Printer Garbage

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AKG

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Just out of curiousity, why is it that sometimes, when you print something, the printer puts out garbage, e.g. if you try to print a 5 page thing, it will print out pages and pages (much more than 5 at least) of of weird symbols (a lot of the time, you'll see hearts, spades, diamonds, clubs)?
 

dduardo

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Personally, i've never had that issue. I suspect it's a printer driver problem.
 

AKG

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It's happened on printers I've used before, but it actually happened to me on a photocopier today.
 
Maybe your printer is possessed :devil:
 

dduardo

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The only time my printer starts printing out wacky characters is if I purposely do something like this:

cat /dev/urandom > lpr
 

honestrosewater

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Just a guess: If it keeps happening with the same program, it may just be a problem with the program, and you can usually find fixes online.
A wilder guess: The printer may be trying to do something, like aligning the cartridges or some such (have you recently changed them?). With my printer, you have to insert the printed page (nonsense lines and symbols) back into the printer in order to complete the alignment, and before you do so, it will print the test page every time you try to print something.
 

AKG

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It's been a long time since I've had that problem with a printer, so I have no idea if it has anything to do with the program or not. However, I would guess not, because I've only seen it rarely, but it would probably have been with a program I use all the time. And like I said, this happened with the copier/scanner at my work today, so in this case it wouldn't be a program for sure (right?).
 

honestrosewater

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AKG said:
It's been a long time since I've had that problem with a printer, so I have no idea if it has anything to do with the program or not. However, I would guess not, because I've only seen it rarely, but it would probably have been with a program I use all the time. And like I said, this happened with the copier/scanner at my work today, so in this case it wouldn't be a program for sure (right?).
Are there any messages at all on the pages or does the copier/scanner display any messages? Where could the machine get the information that it's printing, unless that information was put there intentionally, i.e., as part of some kind of maintenance test or such that the machine had to do??
Er, that is, assuming it prints the same thing everytime, and it looks nothing like what you were trying to print, and the machine is not possessed.
 
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AKG

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honestrosewater said:
Are there any messages at all on the pages or does the copier/scanner display any messages? Where could the machine get the information that its printing, unless that information was put there intentionally, i.e., as part of some kind of maintenance test or such that the machine had to do?? Er, that is, assuming it prints the same thing everytime, and it looks nothing like what you were trying to print.
I'm uploading what it looks like. As you can see, it seems to have printed the actual file properly, but then added a bunch of smiley faces and weird shapes on top of it. Last time I had a problem like this (on a regular printer, not a copier) the actual thing that needed to be printed was nowhere to be seen, and normally it would just print pages and pages of just a single line of garbage per page, but the garbage looked the same (smileys, playing card suits, etc.).

I've attached a .pdf file, and for those you can't read such files, I've uploaded a .jpg that shows part of what the page looks like.
 

Attachments

That is definately demonic posession
 

AKG

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And no, the copier did not display any messages. In fact, I was copying a bunch of files, each file being maybe 50 pages. I did 3 groups of 50 pages, and everything came out fine. Then when I put in the fourth group, I got this. I tried stopping the print but either it wouldn't let me or I didn't press the right buttons. I switched the machine off and then on again, and everything was fine.
 

AKG

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So nobody's even seen anything like this before, let alone can explain it?
 

honestrosewater

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So it printed the last group just fine after you restarted? Is there anything at all consistent about this problem?! :uhh:
Maybe it is overheating? I didn't find any common effects of overheating, but it might cause your problem.? I remember having the weird symbols printing, but it was years ago, and I don't recall how I fixed it. You may have to call a priest. On the bright side, the seven hearts pattern may mean it's a lucky, caring demon. :biggrin:
 
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PerennialII

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Sometimes when printing (typically) pdfs some documents do turn to a weird mix of characters, do however get the whole ascii palette rather than as specific symbols as in this case. The number of pages goes to a new order of magnitude (a document of a few pages usually turns out as some tens of pages of crap). Haven't bothered to replace the driver.....
 
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I'd like to know the answer to this one too!

honestrosewater said:
Are there any messages at all on the pages or does the copier/scanner display any messages? Where could the machine get the information that it's printing, unless that information was put there intentionally, i.e., as part of some kind of maintenance test or such that the machine had to do??
Er, that is, assuming it prints the same thing everytime, and it looks nothing like what you were trying to print, and the machine is not possessed.
I have a printer (Lexmark) that has put out garbage characters, and sometimes before doing so, it would put out the message "Flushing Buffers".

I don't think that the garbage is the same each time, but then I'm not sure about that.


AKG said:
Last time I had a problem like this (on a regular printer, not a copier) the actual thing that needed to be printed was nowhere to be seen, and normally it would just print pages and pages of just a single line of garbage per page, but the garbage looked the same (smileys, playing card suits, etc.).
That's what my printer did. Sometimes it put out one line per page; and other times, several lines.

KM
 

honestrosewater

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Kenneth Mann said:
I have a printer (Lexmark) that has put out garbage characters, and sometimes before doing so, it would put out the message "Flushing Buffers".

I don't think that the garbage is the same each time, but then I'm not sure about that.
Lexmark says of that message: 'the printer is flushing corrupted print data and discarding the current print job. This message may also occur when the printer has insufficient memory to process a complex PostScript emulation job.' The manual or help section may tell you specifically why this happens and how to resolve it.
 
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honestrosewater said:
Lexmark says of that message: 'the printer is flushing corrupted print data and discarding the current print job. This message may also occur when the printer has insufficient memory to process a complex PostScript emulation job.' The manual or help section may tell you specifically why this happens and how to resolve it.

Thanks, but I still wonder why they put that junk into the output stream? Also, it almost always has involved text printing, so I don't see any complex Postscript Emulation involved.

KM

PS: At this point, the machine is kaput. The electronics (as shows in the liquid crystal front panel) have gone out.
 

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