How to Troubleshoot Your Dell Printer

by eHow Contributor

Dell, Inc., is a computer and electronics manufacturer known for its low-cost PCs and printers. Owning a home printer makes creating, designing and publishing your own work easy. However, a Dell printer may occasionally experience errors and problems. Learn how to troubleshoot a Dell printer to fix your Dell printer and restore your productivity.

Check that your Dell printer is plugged into a reliable power source. Faulty home wiring or a loose cable may cause the Dell printer to shut off, causing some of your Dell printer problems.

Verify that your Dell printer is plugged securely into your computer. Sometimes, the printer cable may be disconnected when you are moving or using your PC. This may result in printer errors when the Dell printer tries to send printer data to your computer, and vice versa. Jiggle the printer cable gently to check that it is plugged in firmly.

Restart your computer by clicking the Start menu in the lower left-hand corner of the screen and selecting "Restart" from the pop-up menu. Internal software conflicts and errors can sometimes prevent your Dell printer from completing the printing job successfully. Restarting your computer clears the system cache and may help resolve these issues when troubleshooting your Dell printer.

Turn off the Dell printer by pressing its Power button. Turn the Dell printer on again while simultaneously holding down the up arrow key and the down arrow key, located on the front panel of the printer. This initiates the Dell printer's "Customer Mode" menu on the printer's front display screen.

Test the Dell printer's print quality by pressing the arrow key to select each of the printer's types of ink (e.g. cyan), and pressing the Return key to initiate a test print. This can help troubleshoot whether you have a problem with the Dell printer's connection to your computer or a hardware issue. If the Dell printer is able to generate a test print successfully, the problem does not lie with the printer's actual printing mechanisms.

Clear the Dell printer's NVRAM cache to help troubleshoot the Dell printer. Press Menu on the front display panel and select Configure. Use the arrow keys to click Maintenance and then select Init NVRAM. Press the return panel to clear the Dell printer's internal memory. Restart the printer by turning it off with the Power button, then turning it back on.

Contact Dell's customer service center (link in the Resources section) if your Dell printer troubleshooting methods fail to pintpoint a specific problem with the Dell printer.

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