• Printers are a pain

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    Reading one of the “known issues” in Windows 11 22H2 and the side effects with certain printer drivers reminds me of how I have a love hate relationsh
    [See the full post at: Printers are a pain]

    Susan Bradley Patch Lady/Prudent patcher

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    • #2499605

      I don’t print much and have seen too many blocked inkjets, so I buy a cheap colour laserjet and get about 3 years out of it before the toner needs replacing. As toner can cost nearly as much as a new printer I buy a new printer and sell the old one.

      The old HP used to forget it’s connected to the network and require a power cycle. The new Brother doesn’t have that problem, prints quickly and was cheaper than a new HP.  🙂

      cheers, Paul

    • #2499621

      remember you can use the built in “Microsoft print to PDF”

      You can also use Microsoft’s Fax & Scan if you have problems with original printer software/drivers.

      1 user thanked author for this post.
    • #2499622

      As toner can cost nearly as much as a new printer

      You can buy replacement toner for 20-30% of original prices.
      Remember, never update printers firmware as many block using replacement ink/toner..

      • #2499629

        Never seen it at less than 70% of OEM. If it were possible to make decent toner / ink for that price, the OEM would sell it for less to keep market share.

        cheers, Paul

        • #2499851

          If it were possible to make decent toner / ink for that price, the OEM would sell it for less to keep market share.

          Not if it was more profitable to sell it for more. The printer business model has long been to sell the device itself relatively cheaply, but to make it back on high-markup ink or toner. New OEM toner cartridges cost 70% of the cost of a new laser printer, but you can bet that the toner cartridge in that new printer did not represent 70% of the manufacturing cost!


          Dell XPS 13/9310, i5-1135G7/16GB, KDE Neon
          XPG Xenia 15, i7-9750H/32GB & GTX1660ti, KDE Neon
          Acer Swift Go 14, i5-1335U/16GB, KDE Neon (and Win 11)

      • #2499728

        Our new HP Laser Jet M209dwe Printer, “Works only with original HP toner; requires a HP account, and internet connection to operate”.

        We will see how that works once the printer is up and operating.

    • #2499666

      Buy in the same family of printers that use the same printer cartridges.

      On permanent hiatus {with backup and coffee}
      offline▸ Win10Pro 2004.19041.572 x64 i3-3220 RAM8GB HDD Firefox83.0b3 WindowsDefender
      offline▸ Acer TravelMate P215-52 RAM8GB Win11Pro 22H2.22621.1265 x64 i5-10210U SSD Firefox106.0 MicrosoftDefender
      online▸ Win11Pro 22H2.22621.1992 x64 i5-9400 RAM16GB HDD Firefox116.0b3 MicrosoftDefender
    • #2499674

      Also a big fan of Brother printers (currently using an HL-5240.)

      When my Uncle’s old LaserJet 1200 printer finally gave out on him (constant paper jam alerts because the paper simply wasn’t feeding thru fast enough), he asked me to try and find him a good used HP 1200 to replace it (he really liked that printer.)

      I finally convinced him it’d be way cheaper in the long run to buy a new Brother HL-L5000D and he’s been very happy with it!

    • #2499677

      Connected to the wired LAN with a fixed ip address is the best way to go. Almost bulletproof. But, write down that ip address or hostname on a label and stick it to the side of the printer! Prevents a lot of calls from users.


    • #2499687

      I have long used HP inkjet printers (sorry, Susan) which I generally like, but currently my pet hate is the HPSmart utility. It is extremely slow to boot (and I have to use it whenever I want to scan or see the status on the Instant Ink subscription) and needs many clicks to get to the latter info. Often it wants to log-in to my HP account online to see where I am on the subscription, and the utility can take a very long time to connect to a printer that is on the same hard-wired network.

      Surely you can do better than this, HP!

