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#1 Carson Coyote

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Posted 13 September 2011 - 04:28 PM

Okay, so here's the deal: About a week ago, my mom asked me to see if I could figure out what was wrong with the printer. She said "everything is printing out green." I look into it, and realized that the printer was not printing any magenta tones. So I figured it was an ink or printer head issue. Or was it?

Later that day, my mom told me that it wasn't the printer, because it was happening with every printer she connected to the computer. I had to see if this was really happening, and it was, unfortunately.

I've tried everything I could think of (Google searches, driver updates, driver re-installations, color management settings, etc.), but nothing helps. My mom told me that she tried printing out a page of red text, and it worked, but nothing else would work besides that.

So, if anyone has any ideas as to what is causing this, please let me know. My entire family is going crazy, because we can't print anything out.


Technical Details:

The computer is running Windows XP MCE 2005, Service Pack 3

The printers are a Kodak ESP 5250 AiO (which has been nothing but trouble since we got it), and three identical EPSON Stylus CX7450 AiO's.

#2 Ryland

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Posted 13 September 2011 - 05:06 PM

Are you sure the drivers are compatible with the OS?

I never use printers because I have flash drives, soo I would not be much help. :P
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#3 HuskyDog

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Posted 13 September 2011 - 05:31 PM

I have never heard of this happening before.

It has to be a driver issue. Have you tried printing to PDF? Go online and download cutepdf for free. If it truly is printer agnostic and has to do with your computer, my guess is that you will see your PDF "printouts" all be in green as well.
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#4 Adair

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Posted 13 September 2011 - 07:45 PM

Yeah, try printing to a PDF like Husky said. See what that comes out like.

If it's not dependent on the printer, then it wouldn't be an individual printer driver, it'd have to be the print spooler or something, which is part of the OS...

If your PDFs turn out green, you might be looking to reinstall the OS on the computer, which should be done ever 6 to 12 months anyway.

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#5 Carson Coyote

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Posted 14 September 2011 - 04:49 AM

Printed to PDF, and it worked fine, so I dunno what the deal is. :-/

Could this be an issue with the USB cable? That's something I hadn't thought of until now, so I'll have to try another cable tomorrow. *shrugs*

Thanks for your suggestions, guys! I really appreciate your help! :)

#6 HuskyDog

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Posted 14 September 2011 - 05:11 AM

Printed to PDF, and it worked fine, so I dunno what the deal is. :-/

Could this be an issue with the USB cable? That's something I hadn't thought of until now, so I'll have to try another cable tomorrow. *shrugs*

Thanks for your suggestions, guys! I really appreciate your help! :)


The USB cable is just a dumb data pipe. USB data is encapsulated in packets. If it was a bad cable, chances are it wouldn't print at all.

My guess is that it actually is the printer. You said you tried a bunch of Epsons. If you don't print stuff often enough on those, the print head nozzles will clog from dried ink. We constantly would have the yellow ink stop working, even if we put in a new cartridge. It would clog because the print head nozzle is built into the printer, and not a part of the cartridge (like in HP printers). I don't know about the Kodak printer but it sounds to me like it's just bad news. :P

My suggestion is to try cleaning out the nozzles (I'm sure you can find something online that will tell you how). If that's not good enough, then just don't buy Epson. :P I swear by HP, myself, but it's up to you. Apparently Epson is best for office environments or when you are printing things constantly anyway.
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#7 Guest_Wolfin_*

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Posted 14 September 2011 - 07:58 PM

Me, I swear /at/ our HPs. All printers are just cheap cartridge holders these days :/

#8 HuskyDog

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Posted 14 September 2011 - 08:14 PM

Me, I swear /at/ our HPs. All printers are just cheap cartridge holders these days :/

The first printer we bought was an HP DeskJet 690C, back when we were running Windows 3.1 at home. It worked great. I don't think we've ever seen an Hp printer break down. We replaced them but only because we needed a better printer. We even inherited a DeskJet 600 and it still worked when we ditched it. Our Epson though was out the door in months.

I still use my HP DeskJet 5150 that I got for college in 2004 and it works perfectly fine. I have no desire to replace it. :P
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#9 Adair

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Posted 15 September 2011 - 12:27 AM

Yea, HP's consumer grade stuff isn't so great. Their business grade stuff is pretty good tho.

This is a rather odd problem though, not one I've encountered.

