Snake in a P . . Printer!

December 6, 2008

Okay, we have all had this situation.  We are using a printer and it doesn’t work for whatever reason, so what do we do first, well if you are already having a bad day, you hit it.  Well thankfully, this guy in Austrialia did not do that.  Apparently, he had a brown snake that decided to take up residence in his printer.  I wonder if this covered by warranty?

Here is the link to the full article.


Wireless Network Setup for HP OfficeJet Pro L7780

November 24, 2008

I have set up countless printers, however, I have never set up one wirelessly.  We just received it on Thursday the  20th, and on Saturday, that was my job.  Putting it together and installing the drivers on the local computer was a snap.  Then I thought, ‘hey it has wireless, I have a wireless network and Macbook.

Step one – Remembering my WPA key.  Finally got it thanks to my Macbook.

Once that was done I thought I was set, followed the simple instructions on the screen and then, NOTHING.  What happened, it froze.  Hmm, time for HP’s website.  Problem was easy enough to solve, just need to make the IP address from automatic to manual.  The problem is you can only do that through the printer, and of course it is still froze.  Unplug and restart a few times and I finally got it, only to no avail.

So I had to break down, and call HP Tech support.  I must say that was the easiest call I have made, the guy on the other end was friendly and easy to talk to.  After 3 minutes, I found out I needed to update the firmware.  He stayed on the phone with me the entire time til I printed out the test page.  Thanks.

So to review if you have the HP OfficeJet Pro L7780 and try to do the wireless networking and the printer freezes on you, do the following:

  1. Restart it and turn off the wireless radio (it might take a few times)
  2. Download the firmware update for the printer and then flash it.
  3. Restart the printer when everything is said and done, and create your wireless network.

UPDATE – At the time I did not have the link for the downloads.  Here is the page for the Windows XP Drivers and software for the L7780.

Cartridge is in printer, but where is it?

March 23, 2008

Everyone I know has had it at least one time that they installed their printer cartridge into the printer, only to have the printer fail to recognize it.  So what is a person supposed to do in that situation.

1.  Double Check the cartridge – Is it the right cartridge for the printer.  Some times it is that simple that the wrong cartridge was purchased.  If you can try to return it if it happens to be the wrong cartridge.

2.  Is it installed correctly – Is there anything that needs to be removed?  Some printer cartridge manufactures put a blue tape over the printhead or yellow tape over the air intake, these need to be removed.  Do not remove the copper contacts from the cartridge.  This is not tape, it is how the cartridge talks to the printer.  Think of them like the nerves in your hand, take them out your hand is still there, but it will not do anything.  Also, make sure the cartridge is in the right slot.  I have seen it a couple times that a person has installed the cartridge into the wrong location.  This can possibly harm the cartridge or printer or both.  It can be removed, but is not easy.

3.  Electrical failure – This is the most common problem that happens, with both new and refilled cartridges.  Sometimes the contacts do not want to work.  There is nothing you can do for this.  However, if three different replacements do not work, look at the printer instead.

4.  Software – Does the printer’s software know you installed a new cartridge?  Some printer’s driver need to be told that a new cartridge has been installed.  Lexmark and Epson are the most common with this.  Canon can do this as well, but with refilled cartridges sometimes you have to push certain keys on the printer or AIO.

Lines in Print, OH NO!!

March 15, 2008

It has happened to every one I know that has a printer.  You start printing out something and you notice that there are horizontal lines running across the page.  FREAK OUT!!

This simply means two things, either your printhead (print nozzles) are plugged up or dirty, or it means that your cartridge is running out.

Now for the latter, it is a simple fix, get a new cartridge or get it refilled.  I like getting mine from

What about the nozzles or printhead?  Well this is a little more involved.

1.    Run a cleaning cycle.  The software that runs your printer (printer driver) does more than just tell your printer to print.  It also can change paper size, quality, colors, and maintain your printer.  Easiest way to find it is (in Windows, I do not have my Mac hooked up to a printer yet) by going Start>Control panel> Printer & Faxes>Right Click on your printer>Printing Preferences.  From there find a button or tab that says Services/Maintain/Utilities.  In there it will have a cleaning function.  Now you might have to run it a couple times (up to 5 times).

2.  Manual Head Cleaning. Now this can only be done on printers that have the printhead attached to the tank (HP, Lexmark, and Dell are the main three that do, however, there are about ten Canon’s that are like this).  Get a warm damp paper towel (we use distilled water, but tap is fine). CAUTION You can Damage your printhead by doing this so be careful, and proceed at your own risk!  Wipe the printhead slowly across the paper towel, using a little force to clean any gunk (dried ink) off.  Then firmly press the printhead on the towel and hold it.  If it is a color make sure you get all three colors, and black, well you get the idea.  You still might have to run a cleaning cycle on the printer, but it should look better.

Now if you notice a ding or dent in the silver area on the bottom of the cartridge (The printhead), your cartridge is toast, and needs to be replaced.

If those tips do not help, take the cartridge to where you purchased it and see if they can help you with fixing the problem. Remember that regular use keeps the cartridge fresh.  Think of them like an ink pen.