• The annoyances of printers

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    We are supposedly in a paperless business world. Yea… right.  Meanwhile every month we keep hitting printer issues (for some printers, not all) trig
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    Susan Bradley Patch Lady/Prudent patcher

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    • #2396772

      The HP M4xx series of printers is pretty bulletproof in terms of newer printers. I’ve got an older M425fdn, and installed dozens of M401 and M402’s at businesses when I worked at that level in IT. If you run a cleaning kit on them and replace rollers, they can last for a million prints easy.

      M200 and M300 are meh hardware-wise, and the M500/M700 (like the 557 or 712) always did weird one-off things in the firmware like it worked in a different plane of existence.

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    • #2396796

      I use a single HP Deskjet 2542 printer on one of my home desktops. I don’t do a lot of printing or scanning but only use the one machine for it, the other machine being my main gaming machine.

      The main thing that irritates me about printers is the way in which every time I put in a new ink cartridge I have to use half the ink printing off test pages and “cleaning the head”.

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    • #2396799

      I still use an HP LaserJet 4P and have a spare in storage. I bought my first one in 1995 and have used them ever since. Not the fastest, but reliable and will run forever on a toner cartridge. Rubber rollers get dried out but can be restored. Fusers wear out but can be replaced. I haven’t had good luck with aftermarket toner, but HP toner can be still be bought online, at the risk of occasionally getting a cartridge that is over the hill.

      You mention how the manufacturers decided that they were in the business of selling toner rather than printers. I turned away from newer printers when they started installing tech that disabled the printer when the toner cartridge reached a preconceived number of pages. The 4P will often print well beyond the number of pages a cartridge supposedly is good for. When the pages start showing signs that you’re out of toner (and you’ve tried the trick of shaking the cartridge sideways and it doesn’t work anymore), then you know you’re running out and you’ve gotten your money’s worth. Which of course is precisely what the manufacturers want to prevent you from doing.

      Everybody wants something for nothing. With that little bit of tech the manufacturers figured out how to get it. So my HP 4P soldiers on.

      • #2396923

        How can the rubber rollers be restored?

        Get up to speed on router security at RouterSecurity.org and Defensive Computing at DefensiveComputingChecklist.com

        • #2396964

          I forget the name of the stuff–there are multiple brands–but you dab it on the roller and work it into the rubber, and it corrects the hard sheen that forms on old rubber, which is responsible for most of the issues with failure to finish picking up sheets of paper, i.e., “paper jams.”

          Can’t address other printers, but a lot of the HP 4P printers listed on Ebay just need one or more rollers renewed or replaced.




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          • #2397094

            Do you know what the stuff is even called? I ask because I once threw out a printer when the only problem was old dried up rubber on the rollers. Killed me to do so, but I did not know there was a solution.

            Get up to speed on router security at RouterSecurity.org and Defensive Computing at DefensiveComputingChecklist.com

            • #2397176

              It turns out that I have some that I haven’t used yet.  It was recommended on a forum:

              CaiKleen RBR rubber cleaner and rejuvenator


              Package says: Re-condition rubber surfaces and bring back its original surface texture, flexibility & usability.  Use on [among other things] Copiers/Printers.



            • #2397237

              With some printers, I succeeded by “roughing” the rubber. If the rubber roller is completely smooth, paper jams appeared.

              The roughing can be done simply with sandpaper.

              Dell Latitude 3420, Intel Core i7 @ 2.8 GHz, 16GB RAM, W10 22H2 Enterprise

              HAL3000, AMD Athlon 200GE @ 3,4 GHz, 8GB RAM, Fedora 29

              PRUSA i3 MK3S+

            • #2397250

              I use a memory board (sandpaper nail file) to “rough” the surface after cleaning the roller with Windex. Be sure to stroke side to side which puts grooves in the roller which is what catches the next page.

              You can place the ink cartridge on a paper towel dampen with Windex for a few minutes to clean the jets on a clogged cartridge.

              You can also make the printer last longer by cleaning the ink absorber sponge under the ink cartridges.


              HTH, Dana:))

              HTH, Dana:))

    • #2396801

      Paperless business? Never going to happen. You know what they print on product labels? Barcodes. Same goes for the boxes they are in, same goes for pallets they’re put on.

