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Troubleshooting Printer-related Communication Issues in Win 95, NT, 98, ME

RELATES TO:

  • Status Monitor reports a "Communication Error" or other errors.
  • Printer does not print.
  • Partial or half pages printed.
  • Ink Levels are greyed out.
  • Printing is slow.
  • Incorrect or garbled characters are printed.

TABLE OF CONTENTS:

Explanation

Solution

  1. Check that there is power to the printer.
  2. Check for any error lights on the printer control panel, or error messages on the printer's LCD panel.
  3. Check the cable connection between the printer and the computer and connect it directly. The printer is designed to be connected directly to the computer.
  4. Check the length of the data cable. For reliability, the maximum length of data cable that we recommend is 1.8 metres.
  5. Perform a printer operation check.
  6. Printer Operation Check results.
  7. Check for and note any on-screen error messages. Use Status Monitor to check the status of the printer.
  8. Check that the printer is set as the default in the Printers folder.
  9. Check that the correct printer driver for the operating system is in use.
  10. Check that the correct driver is selected in the Advanced tab of the printer Properties.
  11. Check that the correct port is selected in the printer Properties.
  12. Check the Print Queue and printer status.
  13. If the correct port and driver are in use and the printer appears ready to print, test this by printing a Test Page.
  14. Check that the computer meets the printer's minimum system requirements.
  15. Open Device Manager to check for any errors that relate to your Epson product.
  16. Uninstall and reinstall the printer driver.
  17. If the issue has not been resolved after uninstalling and reinstalling the printer driver, then for USB printers we recommend disabling USB error detection.
  18. Disable programs running in the background to help identify if there is a software conflict.
  19. What to do if the issue is still present:

EXPLANATION:

If the printer does not attempt to print, 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 be the cause of other printing issues such as poor print quality when prints are smeared or fuzzy and Status Monitor may not operate.

The possible causes of a communication-related issue and the steps to troubleshoot such causes are outlined in this article. We also recommend following this article if you have experienced problems in successfully installing your printer on your Windows computer.

This article applies to computers running one of the following Windows versions: 95, NT4, 98 (First and Second Edition), and ME.

SOLUTION:

If you are experiencing communication problems the first thing to do is to make sure that the printer is set up correctly and fully working.

If you have received any error messages on the computer this error may help isolate the issue. Note the error message exactly so you can check for any articles on this error, or check with Epson if you require further support.

Follow steps 1-6 to check that the printer is set up correctly and fully working:


  1. Check that there is power to the printer.



    1. Check that the printer will power on.
    2. Power is indicated by the green power light or button being illuminated, a red light being on or for printers with an LCD panel, the display being on.
    3. If the product is powered off, check the power cable is connected and it is on at the power point.
    4. Hold down the power button for five seconds to power it on.
    5. If it will not power on, see No Power to the Printer.

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



    1. Power on the printer.
    2. If there is power to the printer but printing does not complete, check for a red light on the printer control panel.

      Control panel displaying red error lights


      • A red light indicates an issue with the printer. Both the error and light needs to be cleared in order to print again or undertake further troubleshooting if required.
      • If a red 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 out, or there may be a 'cover open' or paper error.

    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 follow the appropriate action for that error. The issue would need to be cleared in order to print again, or undertake further troubleshooting if required.
      • If only a solid green light is on the printer and no error messages are present on the LCD panel, the printer should be capable of normal functions.

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

      Product with an LCD screen, showing it is in the Setup mode


      • If the product is in the Setup or Maintenance mode, this may not allow printing from a computer.
      • Press one of the other mode buttons such as Copy mode or the Setup button to exit the menu and return to the normal display.

        Example of the Control Panel mode buttons


      • Also check that the product is not in the sleep mode.
        • If a green light is on but nothing is shown on the LCD panel, press any button except the power button to wake it from sleep mode.
        • Some printers have a sleep mode where a screensaver will be shown, press any button except the power button to wake it from sleep mode.

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  3. Check the cable connection between the printer and the computer and connect it directly. The printer is designed to be connected directly to the computer.


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

      Notes Icon Note:

      • Connecting your product through another peripheral (e.g. a Scanner, Switch box, external USB hub) can cause problems.
      • Even if these devices have been connected in the past with no problems, they must still be eliminated whilst troubleshooting.
      • If you are using both a scanner and the printer via Parallel and connect the printer to the computer via a scanner, printing may not complete if you attempt to scan whilst printing is in progress.


