Troubleshooting Printer-related Communication Issues in Windows 7

RELATES TO:

  • Windows 7 x86 (32-bit) and Windows 7 x64 (64-bit).
  • Status Monitor reports a "Communication Error", "Printer not ready to print" or a similar error message.
  • The printer does not print from the computer.
  • The printer prints partial pages.
  • The ink levels are greyed out in EPSON Status Monitor.
  • The printer prints slowly when printing from the computer.
  • The printer prints sheets with incorrect or garbled characters.

TABLE OF CONTENTS:

Explanation

Solution

  1. Check that there is power to the printer.
  2. Check for any error lights on the printer's control panel, or error messages on the printer's LCD panel.
  3. Perform a printer operation check.
  4. Printer operation check results.
  5. Check the cable connection between the printer and computer, and ensure it is connected directly. The printer is designed to be connected directly to the computer.
  6. Check the length of the data cable. For reliability, we recommend that the cable should be no longer than 1.8 metres.
  7. Check that the computer meets the printer's minimum system requirements.
  8. Check for and note any on-screen error messages. Use Status Monitor to check the status of the printer.
  9. Check the print queue and printer status.
  10. Check that the printer is set as the default in the Devices and Printers folder.
  11. Check the correct port is selected in the Ports tab of Printer Properties.
  12. If the correct port and driver are in use and the printer appears ready to print, test this by printing a Test Page.
  13. Check that the correct printer driver for the operating system is in use.
  14. Check that the correct driver is selected in the Advanced tab of Printer Properties.
  15. Open Device Manager to check if your system provides sufficient support for the printer's interface, that your Epson product is detected by the computer and that there are no related errors.
  16. Disable programs running in the background to identify if there is a software conflict.
  17. Uninstall and reinstall the printer driver.
  18. If the issue has not been resolved after uninstalling and reinstalling the printer driver, we recommend disabling USB error detection. If you are using your printer via a Parallel connection, this does not apply.
  19. What to do if the issue is still present.

EXPLANATION:


If the printer does not attempt to print when a print job is sent, or the print job is not fully completed, then there may be a communication issue between your computer and the printer. A communication-related problem may also be the cause of other printing issues, including poor print quality. Also, Epson Status Monitor may not operate when a communication issue or conflict is present.

This article explains the possible causes of communication-related issues and provides solutions to them.


Notes Icon Note:

This article applies to Epson printers connected to a computer via a Parallel or USB cable only. Epson products with a FireWire interface cannot be used via FireWire as Windows 7 does not fully support it. For more information see FireWire support information for Windows Vista and Windows 7.

This article does not apply to Point of Sale (POS) products or printers used via a wired, wireless or shared network connection.

SOLUTION:


Follow the steps below to identify and resolve the issue:

  1. Check that there is power to the printer.



    1. Check that the printer will power on.
    2. Power is indicated by a green, red or amber light on the printer's control panel. For printers with an LCD panel, when the LCD is on this also indicates that there is power to the printer.
    3. If the product is powered off, check the power cable is connected and it is on at the power source.
    4. Hold down the power button for five seconds to power it on.
    5. If it will not power on, see There appears to be no power to the Printer - all lights are off. What can I do?.

    Back to Top


  2. Check for any error lights on the printer's control panel, or error messages on the printer's LCD panel.



    1. Power on the printer.
    2. Check for a red or an amber light on the printer's control panel.

      Control panel displaying red error lights:


      • A red light indicates an issue with the printer. You will need to clear all errors before you can print again or undertake further troubleshooting.
      • If an error light is displayed on the printer control panel, refer to your user guide to determine the cause of the error. An ink cartridge may be empty, or there may be a 'cover open' or paper error. You can view your product's user guide on your Epson software CD-ROM (if applicable) or on the Epson website.

    3. For printers with an LCD panel, check the screen for any error messages or error codes.

      Product with an LCD screen, displaying an error:


      • If an error message is displayed on the LCD panel refer to the user guide supplied with your product or search the Epson website for a solution. You will need to clear all errors before you can print again or undertake further troubleshooting.
      • If the printer is only showing a solid green light and no error messages are present on the LCD panel, then the printer should be capable of normal operation.

    4. For printers with an LCD panel, ensure that it is not in the Setup or Maintenance mode.

      Stylus printer with an LCD screen, in Setup mode:


      • Press one of the alternative mode buttons or the back button to exit the menu and return to the normal display.