      I’ve pretty much given up on printing at home, it helps if you have to support a sh*.. a lot of printers on the job I guess.  Don’t buy home printers anymore, not worth the paper they’re printing on.

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    • #2396808

      Hey …… I’m looking at a boxed-up Laserjet 4 printer on the floor in the hallway of my home office right now. I’m not joking. Fantastic printer – built to last. I had to replace the fuser once, but other than that, trouble free. The last time I used it on one of my Win 7 machines, I think I used an LPT1/USB dongle.

      Right now, I’m using an old HP 3600n Color LJ (Jet Direct) on my SOHO network. This past year, I’ve been continually worried that:

      1) the thing will stop working after an update (W7 drivers on W10), or
      2) a new security vulnerability will arise where I’ll have to disable the print spooler (which also disables my ghostscript drivers).

      I also have the usual array of throw-away, HP and Cannon inkjet junk (cartridges cost as much as the printers are worth) for occasional photo stock. Not a viable alternative for anything else.

      You’d think that after this many tries, MS would get it right …..

    • #2396827

      I have 2 printers, a HP color laser and a little Brother mono. The HP is connected via ethernet cable to my modem/router and the Brother mono is connected with USB (which is the only option it has).

      Running Windows 10 21H1 and the only ‘gripe’ I have is that if I don’t turn the printers on for a week or so they ‘disappear’ from the list of printers and Microsoft Print to PDF becomes the default printer again. The drivers and software for the printers are still installed and all I have to do is turn the printers on and they ‘reappear’ again.

      This minor ‘niggle’ would probably be avoided if I leave the printers on all the time when the PC is on but I only turn the printers on when I need to use them.

      Its a strange ‘bug’ and its been happening for the last 3 or 4 Windows 10 releases, it could have been happening since the first W10 release in 2015 but I was still using Windows 7 until about 3 years ago (this ‘bug’ didn’t happen in Windows 7, btw).

      The attached image shows my printers (which are both turned off, of course) but if I don’t turn them on then one or both will probably have ‘disappeared’ by next week.printers


      PC1: Gigabyte B560M D2V Motherboard, Intel i5 11400 CPU, 16GB RAM, NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1650 Graphics Card, 1x Samsung 870 EVO 250GB SSD, 1x Samsung 860 EVO 250GB SSD, Windows 10 Professional 22H2 64bit.
      PC2: Asus H81M-PLUS Motherboard, Intel i3-4160 CPU, 16GB RAM, NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1050 Graphics Card, 1x Samsung 870 EVO 250GB SSD, 1x Samsung 860 EVO 250GB SSD, Windows 10 Home 22H2 64bit.

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      • #2397368

        This minor ‘niggle’ would probably be avoided if I leave the printers on all the time when the PC is on but I only turn the printers on when I need to use them.

        I suggest not (I speak from experience with HP and Canon). Either the software is too complex to be reliable or they just don’t know how to maintain wireless network connections or … ??

        I even invested in a UPS just for the printer. Keeping it on 24/7 does little to help it to be ready when needed. And I don’t know what it does but quite often my default printer somehow becomes the “print to fax” facility that I don’t need and isn’t wired up. You’d think I could just delete that part but nooooo….


    • #2396832

      Retired Now.  Used to manage a Desktop group of about 10,000 users back in the 90’s.  Would always say,  “We can put Man on the Moon, BUT ‘Printing’; now therein lies a True Challenge for Mankind”.


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    • #2396855

      I am still using my (~2010) Samsung (now HP) CLX-3185FN AIO Laser color Printer connected to a USB hub.
      Apart from buying compatible color toners and once cleaning the inside parts I had no problems.

    • #2396859

      I still use my ORIGINAL printer from 1999 when I bought my first computer from Dell and an HP Deskjet printer from Dell to go with it. It works fine for my needs (now on Windows 10 21H1). Sure, it lost all the fancy “extras” it had with Windows 98/98 SE but so what? I’m not a business and I didn’t really need those extras. I only missed the ability to print on both sides of the paper and only missed that briefly. I do wish it had one thing: separate cartridges for color rather than the one Tri-color cartridge. I just stopped printing in color because of the cost of that color cartridge and only one color going dry but having to replace the whole cartridge.

