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Printers are mysterious Pandora's boxes from Hell, of which I know little about. I turn to you demon-tamers for your knowledge.

What are the key parts of a laser printer?

What are the typical print quality problems (ex. lines through the document), which part causes it, and how are they fixed?

What should be done during maintinance rituals, and how often should regular maintinance occur?

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closed as off topic by Evan Anderson, squillman, mdpc, Sven, Iain Jan 13 '12 at 19:34

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I'm feeling like this one is off-topic. Configuration of the "brains" of a networked printer is clearly a Server Fault subject area, but when it comes to the mechanical issues that can cause printing defects I'm leaning toward saying the question is off-topic. It's a valid question, but I'm not sure Server Fault is the place for it. –  Evan Anderson Jan 13 '12 at 19:27
    
Where would be the place for it? Supporting printers is well within the domain of IT. –  Bigbio2002 Jan 13 '12 at 19:28
    
I agree with Evan. I'd say try it on Super User. –  squillman Jan 13 '12 at 19:30
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@Bigbio2002: I'm not sure where, in the Stack Exchange sites, this question really fits! Like I said, it's a valid question. I'm just not sure it fits Server Fault. –  Evan Anderson Jan 13 '12 at 19:30
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Most regular users or enthusiasts don't have $1,500 laser printers sitting next to their custom-built gaming rig. But if you think SU is a better place, feel free to move it. –  Bigbio2002 Jan 13 '12 at 19:36

2 Answers 2

up vote 2 down vote accepted

Wikipedia explains it in more detail than a post on here could http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Laser_printer

For lines through document, I would first check there is enough toner (sometimes shaking a nearly empty cartridge sorts it out for a little while), then I would clean the developer blades, and if no joy then replace them.

However if you aren't certain what you are doing, it may be better to call in someone who specialises in this as taking them apart is normally easy, but putting them back together can be harder.

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The How Stuff Works article on laser printers is a good introduction to (get this) how laser printers work: howstuffworks.com/laser-printer.htm I do think, as a matter of principle, it's good to have a basic understanding of how the technology you use on a day-to-day basis actually works. –  Evan Anderson Jan 13 '12 at 19:34

Actually, most of what you ask for is model specific. The "Manual" or "Operation Guide" to your printer(s) contains a "Maintenance" and a "Troubleshooting" section describing the steps in detail. Stick to the documented processes, if it does not help, call customer support.

Although there are principles of operation common to all printers, the actual implementation and the procedures vastly differ. As an off-topic example the knowledge of the principles of a combustion engine would not qualify you as a motor mechanic for a modern BMW.

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I really have to wonder about the downvotes. All of the questioner's questions are explicitly addressed in the typical printer documentation and the answers would be model-specific. Also, in a professional environment, this is exactly what you do - RTFM and call support. –  the-wabbit Jan 13 '12 at 20:57
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I'm not one of the downvoters, but I think it's the tone of your answer that's prompting them to do so. I think the tone is fair and practical but does have a ring of "let me Google that for you" to it. –  Evan Anderson Jan 13 '12 at 21:55
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I'm not one of the downvoters either, but I agree with Evan - the writing tone suggests "sigh RTFM darn you!" -- If you do a quick rewrite to "nice it up" a bit this is actually an excellent answer. –  voretaq7 Jan 13 '12 at 23:28
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@voretaq7 you are right, the original response might have sounded belittling. –  the-wabbit Jan 13 '12 at 23:47
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this one is better. I'll upvote when I have votes again :-) –  voretaq7 Jan 13 '12 at 23:49

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