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Help! My Printer Stopped Printing in the Middle!

So, you profiled your monitor and then slaved over your favorite image in Photoshop until it was perfect. You went to print it out and halfway through doing so, your printer just stopped. For no apparent reason, it just stopped dead in its tracks. There are two likely possibilities for what might have happened:

The printing process spools the data generated by Photoshop (or any other application) to your hard drive on its way to your printer in order to free up your application as soon as possible. These files can easily be several hundred megabytes for a large print. If you are running low on disk space, the spooling process could fail when the disk fills. If this happens, only the data for the first half of the image will have been spooled, so only this much gets printed. Once the temporary spool file has been deleted though, the disk no longer looks full. As hard drives get bigger and bigger, the likelihood of filling them does go down, but photographers tend to accumulate large numbers of big image files so if anyone could fill one, it would be a digital photographer. Insufficient memory can also cause similar problems on a Macintosh.

If your printer connects over USB, the other possibility would be a communication problem between your computer and printer. Epson advises that printers should be connected directly to the computer rather than via a hub. Always use a good quality cable. Cheap cables can definitely cause problems. You may also receive a warning message to the effect that "A HI-SPEED USB Device is Plugged into a non-HI-SPEED USB Hub" if your computer does not support USB 2.0. While this should not cause your printer not to print correctly, it will slow it down quite a bit.

As good as current desktop inkjet printers are, nothing is perfect. Apart from getting the color right, this seems to be one of the more frequent problems people encounter. Most people never experience this symptom, but if you do, hopefully this will help.

Date posted: May 2, 2004


Copyright © 2004 Bob Johnson, Earthbound Light - all rights reserved.
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