      Win 10 Pro x64 Group A

      1 user thanked author for this post.
    • #2499690

      Yeah, don’t use inkjet. I was always having to clean the print head. I have used HP lasers for a couple + years now. I print very little. Much of my printing has been reduced by a little extension to FF called Print/Print Preview, which provides an easy print to PDF option and many of my monthly things like bills or payments never get put to paper. I put to pdf and save for a bit. I used to use Canon inkjet and swore buy them but using compatible cartridges, color was poor. I happened on a color HP laser that was a Demo with about 6 pages used for a song.  Haven’t looked back. Used B&W lasers are easily available and have been good for me. So far I have stuck with HP. As to toner, I picked up a slightly used starter set for the color HP and at the rate I use it it will probably last me for many years.  For the B&W I did finally have to buy a new toner for I think it was about 65, but, again, that will last me for many years. Genuine HP toner only. Always. Just shop around! Print quality is always excellent. I buy HP color 24lb paper in box of 5 or so reams so, it, again, is inexpensive.

      Accessing with Win is always easy. I used to use Mint and would sometimes have to power cycle the printer, but could get it to work. (I have stopped with the Mint builds as I realized that none of my rescue sticks worked with this laptop, even on ventoy, so if I lost grub I would have to do a full Mint rebuild with all of my programs, so not good in any way.)  I have settled on win 10 for now. It’s been easy for me. I like easy!

      - Thinkpad P15s Gen1 20T4-002KUS, i7-10510U, UEFI/GPT, 16GB, Sammy 500GB M.2.
      - Win 11 Pro 23H2 WU. HP laserjets M254dw & P1606dn, Epson 2480 scanner. External monitor Dell s3221QS for old games.

    • #2499691

      If you print photographs, you need inkjet. And few are excellent at it unloess designed for that purpose. And not inexpensive enough to chuck and replace.

    • #2499693

      Printers. The best one we’ve ever had was a Compaq Pagemarq 15. Launched in 1992, the good ‘ol DOS days. It weighed a ton, was big and bulky. A resolution of 400×800. Two paper cassettes; one for two stack of A4 and one cassette for A3 paper. The A4 cassette had a cool ‘snow shovel’ that would push the second stack of paper up front if the fist stack was empty. Postscript built-in, which was a treat for WordPerfect 4. Fancy font-time! And indestructible. After many years of use, we had to abandon it because no more toner cartridges. A real shame…

      As for modern printers – never ever HP again. There was a time the HP printers were a joy, but that’s a loooong time ago.

      We like to print on A4 and A3 in colour. And that A3 thing pretty much rules out laserprinters. In spite of Suzan’s advice, last year we bought an Epson 16600 inkjet printer. It does a decent job and pretty easy to use.

      Edit: as for PDF printing – we are a long-time user of PDF Creator. Basically because it’s fairly easy to add / modify paper sizes, which cannot be done with the Windows PDF printer.

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    • #2499698

      1. Microsoft’s printer driver model was insecure with lots of security vulnerabilities. The customer gets caught in the middle with malfunctioning printers, when the printer manufacturer refuses to upgrade the printer device driver for discontinued printer models.

      Also, printer drivers may not port to a new version of Windows and the printer manufacturer won’t provide one. Before upgrading the Windows version, determine what happens to your printer first. Does the printer manufacturer and/or Windows support the new version of Windows with your printer?

      2. We have never seen an ink jet printer get “dry” and fail. But we do print at least monthly.

      If you do buy an ink jet printer, make sure it has ink tanks instead of ink jet cartridges. You will save a bundle. Printer companies make their profits from selling ink cartridges, not ink jet printers. Although the initial cost of ink tank printers is higher, you save over the long run. Ink tanks can be easy to fill with no mess.

      3. Before making a decision to print a web page, consider the alternatives:
      * Save a copy of the web page to Pocket.
      * Import or print the web page to OneNote.
      * For “static” pages only: just save a bookmark to the web page or reply. This works with AskWoody topics or replies.

      4. Generally, you always need to print preview before printing a web page, as web page printing produces highly variable printing results. Sometime B&W printing is good enough and sometimes you can cut the page count, to save on resources. Before selectively copying a web page to WORD for printing, sometimes the Firefox simplified print works just as well.

      Windows 10 22H2 desktops & laptops on Dell, HP, ASUS; No servers, no domain.

