Saturday, June 25, 2016

Hewlett Packard All in One Printer Wasn't All in One for a time (on scan and copy power)

Although I didn't advertise it at the time, I recently left my home for a one-week vacation in Washington DC. (Actually more than one week, including an overnight stay in a cot at DFW, but that's another story.) Before leaving the house, I dutifully turned off and/or unplugged various electronic devices, thinking nothing of it...

...until, after our return, we were unable to scan a picture on our HP 8600 All-in-One printer - the kind that prints, copies, scans, faxes, shines floors, and improves desserts.

The printer still printed, but the scanning part wasn't scanning. And then we discovered that the copying part wasn't copying either. Time to visit the HP Customer Support website, where I found a page that specifically addressed my error message:

Scanner failure. Unable to scan, copy, or send a fax

So I proceeded to solution one, resetting the printer. This was a simple solution that required me to unplug the power cord at the printer end, unplug it at the surge suppressor, and then replug the cord at the surge suppressor and printer ends. After this I was able to successfully copy - but couldn't scan, and then was unable to copy again.

Time for solution two, which definitely merited consideration.

The surge protector, extension cord, or power strip you were using [may] not allow enough voltage for the printer to work properly.

I then remembered that when I went on vacation, I ended up unplugging a few things. By chance did I unplug the printer from the wall, and then plug it in to the surge suppressor?

On to executing solution two. I tried to turn the printer off, couldn't, and then proceeded to step 2 to unplug the printer from the surge suppressor. After plugging it directly into the wall outlet, everything worked fine, including both copying and scanning. (I haven't had the fax set up for years.)

I then remembered why I probably didn't have the printer plugged into the surge suppressor in the first place. I was probably afraid that I'd overload the surge suppressor. And after all, new printers can be bought for a couple of quarters these days (the old "sell the razors cheap and razor blades dear" strategy), so it really didn't matter if an electrical storm fried my printer.

Now I just have to replace my ancient Windows Vista computer.
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