Troubleshooting Printer-related Communication Issues in Windows 2000 & XP

RELATES TO:


  • Status Monitor reports a "Communication Error", or "Printer not ready to print", or similar error.
  • The printer does not print.
  • The printer prints partial pages.
  • The Ink Levels are greyed out in the driver and Status Monitor.
  • Printing is slow.
  • Sheets with incorrect or garbled characters are printed.


TABLE OF CONTENTS:

Explanation

Solution


  1. Check that there is power to the printer.
  2. Check for any error lights on the printer control panel, or error messages on the printer's LCD panel.
  3. Perform a printer operation check.
  4. Printer operation check results.
  5. Check the cable connection between the printer and the computer and connect it directly. The printer is designed to be connected directly to the computer.
  6. Check the length of the data cable. For reliability, the maximum length of data cable that we recommend is 1.8 metres.
  7. Check that the computer meets the printer's minimum system requirements.
  8. Check for and note any on-screen error messages. Use Status Monitor to check the status of the printer.
  9. Open Device Manager to check if your system provides sufficient support for the printer's interface, if your Epson product is detected by the computer, and for any errors that relate to your Epson product.
  10. Check that the printer is set as the default in the Printers or Printers and Faxes folder.
  11. Check the print queue and printer status.
  12. Check the correct port is selected in the Ports tab of the printer's Properties.
  13. If the correct port and driver are in use and the printer appears ready to print, test this by printing a Test Page.
  14. Check that the correct printer driver for the operating system is in use.
  15. Check that the correct driver is selected in the Advanced tab of the printer Properties.
  16. Disable programs running in the background to help identify if there is a software conflict.
  17. Uninstall and reinstall the printer driver.
  18. If the issue has not been resolved after uninstalling and reinstalling the printer driver, we recommend disabling USB error detection. If you are using your printer via a Parallel or a FireWire connection, this does not apply so move to the next step.
  19. What to do if the issue is still present:


EXPLANATION:


If the printer does not attempt to print, or the print job is not fully completed then there may be a communication issue between your computer and the printer. A communication-related problem may be the cause of other printing issues such as poor print quality when prints are smeared or fuzzy. EPSON Status Monitor may not operate when a communication problem or conflict is present.

The possible causes of a communication-related issue and how to troubleshoot them are explained in this article.

Notes Icon Note:

This article applies to Epson printers connected to a computer via a FireWire, Parallel, or USB cable. This article does not apply to RTD products or printers used via a wired, wireless, or shared network connection.



SOLUTION:


If you are experiencing a problem printing from your computer to your printer, the first thing to check is that the printer itself is working correctly. This will help to identify the issue. Follow the steps below.

Notes Icon Note:

If you have received an error message on the computer, please make an exact note of the message, and use the search/find box to search the online support articles for a solution first.


  1. Check that there is power to the printer.

  2. Check for any error lights on the printer control panel, or error messages on the printer's LCD panel.

  3. Perform a printer operation check. Should the printer fail to print, print correctly or printing is slowly, perform a printer operation check to confirm if the printer is capable of normal functions.

    Make sure there is power to the printer and the printer control panel is not displaying any error lights or error messages. You will need to load plain A4 paper into the printer's paper sheet feeder.

    Notes Icon Note:

    As this process varies across printer models, please consult your printer's user guide for instructions or see the following article: How to perform a Printer Operation Check (Self Test)


  4. Printer operation check results:

  5. Check the cable connection between the printer and the computer and connect it directly. The printer is designed to be connected directly to the computer.

  6. Check the length of the data cable. For reliability, the maximum length of data cable that we recommend is 1.8 metres. If the problem is still present, try a different cable. If you do not have another cable or the issue remains, try a different interface to connect the printer if possible e.g. if the printer has both a USB and Parallel interface, change from using the Parallel port to the USB port and vice versa.

  7. Check that the computer meets the printer's minimum system requirements.

  8. Check for and note any on-screen error messages. Use Status Monitor to check the status of the printer.

  9. Open Device Manager to check if your system provides sufficient support for the printer's interface, if your Epson product is detected by the computer, and for any errors that relate to your Epson product.

  10. Check that the printer is set as the default in the Printers or Printers and Faxes folder.

  11. Check the print queue and printer status. If the document has not printed it may be that the printer is 'Paused', 'Offline' or documents are stuck in the print queue. Any documents in the queue will need to be cleared. Having jobs stuck in the queue could cause incorrect or garbled characters on printouts.

  12. Check the correct port is selected in the Ports tab of the printer's Properties.

  13. If the correct Properties > General tab. Click here for help on how to do this.

  14. Check that the correct printer driver for the operating system is in use.

  15. Check the correct driver is selected in the Advanced tab of the printer Properties.

  16. Disable programs running in the background to help identify if there is a software conflict.

  17. Uninstall and reinstall the printer driver. Should the issue still be present after following the advice above, the next step would be to uninstall and reinstall the printer driver, therefore restoring the driver to the default settings. Follow the section appropriate for how your printer connects to the computer:

      Parallel printers:


      USB Printers:


      FireWire Printers:


  18. If the issue has not been resolved after uninstalling and reinstalling the printer driver, we recommend disabling USB error detection. If you are using your printer via a Parallel or a FireWire connection, this does not apply so move to the next step.

  19. What to do if the issue is still present:

    • If the above troubleshooting fails to resolve the particular problem you are experiencing then we must eliminate any physical connection faults in the chain. The easiest to check is the data cable, either by trying a different cable completely or the same cable on another device.

    • Finally, if necessary, try the printer on another computer completely to establish where the problem lies. A computer with driver support for its operating system would be suitable, e.g. a Macintosh or a different version of Windows. If the printer works on another system then it would indicate a problem with the computer.

    • If the printer still does not work on another computer, then having gone through all of the above, we would recommend contacting Epson or taking your printer to the nearest Epson Express Centre for testing.

Back to Top