Tech – for Everyone

Tech Tips and Tricks & Advice – written in plain English.

Mac Printer Problem

The other day I received a phone call (at Aplus Computer Aid) from a man whose printer had suddenly stopped working. All the lights were on. The cable was plugged in. He hadn’t moved the printer or computer, changed any settings, or installed/uninstalled any software.
So he was puzzled.

So I had him try the usual Printer Troubleshooting Steps
* Was the printer getting power (plugged in)? Yes.
* Turn the printer off, and then turn it again. Resolved? No.
* Is the USB cable plugged in securely? Yes.
* Delete old print jobs. Resolved? No.
* Is the printer showing in System Profiler? No.
* Restart the computer. Resolved? No.

Hmmm… Now I was puzzled.
The fact that the printer wasn’t showing up at all in the Profiler meant that it was almost certainly not a software (driver) issue.. And all the lights on meant it (probably) wasn’t a power issue. So I kept coming back to the USB cable, and he kept telling me it was plugged in just fine, and that he hadn’t touched it.
So I told him to “humor me” and plug it in to a different USB port.

This resolved his problem.
It turns out that he had made a change recently. He had replaced his keyboard with a new wireless mouse and keyboard set.
Keyboard? What’s that got to do with a printer???Keyboard-USB

His printer’s USB cable had been firmly and securely plugged in — to the old keyboard. The one that he had unplugged to make room for the new wireless one. Apple likes to put convenient USB ports on their keyboards, and..
Normally, I run into this “it IS plugged in” with powerstrips. Is the powerstrip plugged in?

Today’s free link: Apple’s Support page for troubleshooting printer issues provides the step-by-step methods for resolving most printing errors. Those with driver issues (software) should look here.

Today’s free download: In sticking with my Mac theme today.. is a website dedicated to listing the best in free (Open Source) programs for your Mac. All kinds of categories, so whether you’re looking for an anonymizer or image editor, you’ll find something here.

Copyright 2007-9 © Tech Paul. All rights reserved. post to jaanix

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May 21, 2009 Posted by | advice, Apple, computers, hardware, how to, printers, troubleshooting | , , , , , , , , , | 3 Comments