Article ID: 308028 - View products that this article applies to.
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Introduction

This article contains links to content that describes how to fix the most common printer issues. Look to see if your printer issue is addressed by these links.

This article also lists system and online resources that you can use to help you solve your printing problem. For example, this article describes how to use the Printing Troubleshooter, which is included in Windows XP and provides guided assistance to help you diagnose and solve your printer issue.

How to fix the most common printer issues

To resolve the most common Windows XP printer issues, visit the following Microsoft Web sites:
How to download and install the latest printer driver from your printer manufacturer's Web site
http://support.microsoft.com/gp/pc_print_introduction

Information about where to buy and how to change a printer cartridge
http://support.microsoft.com/gp/pc_print_cartridge

How to cancel printing or to delete a print job that is stuck in the print queue in Windows XP
http://support.microsoft.com/gp/pc_print_introductiontocanc

To resolve most printer issues, visit the following Microsoft Web site:
Help and support for printing in Windows XP
http://support.microsoft.com/gp/printxp

Printer support in Windows XP Help and Support Center

Finding printer help in Windows XP

Windows XP Help and Support Center contains many help topics to help you solve printer problems.

To locate printer help in Windows XP, do the following:
  1. Click Start, and then click Printers and Faxes.
  2. On the Help menu, click Help and Support Center.
  3. In Help and Support Center, click Fixing a printing problem.

    You can also type search terms into the Search field in Help and Support Center, and then press ENTER.
  4. Select a topic that addresses your printer problem.

How to use the Printing Troubleshooter

The Printing Troubleshooter is included in Windows XP and has step-by-step instructions for troubleshooting the following printing problems in Windows XP:
  • You cannot install a local printer.
  • Your photo printout quality is poor.
  • Your document does not print at all.
  • Some of your printer's features do not work.
  • Printed text or graphics is incomplete.
  • Fonts are missing or do not look the same as they do on the screen.
  • Printing is unusually slow.
  • You cannot print from an MS-DOS-based program or from the MS-DOS command prompt.
  • You receive the following error message:
    The printer driver is not compatible with a policy enabled on your computer that blocks Windows NT 4.0 or Windows 2000 kernel-mode drivers.

How to start the Printing Troubleshooter

If you are already familiar with Windows XP Help and Support Center, click here to start the Printing Troubleshooter automatically.

If you are not yet familiar with Windows XP Help and Support Center, or if the link does not work, we recommend that you follow these steps to start the Printing Troubleshooter:
  1. Click Start, and then click Printers and Faxes.
  2. On the Help menu, click Help and Support Center.
  3. In Help and Support Center, click Fixing a printing problem.
  4. In the right pane, click Printing Troubleshooter.

How to use the Printing Troubleshooter

  1. Click the option that describes the problem that is occurring, and then click Next.
  2. Repeat step 1 until your problem is resolved or you have reached the end of the troubleshooting path. Notice that you can click Back at any time to repeat the last step, or click Start Over to start the Printing Troubleshooter again.

Online printer support

Most Windows XP printer problems can be resolved by visiting the following Microsoft Web site:
Help and support for printing in Windows XP
http://support.microsoft.com/gp/printxp
The following Microsoft Knowledge Base articles address frequent printer problems.
302903 Photo printing wizard does not print .ico, .emf or .wmf files
282833 Error message appears after printing to a network printer
282120 Epson printer may be unable to print with the Epson "Print Preview" option enabled
282897 Printed colors may not match the colors on the screen
810894 Error message: Spooler subsystem app has encountered a problem and needs to close
314085 Advanced troubleshooting for when you cannot print in Windows XP
314073 Advanced troubleshooting for network printing problems in Windows XP
315325 You cannot print documents after upgrade to Windows XP

Support services

If you cannot resolve the problem by using the Windows XP or online resources that are listed in this article, you can use the Microsoft Customer Support Services Web site to find a solution to your problem. Some services that the Microsoft Customer Support Services Web site provides include the following: If the resources that are listed here do not help you resolve the problem, or if you experience symptoms that differ from those that are described in this article, search the Microsoft Knowledge Base for more information. To search the Microsoft Knowledge Base, visit the following Microsoft Web site:
http://support.microsoft.com
Next, type the text of the error message that you receive or a description of the problem in the search field.

Note If the problem is not resolved, unfortunately this content is unable to help you any further. So, you might want to ask someone for help, or you might want to visit the following Microsoft Web site:
http://support.microsoft.com/contactus


For troubleshooting steps and an automatic fix for common printer problems in Windows, please see the following Microsoft web page:


Troubleshooter: Printer problems in Windows

Properties

Article ID: 308028 - Last Review: May 22, 2013 - Revision: 16.0
Applies to
  • Microsoft Windows XP Home Edition
  • Microsoft Windows XP Professional
  • Microsoft Windows XP Professional x64 Edition
Keywords: 
kbresolve kbenv kbinfo kbprint kbtshoot KB308028

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