    5. If the issue is still present, we recommend that you try connecting the product to another port on computer. If connecting via a USB cable, try the following:
      • Try another USB port.
      • Check that the ports you are using are built-in ports, native to the computer's motherboard. USB PCI cards are not supported if they are not detecting the printer. To do this, open Device Manager 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'.

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    Notes Icon Note:
    • Windows 95, NT4, or Windows 98 (First Edition) do not have full USB support.
    • Only Windows 98SE (Second Edition), ME, 2000, XP and Vista have full USB support.
    • If you are attempting to use your Epson printer via USB on Windows 95, NT4, or Windows 98 (1st Edition) and the printer has a Parallel port, please use the Parallel connection instead.
    • Products with a USB interface (no Parallel) and driver support for Windows 98SE and ME are supported on these systems only. We cannot guarantee that the driver will run on an earlier edition of Windows 98.
    • Products with a FireWire interface have driver support for Windows ME and above only.


  4. Check the length of the data cable. For reliability, the maximum length of data cable that we recommend is 1.8 metres.
    • If the problem is still present, try a different cable.
    • If you do not have another cable or the issue remains, try a different Parallel interface, change from using the Parallel port to the USB port and vice versa.

  5. Perform a printer operation check. Should the printer fail to print, print correctly or printing is slowly, we need to isolate the issue further and confirm if the printer is capable of normal functions.



    If there is power to the printer and the printer control panel is not displaying any error lights or error messages, perform a printer operation check.


    You will need to load plain A4 paper into the printer's paper sheet feeder.


    • 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.


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

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


    • Printers with an LCD screen:

      Browse through the LCD panel menu and enter either the Setup, Utility, or Maintenance mode. The option 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.


      Notes Icon Note:

      As this process varies across printer models, please consult your printer user guide for instructions or search the Epson Knowledge Base if you require more detailed instructions.

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  6. 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), in addition to the spooling system. It is also possible that there is a physical problem with the printer. See Slow Printing in Windows for assistance. Failing this, contact Epson for support.
    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), in addition to the spooling system. See Partial Pages are printed for assistance. Failing this, contact Epson for support.


  7. Check for and note any on-screen error messages. You can also use Status Monitor to check the status of the printer.




    1. If you have received a specific error message, please search the Knowledge Base for the error. This article may offer a solution.
    2. You can check Status Monitor from the printer icon in the taskbar or from the Maintenance or Utility section of the printer driver. Click here for help with accessing Status Monitor.
    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 a 'Ready' status.
    4. If you cannot print from the computer and Status Monitor reports "Communication Error" or "The printer is not ready to print" when the printer has passed the printer operation check, continue to follow this troubleshooting article.
    5. If the printer will print from the computer, but you are experiencing any of the following problems with Status Monitor click here for help:
      • Status Monitor reports a "Communication Error".
      • Status Monitor and the Progress Meter do not appear during printing.
      • Status Monitor does not display the ink levels (bidirectional support may be disabled).
      • The Status Monitor icon is greyed-out in the Maintenance or Utility tab.

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  8. Check that the printer is set as the default in the Printers folder. This is important if you use the Print toolbar shortcut when printing from an application as this does not give you a choice of printer and sends the print job to the default printer.



    1. Open Start > Settings > Printers.
    2. The default printer is indicated by the tick above the icon.
    3. If it is not set as the default, locate the printer icon for the printer that you want to be the default.
    4. Right-click on the icon then left-click on Set As Default.
    • If you have two instances of the driver e.g. 'EPSON Stylus xxx' and 'EPSON Stylus xxx (Copy 1)', the most recent copy should be set as the default:


    • For detailed guidance, see Windows: How to set the printer as default.

  9. 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 not to start, or for Status Monitor not to operate correctly. One of the following may have occurred, and thus the driver needs to be checked:

    • A driver for a different Epson printer model is installed.
    • A printer driver icon for your printer is not listed in the Printers folder.
    • A generic Microsoft ESC/P2 driver is used in place of a full Epson driver.

    1. To check the driver in use, open Printers or Printers and Faxes. This can be accessed from the Start menu, or Control Panel. See How to open the Printers or Printers and Faxes folder in Windows if you require assistance.
    2. Locate the printer icon for your Epson printer.
    3. The printer name should match that of the model. For example if you have a Stylus Photo R300, the model name should be 'Stylus Photo R300 Series' and not another model like 'R310' or list 'ESC/P2' at the end of the name.

