View Full Version : Two Printers, neither work on one PC.

10-03-2003, 05:33 PM
Both work on another PC. Have tried reformating and they still don't work. Could it be a motherboard problem? The message that comes up is "a comunications error" and have tried different cables. Connecting through the printer port. Win ME. As per my other post, the modem wouldn't work until moved to one particular slot, could the motherboard be a lemon? Its a chaintech CT-601V2.

10-03-2003, 05:48 PM
Make sure the printer port is configured as EPP or ECP in the BIOS, otherwise that is the error you would expect.

10-03-2003, 07:14 PM
Yes, I have done that thanks Godfather, still not working tho. What else could the problem be other than a stuffed m/board?

10-03-2003, 07:39 PM
You don't mention what sort of switch you use to go between the two printers because most motherboards only handle one printer unless you have an add in card.

10-03-2003, 07:43 PM
Only one at a time is connected, just tried two different printers to eliminate the printer was causing problems. Have installed, uninstalled both printers several times to two PC,s. Its definatley not the printers that are the problem.

10-03-2003, 08:07 PM
Are all the chipset drivers loaded?
Given the modem problems, the first thing I would have done is reload the latest drivers for the chipset, particularly the I/O ones....

10-03-2003, 08:50 PM
Could you please explain how I do that Godfather? Just formatted and reinstalled the os today, fitted a new battery before hand. Printer hasn't worked for months, but it had a different problem to what it now has I believe, so perhaps what you say could help. Although the modem problems seemed to be similiar before and after the reformat/battery replacement.

10-03-2003, 09:52 PM
Reformatting your HDD will have wiped the mobo drivers. Probably you are limping along on some default arrangement under windows.

You need to reload them. Can't see anything on Chaintech site for the board you quote, but they may be on your installation CD?

Its not the BIOS, its the drivers for WIN ME suited to your mobo.

You are probably missing the I/O drivers (and audio etc most likely)
Usually downloadable from the mobo makers site.

10-03-2003, 10:11 PM
Thanks godfather, it seems that the Chaintech site hasn't been updated since feb last year! And alot of the pages arn't opening with any meaningful information. I will have another look at the discs I have here.

10-03-2003, 10:33 PM
Hmm....don't really know what I'm looking for....

11-03-2003, 08:21 AM
Ok, I have found an update for my friends m/board (its actually a CT-60IV2) and it appears I need to load it onto a floppy boot disc with a file could "flash" something or other found on a CD that came with the m/board. Is this what I need to try? Or would trying "Optimized Defaults" inside the CMOS settings be worth trying first? Can't find much info thats of much help regarding all this.

Peter H
11-03-2003, 09:01 AM
Don't - You do not need to flash the BIOS - just need M/B drivers as per GF's reply.

11-03-2003, 09:10 AM
Thanks, I found some drivers on the cd after all, have loaded them but still the printer gets a communication error. I am in the process of uninstalling and reinstalling it again.
As a side note, I guess I need to check both my PC's that have had windows reloaded a couple of months ago to see if they also need motherboard drivers added. They both seem to work ok without them tho.

11-03-2003, 09:26 AM
Nope, still don't work. Should I try "Optimized Defaults?"

11-03-2003, 09:38 AM
Is there anything else I can try or is it likely the motherboard is stuffed?

11-03-2003, 10:04 AM
are the different computers both running ME

11-03-2003, 10:10 AM

11-03-2003, 10:15 AM
serial, parallel or usb

11-03-2003, 10:19 AM

11-03-2003, 11:22 AM
you can try removing the port in device manager
when the computer reboots if the port is working it should detect it again

by the way what kind of printer is it?
you may need to use NT drivers or some generic driver

11-03-2003, 11:32 AM
Will try removing the port.
The two printers are a Epson Stylus Color Printer 480 (his) and a Canon BJC 2100SP (mine) which both work on my two pc's.

11-03-2003, 11:35 AM
Yes it detected it. Still same error tho.

11-03-2003, 12:18 PM
Windows ME says the port has no conficts right?

Have you got an AGP graphics card running?
These can sometimes cause conflicts with various hardware.
eg you said your modem wouldn't work in the first slot.
Try removing and just using onboard VGA.

If the computers are networked together you may have to share the printer and see if it works that way. That will tell you whether the OS is corrupt or if something is wrong with your motherboard

11-03-2003, 12:24 PM
No port conflicts, no AGP graphics card (onboard graphics) and the computers are not networked.
Should I still try useing VGA?

