Why are my printers printing blank pages?
May 8, 2016 1:41 PM   Subscribe

I have two printers that are producing blank pages, both when I try to print from the computer and when I try to copy. Gears are turning, but the pages are blank. The ink is low but not nonexistent. In the past, if the printers had run out of ink, they would just stop completely. The printers are a Canon MX 439 and a Brother MFC-J430W.

Before this happened, I had printed something, on the Brother, and the printer had produced several copies, when I asked for one.

Both printers are wireless and operated from our laptops. It seems illogical that two different printers would experience the exact same problems.

Do you have any ideas on how to fix this?
posted by maurreen to Computers & Internet (7 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
 
When inkjet printers arent used for awhile the ink in the head dries up and clogs it (kinda like an old bottle of elmer's glue). Sometimes you can clean em up and get them working again.
posted by noloveforned at 1:46 PM on May 8, 2016 [1 favorite]


Tech support trick #1 is "Have you turned it off and on again?" #2 is "Have you reseated the cartridge/tape/whatever." Take the inks out, put a paper towel around them and maybe shake it up a bit. Flick it with a finger near the base. If ink comes rushing out, you're doing it wrong.

That being said, Pops has that same Brother and the knock off inks are super cheap.
posted by Sphinx at 2:32 PM on May 8, 2016


What happens when you run the cleaning cycle on the print heads?
posted by jacquilynne at 2:56 PM on May 8, 2016


This happens to me, and I run the cleaning cycle a good number of times (1-2 times never clears it up, for some reason). This uses a LOT of ink, so you may have to re-up on ink after this.
posted by xingcat at 3:33 PM on May 8, 2016


Not sure why it would affect copying, bit for printing, the text color might have been changed to a color that isn't working for some reason. The off/on reset might work for that.
posted by SemiSalt at 5:31 PM on May 8, 2016


The ink is low but not nonexistent. In the past, if the printers had run out of ink, they would just stop completely.

Inkjet printer cartridges don't actually sense the ink level directly. They count the number of droplets of ink they've been asked to eject, and subtract that from their known starting capacity. This process is inherently inaccurate. Running out of usable ink before the printer reports that the cartridge is empty, and refusing to print with an "empty" cartridge that visibly still has plenty of ink left it in, are both easily possible.
posted by flabdablet at 8:29 PM on May 8, 2016 [1 favorite]


Have you tried printing a test page from the printer? That will rule out any issues with the computers. After that, I'd try replacing the ink on at least one of them.
posted by nalyd at 3:27 AM on May 9, 2016


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