        Example of the PX810FW control panel:


      • Also check that the product is not in sleep mode. If a green light is on but nothing is shown on the LCD panel, or a screen saver is displayed, press any button except the Power button to wake it from sleep mode.

  3. Perform a printer operation check.



    If there is power to the printer and the printer's control panel is not displaying any error lights or error messages, perform a printer operation check (self test). You will need to load plain A4 paper into the printer's paper sheet feeder.


    Note:

    As this process varies across printer models, please refer to How to perform a Printer Operation Check (Self Test) if you require more detailed instructions.


    • Stylus A4/A3/A3+ printers without an LCD screen (buttons only):

      Start with the printer powered OFF. Hold down the Maintenance or Paper button, and press the Power button. Release the Power button, and continue to hold down the Maintenance or  Paper button until the printer starts to feed paper. This will print a nozzle check.


    • Stylus All-In-Ones without an LCD screen (buttons only):

      Start with the printer powered OFF. Hold down the Ink or Stop button, and press the On button. Release the On button, and continue to hold down the  Ink or Stop button until the printer starts to feed paper. This will print a nozzle check.


    • Stylus A4 printers with an LCD screen:

      Browse through the LCD panel menu and enter either the Setup, Utility or Maintenance mode or menu. The options you have here depends on your printer model. Next, select either Nozzle Check or Check Ink Nozzles. Press either the Start or colour Copy button to print a nozzle check.

      Back to Top


  4. Printer operation check results.



    Refer to the table below and follow the recommended action:

    Pass? Other issue? Possible cause Recommended action
    No - The check was not performed correctly or there is a fault with the printer. Perform the check again. If it fails again, the printer may require a service. Contact Epson - no further troubleshooting is necessary at this point.
    Yes - This confirms that the printer itself is fully working. The issue is related to either a breakdown in communication between the printer and the computer, the configuration of the Windows system, or the driver installation on the Windows computer. Reconnect the printer to the computer and follow the next series of steps to troubleshoot the issue.
    Yes Printing is slow Slow printing can be caused by settings in the printer driver, the size of the data being sent to the printer (e.g. a large file such as a photo), or an issue with the spooling system. It is also possible that there is a physical problem with the printer. See Slow Printing in Windows for assistance.
    Yes Printing partial pages This can be caused by settings in the printer driver, the size of the data being sent to the printer (e.g. a large file such as a photo), or an issue with the spooling system. See Partial Pages are printed for assistance.


  5. Check the cable connection between the printer and computer and ensure it is connected directly.



    1. Check that the data cable (Parallel or USB) is firmly secured, at both the printer port and the port on the computer.
    2. Check that the cable is not taut as it may be pulled out of the port, resulting in a loss of communication.
    3. Reseat the cable if necessary, ensuring that the printer and computer are powered off first if using a parallel cable. 
    4. Connect the printer directly to the port on the computer. Any other configuration may render further tests invalid.

      Note:

      Connecting your product through another peripheral (e.g. a scanner, switch box or external USB hub) can cause communication issues. Even if these devices have been connected in the past with no problems, they must still be eliminated whilst troubleshooting. For products connected via a USB hub, this article may offer a solution.


    5. If the issue is still present, we recommend that you try connecting the product to another port on the computer. If connecting via a USB cable, try the following:

      • Try a different USB port.
      • Check that the USB ports you are using are built-in ports, native to the computer's motherboard. Epson does not support USB PCI cards. To do this, open Device Manager (see How to Access Device Manager in Windows for assistance) and expand the Universal Serial Bus Controllers heading. Look for a 'PCI to USB' Host Controller entry e.g. 'PCI to USB Host Controller', 'PCI to USB Open Host Controller', 'PCI to USB Enhanced Host Controller'.

      Back to Top


  6. Check the length of the data cable. For reliability, we recommend that the cable should be no longer than 1.8 metres. If the issue is still present, try using a different cable. If you do not have another cable or the issue remains, try connecting the printer using a different interface. For example, if the printer has both a USB and Parallel interface, change from using the Parallel port to the USB port or vice versa.

  7. Check that the computer meets the printer's minimum system requirements.



    It is important that your computer meets the minimum system requirements as specified by Epson. These system requirements include the operating system version, installed RAM, free hard drive space, CPU type and CPU speed.

    1. You can find most of the information about your system in System Properties. Click  Start, then Right-click on Computer, then left-click on Properties.

