Category Archives: Printer Problems

Why we should protect our printers!

Last week thousands of printers all over the United States got hacked and started printing out propaganda of Nazi Germany. All of those prints contained racist messages and anti-Semitic images.

Everybody without proper protection was a target. Universities like Princeton and Washington University, college campuses, businesses and even individuals got hit by the attack. Reports came from all over the country. After a thorough investigation, it turned out this was he work of the notorious hacker named Andrew Auernheimer, also known asWeev”. chicken essayWeev thinks of himself as a hactivist who fights for freedom of speech and fighting the white genocide. He claims the attack was an experiment to show people how vulnerable they are. Furthermore he thinks of his actions as a prank. Other than his Nazi flyers, he also distributed “chicken flyers”. He hopes people will learn from this and realize that they need to keep their devices protected at all time.

Auernheimer was able to hack into those printers because they were all hooked up to the internet via open and unsecured connections. In total, about a million of printers got hit by the attack. Currently the FBI and police are working together to investigate the attack and how to prevent this from happening again. If an individual is capable of inflicting an attack on such a big scale, internet connections and devices rapidly need to get more secure.

My advice would be to check your connection. If you are still making use of an unsecured internet connection, not only your printer but all your devices can be in danger. In this particular case, the ‘damage’ is rather small, but the same kind of leak can definitely have a big impact. Hackers with bad intentions can get to your personal information or launch bigger attacks on websites or computers using this same method.

Vincent

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Cleaning Printer Heads for Inkjet Printers: Doing it Right

The printer head, which is basically3_easy_steps the one that holds the ink cartridges, should be regularly maintained in order to keep them functioning at their best. If not, they can result into inferior quality of printing. You can notice blotches, streaks, and other flaws on the printed output. With such, it is important to find time for cleaning printer heads. For some, this may seem to be a daunting task, but only because they have no idea how it should be done in the right way. Once you know how to do so, you will never think of it as an activity that requires too much effort. After all, it preserves the quality of your printer and ensures high-quality prints, so there is no reason to not pay attention how it should be done.

How to Clean Printer Heads

    1. The first thing that you need to do is to remove the printer head and the ink tanks. If you are conscious that the ink will stick to your hands, you might want to use latex gloves for protection. The ink tanks should be placed in a re-sealable bag as you clean printer heads.
    2. Next, have the printer head soaked. There are different methods by which this can be done. Regardless of what you choose, it will most probably deliver the same cleaning effect. In a shallow pan, place paper towels on the bottom of the container, which will serve as a layer of protection for the circuity. Heat purified water in a microwave and place it in the pan, in a level that is enough to cover the paper towels. You can also use a mixture of water and ammonia. Place the printer heads on the top of the paper towels. By this time, you must see the ink from the printer mixing with water in the pan, effectively removing what has been causing the clogs. You can let it soak for the night, depending on the extent of the clog.After soaking, hold the printer heads under a supply of running water, such as from a faucet or hose. Make sure that there is enough pressure applied on the crevices to remove any gunk that is still there.
    3. The final step to clean printer heads is to have them dried. Once they are completely dried, you can have them installed back in place and enjoy your printer!

printer_ink_on_skinAn alternative method for cleaning printer heads is to use a solution composed of equal parts of Windex and warm water. Submerge the printer heads in the mixture for at least two hours. Once done, use an old toothbrush with soft bristles to clean them.

As always, if you are left with any questions leave a comment below and I will be more than happy to help you out.

Vincent

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How do I fix a printer error state?

You keep getting a printer error state message but have no idea how to fix it? Read my easy to follow tips and your printer will be working again in no time. I will be covering the most common printer error problems and how to fix them. For some specific, more in depth, analyses of your error you can always consult your printer manufacturers website.  

printer-error-state

Under usage/Poor printing quality

Very common printer error. This has to do with clogged printing heads/nozzles. Printing heads are a part of your cartridges. When you aren’t printing on a regular base the ink will dry out. Dried ink can’t be used anymore and has to be replaced with new ink. Basically you have 2 options to solve this. In the first place you can buy a new cartridge and replace it with the old one. Secondly you could get a cleaning kit and clean the printing head yourself.

Latest Drivers

Printers and all other kinds of hardware need the right software to keep running. When your computer isn’t set to automatically check for the latest drivers you will have to go the manufacturer’s website and download it. If you aren’t sure about what driver to install, look on the back of your printer for a sticker. There you will find the correct product code.

color-printerRunning out of ink (or not?)

Your printer can be running out of ink without telling you specifically. Or even worse, your printer can tell you it’s running out of ink even though it’s not. Very little you can do to fix this since it greatly depends on your printer model.  You could however remove the cartridge and look if its empty. If it’s not, replace it and try printing again. If that doesn’t work you will have to buy a new cartridge. Don’t just instantly buy the same cartridge you had before! Changing to a better, more compatible cartridge could improve your print quality.

Paper getting stuck

Check your printer for hoods that can be opened or removed. Paper can get shredded into small pieces during the printing process and those pieces can obstruct the printer gear. Make sure to remove all pieces at once. Get a flashlight to help search every part of your printer. Remove the remaining paper out of the tray and replace it with new paper. Old paper can get moist and won’t print.

Blank sheets

Although this won’t show you an explicit printer error, it can be annoying to deal with. Luckily it’s easy to solve. You just need to adjust some printerblank-sheet settings. Go to your printer properties, accessed from the devices and printers screen in the control panel. Select the advanced tab in the printer properties screen and select separator page. Turn it off or leave it blank to prevent your printer from printing a blank sheet after every print job. 

Old cables

Old cables can cause your printer to show you an error state message. Control every cable if its plugged in well and if this could be the cause of the error. You can also try the cables with other printers and computers and see if it works. Doing this you can also find out if the error is coming from your printer or computer, so you can locate the problem better.

If you have any feedback or experiences with printer errors, I would love to hear them. Simply drop a comment below and I will get back to you.

Vincent

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