    • #2396860

      I have a HP Laserjet 6P with large B-type Parallel Port connected to a WIN 7 PC. I only turn the HP on when I need to print a document. It has worked perfectly for 23+ years and continues to meet my home printing needs.

      As a side note, I have never figured out how to network the WIN 7 (Home Premium X64 – Service Pack 1 build 7601.24540) to my WIN 10 (Pro, version 21H1, build 19043.1288) so that they share the HP printer. Both PC’s are connected via ethernet to the same Xfinity modem/router. The HP also has a LocalTalk port and a small C-type Parallel Port that I have never used. Any thoughts on “how to” network a vintage printer / PC? Thanks

    • #2396861

      I have used HP inkjets for ever, normally the lower end of the business range. I am a home user, no longer running my own business (retired) and I currently print about 250 pages per month. The printers have tended to last about 6-8 years for me, and I am currently on an Officejet Pro 9010 (15 months old), networked via an rj45 straight into my network which, as Susan says, works brilliantly both for me any my family. In the grand scheme of things, i.e. the running costs, the extra  upfront cost of the printer over a home version is not significant.

      With this printer, I went onto the HP Instant Ink programme, which saved me a lot of money. Until then, the cost of ink was my main gripe, having tried one or two 3rd party inks without much success.

      Happy bunny with these printers.

      Win 10 Pro x64 Group A

    • #2396880

      At home, issues do not appear so difficult, but in enterprise with users having limited rights for their computers. Its getting little bit annoying to troubleshoot all over again, but his month OK so far, so finally dust settles.

      Recent experience is bad with HP ink (Page Wide) printers, I would not buy that for me at home. I have old CANON PIXMA home printer, but I print just few pages per month average (invoices) and I had to replace black cartridge this spring, bacause ink was dry.
      On the other hand, I would recommend Kyocera printers. Reliable but not so cheap. Toners are immortal and if you just want to print black and white, I would go for this brand of printers. Kyocera 3155dn to be exact.

      Dell Latitude 3420, Intel Core i7 @ 2.8 GHz, 16GB RAM, W10 22H2 Enterprise

      HAL3000, AMD Athlon 200GE @ 3,4 GHz, 8GB RAM, Fedora 29

      PRUSA i3 MK3S+

    • #2396879

      Is this topic only for HP printers?  Anyway, at first I had a Samsung printer which never really worked well, and then stopped printing.  I got a Brother mono laser and it installed well under Windows 8.1 (I still have it).  It was a different matter with Ubuntu 16.04.  CUPS worked out of the box, but printer functionality was limited.  So I tried to install the Linux printer drivers from Brother, but had a difficult time understanding the process.  I sent several emails to Brother support, but they gave me incomplete information.  One support technician gave me the wrong information, and I wasted time undoing what he had told me.

      Eventually, I found a YouTube video, where it showed how to install the Brother drivers on a different Brother MFP on Linux.  From this I was able to install the drivers on my printer, and it has been working flawlessly on Ubuntu ever since.

    • #2396889

      I have had both Epson and HP inkjet printers over the years and they all have had a life span of about four years before they just will not print any longer.  We need to have a combination printer for scanning and emailing documents which is more frequent than you might think.  I have an wireless HP printer upstairs in my wife’s office that now has to be hard wired to her workstation.  Although it appears to be connected to the network, it won’t operate.  Maybe it was a Windows update that did this, but it was far easier to find the right USB cable than spend all day trying to trouble shoot the issue.  The major use I have is to print out choral scores for singing.

      I have a Canon Pro-1000 photo printer that I use for my photography work.  It takes 17 inch wide paper and is built like a battleship.  It weighs about 60 lbs and has worked flawlessly.  Ink is expensive, but that’s the same for any of the large format photo printers from Epson and HP as well.

    • #2396890

      I have a Canon color laserjet MF726cdw laser printer.  It is an all-in-one device.  It will print to and scan from both sides of the paper, although if what you are scanning is at all wonky (folds, creases, etc.) you are better off just scanning manually on the glass rather than using the feeder.  I guess that’s the one thing that annoys me about it; I wish the feeder were a bit more tolerant of originals.  It makes copies, too, should that be necessary; you can choose to produce copies in black-and-white or color.  I suppose I could run a phone line to it and fax something if I ever had cause to do that.