      Listed on this page is the amount of installed RAM, CPU type and speed, and the specific operating system version:


    2. You can check the amount of free hard drive space via Computer. Click  Start then left-click Computer, right-click on the local hard drive (normally C:) then left-click on Properties. The amount of used and available hard disk space will be detailed here.

    3. Check the details of the system against the minimum specifications as stated in the user guide provided on the CD-ROM for your product or the Epson website.

    4. Ensure that you have installed the latest Windows updates and service packs. This is very important, as Microsoft may have identified issues with Windows 7 that could affect the identification and installation of hardware, particularly with USB devices.

      The latest updates can be downloaded and installed through the windows update, available from Microsoft website.

    Back to Top


  8. Check for and note any on-screen error messages. Use Status Monitor to check the status of the printer.



    1. If you have received a specific error message, refer to your user's guide or the Epson website for the error.

    2. You can check Status Monitor from the printer icon in the Taskbar or from the Maintenance or Utility section of the printer driver. See How to check Status Monitor in Windows 2000, XP, Vista and Windows 7 if you require assistance.

    3. If Status Monitor reports a problem relating to the ink cartridges or paper feed, please follow the recommended guidance to clear the error and return the printer to 'Ready' status.

    4. If Status Monitor reports a "Communication Error" or states "The printer is not ready to print" but the printer has passed the printer operation check, continue to follow this troubleshooting article.

      Examples of possible Status Monitor error messages


    5. If the printer will print from the computer, but you are experiencing any of the following problems with Status Monitor, see Status Monitor does not operate properly or reports an error for assistance:

      • A "Communication Error" is reported.
      • The Status Monitor and the Progress Meter do not appear during printing.
      • The ink levels are not displayed (bidirectional support may be disabled).
      • The Status Monitor icon is greyed-out in the Maintenance or Utility tab.

    Back to Top


  9. Check the print queue and printer status. If the document has not printed it may be that the printer is 'Paused', 'Offline' or documents are stuck in the print queue. Any documents in the queue will need to be cleared. Having jobs stuck in the queue could cause incorrect or garbled characters on printouts.



    1. Open the Devices and Printers folder from the Start menu.

    2. Right-click on the printer icon then left-click on See what's printing.

    3. If documents are in the queue and not printing, click on the Printer menu then Cancel All Documents.

      Note:

      If you have more than one icon for your Epson printer model(s), repeat this procedure for any duplicate drivers. However, be aware that Windows 7 has a new feature called port stacking. This means that if one or more printer drivers are using the same virtual printer port, Windows will stack the printers as a list, therefore only one printer icon will be displayed.


      For detailed instructions on this step, refer to How to cancel print jobs in Windows 7.


    4. Restart the computer.

    5. Once restarted, open the Devices and Printers folder and check the status of the printer - this is normally stated by the printer icon.

    6. If it is Paused or Offline, right-click on the printer icon and select Troubleshoot, this option will attempt to set the printer online and resume printing, this can also flag any other errors which it will attempt to fix.

    7. If a status is not given, double-click on the icon and it will state the status near the top of the screen, if 'Offline', or 'Paused', click on the status to open the print queue, then click Printer and untick Set as Offline or Pause printing.

    Back to Top


  10. Check that the printer is set as the default in the Devices and Printers folder.



    This is important if you use the Print toolbar shortcut when printing from an application. When the icon is clicked the application does not give you a choice of printer and sends the print job to the default printer.

    Example of the Print toolbar shortcut:


    If it is not set as the default (indicated by the tick above the icon), locate the printer in Devices and Printers that you want to be the default. Right-click on the icon then left-click on Set As Default. For detailed guidance, see Windows: Set the printer as default.

    Back to Top


  11. Check the correct port is selected in the Ports tab of the Printer properties.



    It is possible that the information is being sent to the wrong port on the computer.

    For example, if the printer is using a USB connection it must be set to use the USB port. This is normally configured during the installation of the printer, but it may have been changed or not set correctly.

    1. Click  Start then left-click on Devices and Printers.

    2. Right-click on the printer icon then left-click on Printer properties (If there are multiple port stacked printers listed in this submenu, left-click on the correct printer).

    3. Click on the Ports tab.

    4. You can check the setting under "Print to the following port(s)". Make sure it is set as below:

      • Printers connected via Parallel:

        • The port should be set to LPT1 (or LPT2, LPT3)
        • It is normally set to LPT1. If set incorrectly (e.g. FILE, PORT, COM1), click into the box beside LPT1 to tick it then click Apply.

