Why is my copier doing weird things when I try to print? The answer may surprise you!

Copiers and printers are great and all, but there’s one major job that we need them to do, and do right: Converting electronic documents on your PC into physical paper versions!

Thing of it is, you can’t just plop a printer onto your network and expect your PC to know how to work with it properly. For this, we need software, in the form of what is known as print drivers.

Print Drivers? What are those?

Print drivers are software programs that help instruct your PC on how to properly function with your printer. Your Operating System (OS) has a driver for everything your PC has, Without drivers, your PC would be virtually useless. Most things your PC has (sound, ethernet, mouse, etc), use what is known as a default system driver. For these, this is fine. Other things however, have to have a specific driver to work properly. These are always provided by the manufacturer of the device in question.

Video cards for example, exhibit greatly increased performance when using the manufacturer supplied driver instead of a system default driver, and also have special features that require the manufacturer’s drivers (anti-aliasing, etc). Some Wi-Fi cards require the manufacturer driver for enhanced performance and extra features (Wi-Fi Direct, etc).

Your printer, is one of those that works way better with the manufacturer drivers instead of system drivers.

System drivers will only provide the bare minimum needed to get your printer working, which really means just dead basic printing. No finishing, no collating, no duplexing, Just printing, and it can’t even get THAT right half the time!

The manufacturer’s drivers, on the other hand, know everything there is to know about your printer, how to make it work exactly how you want it to work. It knows duplexing, collating, finishing, how many paper trays you have, and how many output trays you have! The two go hand in hand!

When CopyLady sets up a printer or copier for you, we ALWAYS use the manufacturer drivers. This ensures that your machine works right, every time! We also leave you a CopyLady branded flash drive containing the necessary driver installers for your equipment, so you can easily enable other PCs you may have to print to your CopyLady machine!

But……..What happens if you try to use the system default drivers with your CopyLady machine?

Well, it MAY work. I use the term MAY here very loosely. Let’s just say it’ll work about as well as putting a lawn mower engine in your car. It MAY work, but not very well, and not for very long. Using the system default drivers can lead to the following issues, which may lead you to call us for help:

  • Paper jams
  • Error codes (F248, etc)
  • Color output when B&W is requested
  • Documents exiting in weird places (such as atop the bridge unit if you have a finisher)
  • Documents coming out looking weird (wrong orientation, poor or missing colors, missing text, faded or blurred print, etc)
  • Getting duplex (2-sided) printing when you specifically request one-sided (or vice versa!)
  • Requests for paper in the multipurpose tray when you already have that same size and type in another main tray
  • Incorrect Job ID errors (IF Job Accounting is enabled)

The added bonus of using the manufacturer’s print drivers, is you get ALOT of extra settings you can configure to customize how you print your documents, from color management, all the way down to finishing, and even bates stamping! If you use any kind of accounting on your machine, then the manufacturer drivers become even more mandatory, as the system drivers will not know how to handle account codes

Moral of the story: Save yourself the headache, Just use the manufacturer drivers. Resist the urge to simply “Add” a printer through Control Panel.