Printer Communication Error
What are the causes behind printer communication error?
Based on the way in which printers are connected, they are of two types- Attached Printer which is connected to a standalone computer and a Network Printer which is connected on a network. Printers can be shared across a network so that all the computers in that network can access this printer. A connection to a printer can be established through a cable or using wireless technology. You might come across the message “A communication error has occurred” while printing and normally this can occur if the connection to the printer from the computer cannot be established. If it is a Network printer, the antivirus software installed in the computers might block the connection and the printer needs to be configured in the firewall. This can also happen if the printer software or the Windows service which is responsible for printing tasks is disabled or not working.
Following are some steps to resolve common issues related to printer communication error:
- Check the printer cable
- Reinstall printer drivers
- Enable Print Spooler service
Check the printer cable
The connection to a printer can be established through a USB or a parallel port with the help of a cable. In normal cases, you need to check whether the cable from the computer to the printer is well established. You can also unplug and replug the cable on both ends and ensure that a physical connection exists. In case of Network printers where there is no physical connection, ensure that the wireless adapter in the computer is turned on and the printer is detected.
Reinstall printer drivers
A printer driver is the software that interfaces printers to the computer. It is the job of this driver to control the printer by feeding data and controlling commands. If the printer driver is corrupted or not working, it can cause communication error and to resolve this you need to either update the driver or reinstall them. The status of the printer driver can be checked in Device Manager in Windows. Even though most of the latest OS has most common printer drivers, you can download and install them from the printer manufacture’s website.
Print Spooler is a Windows service which was designed to make printing an easy task by controlling the applications fed to the printer. When a document is sent for printing, it goes through the Print Spooler initially. Print Spooler maintains a queue and then printing job one after the other. Print Spooler service should be always set to Started/Automatic for the printing job to be executed. You can check the status of the Print Spooler service from Microsoft Windows Services Console.
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