      • Printers connected via USB:
        • The port should be set to a USB Virtual Printer Port (such as USB001, USB002) with the printer name beside it. The default setting, if you do not have any other USB printers installed, is USB001.
        • If it is set incorrectly (e.g. LPT1, FILE, PORT, COM1), click into the box beside a USB Virtual Printer Port to select it then click Apply.


    5. Also ensure that Enable bidirectional support is ticked in the Ports tab. If not ticked, Status Monitor will not operate.


    6. Click OK to close the printer properties window.

    Back to Top


  12. If the correct port and driver are in use and the printer appears ready to print, test this by printing a Test Page from the printer's Printer Properties > General tab. See How to Print a Test Page in Windows for instructions.



    • Should the Test Page fail to print, cancel all documents. For instructions see How to cancel print jobs in Windows 7, then move to the next step.

    • If printing is successful, try printing from a program that you had attempted to print from without success.

    • If you can print a Test Page from the Printer Properties, but you cannot print from a particular program, try printing from an application which is native to Windows e.g. Paint, Notepad, Wordpad. These programs can be accessed from  Start > All Programs > Accessories.

      • If you can print from these programs the problem does not lie with the printer, communication between the printer and computer, nor the printer software. The problem is therefore with the program that you are attempting to print from (in which case contact the vendor), or there is a conflict on the computer. Move to Step 16 to disable programs running in the background.

      • If you cannot print from these programs, proceed to Step 17 to uninstall and reinstall the printer driver.

      • If printing is slow, or the printer is printing partial pages or only part of a multi-page print job, see Step 16.

  13. If any issues still remain, check that the correct printer driver for the operating system is in use.



    An incorrect printer driver may be in use which can cause print jobs to fail, or the Status Monitor not to operate correctly. One of the following may have occurred, and thus the driver needs to be checked:

    • The original Epson printer software CD-ROM was used to install an Epson product released prior to October 2009.
    • A Windows 2000, XP or Vista driver has been downloaded from the Epson website and installed onto the Windows 7 system.
    • A driver for a different Epson printer model is listed in the Devices and Printers folder.
    • An icon for your printer is not listed in the Devices and Printers folder.

    • To check the driver in use, open Devices and Printers. This can be accessed from the  Start menu. See How to open the Printers or Printers and Faxes folder in Windows if you require assistance.
      1. Locate the icon for your Epson printer.

      2. Click on the Epson printer name so it is highlighted and the full name is displayed.

        If your printer's model name ends with '50', '15' or '05', the name in the folder will end with '00' or '10' instead. For example, if you had the Stylus SX415 it will be listed here as the Stylus SX410 Series. If you are unsure see Why is the printer driver name not the same as the printer model? for more information.

        If the printer name is correct for your model move to Step 14.

      3. If you think that the printer driver or name is not correct for your model, uninstall and reinstall the driver from the CD-ROM or the Epson website, proceed to Step 14 for detailed guidance.

    Back to Top


  14. Check the correct driver is selected in the Advanced tab of the Printer Properties.



    1. Click  Start then left-click on Devices and Printers.

    2. Right-click on the Epson printer, then left-click Printer Properties

    3. Click on the Advanced tab.

    4. Check that the printer name on the menu besides "Driver:" is the same as that on the printer icon:


    5. If set correctly, move to the next step. If set incorrectly, select the correct driver (printer name) from the drop-down menu then click Apply.

    6. Other standard settings in the Advanced tab are:


      Always available


      Spool print documents so program finishes printing faster
      Start printing immediately

      Print spooled documents first

      Enable advanced printing features

    Back to Top


  15. Open Device Manager to check if your system provides sufficient support for the printer's interface, that your Epson product is detected by the computer, and that there are no related errors.



    1. Your printer will need to be powered ON and directly connected to the port on the computer for this exercise.

      If you have an All-In-One, ensure that none of the following are connected at the same time when setting-up or using your All-In-One as this may cause a conflict:

      • a Webcam,
      • a Digital Camera,
      • another All-In-One (printer/scanner/copier),
      • a Scanner.

    2. Click  Start then right-click Computer, then from the menu left-click Properties. Click on the Device Manager on the left-hand side of the window. Alternatively, click  Start and type Device Manager into the Start Search field at the bottom of the menu, then press Enter. Click Continue if the Windows User Account Control asks your permission to continue. If you require help follow this guide: How to Access Device Manager in Windows (All Versions).

