General Scanner problems, troubleshooting tips and solutions

Nothing is worse than completing a project before time but submitting it late due to ‘Slow Scan or Print’ problem. Similarly, other issues with the scanner can cause frustration to the users. In today’s column, we’ve highlighted some major Scanner hardware problems alongside their troubleshooting methods and solutions.

scanner problems and troubleshooting

Scanner problems, troubleshooting, solutions

The quality of your equipment is highly important, and sometimes, even brand-new, unscratched plastic carriers can degrade scan quality. Here’s how you can ensure they are up and running, always!

1] The paper Logjam

When working with any printer/scanner, it is inevitable that you will encounter a paper jam. It’s an event where a paper or other printed material gets stuck or lodged into a printer and is unable to eject. In most cases, your User Guide or control panel instructions should walk you through this erroneous task easily enough. Most, scanners/printer, provide video assistance to make jam clearance a hassle-free experience.

Start by inspecting the paper path and remove any jammed material, being careful in not tearing it. If it’s caught between rollers, release the pressure slowly to remove it.

If the misalignment of the papers has caused the jam, remove the tray and position the papers correctly and reseat the tray. Also, check to see if they are squared properly and repositioned.

2] Slow Print Time

On many occasions, slow print time can be caused by a high-resolution setting. High-resolution images consume more data and require more time to process. This invariably leads to slow print times.  So, if you aren’t so hell-bent on getting gallery quality images, print with plain paper in Normal or Draft quality for faster print speeds.

Second, it’s equally important to check the print driver settings as they determine speed outcome.  For instance, high-end lasers are available with-

  • PostScript
  • PCL and the manufacturer’s host-based driver.

In general, PCL is suitable for faster office printing while the latter, PostScript is best suited for graphics-intensive applications and industries.

Lastly, switch from two-sided to simplex mode. Why? One-Sided printing takes considerably less time.

3] Bad/Inappropriate looking prints

Often, your printer works just fine but fails to yield desired results. The images might appear faded or very poor in quality. This can turn even the best creations into something undesirable. To avoid this, check the cable connection. A scanner most likely has two connections located on its rear side.

  1. A cable plugged into a power outlet
  2. A cable plugged into the computer

Be sure these two cables are securely plugged in. Some scanners rely solely on the USB cable for power, and thus they don’t have a separate power cord. Connect such scanners directly to the PC USB port rather than connecting them to an unpowered USB hub. It is known that USB Hub sometimes does not generate enough power to run the scanner. Also, check fuser adjustment. In few laser printers, the fuser has an adjustment for paper type. If your printer’s fuser can be adjusted manually, check if it’s set properly.

4] Wi-Fi printing takes an unusually long time

If the connection is weak and you do not get the right print, placing your printer very close to your router can increase throughput and reduce printing time. In addition to the above, you can try the following workaround to improve Wi-Fi performance while retaining the flexibility of printer placement – Use a router that supports 802.11n and offer the 5GHz band as well as 2.4 GHz. Also, ensure that its firmware is up to date. If necessary, you can add a wireless extender or a repeater to increase performance.

5] Ink/Toner Issues

If the way images look on screen differs from the way they look in print, there’s likely an issue with the ink/toner cartridge. At such times, calibrating your printer can ensure what you print remains consistent with what you get on screen.

Having said that, it is essential to note that each product handles the calibration process differently. Besides, every calibration kit comes with their own set of standard instructions.

You can, however, manually adjust the color options in the printer dialog to match the result you got from original cartridges. Within the printer driver are controls for fine-tuning the overall appearance of color from your printer. So, depending on your needs, this may be enough to get the color you want.

Also, an ink/toner cartridge problem may arise if new ink/toner has just been inserted incorrectly. To avoid such instances, fix it correctly.

6] Remove other devices

As a precautionary measure, you can also check if other devices connected to the computer are interfering with the functioning of the scanner. If there are any additional, unwanted devices connected to your computer, try shutting it down and disconnecting non-essential devices. Parallel, SCSI, Firewire, and other USB devices may interfere with the scanner operations.

Read next: Scanner is not working on Windows 10.

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The author Hemant Saxena is a post-graduate in bio-technology and has an immense interest in following Windows, Office and other technology developments. Quiet by nature, he is an avid Lacrosse player. Creating a System Restore Point first before installing a new software, and being careful about any third-party offers while installing freeware is recommended.