      It’s big and it’s heavy.  It can be a little loud when you sit right next to it.  I don’t print a lot, but I do print from time to time.  My wife prints on it more than I do.  She mainly prints recipes from Safari on her iPad.  She also prints from her Windows 10 desktop machine.

      I think it was being discontinued at the time I found it for $275 on Amazon.  When I do replace the toner, genuine Canon cartridges run about $450.  Yes, that’s expensive, but the print is absolutely clear and there are no issues as there were when I tried off-brand cartridges.  Toner cartridges have been lasting me about 18 months on average.

      This printer is supported without any special setup on Windows.  For those of you who are Linux fans, Canon has a downloadable driver for this printer that works fine from Linux Mint/Ubuntu.  I can print dual-sided from LibreOffice, browsers, etc. over WiFi.  I had to install the driver myself on Linux Mint 19.  Linux Mint 20.2 automatically recognizes and installs this printer when it is detected on WiFi during setup.  In addition, the printer supports Apple AirPrint, so you can print from Apple devices with no special configuration.

      This printer replaced a long line of HP inkjet devices that were, shall we say, less than optimal.  HP’s inkjet technology seems to be designed to consume ink even when no printing is going on.  For infrequent printers such as myself, that’s wasteful.

      At first glance, it seems like way more printer than anyone needs in a home setting.  But as I continued to find useful things about it, I was no longer bothered by its size.

      Group "L": Linux Mint

    • #2396895

      I have an Epson Workforce Pro WF-C5790 and straight away I’d advise not to buy one or an Epson printer for that matter. There are three main issues, 1. it doesn’t print correctly at times and shifts a pixel every now and then making lines really odd and text looking like it’s in italics in places but it’s not consistent, 2. it won’t recognise when a cartridge is out of ink (apart from Magenta) and so will run dry resulting in using very expensive ink to coax it back into life with multiple head cleans and 3. and most importantly, the support from the manufacturer from the above two points. The best polite word I can come up with is ABYSMAL! For some reason they will always try the “it’s your fault ploy” and never take on the fact that there is a problem. They seem to think they are being helpful and they just aren’t. Each time you go back to them you have to start from scratch again. It’s so, so, so annoying and hugely frustrating. When the cartridges I have run out it is highly likely to see the end of a sledgehammer.

      Of course there are many other more minor issues from poor driver implementation and the fact that a report with portarit and landscape pages prints the landscape pages upside down. There is a fix but even Epson aren’t really aware of what to do.

      Overall things are not intuitive. I just want it to work reliably and Epson can’t provide that. Avoid them!

    • #2396934

      I personally don’t use a printer much at home and years ago I got very tired of the “Inkjet Syndrome” where you have to clean heads, and use up a lot of ink (if it hadn’t dried up or evaporated) just to print a page or three.

      So years ago when I saw a very inexpensive Brother mono laser printer I bought it and it is still working okay.  It has gotten a lot noisier than it once was so I think I may have to clean it.  I can go for months between printing and it’s there ready and waiting.

      Being 20 something in the 70's was much more fun than being 70 something in the 20's.
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    • #2396983

      I used to have an HP 4P, till plastic parts died and HP quit making cartridges.  My wife hated this printer, since it made the lights in the house flicker while printing.  (The fuser heater power switches on/off rapidly.)

      I’ve had Epson (junk) and Lexmark (junk) inkjet printers.  Current device is an HP OfficeJet Pro 8615 (that’s an 8610 sold through Costco) all-in-one.  I’ve used refilled ink (from Costco – no longer available), but the print head tends to clog with it, so reverted to HP ink.

      One problem: The HP printer driver installation can no longer find the networked PRINTER device (SCAN is OK) from my W10 Pro laptop.  (It installs OK if USB connected, just not via ethernet/router.)  The HP Print and Scan Doctor (troubleshooter) resolves nothing.  I reverted to an LPR configuration just so I could still print from the laptop.  I’m guessing that some necessary network service or protocol is disabled.  Other PC’s installations are OK, so it’s not the printer.  If anyone has a suggestion to fix, shy of a clean W10 install, I’d appreciate it.

