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When print jobs are initiated they are stored in a print job list, also called a print queue. If the printer does not complete the print job, due to a pause (the printer being off-line, or a failed print spooler,etc.), your print jobs will build up in the print queue causing it to become locked-up. Follow the steps below to clear your print queue of incomplete print jobs.

Open the Printer folder by following the steps below. (For Window 98, Me, and 2000):

- Click Start.

- Click Settings.

- Click Printers.

For Windows XP:

- Click Start.

- Click Control Panel.

- Click Printers and Other Hardware or Printers and Faxes.

(NOTE: If you have the Printers and Faxes option in this screen, skip to step five, if not, continue to the next step.)

- Click Printers and Faxes.

- Select View Installed Printers.

- Double-click the Printer to open the print queue.

- Click Printer in the menu.

- Select Pause Printing if it is not already selected. This will stop all printing to the printer.

- Click Printer again and select Purge Print Documents or Cancel All Documents, then click Yes to confirm the action.

If there are any documents left in the queue, un-pause the print queue by clicking Printer then Pause Printing to resume printing.

- Click Printer again, then Cancel All Documents or Purge Print Documents.

If there are still documents in the queue, restart the computer. Once the computer has restarted, check the print queue to insure that it is clear. In some instances the queue will still not be clear (most commonly this happens in Windows NT, Windows 2000 and Windows XP). If this is the case, stop, then restart the printer services by following the steps below.

For Windows XP:

- Click Start and then Control Panel.

- Select Performance and Maintenance.

- Select Administrative Tools.

- Select Services.

- Select Print Spooler to open the properties window.

- Click Stop to stop the service. Once the service is stopped click Start to restart the service.

- Click OK to close the Print Spooler Properties window.

How to print a Photo-Proof Sheet

Have you ever wanted to print picture thumbnails on one piece of paper? If you're using Windows XP, this is what I suggest:

1) Go to the folder where the photos are that you want to print (usually saved in My Pictures).
2) Double click on one of the photos. The Windows Picture and Fax Viewer will come up.
3) At the bottom, there's a group of icons. Double click on the printer icon (fourth from right side).
4) This opens up the Photo Printing Wizard. Click Next.
5) Here you can select which photos you want to print (Select All or just the ones you want to print). Click Next.
6) This brings you to Printing Options.
7) Select your printer and printing preferences. Click Next.
8) This brings you to the Layout Selection. One of the options is Contact Sheet Prints, where you can print 35 prints per page. Click Next and your thumbnail pictures will print.

Go ahead and play with it a bit. When you're happy with the layout, print it on good photo quality paper. Now you can take it with you to show family and friends.

What Happens When You Click "OK" to Print?

There is a sequence of events that take place, seemingly, in the blink of a eye:

1. The software application you are using sends the data to be printed to the printer driver.

2.The driver translates the data into a format that the printer can understand and checks to see that the printer is online and available to print.

3. The data is sent by the driver from the computer to the printer via the connection interface (parallel, USB, etc.).

4. The printer receives the data from the computer. It stores a certain amount of data in a buffer. The buffer can range from 512 kilobytes random access memory (RAM) to 16 megabytes RAM, depending on the model. Buffers are useful because they allow the computer to finish with the printing process quickly, instead of having to wait for the actual page to print. A large buffer can hold a complex document or several basic documents.

5. If the printer has been idle for a period of time, it will normally go through a short clean cycle to make sure that the printheads are clean. Once the clean cycle is complete, the printer is ready to begin printing.

6. The control circuitry activates the paper feed stepper motor. This engages the rollers, which feed a sheet of paper from the paper tray/feeder into the printer. A small trigger mechanism in the tray/feeder is depressed when there is paper in the tray or feeder. If the trigger is not depressed, the printer lights up the "Out of Paper" LED and sends an alert to the computer.

7. Once the paper is fed into the printer and positioned at the start of the page, the print head stepper motor uses the belt to move the print head assembly across the page. The motor pauses for the merest fraction of a second each time that the print head sprays dots of ink on the page and then moves a tiny bit before stopping again. This stepping happens so fast that it seems like a continuous motion.

8. Multiple dots are made at each stop. It sprays the CMYK (Cyan, Magenta, Yellow and Black) colors in exact amounts to make any other color imaginable.

9. At the end of each complete pass, the paper feed stepper motor advances the paper a fraction of an inch. Depending on the ink-jet model, the print head is reset to the beginning side of the page, or, in most cases, simply reverses direction and begins to move back across the page as it prints.

10. This process continues until the page is printed. The time it takes to print a page can vary widely from printer to printer. It will also vary based on the complexity of the page and size of any images on the page. For example, a printer may be able to print 16 pages per minute (PPM) of black text but take a couple of minutes to print one, full colour, page-sized image.

11. Once the printing is complete, the print head is parked. The paper feed stepper motor spins the rollers to finish pushing the completed page into the output tray. Most printers today use inks that are very fast-drying, so that you can immediately pick up the sheet without smudging it.

So, now you know! Printers are truly a wonderful technology!

Lexmark Printers Troubleshooting | Lexmark Printers | Printer Problems

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