Windows Vista / Getting Started

Printing Problems

Once you get your printer installed and working properly, there may come a time when it simply ceases to work correctly. Perhaps the printer just suddenly stopped working for no apparent reason, or it failed to print right after a seemingly unrelated change in configuration.

New Problems

If the printer is installed properly and you have used it in the past with no problems, check these issues:

Make sure that the network is working properly and that your computer is connected to the network.

Check the status of the printer in the print queue.

Ensure that the printer is turned on. Does it have any maintenance issues, like low toner or paper?
If the printer is plugged into another computer on the network, make sure that computer is turned on.
If your printer was added to the network using a TCP/IP address instead of a name, ensure that the computer is connected to the Internet or the network where the printer is installed. If you have recently had a power outage, the printer's TCP/IP address might have changed. In that event, try to add the printer again.

New Configuration

If you just upgraded to Windows Vista from Windows XP or changed the printer driver, then you have a good idea what the culprit probably is. The best fix for this is to make sure that your printer driver is compatible with Vista.

Microsoft tries to put as many drivers for as many peripherals as they can in Vista. The driver you need may already be on your computer, waiting to be installed. However, sometimes, a driver you need is not included. These drivers might be available through Windows Update, or they might be available through the printer manufacturer, either on a CD or DVD that came with the device or through the manufacturer's Web site.

Update via the Printers Folder The first place to look for the right driver is right on your computer. It may already be located there, just not installed. To check your computer for the driver:

  1. Open the Printers folder and then Right-click the printer for which you want to install a new driver. Select Run As Administrator, and then click Properties.
  2. Select the Advanced tab and then click New Driver and then follow the steps in the Add Printer Driver Wizard.

From the Manufacturer Because Vista is a new operating system and, depending on what brand of printer you have, you might need to get the driver directly from the manufacturer.

Go to the manufacturer's Web site, and search for a printer driver that is compatible with Windows Vista. Once you have downloaded it, see if the manufacturer has any special installation instructions. Some manufacturers have special installers that bypass the Windows printer wizard.

[Previous] [Contents] [Next]