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If the printer does not attempt to print, or the print job is not fully completed then there may be a communication issue between your computer and the printer. A communication-related problem may be the cause of other printing issues such as poor print quality when prints are smeared or fuzzy and Status Monitor may not operate.
The possible causes of a communication-related issue and the steps to troubleshoot such causes are outlined in this article. We also recommend following this article if you have experienced problems in successfully installing your printer on your Windows computer.
This article applies to computers running one of the following Windows versions: 95, NT4, 98 (First and Second Edition), and ME.
If you are experiencing communication problems the first thing to do is to make sure that the printer is set up correctly and fully working.
If you have received any error messages on the computer this error may help isolate the issue. Note the error message exactly so you can check for any articles on this error, or check with Epson if you require further support.
Follow steps 1-6 to check that the printer is set up correctly and fully working:
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Control panel displaying red error lights
Product with an LCD screen, displaying an error
Product with an LCD screen, showing it is in the Setup mode
Example of the Control Panel mode buttons
If there is power to the printer and the printer control panel is not displaying any error lights or error messages, perform a printer operation check.
You will need to load plain A4 paper into the printer's paper sheet feeder.
Start with the printer powered OFF. Hold down the Maintenance or Paper button, and press the Power button. Release the Power button, and continue to hold down the Maintenance or Paper button until the printer starts to feed paper. This will print a nozzle check.
Start with the printer powered OFF. Hold down the Ink or the Stop button, and press the On button. Release the On button, and continue to hold down the Ink or the Stop button until the printer starts to feed paper. This will print a nozzle check.
Browse through the LCD panel menu and enter either the Setup, Utility, or Maintenance mode. The option you have here depends on your printer model. Next, select either Nozzle Check or Check Ink Nozzles. Press either the Start or colour Copy button to print a nozzle check.
As this process varies across printer models, please consult your printer user guide for instructions or search the Epson Knowledge Base if you require more detailed instructions.
Refer to the table below and follow the recommended action.
An incorrect printer driver may be in use which can cause print jobs not to start, or for Status Monitor not to operate correctly. One of the following may have occurred, and thus the driver needs to be checked:
If the printer name is correct for your model move to Step 8.
For example, if your printer is the Stylus Photo R300 but the printer icon is named 'Epson Stylus Photo R310', whilst the printers are almost identical but used in different regions, the driver may not work as it is named for another printer and may cause issues with the operation of Status Monitor and reporting ink cartridge information.
Whilst the printers are almost identical but used in different regions, the driver may not work as it is named for another printer.
Figure 1: Example of the R310 driver being installed and set as the default printer. For R300 users, the R300 icon should be present and set as the default:
The wrong printer model was selected when you installed the printer driver as there was a choice of more than one model.
Figure 2: Example of the Epson Printer Utility Setup giving a choice of more than one printer model at the start of the installation. The R310 is a non-European model, so the R300 should be selected:
Uninstall the current driver and reinstall the driver either from the CD-ROM or from the teEpson Support website.
See Sp 16 for help.
Figure 1: The highlighted driver is an example of a Microsoft ESC/P2 driver.
A generic Microsoft ESC/P2 driver is in use. This can occur with older Epson printers. This is either automatically added by Windows on detection of the printer, or by the user (using the Found New Hardware, Add Hardware or Add Printer Wizard).
If the disc that came with your printer does not contain a driver for your version of Windows, we recommend that you check the Epson Support website for a driver.
Any Epson printer that does not have a Parallel interface (i.e. USB or FireWire only) does not have driver support for Windows 95, NT4, or 98 First Edition.
Epson printers with a Parallel interface have driver support for Windows 98 First Edition, and in some cases for Windows NT4, 95, 3.1 and can support MS-DOS. Check the user guide for information on supported systems and check the Epson Support website for a driver.
For printers connected via Parallel:
The port setting should be LPTX (where 'X' is a number). It is normally LPT1 and this may be identified as LPT1: (EPSON Printer Port):
If any port in the list is followed by 'Unknown Local Port' this will have to be removed in order to install and use the printer. Click here for guidance on this before proceeding with any further troubleshooting.
For printers connected via USB:
The setting should be EPUSBX (where 'X' represents a number) with the printer name beside it in the Print to the following port list, e.g. EPUSBX: (EPSON Stylus Photo 2100).
If the setting is correct, then the printer software is installed correctly. First check if an Unknown Local Port is listed. If not listed, move to Step 11.
If any port setting in the list is followed by 'Unknown Local Port', this will have to be removed in order to install and use the printer. Click here for guidance on this before proceeding with any further troubleshooting.
Correct port is not listed:
If the correct port is not displayed or the printer name is not listed with it e.g. EPUSBX: (USB Port not connected), click on the Print to the following port list and look for EPUSBX with the EPSON printer name. If available, click on it to select it then click Apply, followed by OK.