    • #2397000

      I have an HP M254dw and P1102w laserjets. The first I got in July 2020 as a “demo” (it had printed about 10 pages) for about $260 shipped(incl near virgin starter cartridges), and the second I found on the street a month ago(students moving in/out)(about 1000 pages left on the HP toner). Before that, for decades I used inkjets and put up with lousy color from compatible cartridges. Now I live in comparative bliss – perfect color on the first and beautiful B+W on the second. And very low cost!  I don’t print a lot, so a set of slightly used “starter cartridges” for the color printer last a long time and are cheap. When I found (literally) the P1102w, I decided that 99% of what I print could easily and satisfactorily be done grayscale. Been very pleased with that. Genuine HP toner of course since a careful quick look on ebay can yield a low cost for me. I am in 7th printer heaven!

      Inkjet printers are a scam. Bigtime! Glad to be free of them!

      99% of the time I am on Mint 20.2 Cinnamon. I do dual boot, though rarely, to Win 21H1.

      - Thinkpad P15s Gen1 20T4-002KUS, i7-10510U, UEFI/GPT, 16GB, Sammy 500GB M.2.
      - Win 11 22H2(current, 1 mo behind)(WuMgr). HP laserjets M254dw & P1606dn, Epson 2480 scanner. External monitor Dell s3221QS for old games.

    • #2397011

      Don’t heap all the blame on to the printer, consider the paper.

      I stepped up recently from 80 gm/sq M paper to 90 gm paper, and think that I have had fewer jams.  Yes, it costs a bit more, but that might be cancelled out by the saving on paper shredded around the rollers.

      Dell E5570 Latitude, Intel Core i5 6440@2.60 GHz, 8.00 GB - Win 10 Pro

      • #2397581

        Thicker paper more friction on worn rollers. I would say replace but maybe not feasible $$ these days. 😕


        Just because you don't know where you are going doesn't mean any road will get you there.
    • #2397016

      When I’m taking a break from doing other stuff, I like to relax by doing cryptic crosswords, the old-fashioned way, pen on paper. So, my printer (an HP Deskjet 2130) gets regular, if not excessive, use. I have to replace the black cartridge about once every two months, and the coloured one maybe every six

      Since I’ve had it, it’s been (touch wood) free from jams or other irritations. EXCEPT for that really annoying, and planet-unfriendly requirement to “realign the print heads” or some such nonsense, every single time you put in a new cartridge

      Why not let ME decide when the print heads need realigning, eh? But no, it insists on wasting both ink and paper printing out a test sheet, and there’s no way of skipping it either. It won’t be happy until you’ve done that, and then wasted even MORE paper by printing off a copy of the test sheet

      (I keep those useless sheets of paper in my useless sheets of paper drawer, for reuse later)

    • #2397014

      I still have a Brother HL-1450 laser at home. It has USB and Centronics interface, it understands PCL and PS. It is now 20 years old and mostly powered on and mostly “sleeping”, shared trough my home server to the home PCs via network. Sometimes it has to wake up and print a few pages. And it does that still as good as when I bought that one. From a scrap action 10 years ago at a client I saved another three brand new drum kits and 10 toner cardridges. As this is now just the 2nd drum kit in use in it’s live I think the printer still can operate many years. It also survived all the PrintNightmare patches without problem. The only thing is that currently Windows 10 21H1 has forgot how to detect/install it because MS seems to have removed the driver from it’s update database. But I was able to extract the driver packet (for about 270 Brother printers) from an older Win 10 installation, so I still can add it.

      • #2397330


        Brother 1240, high capacity 5000 page toner cartridge, centronic cable, networked. It is a work horrse.

    • #2397059

      “So then the printer manufacturers realized two things – thing one selling printer cartridges was a good business to be in and thing two – if they made a printer that was indestructible we’d never buy another printer again.”

      They also realized a third thing.  There has not been a major improvement in the printed output quality since (say) 2005.  (One possible exception might be photo quality printers…)  No one is looking to buy a new printer because the appearance of the finished output is superior to that of their present printer.

      So printer manufacturers found out that to survive, they had to be in the Ink Supply business and they had to built their product to break after two or three years.  They over-price their Ink Cartridges and use the FUD (Fear, Uncertainty, Doubt) factor to sell them.  And they engineered the reliability out of their printers and sold them at cheap prices.  (The Razor Shaving  Industry found this as their business model back in the 1930’s!)