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#10 Carson Coyote

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Posted 15 September 2011 - 07:43 PM

The USB cable is just a dumb data pipe. USB data is encapsulated in packets. If it was a bad cable, chances are it wouldn't print at all.

Yeah, that's true.

My guess is that it actually is the printer. You said you tried a bunch of Epsons. If you don't print stuff often enough on those, the print head nozzles will clog from dried ink. We constantly would have the yellow ink stop working, even if we put in a new cartridge. It would clog because the print head nozzle is built into the printer, and not a part of the cartridge (like in HP printers). I don't know about the Kodak printer but it sounds to me like it's just bad news. :P

Yeah, this is what I thought the problem was, but the odd thing is that it happens only with magenta on all three Epson printers, as well as the Kodak printer. The Epson's use separate cartridges for each color, while the Kodak uses a black cartridge and a color cartridge. If it was just a print head issue, I don't think it would affect all four printers in exactly the same way.
That's why I'm so confused about this whole thing.


My suggestion is to try cleaning out the nozzles (I'm sure you can find something online that will tell you how). If that's not good enough, then just don't buy Epson. :P I swear by HP, myself, but it's up to you. Apparently Epson is best for office environments or when you are printing things constantly anyway.

Tried cleaning the nozzles, but nothing has changed. :-/

We've been Epson people since we got our Epson Stylus Color 600 in 1996 or 1997. That thing lasted for close to ten years (it might work still), and we have had good experiences with Epson since then, but the ink was becoming expensive. That's why we switched to the Kodak printer, because their ink was more affordable. But now Kodak has raised their ink prices, so it ends up costing about the same. :dodgy:

#11 Adair

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Posted 15 September 2011 - 08:29 PM

Color Laser. All I gotta say to ink prices.
Pay $50, print 200 pages. Or pay $100, and print 2,000 pages

You get the color issue fixed Carson?

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#12 HuskyDog

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Posted 15 September 2011 - 08:51 PM


The USB cable is just a dumb data pipe. USB data is encapsulated in packets. If it was a bad cable, chances are it wouldn't print at all.

Yeah, that's true.

My guess is that it actually is the printer. You said you tried a bunch of Epsons. If you don't print stuff often enough on those, the print head nozzles will clog from dried ink. We constantly would have the yellow ink stop working, even if we put in a new cartridge. It would clog because the print head nozzle is built into the printer, and not a part of the cartridge (like in HP printers). I don't know about the Kodak printer but it sounds to me like it's just bad news. :P

Yeah, this is what I thought the problem was, but the odd thing is that it happens only with magenta on all three Epson printers, as well as the Kodak printer. The Epson's use separate cartridges for each color, while the Kodak uses a black cartridge and a color cartridge. If it was just a print head issue, I don't think it would affect all four printers in exactly the same way.
That's why I'm so confused about this whole thing.


My suggestion is to try cleaning out the nozzles (I'm sure you can find something online that will tell you how). If that's not good enough, then just don't buy Epson. :P I swear by HP, myself, but it's up to you. Apparently Epson is best for office environments or when you are printing things constantly anyway.

Tried cleaning the nozzles, but nothing has changed. :-/

We've been Epson people since we got our Epson Stylus Color 600 in 1996 or 1997. That thing lasted for close to ten years (it might work still), and we have had good experiences with Epson since then, but the ink was becoming expensive. That's why we switched to the Kodak printer, because their ink was more affordable. But now Kodak has raised their ink prices, so it ends up costing about the same. :dodgy:

Then I would say to check your print settings. There sometimes are options specifying what colors to use when out of black, and other color management settings. Maybe you set it only to use magenta, somehow. Sometimes when reinstalling drivers, settings get carried over. Or, it is an option in the settings for the program you are printing from.

Have you tried the printers on a different computer?
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#13 Carson Coyote

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Posted 16 September 2011 - 12:03 AM

Okay, I've found the problem. It is a clogged print head. The reason why I didn't figure this out until now is because my mom never told me that she had only tried one of the Epson printers. :blush:

So, while I thought all three printers were messed up, it was actually just one printer. Unfortunately, one of the Epson's can't print magenta, while another can't print black. And then there is the third printer, my printer, that is all screwed up because I let a guy from my church borrow it to scan some stuff, and he apparently broke it and didn't tell me.:dodgy:

Thanks for all of your help! :)

#14 HuskyDog

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Posted 16 September 2011 - 12:05 AM

Glad that mystery is solved! You *can* clean the print heads. It's just difficult, apparently. Good luck. :)
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