Select Page

One of my Most Common Calls: My HP printer doesn’t print or I can print but can’t scan.

Now is it because the brand itself is bad or just because they are so popular that I’m bound statistically to get more calls, this I don’t know. I had a HP OfficeJet 6500 Plus that had hardly no issues for 5 years myself. Most people who have trouble printing / scanning tend to have an HP OfficeJet 6500, 8600, 8610, 8620. I currently use a HP OfficeJet 6968 and have no trouble other than it drinks ink. Other people who have the same model seem to have problems scanning all the time but I haven’t seen that problem yet personally on my machine, yet they really do have problems when I go onsite. It is rarely ever the client’s fault, there are genuine scanning or printing problems.

Many times printers will start printing on its own with no changes to the computer. Case in point I just remoted into a computer as I typed this that hasn’t printed all morning and did a test print without touching a single setting. This is really common and frustrating for both the client and me.

My solution for printing problems, one make sure both the computer and printer on the same network. If you have Windows 10, Microsoft will install a basic driver that allows you to print, often automatically but it is not the full driver from the website. I’ve fixed a lot of scanning issues just by installing the full package driver from HP.com.

Otherwise, if it is installed then Uninstall the printer software, download the latest software driver from the manufacturer website, reinstall. If it is USB, try making it wireless, if it is wireless, trying using the USB connection. Run the HP Print and Scan Doctor, If that doesn’t work then replace the printer is your only option.

There is only so much you can do with wireless printers.

  1. Make sure the printer and computer are on the exact same network. Even if one is 5G and the other is 2G, it helps for both to be on same.
  2. Uninstall the printer and reinstall it, sometimes doing it this 2-3 times will get it working again.
  3. See if any other devices can print to the printer.
  4. Make the IP address static or manual and try reinstalling the driver
  5. Make sure you are printing to the right printer, sometimes it will default to a PDF or xps printer instead of the right printer.
  6. If it’s USB try WiFi, if it’s WiFi try USB. Many printers WiFi cards go out over time but USB still works.
  7. Delete all old printers and install fresh, maybe in the services restart the printer spooler
  8. Throw out the printer and get a new one.

I set up a new computer in 2 hours and took about another 2 hours to get a HP Officejet installed and working just for it to stop working the next day. Knowing most printer installs take 10 minutes max, this is very frustrating, it isn’t worth your money to pay me to fool around with a printer that goes down all the time when a new printer is worth 2 hours or less of my labor in the first place.

My personal belief is you are in essence buying three separate devices, a printer, a scanner and a fax machine and usually paying for $100-200 for it. The quality can’t be that high for a multi-functioning unit. I think the word OfficeJet is misleading, I feel it is designed for lighter home use rather than an office. The most frequent calls are offices who have 5,10 even 20 people printing and scanning to one machine. I don’t think that $120 OfficeJet can handle that level of use and hence these people often call a few times a week with problems.

I get calls from people who have multiple printers and they want them repaired, truth is it isn’t worth fixing them. Just labor wise you will pay more than a new machine, manufacturers make razor thin margins on the printers, they make the money on the ink. Besides old printers don’t always install on a new machine.

For people who scan alot, they need a dedicated commercial grade scanner like a Panasonic KV-S1027C A4 Scanner or Xerox DocuMate 3220 which can run a few hundred on up to thousands of dollars. For those that print a lot, RJ Young, Nova Copy, lease $30,000+ all-in one machines that are made for business / commercial use.

I don’t want to pick on just HP, I get calls about Epson and Brother not scanning or printing too. In the irony that this is the most common, just in the time it took to write this section on printing, I had 3 calls about printers not working and all where HP.

With Technology, you get what you pay for. The box stores just don’t have many options for affordable printing and scanning.