    3. Follow the section that corresponds to how your printer connects to your computer:

      USB Printers:



      Incorrect or incomplete software installation can lead to USB problems. In Windows 7, you should only connect the printer to the computer and power it on when the Epson installation program prompts you to do so. It should not be connected and powered on before installing the software.


      Follow the steps below to check that your computer provides USB support:


      1. Click on the arrow sign next to Universal Serial Bus Controllers.
      2. Check if the USB Universal Host Controller and the USB Root Hub are identified (that is USB Universal Host Controller listed with a name, e.g. Intel, VIA, SiS, Nvidia, ALi).

        Figure 1: The USB Host Controller is identified as 'Intel(R) ICH10 Family' with an individual ID (3A3C):


      3. If so, then your Windows operating system provides sufficient USB support.

        If Universal Serial Bus Controllers is not listed, your system cannot detect the USB controllers and there may be a hardware issue. In the event of this contact your dealer for advice. No further printer-related troubleshooting is necessary at this point.

      • If the USB Universal Host Controller and USB Root Hub are not identified (i.e. a manufacturer name is not provided, only 'Generic' or 'Standard'), your USB driver may need to be updated.

        An example of this is below - note how a specific name is not given, only 'Standard OpenHCD USB Host Controller':


      • In this case try updating the driver in Device Manager. Right-click on the Standard OpenHCD USB Host Controller and left-click on Update Driver. Follow the on-screen instructions, selecting to connect to Windows Update and the Update Driver Wizard should update the driver accordingly.

        Repeat this step for any unidentified Host Controllers.


      • If there is no change, you could uninstall the USB Host Controllers and USB Root Hubs in Device Manager then restart Windows. This will refresh the driver stack, it is only recommended if all troubleshooting fails and if you can connect your mouse and keyboard via a PS/2 connection instead of a USB connection. Contact Microsoft or your computer vendor for advice.

      Device Manager confirms the system provides USB support, but USB was not listed as an available port setting in "Ports":

      We recommend that you remove the entry for the Epson device from Device Manager and uninstall the printer software. This will allow you to start the installation again.


      Check if Device Manager detects the printer and if there is an error with the device:


      If the heading branch is not already expanded (), click the arrow to expand the heading and view the devices below it.

      Look under Universal Serial Bus Controllers for USB Printing Support.

      • If your USB and your printer drivers are correctly installed, USB Printing Support should appear under Universal Serial Bus Controllers in Device Manager. 'USB Printing Support' represents your printer when it is connected (it doesn't appear when it's not powered on and connected to the computer):


      • If USB Printing Support does appear, try selecting a different USB port in the Ports tab of the Printer Properties see Step 12. If there is no change (the printer still does not print), open Device Manager and locate USB Printing Support. Right-click on it then left-click on Uninstall. Close Device Manager then proceed to Step 17 to uninstall and reinstall the printer software.

      • If USB Printing Support does not appear under Universal Serial Bus Controllers, the printer software is not correctly installed. Follow the next series of steps:

        1. Look for any of the following entries under Other Devices:

          USB Printer
          USB 2.0 Printer
          USB MFP
          USB 2.0 MFP
          Epson Scanner (All-In-Ones only)
          Epson printer name (e.g. Epson Stylus SX400)


          Figure 1: USB2.0 Printer and Epson Scanner appear under Other Devices:


        2. If any of these items appear under Other Devices, this confirms that the printer software is not installed correctly. For any devices listed as above, except USB 2.0 MFP, proceed to Step 6 in this section.

          If USB 2.0 MFP appears, do not move to the next step; this error is displayed because your installation of Windows does not have a generic Windows system file already installed. The USB2.0 MFP (High Speed) device needs to be installed using a generic Windows driver file USBCCGP.sys. Contact Microsoft for help on installing the generic Windows driver file, Microsoft should then be able to obtain and install the USB Composite driver required by the unit and allow you to continue the installation of the other functions of the unit, such as the USB Printing Support and USB Mass Storage Device.


        3. If none of these items appear under Other Devices, the printer may not be detected by the computer.
          Click on Action from the top of the window then click on Scan for hardware changes. Alternatively, unplug the USB cable from the printer then plug it into the printer again:


          Once you have confirmed that these items appear, proceed to Step 6 in this section.