      If your printer's model name ends with '50' or '05', the name in the folder will end with '00' instead. For example, if you had the Stylus DX6050 it will be listed here as the Stylus DX6000 Series. This applies to any A4 printer with a model name that ends with '50' or '05'. These products use the same driver and only standard model name is listed.
    4. If the printer name is correct for your model move to Step 8.


    5. If you think that the printer name is not correct for your model, click on the heading that best describes your query:
      • A driver for a different Epson printer model is installed and there is no icon for your specific printer.


        For example, if your printer is the Stylus Photo R300 but the printer icon is named 'Epson Stylus Photo R310', whilst the printers are almost identical but used in different regions, the driver may not work as it is named for another printer and may cause issues with the operation of Status Monitor and reporting ink cartridge information.


        Whilst the printers are almost identical but used in different regions, the driver may not work as it is named for another printer.


        Figure 1: Example of the R310 driver being installed and set as the default printer. For R300 users, the R300 icon should be present and set as the default:


        The wrong printer model was selected when you installed the printer driver as there was a choice of more than one model.


        Figure 2: Example of the Epson Printer Utility Setup giving a choice of more than one printer model at the start of the installation. The R310 is a non-European model, so the R300 should be selected:


        Notes Icon Note:
        • The only instance where the name is slightly different but correct for your printer model is if you have the other edition in a 'Series'.
        • The printer name will always be for the first model in the series, e.g.. the DX6050 will be listed as Epson Stylus DX6000.
        • If you have a different model and are unsure, click here for a model list.


        Solution:
        Uninstall the current driver and reinstall the driver either from the CD-ROM or from the teEpson Support website.
        See Sp 16 for help.

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      • The printer name ends with ESC/P2 - indicating it is a generic Microsoft driver:




        Figure 1: The highlighted driver is an example of a Microsoft ESC/P2 driver.


        A generic Microsoft ESC/P2 driver is in use. This can occur with older Epson printers. This is either automatically added by Windows on detection of the printer, or by the user (using the Found New Hardware, Add Hardware or Add Printer Wizard).


        If the disc that came with your printer does not contain a driver for your version of Windows, we recommend that you check the Epson Support website for a driver.


        Notes Icon Note:

        Any Epson printer that does not have a Parallel interface (i.e. USB or FireWire only) does not have driver support for Windows 95, NT4, or 98 First Edition.

        Epson printers with a Parallel interface have driver support for Windows 98 First Edition, and in some cases for Windows NT4, 95, 3.1 and can support MS-DOS. Check the user guide for information on supported systems and check the Epson Support website for a driver.


        • If an ESC/P2 driver is in use but an Epson driver is available for your system, download and install the driver from the Epson Support website. See How to download Drivers from the Epson website for assistance. Once installed, set it as the default printer.
        • If the computer does not have Internet access but a Microsoft ESC/P2 driver is available, the ESC/P2 driver> can be used as an alternative.
        • For older Epson printers, an ESC/P2 driver can be used a driver is not available from the Epson website. To add an ESC/P2 driver, click on Add a Printer in the Printers folder to check if your printer has an ESC/P2 driver available.

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  10. Check the correct printer is selected in the printer's Properties.



    1. Open the Printers folder from the Start > Settings menu.
    2. Right-click on the printer icon then left-click on Properties.
    3. Click on the Details tab.


    4. Check that the correct driver is selected under 'Print using the following driver'.
      • The printer name listed should match the printer driver you are accessing.
      • If set correctly, move to the next step to check the port setting.
      • If set incorrectly, select the correct driver (printer name) from the drop-down menu then click Apply.

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  11. Check the correct port is selected in the printer's Properties.



    • Should printing fail, it is possible that the information is being sent to the wrong port on the computer.
    • If the printer is using a USB connection for example, it must be set to use the USB port. This is normally configured during the installation of the printer, but if it has been changed or not set correctly, you must select it as the default port in the printer Properties.
    • Should the Test Page have failed to print, it is possible that the information is being sent to the wrong port on the computer. If the printer is using a USB connection, use the correct port. To utilise the printer's USB interface in Windows 98SE/ME, you must select it as the default port in the printer Properties.