11-03-2003, 12:43 PM
sorry don't know
but see if there is any info at www.technet.com

11-03-2003, 04:47 PM
The only times I have had Communications errors with parallel printer ports is where the bi-directional requirement has not been working.

In one case it was the BIOS setting (ECP or EPP) and in another it was that the cable was below spec. Worked in a slower CPU machine, but failed in a faster one,.

A good quality IEEE 1284 compliant spec cable fixed that.

11-03-2003, 06:10 PM
Thankyou godfather, have tried EPP and ECP, are using a IEEE 1284 cable (as well as two others we have tried) and both printers work on my P3 800 and my P4 2.4 but not his P3 850.

I have made progress and can print but still get the communications error and cannot use the utility for ink cartridge replacement etc. I was able to print by changing some settings like disable bidirectional something or other, and "print straight to printer" and also via dos comand and also by setting up a lpts.dos port. The Communications errors still come up and I am now about to tweak some settings in the Intergrated Peripherals in the CMOS Setup Utility. If that doesn't work, I may have to pull the printer apart to change the ink cartridges, and continue with error messages.

11-03-2003, 06:51 PM
Well that didn't work, don't know what else to try.

11-03-2003, 07:27 PM
Its definately just a matter of the printer being unable to communicate back to the PC by the sound of it. And its obviously related to this one PC and its parallel port.

I have run out of ideas, it could point to a problem in the motherboard or something odd in the I/O section of the chipset on the motherboard, or its drivers. Or not.

11-03-2003, 09:29 PM
Thanks everyone, my friend and I have come to the conclusion that its a motherboard problem, we have tried everthing else, and so he will use the printer while it works and disregard the errors and take the top of the printer to change the cartridges. When it dies he will have to decide to change the m/b or upgrade the whole unit. Could be my first motherboard replacement down the track.

03-04-2003, 01:40 AM
A continution... my friend just emailed me to say after picking up his computer and using the printer successfully for the first time, the printer now just pulls the paper through without printing, and a dialouge box comes up saying that there is no more info to print. Could anyone confirm that this could be a motherboard problem? There doesn't seem to be any other explanation for it.

Graham L
03-04-2003, 04:41 PM
With these integrated printer interfaces (as opposed to rugged TTL chips) I have often seen a warning that you should never unplug or plug pinters when either one or both of printer and computer are powered up. It is possible to "spoil" the internals of the 100 pin or so I/O package.:D

It would be cheaper to disable the motherboard printer port and plug in a PCI printer card than to replace the motherboard.

04-04-2003, 12:42 AM
Hey this sounds like a possible solution. So I take it there are pci cards that allow a printer conection and so bypass the original conector on the Motherboard? Only possible problem is the modem is in the last pci slot I tried to get that working, it wouldn't work in any of the others.
Thanks Graham, I never knew you could get printer cards, but how do I disable the motherboard printer port? In device manager of do you mean physically somehow?

Graham L
04-04-2003, 03:50 PM
The printer card will be less fussy about where it lives. THey are common items ... probably about $50 or so (for a single port board -- you can get double ones). Try Pricespy. The motherboard one can be disabled in the BIOS setup (on most modern boards). It wouldn't matter, probably (DOS allows 3 LPT ports) , but you'ld just have to be careful to set up the printer driver on the correct port. :D

Graham L
04-04-2003, 04:48 PM
Oops. Pricespy isn't very helpful. "parallel card PCI site:nz" to Google will find you quite a few suppliers ... prices from $35 up. Dick Smith's have a few ISA cards at $5 at a few shops. :D

05-04-2003, 12:22 AM
Thanks Graham, will suggest this to my friend and post back the results.

12-04-2003, 02:50 PM
Have fitted the pci printer card, and have the printer conected to the correct port, but still can't get the printer to print. I'm guessing something may need disabling somewhere, but what, and where?

Graham L
12-04-2003, 02:54 PM
Go into the BIOS setup, and disable the onboard port. (It might appear in a couple of places ... "PCI", and "Legacy" ?) The P&P should have made the new card avoid the MB port, but if the MB port is faulty, who knows? Does the BIOS show two ports present, or one?

12-04-2003, 03:17 PM
Under Intergrated periphreials we have
Onboard Serial port1 3f8/irq4
Onboard Serial port2 2f8/irq3

Onboard parallel port 378/irq7
Parallel port mode epp.

Is it one of these that needs disableing?

Graham L
12-04-2003, 03:19 PM
The "onboard parallel port" needs to be disabled.

12-04-2003, 03:29 PM
Thats done it! Thanks very much for your help, we now have printing, so far so good. Will do some tests and post back if we have anymore problems.