        4. If these items do not appear, check whether Unknown Device is listed under Other Devices or Universal Serial Bus Controllers.

          • If Unknown Device is not listed, check for USB Printing Support. If this is listed, your device should now have been installed so try printing a Windows Test Page. For instructions see How to print a test page in Windows.

          • If Unknown Device is listed, the device may not be getting enough power from the USB Controllers. Check the following items:

            • Ensure that the device is connected directly to the computer. If it is USB device is connected to a USB port on a keyboard, hub, or other similar device, unplug it and plug it into a USB port on the computer.
            • The device may not be getting enough power. If other USB devices are connected to the system, remove all other USB devices (except the keyboard and mouse) and try a different available USB port. If this solves the issue, you could try using a powered USB hub in future to power other devices.
            • If the device does not appear with the device name or USB Printer or USB MFP, click on Action then click on Scan for hardware changes. Alternatively, unplug the USB cable from the printer, then plug it into the printer again.
            • If the Unknown Device reappears, right-click on it then left-click on Uninstall. A prompt stating 'Warning you are about to uninstall this device.....' will appear, click OK then close Device Manager. Proceed to Step 17 to uninstall the software.
            • If Unknown Device does not reappear but another listing appears on the menu, check the name and where it appears. You may need to refer to the above guidance in this step.

        5. If none of these items appear, the printer is not detected. Unplug all other USB devices (except USB keyboard or mouse) and connect only your USB printer.

          • Click on the arrow beside Universal Serial Bus Controllers.
          • Check under Universal Serial Bus Controllers for USB Printer, USB 2.0 Printer, USB MFP, or USB 2.0 MFP.
          • If any of these items are listed, click on Action then click on Scan for hardware changes. Alternatively, unplug the USB cable from the printer, then plug it into the printer again. If the entry reappears with an error, move to Step 6 in this section.
          • If the entry does not reappear, but USB Printing Support appears, the device has now been installed - try printing a Windows Test Page. For instructions see How to print a test page in Windows.
          • If your Epson device is still not detected i.e. none of the above-mentioned entries appear under Other Devices or Universal Serial Bus Controllers, there may be a problem with your computer.

            • Try a different USB port and failing this, a different USB cable. The USB cable should be Revision 1.1 or 2.0 compliant and no longer than 1.8 metres.
            • Microsoft also recommend the following:
              Double-click the USB Root Hub, click the Power tab, and then click Power Properties (if it is shown). The available ports and power usage is shown. If the displayed power is over 500mA, remove the devices and use a powered hub. To check the properties of a hub, double-click HUB and the hub information window opens.
          • If your Epson product still does not appear, try connecting it to a different computer. Alternatively, contact Microsoft or your PC vendor for support.

        6. Check the entries for the following Device Manager Error symbols:

          Symbol Meaning Recommended action
          If a question mark appears over an identified device, there is an error with the driver installation or the driver may need to be updated. For an Epson device, you can update the driver; right-click on the entry and left-click on Update Driver. Should the entry not refer to the Epson product, contact your vendor for support.

          This will open the Update Driver Wizard. Follow the on-screen prompts, allowing Windows to connect to Windows Updates for that time. If the wizard fails to update the driver and the erroneous entry is still listed, proceed to Step 7 in this section.
          If a black arrow is over a device icon, the device has been disabled. Right-click on the device entry and left-click on Enable. If there are any other error symbols over the device icon, check the guidance in this section.
          If an Exclamation Mark is over a device icon, there is an error with the driver or a suitable driver could not be found (and not installed). Proceed to Step 7 in this section.
          Should the entry not refer to the Epson product, contact your vendor for support - you will need to update or reinstall the device's driver.


        7. For an Epson device, right-click on the device entry for your printer (e.g. USB Printer, USB MFP) and left-click Uninstall.

          A Confirm Device Removal prompt will appear. Click OK then close Device Manager. You will need to uninstall the software - move to Step 17 for instructions.

      Back to Top


      Parallel Printers:



      1. Click on the arrow beside Ports (COM & LPT).

      2. The LPT1 port should be listed as ECP Printer Port (LPT1).

        • If it is not, for example it is listed as EPP Printer Port (LPT1) or Printer Port (LPT1), then it may be capable of operating, however any other settings can cause communication problems such as those experienced. This setting can be changed in the BIOS, however the BIOS is an integral part of any computer and incorrect changes made in the BIOS can render the machine unusable, for advice contact your computer vendor.