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    • #2499699

      I use HP, currently an Officejet Pro 8600 All in One.  I scan more than I print; I like to keep PDF files of important documents.  But printing has not been an issue.  If I haven’t printed anything for awhile, the printer goes through a warmup cycle before it prints, and I’ve never had a problem with clogged inkjets.

      I also have a 4600 that I’m not using.  I switched to the 8600 because Sam’s club (a friend is a member) was having a fantastic sale.  The 4600 still works, but the 8600 is a little faster, especially on the scan mode.  A few years ago I had a driver problem with the 4600 due to corrupted file(s).  I did a complete uninstall using Revo Uninstaller, then a manual search of the registry.  Once every trace was gone, I re-installed the 4600 software and everything was good once again.

      Lightning got the Ethernet port on my 8600, so I switched to WiFi, and it still works great.  I’ve been using it since Windows 7, upgraded the software with Windows 10, but didn’t have to upgrade the printer software when I upgraded to Windows 11 21H1 or 21H2.

      Always create a fresh drive image before making system changes/Windows updates; you may need to start over!
      We were all once "Average Users". We all have our own reasons for doing the things that we do with our systems, we don't need anyone's approval, and we don't all have to do the same things.

    • #2499707

      PDF Printing

      As with others I mostly print to PDF, using Microsoft version or the Bullzip equivalent as that has some usefull additional features.

      Inkjet Printer Cartridges and jet blockage prevention method (used since 2007)

      With respect to inkjet all-in-one printers I have used, since 2007, and have always found that the reputable 3rd party ink cartridges on Amazon.co.uk have never let me down… w.r.t. inkjet blockages,

      BUT… I have a repeating task (a once a month) on both my desktop PC and my smartphone to do a nozzle check print.

      That, by design exercises all colours and has, for the past few years of printer ownership (2007-2022) resulted in no printer lost to jet blockages [on my third since 2007 – Epson DX6000 2007-2016 (£85) – electronics died one day – dead screen…, Canon MG5751 (£50){2016-2021} electronics error code – “return to manufacturer or replace”… so… Canon T8350 (£120) {Mid 2021-…}] and typically I print to hardcopy once every few months…, i.e. less than 100 pages a year…

      Inkjet Printer typical cost profile over seen printer lifetime

      Typically the prices of the ink sets average out at c.£11 per set (depending on the age of the printer as they ten to start at ~£16 per set and drift down to £6 per set over a 5-year period from model launch, from past experience since 2007.)


      So in summary, if you are a low-rate occastional printer of hardcopy prints then an inkjet is viable, provided you do a monthly inkjet test, using the nozzle check feature in the manufacter’s utilities software.

      At least on Windows, LINUX may not have this feature but I do not know so I cannot comment… but if you have a presentation tool, i.e.; open office’s version of ‘PowerPoint’ you could create a set of coloured blocks of similar hue as those in the test card that the nozzle checks use and print that instead… just a thought…

    • #2499727

      We continue to use a variety of printers of various vintages including:

      • Samsung ML-1710 (laser)      2003
      • HP Officejet 7110 wide format scanner/printer (ink Jet)     2005
      • Samsung Laser Printer ML-3050     2007
      • Samsung ML-2525 2009 laser printer     2009
      • Canon Pixma MX870 ink jet printer/scanner     2010
      • Brother MFC-6490CW scanner/printer (ink Jet)     2015
      • HP Laser Jet M209dwe Printer     2022

      The new HP Laser Jet M209dwe Printer will be connected to a new Windows 11 workstation shortly.  The new printer, “Works only with original HP toner, requires a HP account, and internet connection to operate”.  We purchased it via the HP website for $99.00 delivered, so we thought that we would take a chance on the machine since it will be printing less than ten pages a week.  We will see how it works out and report back.

      Overall, our printing requirements are nominal but we do scan a large number of documents.  Large jobs are sent out to a third party for printing and binding.

      Our practice is to disable the printing function of our ink Jet scanner/printers.

      Printer software and drivers are updated if and when they become available from the manufacturer.

      We use OEM toner cartridges since we have had compatibility/quality issues with third party toner in the past

      None of our printers are connected to a computer via a network, WiFi, or Bluetooth.