Figure 1: Shows that EPUSB1 is available but it has not been configured properly showing '(USB Port not connected)':
If any option in the list is followed by 'Unknown Local Port', this will have to be removed in order to install and use the printer. Click here for guidance on this before proceeding with any further troubleshooting.
If it is not listed, move to Step 12 then Step 13.
Do not click 'Add Port'. This will cause problems with the system - only select ports that are available in the list.
For printers connected via FireWire (Windows ME only):
FireWire support is available to systems pre-installed with Windows ME and with the required FireWire drivers installed for the FireWire interface.
The setting should be IEEE 1394 with the printer name beside it in the Print to the following port list e.g. IEEE 1394 (EPSON Stylus Photo R1800).
If this is displayed, then the printer software is installed correctly. Move to Step 11.
If the correct port is not displayed (with the printer name beside it), click on the Print to the following port list and look for IEEE 1394 with the EPSON printer name. If listed, click on it to select it then click Apply, followed by OK. Next, move to Step 11.
If IEEE 1394 + Epson printer name not listed, move to Step 14.
Do not click 'Add Port' as this will cause problems with the system - only select ports that are available in the list.
Open the printer Properties then click the Details tab. Click on Spool Settings and the following window will appear. We recommend that your settings match those in the example:
It is important that your computer meets the minimum system requirements as specified by Epson. These system requirements include the installed RAM, free hard drive space, CPU type and speed.
Incorrect or incomplete software installation can lead to USB problems. If you cancelled the plug-and-play driver installation in Windows 98SE or Me before the procedure was complete, the printer software may be incorrectly installed.
If your drivers are correctly installed, EPSON USB Printer Devices should appear on the Device Manager menu with the USB Printer listed below without an error:
If EPSON USB Printer Devices does not appear on the Device Manager menu, the software is not correctly installed
(For All-In-One products, there may be three listings: USB 2.0 MFP, USB 2.0 MFP, EPSON Epson_USB_Mass_Storage.)
There are known issues with the Via/Via TECH USB Controllers that may effect the detection, installation and communication of the printer with the computer. It can also cause the computer system to hang, or not boot up when the printer is connected.
See this article for further assistance.
Microsoft does not provide USB 2.0 driver support for Windows 98SE and ME - this is provided by the manufacturer of the USB chipset. For earlier systems such as this, USB 2.0 connectivity is not pre-installed, but added with a PCI card. Please be advised we cannot support the use of a PCI card with the printer if it does not detect it.
A Confirm Device Removal prompt will appear, click OK:
Click Close to exit Device Manager. You will now need to uninstall the software - see Step 15 for assistance.
If it is not listed as EPSON Printer Port (LPT1), the correct listing should be ECP Printer Port (LPT1). You can optimise the Parallel port usage by using the Epson Printer Port and checking the DMA option. See How to enable the EPSON Printer Port and DMA Transfer.
If your drivers are correctly installed, EPSON 1394.3 Printer Devices should appear on the Device Manager menu.
If EPSON 1394.3 Printer Devices does not appear on the Device Manager menu, the printer software is not installed correctly.
If the Unknown Device does not reappear but another listing appears on the menu, check the name and where it appears.
USB Printer Uninstall:
If the issue has not been resolved by uninstalling and reinstalling the printer driver, we recommend disabling USB error detection. See the next step for assistance.
Parallel Printer Uninstall:
Click here to follow the process to uninstall the printer driver. Return to this article when you have completed the steps.
FireWire Printer Uninstall (Windows ME only):
Follow the steps below to uninstall the printer driver:
It is very important when installing a FireWire port with Windows ME, that Windows first detects your FireWire printer and asks you to install the software before you install the printer software.
The next stage in troubleshooting would be to disable the background programs that run in Windows.
These can conflict with the printer software operation. This can cause the following symptoms:
Windows 95, NT:
If you are experiencing any of these problems, open the Windows Task Manager - press CTRL + ALT + DEL. Highlight each program in turn (except Explorer and Systray) and click on End Task. Close Task Manager then try to print.
Windows 98, ME:
If you are experiencing any of these problems, disable the Startup Items in the System Configuration Utility (MSConfig). See How to use the System Configuration Utility (MSConfig) for a full guide to this procedure.
If printing is not possible, the problem is not related to a conflict with a Startup item or process. Follow the instructions in the guide to re-enable the Startup Items the move to the next step in this troubleshooting.
Slow printing can be caused by settings in the printer driver, the size of the data being sent to the printer (i.e. a large file such as a photo), in addition to the spooling system. If printing is slow following this procedure, see How to Troubleshoot Slow Printing in Windows. If partial pages are printed following this procedure, see Partial Pages are printed - incomplete text or image.
If the problem is still present, follow this article from the start to ensure that all possible causes have been addressed.
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