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Getting my printer to start - Input Junkie
October 4th, 2013
09:10 pm


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Getting my printer to start
I have a Canon MX870, and it's basically satisfactory (aside from expensive ink and being slow to get begin printing), but it has fits of refusing to turn on.

I somehow found out that unplugging and replugging it would work.... except that recently it didn't.

I found this, and it suggested plugging the printer into the wall instead of a power strip.

This worked, which was a relief, but I'm left with two questions. Apparently, the failure to turn on unless you fiddle with it is a problem with a number of Canon printers. Can this possibly be a hard problem, considering that I've never had any other electrical device that suffers from it?

Is the electricity from the wall different from the electricity from a power strip? Should I give up on laws of nature? Or might it be that sometimes the printer needs to be unplugged and replugged a bunch of times, and having many alternative places to plug it in (I'd previously gotten good results by plugging it into different outlets on the power strip) means that I eventually achieve the magic number?

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(8 comments | Leave a comment)

[User Picture]
Date:October 5th, 2013 01:40 am (UTC)
The electricity is the same. Using the wall instead of the power strip is just to eliminate the possibility of the power strip being broken.

It could be your power strip is flaky but my guess is it's just a matter of plugging and unplugging enough times to get lucky.
[User Picture]
Date:October 5th, 2013 01:47 am (UTC)


Not really any difference.

My initial guess would be that the power cord is bad. Plugging it into multiple places eventually jiggers it so it works. Or when it makes a connection, you stop trying new sockets.

The second guess would be that something in the printer is on the way out. (Does leaving it unplugged for some amount of time and then plugging it in bring it back to life?)

Third guess is poltergeists or gremlins, but you're on your own with them.
[User Picture]
Date:October 5th, 2013 02:15 am (UTC)

Replace the power strip

Would be my guess.

I have this exact printer and don't have this problem. (I'm too lazy to go look, but I'd also try replacing the printer power cord if replacing the strip doesn't work.)

Mine is plugged into a strip (well actually a power octopus - or really a pentapus I guess, but same thing.)
[User Picture]
Date:October 5th, 2013 07:36 am (UTC)
I am of a sudden all unaccountably reminded of a magazine cartoon that showed a group of mechanics huddled together, backed against a wall, staring toward the open hood of a vehicle; in the foreground, another is telling a man in a business suit, "Sir, our team has come to the conclusion that your car is possessed by an evil spirit."
[User Picture]
Date:October 5th, 2013 09:45 am (UTC)
Variant on that, couple of techs peering into someone's computer and one saying to the owner, "Have you tried sacrificing a virgin?"

The "don't use a power strip" thing is probably because strip sockets tend to be very very cheap and individual sockets on the strip can be intermittent whereas in theory a wall socket should be up to local code and more reliable. It's also something else in the daisy-chain that can pull loose.

Flaky power-up gradually getting worse, my guess (educated and experienced but without the ability to lay hands on the kit in question) is the power supply for the printer is on its way out. I'd go further and say "capacitor plague" but without seeing the insides of it I can't be sure.
[User Picture]
Date:October 5th, 2013 11:35 am (UTC)
One of Nancy's older buttons says something like, "There are perfectly sound technological reasons why it is necessary to sacrifice a goat to get SCSI working."
[User Picture]
Date:October 5th, 2013 11:42 am (UTC)
Yes, but which KIND of goat? You need two small ones of different kinds for for low-voltage differential signalling, a fast one for ultra-SCSI, a fat one for wide SCSI, a fast fat one for UWSCSI, a skinny one for regular SCSI and a really old one for classical Shugart Associates System Interface (the original SASI).

Been there, done that, got the 50-way rainbow ribbon cable with an incompatible connector on either end and dodgy IDC connectors in the middle.
[User Picture]
Date:October 5th, 2013 07:29 pm (UTC)
I think it may be time to pull out the big guns and get Sora to lend you Chip and Dale.
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