    1. You can check the setting under 'Print to the following port'.
    2. Open the printer Properties as you did in Step 9.
    3. Click on the Details tab.
    4. For further instructions, click on the section that matches how your printer connects to your computer:

      For printers connected via Parallel:



      The port setting should be LPTX (where 'X' is a number). It is normally LPT1 and this may be identified as LPT1: (EPSON Printer Port):


      Notes Icon Note:

      If any port in the list is followed by 'Unknown Local Port' this will have to be removed in order to install and use the printer. Click here for guidance on this before proceeding with any further troubleshooting.


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      For printers connected via USB:



      The setting should be EPUSBX (where 'X' represents a number) with the printer name beside it in the Print to the following port list, e.g. EPUSBX: (EPSON Stylus Photo 2100).



      If the setting is correct, then the printer software is installed correctly. First check if an Unknown Local Port is listed. If not listed, move to Step 11.

      Notes Icon Note:

      If any port setting in the list is followed by 'Unknown Local Port', this will have to be removed in order to install and use the printer. Click here for guidance on this before proceeding with any further troubleshooting.


      Correct port is not listed:
      If the correct port is not displayed or the printer name is not listed with it e.g. EPUSBX: (USB Port not connected), click on the Print to the following port list and look for EPUSBX with the EPSON printer name. If available, click on it to select it then click Apply, followed by OK.


      Figure 1: Shows that EPUSB1 is available but it has not been configured properly showing '(USB Port not connected)':


      Notes Icon Note:

      If any option in the list is followed by 'Unknown Local Port', this will have to be removed in order to install and use the printer. Click here for guidance on this before proceeding with any further troubleshooting.


      If it is not listed, move to Step 12 then Step 13.

      Caution Icon Caution:

      Do not click 'Add Port'. This will cause problems with the system - only select ports that are available in the list.


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      For printers connected via FireWire (Windows ME only):




      FireWire support is available to systems pre-installed with Windows ME and with the required FireWire drivers installed for the FireWire interface.


      The setting should be IEEE 1394 with the printer name beside it in the Print to the following port list e.g. IEEE 1394 (EPSON Stylus Photo R1800).

      If this is displayed, then the printer software is installed correctly. Move to Step 11.


      If the correct port is not displayed (with the printer name beside it), click on the Print to the following port list and look for IEEE 1394 with the EPSON printer name. If listed, click on it to select it then click Apply, followed by OK. Next, move to Step 11.


      If IEEE 1394 + Epson printer name not listed, move to Step 14.


      Notes Icon Note:

      If any port setting in the list is followed by 'Unknown Local Port', this will have to be removed in order to install and use the printer. Click here for guidance on this before proceeding with any further troubleshooting.


      Caution Icon Caution:

      Do not click 'Add Port' as this will cause problems with the system - only select ports that are available in the list.

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  12. 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 Printers folder from Start > Settings > Printers.
    2. Double-click on your printer icon.
    3. If documents are in the queue and not printing, check for a status.
    4. If the status is 'Paused', click on the document then click on the Pause/Resume button. The document should resume printing. If there is more than one listed, repeat this process. If it does not resume printing, cancel it using the guidance below.
    5. If the status is 'Stopped' or 'Printing', delete the document. Click on it in the list then click on the Cancel button. If there is more than one listed, repeat this process.
    6. Restart the computer.
    7. Once restarted, open the Printers folder and check the status of the printer. Double-click on the printer icon and a window will appear.
    8. If it is Paused, click on the Pause/Resume button then close the window.


    9. If there is more than one copy of the printer icon for your printer e.g. you have a choice of 'EPSON Stylus xxx Series' and 'EPSON Stylus xxx Series (Copy 1)', as '(Copy 1)' is the most recent it should be set as the default printer. To do this right-click on the printer icon, select Set as Default from the menu.

  13. Check the Spool Settings in the printer Properties. Bi-directional support should be enabled. If it is disabled, Status Monitor will not operate.



    Open the printer Properties then click the Details tab. Click on Spool Settings and the following window will appear. We recommend that your settings match those in the example:



  14. If the correct port and driver are in use and the printer appears ready to print, test the printer. Open the printer Properties and open the General tab. Click on Print Test Page. See How to Print a Test Page in Windows on how to do this.

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


    1. You can find most of the information about your system in System Properties. Right-click on My Computer then left-click on Properties. Listed on the General tab 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 My Computer. Right-click on the local hard drive (normally C:) then left-click on Properties. The amount of used and available hard disc 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.
    4. Ensure that Windows is fully updated. You can update Windows using the Windows Update tool, available from the Microsoft Website.