      To date we have had no Windows 10 related printer problems.  We will find out about Window 11 problems in the next week or so.

      • #2499729

        Ha! I had a Samsung ML-1710. After Katrina ripped the roof off the office the printer was soaked and water stained but I figured what the heck. Dried it out, replaced the paper and just shook the toner cartridge. It worked fine for another few years!

        Replaced it with a Canon MF4890DW and I absolutely LOVE it. Fast, quiet, not a bunch of bundled garbage like HPs have. Still on the original toner cartridge! IDK why Canons don’t get more love.

        Never Say Never

    • #2499749

      Replaced it with a Canon

      My brother bought a Canon Pixma. Stopped working with paper jam after 5 months.
      Printer was sent to Canon center for repair after 2 weeks of talks with the support center.
      The printer got lost and after 2 months Canon sent a new printer.

      I use for the last 5 years Samsung CLX-3185FN AIO (now HP) color laser printer.
      No Windows 10 drivers for scanner (worked fine with Windows 7) so I use Microsoft’s fax & scan.
      About a year ago replaced original 4-color toners with replacement toners for a fraction of original price.
      Very pleased with the printer.

    • #2499760

      IDK. I use my printer strictly for very light, personal printing. I have an HP1210 from about 2005. NOT wireless, NOT internet connected, does NOT report to HP. I buy a “new” refurbished black  cartridge about every 3-4 years and refill them from a quart of 3rd party black ink. I quit doing the color cartridge about 7 years ago. I have it connected to a win7 machine. Since all win7 updates were blocked in the spring of 2016 I have had zero printer issues. I will NOT chuck it until it goes up in flames.

    • #2499825

      First off, I print too little to worry about the cost of ink and paper.

      I want a printer so absolutely reliable that I can leave it printing unsupervised while I go do something else. 

      My latest printer works very well, i.e. it never jams, a rare large print job always outputs very neatly (no spillage on the table or floor), it never grabs 2 sheets at once and, on demand, it prints both sides and delivers a correctly ordered stack.

      The paper supply tray is completely inside the machine, but its level is always visible at a glance through a small window in front without opening anything. The only things protruding from the housing are its control panel, photo paper input and output tray, all retractable.

      This 2-in-1 scanner/printer has no ink cartridges but instead 4 tanks permanently visible on its front. Easy visual inspection (nothing to open) tells me the ink levels. At need I can refill the ink tanks from no-spill bottles (I’m not sure whether it’s impossible to refill with a wrong colour).

      To avoid the inkjet problem, I made it SOP to every Sunday print a full-colour control sheet that uses very little ink but still clears the nozzles.

      I wish I’d had such a reliable printer during my professional years. Ironically most of my printing nowadays is for downloaded operating manuals where I can enlarge the character’s and/or drawing’s size. Easier to read …

      All in all, if you like printing colour documents and photos, I can highly recommend the Canon Pixma G6050


      1 Desktop Win 11
      1 Laptop Win 10
      Both tweaked to look, behave and feel like Windows 95
      (except for the marine blue desktop, rgb(0, 3, 98)
    • #2499840

      Print to PDF is my favorite printing trick whenever there is a printing problem of any kind. Adobe and its clones are extremely capable of handling any sort of printing situation; and once you get your print job into PDF format, it is now a very simple printing situation.

      My absolute favorite printing issue where I used Adobe to fix it was when the document was already in PDF format, but it was over 100 pages long. It simply would not print in its original format. I solved it by printing the original PDF to PDF (that is, getting Adobe to read and then rewrite the file), then printing the new PDF document to the printer.

      My theory as to why this worked is that the first step, printing the massive PDF file to PDF, had the effect of cleaning up the document. Adobe was able to read the original document (although it couldn’t send it to the printer successfully). And once Adobe read it, it was able to output it in PDF format, its native format. So the PDF-to-PDF step simply eliminated the errors in the original PDF document.

