Thursday, July 2, 2009

What's bugging your printer?

In a former life I managed 3rd level tech support for a State Government organization. Level one was the help desk that handled the most frequently occurring stuff like resetting passwords. The next most frequently occurring problem was printers. Such a simple piece of hardware can cause so many headaches. When you want to print something NOW, and you can't, somebody had better have a solution.

Sweetie gave me an HP psc 2410 Color Ink-jet - Fax / copier / printer / scanner for Christmas several years ago. It has been a reliable, fast printer. In addition to the 4-in-1 stuff, it also has slots for the top four popular digital memory cards. No headaches EVER until a couple of weeks ago.

Number 1 son came by and wanted to use it to FAX a job application. I usually use the desktop function in the HP Director to do Faxes, since it allows me to customize a cover sheet. That HP Director icon has worked forever, but that day, I got an hourglass for a couple of seconds and then nothing happened. So I had to do the Fax straight from the 4-in-1, didn't need a cover sheet anyway.

But that was bugging me. Without that HP Director, I couldn't scan. Also when the printer tells me to replace a cartridge, the HP DIrector shows me the ink levels. I never replace cartridges until my printed pages start fading anyway...about 2 months after I get a warning.

But that thing was still bugging me. I had not changed anything!!! (Right!?!) So I figured the printer driver had somehow gotten corrupted. GROAN!!! Dig out the original installation CD...(LAWD, where is it?) Do I really want to start this...probably take an hour. So I put it off until I was bored one night.

The installation CD had me to uninstall the old software and install again. OOOPS...after several "NEXT"s, I get an error.

So I use Add/delete software to uninstall. Then install the thing again. By then it was up to an hour. And the HP Director still didn't work. Printer was still printing, FAX was still FAXing, Digital slots still worked.

So I left it alone another week, and it was still bugging me. Saturday night I was waiting for Sunday's chicken to finish cooking, so I had some time on my hands. I went to the HP site to find a fix. Searched for "HP Director doesn't start." I got lots of drivers for "HP Director doesn't install." I downloaded one big one. It took 20 minutes to download. While it was doing that, I was still browsing and stumbled upon "HP Director Window Does Not Open after installing Internet Explorer 7". ARGGHH!! I don't even use IE. But the week before my trouble started, I did the weekly Microsoft update, and it forced that IE 7 on me.

SO I found my fix. It was a patch that took a few seconds to download, a few seconds to install. Now my HP Director works like it always did. Never believe a client who says she didn't change a thing.

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