      3. The ECP Printer Port (LPT1) entry should be listed without any errors. If it is listed without an error, but you are still unable to print, move to Step 17 to uninstall and reinstall the printer software.

        • If a black downward facing arrow appears over a device icon the device has been disabled. Right-click on the device entry and left-click on Enable. Try to print again and if you are still unable to print please move to Step 17 to uninstall and reinstall the printer software.

        • It is possible to refresh the Parallel port, this is recommended if strange or garbled characters are printed on the page or if the printer will continuously feed and eject sheets of paper without attempting to print. To do this, right-click on the ECP Printer Port (LPT1) then left-click on Uninstall.


        • Click OK to the Confirm Device Removal prompt. Click on Action at the top of the Device Manager window, then click on Scan for hardware changes. Windows should not redetect the port and reinstall the driver.

        Back to Top


  16. Disable programs running in the background to identify if there is a software conflict.



    Next, disable the background programs that run in Windows. One of more of these can conflict with the operations of the printer software, causing the following symptoms:

    • The printer does not print.

    • The printer only produces part of the print run or partial pages, it does not complete the print job.

    • You can print from some, but not all programs.

    • Print quality issues.

    • Status Monitor does not operate/does not communicate with the printer.

    • Printing from the computer is slow.

    If printing is slow see article Slow Printing in Windows.

    If partial pages are printed see the following article for assistance: When I send a print job to my printer, partial pages are printed or there's incomplete text or image. What can I do?

    If you are experiencing any of the other problems listed, disable the Startup Items in the System Configuration Utility (MSConfig). See the following article for assistance: Windows: How to use the System Configuration Utility (MSConfig).

    If printing is still not possible, the problem is not related to a conflict with Startup Items or processes. Follow the instructions in the guide to re-enable the Startup Items then proceed to Step 17.

    Back to Top


  17. Uninstall and reinstall the printer driver, to restore the driver to its default settings. Follow the section below appropriate for how you connect your printer to the computer:

    Parallel printers:



    1. Power off the printer, then see How to uninstall a printer from Windows 7.

    2. Once you have uninstalled the printer driver and restarted the PC, you can reinstall the printer driver, follow How to install a printer on Windows Vista or Windows 7 for further assistance.

    3. Once installed, restart the computer and try to print, if you are still unable to print proceed to Step 18.

    Back to Top


    USB Printers:



    1. Power off the printer and disconnect the USB cable.

    2. Complete the steps in How to uninstall a printer from Windows 7, then return to this article.

    3. If you have an All-In-One: Remove Epson Scan from Programs and Features in Control Panel. If you are asked to restart the computer at any point, choose 'Yes' or 'Restart'.

    4. Make sure that your printer is still powered off and disconnected.

    5. Restart your PC, the drivers will need to be reinstalled. If you have the original Epson Software CD-ROM that came with your Epson printer, check the CD-ROM for any operating systems stated on it.

    6. Only use the CD-ROM to install your Epson product if that product was released after Windows 7 (October 2009). If in doubt, check the Epson website for drivers and download the drivers from there if available. See article How to download drivers and software from the Epson website for instructions.

      Only power on the printer and connect the USB cable from the printer to the USB port on the computer when prompted to by the installation program. Follow the on-screen prompts to complete the installation.


    7. Once installed restart the computer. If you are still unable to print proceed to Step 18.

    Back to Top


  18. If the issue has not been resolved after uninstalling and reinstalling the printer driver, we recommend disabling USB error detection. If you are using your printer via a Parallel connection, this does not apply so move to Step 19.



    1. Open Device Manager - see How to access Device Manager for help.

    2. Locate the branch Universal Serial Bus Controllers.

    3. Click on the beside Universal Serial Bus Controllers to display the related devices.

    4. Right-click on a Universal Serial Bus Host Controller then left-click on Properties.

    5. A new window will open. Click on the Advanced tab.

    6. Tick the box for 'Don't tell me about USB errors'. Click OK to save the setting and close Device Manager.


    Back to Top


  19. What to do if the issue is still present:

    • Finally, try the printer on another computer to establish where the problem lies. Any computer with driver support for its operating system would be suitable, e.g. a Macintosh or a different version of Windows.

    • If the printer works on another system then this indicates that the issue lies with the PC. If the printer still does not work on another computer, having completed all recommended steps, contact Epson for further advice.

Back to Top