      I am a home user and I always look for Small Business Printers.  Yes, the initial cost a bit more but the  printers last longer and the consumables are cheaper on a per sheet basis.


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    • #2397082

      The thing that I find most annoying about printers is inkjets, in general.

      I live in a dry climate with a lot of dust, and because I don’t do a lot of printing, I have constant problems with inkjets getting clogged and producing bad output, even in draft mode. This isn’t brand-specific, and over the years, I’ve bought, used and discarded printers from Lexmark, Canon and Epson. I currently have a Brother that’s 2-3 years old, and it’s beginning to show issues, as well. Yes, print heads can be cleaned somewhat through cleaning cycles, but the reality is that I have to be conscious about making sure that my inkjets get several pages per week. And of course, cleaning cycles use up quite a bit of ink.

      The worst is when heads get really clogged, and I have to do multiple heavy-duty cleaning passes, and more than once, that’s happened when I’m low on ink, and have to replace one or more cartridges. It doesn’t help when the printer manufacturers insist that only OEM ink is acceptable, but by the time I start having problems, basic warranty coverage is already expired.

      On the Canon printer I had, I was able to replace the print head, and that bought me a year or two of extra use. Although I generally like Epson WorkForce (at least for their feature sets), I haven’t found any way of cleaning clogged heads other than wasting more ink on cleaning cycles. If multiple cleaning cycles don’t produce usable output, then about the only thing to do is to replace the printer. I haven’t yet seen what can be done with a Brother printer.

      Yes, I know that using a laser gets around the issues of clogged heads, but I do need a measure of color printing, and I’m not willing to invest in a color laser. And even a monochrome laser (alongside a color inkjet) would result in even less volume going through the inkjet, resulting either in accelerating the breakdown from clogged heads, or even more frequent cleaning passes (and corresponding ink use) to keep it clean.

      One other consideration — I’ve found that for inkjets, if you’ve done 2 full sets of OEM cartridges (or 3, if a multi-function device that includes a scanner), you’ve paid out more for replacement ink than the original cost of the device. Although I don’t like discarding otherwise functional hardware, there comes a point where it’s easier and cheaper just to replace an inkjet than it is to try to fight through heads that won’t clean.

      I know that the printer manufacturers use the razor blades model, where the expectation is that the printer is intended to be a device that consumes ink (and retail prices are only marginally above production cost), but if heads can’t be replaced, then the printer becomes a disposable item.

      For people that can get a lot of years of use out of an inkjet, I suspect that most don’t try to work with dry climate and dust (or those that do, do a lot more volume of printing than I do).

    • #2397077

      Last year, I had to throw away, with tears in my eyes, my good old solid HP IIIP (yes, III) – not because it was broken, but because you just can’t find any toner on the market. Both aftermarket and HP cartridges come with worn, non-elastic wiper blades that cause gray haze on the printout. I don’t expect my lightweight Samsung Xpress to last even a tenth as long.

    • #2397080

      I began boycotting all HP products on the day, now long ago, when 6 HP 940c inkjet printers that I had purchased all on the same day from the same source all suffered a mechanical failure on the same exact day. No lie, no exaggeration. Clearly a case of an internal timer causing deliberate breakage to force me to buy a new printer.

      Since then we’ve used nothing but Brother laser printers. Some models have had shorter shelf life than others, but for the most part they have been very rugged and reliable. The only real objection I have is when they discontinue our preferred model every once in a while. But I guess that’s to be expected,

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    • #2397089

      Our HP OfficeJet Pro 8500 lasted 11 years and had a very good app that gave us a less-ink “Draft” mode and let us see a Print Preview before we actually printed to make sure we were printing the right pages, etc.

      In the immediately following 8600 model, which we got for a SOHO seven ½ years ago, HP eliminated that good printing app, so we no longer have Print Preview as an option, and going to Draft (less ink) requires many, many steps.

      In our new 9015 which we bought last year to replace the original 8500, there is no Print Preview, and the device itself is so flimsy with so many physical issues that it is unlikely to last more than two years.  And its tiny glass square control panel (replacing the old easy buttons) is almost impossible to use.

      Do Brother or Canon or whatever still have Draft (less ink) and Print Preview in their app?