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


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  16. Check Device Manager for any errors, specifically any erroroneous entries that relate to your Epson product. If any errors are listed, attempt to fix them following the advice provided by Windows in the device's Properties.




    1. Right-click on My Computer and left-click on Properties.
    2. Click on the Device Manager tab. Click here if you need help with this step.
    3. In Device Manager, check for any entries displaying an error symbol:

      Symbol Meaning Recommended action
      If a yellow question mark appears over an identified device, there is an error with the driver installation or the driver may need to be updated. Right-click on the device entry and left-click on Update Driver from the menu.
      If an exclamation mark is over a device icon, there is an error with the driver or no driver is installed. Right-click on the device entry and left-click Uninstall, disconnect then reconnect the product.
      If a red cross is over a device icon, the device is disabled. Right-click on the device entry and left-click on Enable in the menu.


    4. Follow the section appropriate for how your printer connects to the computer:

      USB Printers:



      Incorrect or incomplete software installation can lead to USB problems. If you cancelled the plug-and-play driver installation in Windows 98SE or Me before the procedure was complete, the printer software may be incorrectly installed.


      Notes Icon Note:

      • Your computer must be a Windows 98SE, Me pre-installed model, or a Windows 98 pre-installed model that was upgraded to Windows Me.
      • You may not be able to install or run the USB printer driver or software CD-ROM on a computer that does not meet these specifications, or that is not equipped with a built-in USB port.


      If your drivers are correctly installed, EPSON USB Printer Devices should appear on the Device Manager menu with the USB Printer listed below without an error:



      If EPSON USB Printer Devices does not appear on the Device Manager menu, the software is not correctly installed

      1. Click the [+] sign beside Other Devices to view the installed devices.
      2. If USB Printer, USB 2.0 Printer, USB MFP, USB 2.0 MFP, the EPSON printer name (e.g. EPSON Stylus Photo R1800) appears under Other Devices, this confirms that the printer software is not installed correctly. Proceed to Step 4 within this section.

        (For All-In-One products, there may be three listings: USB 2.0 MFP, USB 2.0 MFP, EPSON Epson_USB_Mass_Storage.)



      3. If neither USB Printer, USB 2.0 Printer, USB MFP, USB 2.0 MFP, the EPSON printer name appears under Other Devices, the printer may not be detected by the computer. Click on Refresh or 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 4 within this section.
        1. If these items do not appear, check for Unknown Device listed under Other Devices and Universal Serial Bus Controllers.
        2. If Unknown Device is listed, click Refresh or unplug the USB cable from the printer, then plug it into the printer again.
        3. If the Unknown Device reappears, click on it then click Remove. A prompt will appear, click OK. Then click Close to exit Device Manager. You will now need to uninstall the software - move to Step 15 for instructions.
        4. If Unknown Device does not reappear but another listing appears on the menu, check the name and where it appears. Check if it is one of the items mentioned above and follow the recommended action in this section (EPSON USB Printer Devices, USB Printer, USB 2.0 Printer, USB MFP, USB 2.0 MFP, EPSON printer name).
        5. If none of these items appear, the printer is not detected so unplug other USB devices and connect only your USB printer. If it is not detected, there may be a problem with your computer, or your system may not have USB support.
          1. Check for Universal Serial Bus Controllers on the Device Manager menu.
          2. If Universal Serial Bus Controllers does not appear, then your system does not have USB support. Contact your vendor for support.

        Notes Icon Note:

        There are known issues with the Via/Via TECH USB Controllers that may effect the detection, installation and communication of the printer with the computer. It can also cause the computer system to hang, or not boot up when the printer is connected.
        See this article for further assistance.


        Microsoft does not provide USB 2.0 driver support for Windows 98SE and ME - this is provided by the manufacturer of the USB chipset. For earlier systems such as this, USB 2.0 connectivity is not pre-installed, but added with a PCI card. Please be advised we cannot support the use of a PCI card with the printer if it does not detect it.


      4. Under Other Devices, select USB Printer (or USB 2.0 Printer, USB MFP, USB 2.0 MFP) or the EPSON printer name (e.g. EPSON Stylus Photo R1800) and click Remove.


        A Confirm Device Removal prompt will appear, click OK:



        Click Close to exit Device Manager. You will now need to uninstall the software - see Step 15 for assistance.


