Intermittent Printer
January 27, 2014 4:35 PM   Subscribe

I am trying to run an old Samsung ML-2510 laser printer off a USB port with a desktop running Windows 8. I have downloaded the appropriate universal print driver and Samsung Easy Printer Manager. The printer installed and ran fine when I first bought it (used), but after a month or two the computer wouldn't recognize it for whatever reason. After a day of fiddling and installing and uninstalling drivers, changing USB ports, etc., I can get it to run perfectly. I then print off my stuff. The next time I go to use it, the computer can't find it and won't run it. Anyone have this problem with a computer recognizing a printer intermittently? I can understand it not working at all, but why does it work perfectly and then quit working, apparently at random intervals?
posted by weapons-grade pandemonium to Computers & Internet (4 answers total)
I see you have tried different USB ports. Try the next easiest fix - use a different USB cable. It could be that your cable isn't working properly and thus only sporadically connects in a way that the PC can communicate properly with the printer.

Otherwise, it could be the printer's USB port going bad, or the PCB inside the printer. Either way, repairs would probably cost more than a new home office laser printer.
posted by trivia genius at 6:58 PM on January 27, 2014

I just had a problem with USB memory stick... an HP V220W 8GB stick that would not work on an HP Win7 box. Tried for several hours to locate drivers, software, fixes. HP brand part, but PNY makes it. PNY has no drivers, only operator's manual (?) for a frigging memory stick? WTF?

Don't get me started...

Anyway, after giving up, I moved the part to the next USB connector, which is managed by the same internal controller for crissake, and the damned thing worked perfectly. Since all I needed was to move files via SneakerNet, I quit while I was ahead, but it informs your situation.

I am also fighting, unsuccessfully, a USB/RS-232 dongle on some PLC programming software on another Win7 box. Won't stay connected. Every time I remove and reinsert it, it installs another virtual serial port. I am up to port COM9 or something.

These are both most-recent-service pack installs.

I've been doing this kind of crap for 4 decades. Solved a few THOUSAND problems, probably. I completely despair of solving these. There is low visibility into the interface elements, we've long ago lost access into the drivers, and individual computers are so highly customized that generalized solutions to many problems do not appear to exist. Worse, no one at MS cares, nor should they. The relationship is over when the check clears.

What I do usually is to absolutely cut down the amount of stuff that the computer is doing. I also make use of other computers, which MAY work and which I can use to share resources. Workarounds that you could never explain to Granny, but which will work until the inevitable grasp at the final straw... a trip to Staples for a new whatever.

Good luck, sir. I shall light a candle for you and think good thoughts. Wish I could do more.
posted by FauxScot at 7:44 PM on January 27, 2014

In the past, I had similar problems because of permissions issues due to the fact that the printer and/or drivers had been installed without using the "as administrator" option. My impression was that they had fixed it in Win7, but the fact that this problem was the result of Windows leading people to do a thing that would end up in breakage, when it should never have allowed even accidental breakage, suggests to me deep incompetence, and so I wouldn't be surprised if the problem has returned in Win8
posted by Good Brain at 9:06 PM on January 27, 2014

Response by poster: I had tried installing and reinstalling drivers, etc., "as administrator". I downloaded several variations of the universal driver, and the printer finally is working now. I think maybe one of the drivers was corrupted. The problem is, it had been working fine previously, yet after a day or two it stops working and the computer won't recognize the printer again. Go figure. My fingers are crossed this time. Thanks for your answers.
posted by weapons-grade pandemonium at 9:52 PM on January 27, 2014

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