      • #2397104

        I am running WIN10 21H1 and all of the apps that I commonly use present a preview of what the printed output will be when I send it to that printer.  I find this is particularity important  when using Firefox as many webpages do not translate well from the screen to the printed page.

        I will sometimes output things using a PDF printer driver as that gives me a second really, really good look at what will actually be on the paper!

        • #2397133

          Neath – I am aware of what you describe, but it is not the same.  The automatic pop-up for Print Preview is much, much better.  See ananymous’s posting a few below.

    • #2397112

      So then the printer manufacturers realized two things – thing one selling printer cartridges was a good business to be in

      How much does Printer Ink really cost?

      Printer ink is more expensive than imported Russian caviar per weight and pricier than a1985 vintage Krug champagne per gallon… A study conducted by Consumer Reports back in 2013 revealed that inkjet ink costs between $13 and $75 per ounce, which equals $1,664 – $9,600 per gallon..

    • #2397113

      Do Brother or Canon or whatever still have Draft (less ink) and Print Preview in their app?

      I’m current on Brother, and they have both.  There is an Ink Save mode, and there’s an option for a pop-up that allows you to review an entire print request, and then choose which pages you want to print (or not).  The pop-up turns up after the native Windows print dialog has completed.  I really like that, as it allows me to quickly verify what I’m printing (including if I’ve forgotten to change my default setting of black to color, as well as excluding multiple pages of follow-up commentary, if all I want is just first page or two).

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      • #2397132

        Hey anonymous – many thanks!!  What model Brother do yoo have?

        • #2397170

          MFC-J775DW .  It’s a little slow for my preferences, and as noted previously, I’m beginning to have problems from clogged print heads, where I’m having run cleaning jobs more often than I would like.

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    • #2397149

      I am printing on a Lexmark Optra E312L (monochrome laser) that I purchased in March 2001 from Dell for $410.  It is on its 2nd toner cartridge; I have one more (used) cartridge sitting on the shelf that was given to me 10 years ago from an Optra that was being tossed.
      I have to play with the paper because the rollers are shot.
      I can’t find a driver for Windows 10 so I have it connected to a Windows 7 computer and move the files there to print.
      I really need another laser printer.

      I am on my third Epson Workforce WF-3620 (ink) all-in-one that I use only as a scanner. They were all given to me as throw-aways in the past 5 years because they quit printing.  Not something I would pay for.

    • #2397367

      I had almost the identical experience as you, Susan. An old wired-to-the-parallel-port HP deskjet printer just ran and ran. I could print when I wanted to, and it even did a very nice job of putting color photos on glossy paper at a not-terribly-high resolution, but in fact every bit good enough for an 8 x 10 glossy, a few greeting cards, etc.

      And I bought HP ink whenever needed, which wasn’t terribly often. When I didn’t use it, it just sat at the ready. The ink didn’t dry up.

      Then after a few decades of use it began to spit out parts. For a long time that didn’t seem to matter, then it finally did. Paper just wouldn’t feed.

      I thought at the time, “well, that was a good value and I got my money’s worth”, so I bought another HP – an Envy model, which included a scanner and was willing to use that to be a one-off copier also. And it offered wireless connectivity. And higher resolution. The form factor and method of connection was just fine.

      All good, I thought. I EXPECTED similar service. HP had been a good name.

      What was NOT fine was its behavior.

      – Even though it was on 24/7 and protected by a UPS system, it would literally NEVER “just print” when needed. In fact, I had to power cycle it virtually every time a few days had gone by since the last time I printed something. And it wasn’t a Windows issue – wife could never print from her iPad without rebooting it. It would just become unavailable.

      – WAY too often one or more heads would just fail, and require new ink cartridges to restore operation. I think at the worst case I would get maybe 5 or 10 prints out of it between cartridge changes. And boy did they cost!

      – I monitor traffic on my LAN fairly carefully, as well as watch DNS resolutions, and I found that it was both reaching out to sites on the Internet it had no business contacting, as well as trying to reach into the other systems on my LAN.

      So I pulled the thing out of service and bought a Canon MB5100, which advertised that it would be better at all the things I had complained about above. More prints per cartridge, individually replaceable colors, high-reliability, tens of thousands of pages per month capability, multi-feed copying. In short, “More Professional”.

