click "Change settings"
You can now change the IRQ. If unsure which to try then click one at a time and see if it will show a conflict on the return dialog box.
-If you changed an IRQ setting you will need to go into the BIOS and change this also.
Reboot Computer, hit delete key or corresponding setup key before windows starts.
Look for peripheral settings and change the settings for the LPT1 port to what you changed in the windows device manager.