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      Parallel printers:



      1. Click on the [+] plus beside Ports (COM & LPT).
        • If the Epson software is correctly installed, the LPT1 port is normally listed as EPSON Printer Port (LPT1). Move to Step 2 within this section.

          If it is not listed as EPSON Printer Port (LPT1), the correct listing should be ECP Printer Port (LPT1). You can optimise the Parallel port usage by using the Epson Printer Port and checking the DMA option. See How to enable the EPSON Printer Port and DMA Transfer.


        • If it is not listed as ECP Printer Port (LPT1) and appears as EPP Printer Port (LPT1) or Printer Port (LPT1) for example, it may be capable of operating but any other settings can cause communication problems such as those being experienced. The 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.

      2. The LPT1 entry should be listed without any errors.
        If listed with an error, attempt to fix it. For example if listed with a red cross, this means it is disabled so right-click on the entry and left-click on LPT and click Enable.

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      FireWire printers:




      If your drivers are correctly installed, EPSON 1394.3 Printer Devices should appear on the Device Manager menu.


      If EPSON 1394.3 Printer Devices does not appear on the Device Manager menu, the printer software is not installed correctly.


      1. Click the [+] plus sign beside Other Devices to view the installed devices.
      2. If EPSON 1394.3 Printer Devices, 1394.3 Printer, FireWire Printer, or the EPSON printer name (e.g. EPSON Stylus Photo R1800) appear under Other Devices, this confirms the software is incorrectly installed so proceed to Step 4 within this section.
      3. If neither EPSON 1394.3 Printer Devices, 1394.3 Printer, FireWire Printer, or the EPSON printer name appear under Other Devices, click Refresh or unplug the FireWire cable from the printer, then plug it into the printer again. Once you have confirmed that these items appear, proceed to Step 4 within this section.
        • If these items do not appear, check for an Unknown Device listed under Other Devices or 1394 Bus Host Controllers. If Unknown Device appears, click Refresh or unplug the FireWire cable from the printer, then plug it into the printer again.
        • If the Unknown Device reappears, click on the Unknown Device then click Remove. A prompt will appear - click OK. Then click Close to close the Device Manager window, you will now need to uninstall the printer software. Move to the Step 15 to uninstall and reinstall the printer driver.

          If the Unknown Device does not reappear but another listing appears on the menu, check the name and where it appears.


        • If none of these items appear, the printer is not detected so unplug other FireWire devices and connect only your FireWire printer. If it is not detected, there may be a problem with your computer, or your system may not have FireWire support. Check for 1394 Bus Host Controllers on the Device Manager menu:


        • If 1394 Bus Controllers does not appear, then your system does not have FireWire support. Contact your vendor for advice.

      4. Under Other Devices, select 1394.3 Printer or the EPSON printer name (e.g. EPSON Stylus Photo R1800) and click Remove. A prompt will appear, click OK. Then click Close to exit Device Manager. You will now need to uninstall the printer software. Move to the Step 15 to uninstall and reinstall the printer driver.

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    Notes Icon Note:
    • Device Manager is not available on NT systems or Win 3.x.
    • If you are using Windows NT 4.0, uninstall the EPSON Printer Port. Click Start, point to Programs and then to EPSON Printers, then click EPSON Printer Port Uninstall. Follow the on-screen instructions.


  17. Uninstall and reinstall the printer driver. Should the issue still be present after following the advice above, the next step would be to uninstall and reinstall the printer driver, therefore restoring the driver to the default settings. Click on the section appropriate for how your printer connects to the computer:

      USB Printer Uninstall:




      1. Click here to follow the uninstall and reinstall process. Return to this article once you have followed the article.
      2. Once the computer has restarted, print a Test Page.
      3. Open Start > Settings > Printers. Right-click the Epson printer icon then left-click on Properties. From the bottom of the General tab, click on Print Test Page.

        If the issue has not been resolved by uninstalling and reinstalling the printer driver, we recommend disabling USB error detection. See the next step for assistance.


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      Parallel Printer Uninstall:





      1. Click here to follow the process to uninstall the printer driver. Return to this article when you have completed the steps.