      I believe it has actually been ready to print more often than the HP was. I’d say every other time one of us tries to print. Maybe even two out of three times. And the ink hasn’t just gone dry on its own. In fact it gives a nice little readout of the levels, and they’ve been going down at a reasonable rate.


      Is it always ready? Not by a longshot. I can’t tell you how many times my wife has accused me… “You’re supposed to be this wiz at tech but you can’t even keep this printer working”… Sigh. It has required WAY too many reboots.

      And it goes online by itself. At this point I don’t even watch it carefully any more. What it DOESN’T do is the incessant probing of other devices, at least not as much. The traffic has gotten… more complex. What Canon did offer was some configurability about what I want it to do and what not to do, which was welcome.

      Oh, and it has complained once about trying to use a reasonably priced aftermarket cartridge (vs. Canon’s own). Such cartridges have been “failing” mysteriously. Given that you can buy five of them for the same price as every one of the Canon-branded ones, I think I’ll continue trying them.

      Would I recommend this model to others? I’d have to say NO, it has not been a satisfying ownership experience. Better than HP’s maybe. Screw HP, I won’t buy from them again. Even having the Canon doesn’t even really feel like ownership. I’d rather not feel like I’ve signed up to partner with the manufacturer, and allowed them into my home to use my data services and to spy?? or put up ads or whatnot.

      Wouldn’t it be great to have tech that would be utterly, loyally, completely on MY side?


      1 user thanked author for this post.
      • #2397463

        Based on my last couple years experience with HP lasers and decades on (mostly Canon)(with “compat ink”)(color was never “true”) inkjet all-in-ones, I would recommend a stand-alone scanner (used, ebay), and an HP laserjet(color or mono as you need)(used, ebay). spend a few weeks eyeballing what is available on ebay and researching any particular models you might be interested in. Make sure good seller ratings and good return policy. Likely you can live on other peoples used starter toners(ebay). Always plan on using genuine HP toner – truer color, clearer B/W, and less possible mess. I read too many disaster stories on Amazon compatible toner feedback.

        As to it always being ready after 3 days of no use,  it may depends a lot on the state of the printer or scanner the last time you rebooted – if it’s asleep, windows might not see it. If it’s been a long time since you rebooted, well… This is sometimes a factor for Mint.

        I might print once every 3 days…

        - Thinkpad P15s Gen1 20T4-002KUS, i7-10510U, UEFI/GPT, 16GB, Sammy 500GB M.2.
        - Win 11 22H2(current, 1 mo behind)(WuMgr). HP laserjets M254dw & P1606dn, Epson 2480 scanner. External monitor Dell s3221QS for old games.

        1 user thanked author for this post.
    • #2397411

      I miss my HP LaserJet but it didn’t survive our move cross-country back in 2015. That being said buying a printer can be a pain. I have found printers seem to last three years and die. But the key is defining why you buy a printer.

      We use our printer mostly as a scanner on an almost daily basis. I suspect we print around a page or two a week. And color is nice to have.

      Based on this, I have purchased low end Canon printers the last few times and it suits. Currently I have a Canon PIXMA MG3620. It prints in color or b/w. It scans at 1200×2400 dpi. It is also wireless, which works flawlessly with our desktops (2), laptops (4) and mobile devices.

      I first bought re-manufactured cartridges for the printer.  They barely lasted six months and not many prints. But most reviews I have seen suggest using the Canon branded cartridges as they last longer. And frankly, the re-manufactured cost almost the same. I will see how they do when the b/w runs out with the re-manufactured cartridge.

      Thus the calculation: The printer was around $100. Two cartridges are around $50. Based on this, my total cost for this printer for three years is around $250 so the annual cost is $83. I am not sure any other printer/cartridge combo would be less. I gotta go with the numbers.

      Finally, as a photographer, I rapidly got over the convenience of a color printer since no printer I have seen prints better than the imaging shop I use. I can get a very nice 8×10 for $2.


    • #2397414

      In younger days when I was working, my company gave me an Okidata “laser” printer.  It actually used LED’s and a toner cartridge.  It was a mono b&w printer but that was mostly all I needed. It ran and ran and ran for around 14 or 15 years and then I retired.  I wonder if they still make them.  Probably not, too reliable.

      Being 20 something in the 70's was much more fun than being 70 something in the 20's.
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