Saturday, February 19, 2011

Pulling the Printer Plug

I have a Lexmark printer.  It has most of the features I need (2-sided BW/C print, scan, copy, WIFI) and a lot that I don't (photo, fax, etc.)  And, most of the time, it works OK.

But some days, it wakes up and decides that my life has been going too smoothly.  Today was one of those days.

10:00am:  I finished doing dishes, laundry, cleaning bathroom, and the rest of my weekly efforts to resist the inevitable entropy and sat down to print my notes from Friday's lectures.  Three documents, about 24 pages.  That's all I needed.  This is what happened:

10:01am:  Document 1 prints in black-and-white.  Normally, this would be OK, but this was a pathology lecture and I really wanted color images.  Which is why I had selected "Print in Color" and "Save" before clicking "Print."

10:02am:  I open the printer and verify that both black and color cartridges are present and aligned correctly.

10:03am:  I try to print Document 2.  The first page comes out with color images.  Hooray!!  The second page is printed on the back of the first, correctly.  Hooray!!!  The third page...

...third page...

...third page?????

The third page never comes out.

10:12am:  I attempt to restart the printing from my cache.  I get a "command unsuccessful" response.  I attempt to delete the document from my cache.  I get no response.

10:17am:  I restart my computer.  The document begins auto-printing!  Hooray!!  Images are in color!!  First page prints correctly!!  Second page prints correctly!!  Third page...................????

10:20am:  I turn off my printer.  I turn off my computer.  I turn my computer back on.  I turn my printer back on.  Auto-printing begins!!  Color images!!  This time, the printer manages to print just 1 and 1/3 pages!!  

10:28am:  I press the printer's power button.  It refuses to turn off.  I press and hold the power button.  Still doesn't turn off.  I crawl underneath my desk and pull the plug.

10:40am:  After successfully proving my superiority, I decided to just let all electronics remain turned off for some time while I studied First Aid and Robbins.

3pm:  Back to Friday's notes.  More of the same printing errors.

3:15pm:  Googled "print job won't print won't delete stupid lexmark" and found instructions to manually remove a spooled print job.  (Control Panel >> System >> Admin Tools >> Services, scroll to "Print Spooler" and restart it)

3:25pm:  Print job still stuck in cache.

3:30:  Googled again.  Found instructions to manually delete a print job from the spool folder (Computer >> C: Windows/System32/Spool/PRINTERS and delete the files in that folder).

3:31pm:  Pop-up informed me that "files are currently in use by spooler.exe, cannot delete at this time."


3:33pm:  Restarted my laptop and booted in safe mode.

3:35pm:  Deleted the accursed files.

3:37pm:  Restarted my laptop

3:40pm:  Cache clearing successful!!!

3:41pm:  Printed the whole of Document 3 successfully!!!

4:00pm:  Created a shortcut to my kill switch



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