      2. When the computer has restarted, the software is now uninstalled. Before reinstalling, to ensure that your EPSON product performs to its optimum you will need to connect it directly to a relevant port on your computer.
      3. Connect the Parallel cable to the computer's Parallel port with the printer powered OFF. You will need to have the CD-ROM in the drive to reinstall the printer.
      4. Run the CD-ROM if it does not start automatically; open My Computer and double-click on the EPSON CD icon.
      5. The Epson installation menu will open, follow the instructions to select the Printer Driver and Status Monitor to install.
      6. Follow the on-screen instructions, powering the printer on when prompted.
      7. You will be notified when the installation is complete - it should confirm that the port is set to LPT1. Restart the computer.
      8. Once restarted, print a Test Page. Open Start > Settings > Printers. Right-click the Epson printer icon then left-click on Properties. From the bottom of the General tab, click on Print Test Page.

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      FireWire Printer Uninstall (Windows ME only):




      Follow the steps below to uninstall the printer driver:

      1. Click here to follow the uninstall process. Return to this article once you have followed the article.
      2. Before reinstalling the printer software, in order to ensure that your EPSON product performs to its optimum you will need to connect it directly to a relevant port on your computer.

        It is very important when installing a FireWire port with Windows ME, that Windows first detects your FireWire printer and asks you to install the software before you install the printer software.


      3. Connect the FireWire cable to the computer's FireWire port with the printer powered on, then allow windows to pick up the FireWire device using Plug & Play. You will need to have the CD-ROM in the drive to reinstall the printer.
      4. When Windows detects the device, the Found New Hardware Wizard will appear. Click Next.
      5. On the next window, select the option to let Windows Search for the best driver for your device and click Next.
      6. At the next screen, select the option to Specify a location and click on the Browse button.
      7. Browse to the EPSON CD-ROM and then browse to the /English/WIN9X folder on the CD, or browse to a downloaded driver then click OK to return to the previous window.
      8. Click Next and the installation should start copying files. Once Windows notifies you that it has finished installing the software, click Finish. Eject the Epson Printer Software CD-ROM and restart the computer.
      9. Once restarted, print a Test Page. Open Start > Settings > Printers. Right-click the Epson printer icon then left-click on Properties. From the bottom of the General tab, click on Print Test Page.

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  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 or a FireWire connection, this does not apply so move to step 18.



    1. Right-click on My Computer then left-click on Properties. Click on the Device Manager tab.
    2. Locate the branch Universal Serial Bus Controllers.
    3. Click on the [+] beside Universal Serial Bus Controllers and this will show 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. Click into the box for 'Disable USB Error Detection' so a tick is beside it.


    7. Click OK to save the setting and return to Device Manager.
    8. Close Device Manager and restart the computer. Try printing again.
    9. If the issue is still present, move to Step 18.

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



    The next stage in troubleshooting would be to disable the background programs that run in Windows.
    These can conflict with the printer software operation. This can cause the following symptoms:

    • Printer does not print from the computer.
    • The printer prints part of the print run or partial pages - does not complete print job.
    • Prints successfully from some but not all programs.
    • Print quality issues.
    • Status Monitor does not operate or detect the printer.
    • Slow printing from the computer.

    Windows 95, NT:
    If you are experiencing any of these problems, open the Windows Task Manager - press CTRL + ALT + DEL. Highlight each program in turn (except Explorer and Systray) and click on End Task. Close Task Manager then try to print.


    Windows 98, ME:
    If you are experiencing any of these problems, disable the Startup Items in the System Configuration Utility (MSConfig). See How to use the System Configuration Utility (MSConfig) for a full guide to this procedure.


    If printing is not possible, the problem is not related to a conflict with a Startup item or process. Follow the instructions in the guide to re-enable the Startup Items the move to the next step in this troubleshooting.


    Slow printing can be caused by settings in the printer driver, the size of the data being sent to the printer (i.e. a large file such as a photo), in addition to the spooling system. If printing is slow following this procedure, see How to Troubleshoot Slow Printing in Windows. If partial pages are printed following this procedure, see Partial Pages are printed - incomplete text or image.

    If the problem is still present, follow this article from the start to ensure that all possible causes have been addressed.


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



    • If the above troubleshooting fails to resolve the particular problem you are experiencing then we must eliminate any physical connection faults in the chain. The easiest to check is the data cable, either by trying a different cable completely or the same cable on another device.
    • Finally, if necessary, try the printer on another computer completely to establish where the problem lies. A 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 it would indicate a problem with the computer.
    • If the printer still does not work on another computer, then having gone through all of the above, we would recommend contacting Epson or taking your printer to the nearest Epson Express Centre for testing.

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