      Group "L" (Linux Mint)
      with Windows 8.1 running in a VM
    • #2499842

      If you have Linux Mint, and your printer stops working, go to System / Printers and add the same printer again. Then set the new printer install to be the default printer. (Don’t delete the original printer install.) The new printer install is almost guaranteed to work right, and it will take less than a minute to do the new install.

      Group "L" (Linux Mint)
      with Windows 8.1 running in a VM
      1 user thanked author for this post.
    • #2499852

      I have an HP OfficeJet 8615 all-in-one (ink jet printer). I haven’t had any ink clogging problems while using hp ink. Having my cartridges refilled with aftermarket ink is another story…

      My only beef? There are no color profile files available for office-grade printers. For that you’d have to buy a photo printer…

    • #2499836

      In addition to printing to PDF, I use the Clip to OneNote browser extension to copy web pages to OneNote.

    • #2499952

      As a 30+ years system admin/It Consultant, I swore off HP products a very long time ago.  Actually, when HP merged with Compaq it was the beginning of the end.  For the biggest reason I never liked Compaq, the merge changed HP, they became too proprietary.  Now, If we bring in a new client who has HP servers, we will support them until time to upgrade, then they get Dells.  Same goes with desktops and laptops.  As for printers, several years ago we had a client who had standardized on HP 4200 printers.  We tried to upgrade their terminal server from 2003 to 2008, and they couldn’t print during testing.  Come to find out, there was no HP driver for the 4200 for Server 2008 and HP had no intention of providing one.  Their solution was to buy new printers.  We ditched the 2008 server for the time being.  But that was it for me for HP products.  I ditched my personal HP printer for a Brother several years ago and have never looked back.  We also have not experienced any of the recent printer fiascos with Microsoft updates.  When I recommend printers for personal or business use these days, it is usually a Brother or a Dell, but more importantly, I recommend against going with HP.  Those who still use HP printers, good luck with drivers and accessories!

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    • #2500011

      Having more than one OS is reassuring should printer issues occur, Linux is your friend for scanning and printing RELIABLY.

      Win8.1/R2 Hybrid lives on..
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      • #2500110

        Printer installation on Linux Mint or Ubuntu is either astonishingly easy or unbelievably difficult in my experience. If Mint/Ubuntu recognizes the printer, then it’s the former. If it doesn’t recognize the printer, settle in for a long slog. It can be difficult to find drivers for some printers and often when they are found you’ll see a note that says “We don’t support this driver”. If those 2 hurdles are cleared there’s the installation itself, which can be pretty dicey. I really like Mint, but make sure your printer is recognizable or that you can get and install reliable drivers.

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        • #2500115

          I can deal with Mint’s foibles with printers. I left because if grub disappears or has problems, the sticks do not work (disk-repair and others) and I have to be facile at booting a live mint stick(easy) and then doing a bunch of commands that are unique to that situation(no).

          - Thinkpad P15s Gen1 20T4-002KUS, i7-10510U, UEFI/GPT, 16GB, Sammy 500GB M.2.
          - Win 11 Pro 23H2 WU. HP laserjets M254dw & P1606dn, Epson 2480 scanner. External monitor Dell s3221QS for old games.

        • #2500850

          I have a Canon PIXMA MX490 printer/scanner. I had to search far and wide for the drivers to install in Linux Mint, but I finally found them on the Canon Thailand website. (I looked there on a lark, because Woody’s wife is from Thailand.)

          After installing them for the MX490, I found that the same drivers would also work for the Canon Pixma MG2522.

          Group "L" (Linux Mint)
          with Windows 8.1 running in a VM
    • #2500857

      Hey! I quoted MrJimPhelps, not krism!

      1 Desktop Win 11
      1 Laptop Win 10
      Both tweaked to look, behave and feel like Windows 95
      (except for the marine blue desktop, rgb(0, 3, 98)
    • #2501899

      Dear Susan,

      Here’s a little present for you.

      You can print it, display it in your office, and thus be reminded of printers woes every day.

      P.S. It’s not my cartoon. The artist signed his work. I only translated.


      1 Desktop Win 11
      1 Laptop Win 10
      Both tweaked to look, behave and feel like Windows 95
      (except for the marine blue desktop, rgb(0, 3, 98)
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