Anyone here ever have problems with an Epson printer?

You know how Gateway throws in an Epson printer with a lot of their computers? Well, my Stylus Color 440 was a dud, only working for one day. After that, the computer pretended like there was no printer attached – straight up didn’t recognize the printer. After many re-installs of drivers, I gave up, repacked the printer, and left it in the box for almost three years.

I understand this was a common issue. It happened also to a friend of mine, who bought his Gateway a few months before I got mine (three years ago). He never got the Epson to work. Has anyone else experienced this same problem with Gateway/Epson?

Some say Gateway shipped these Epsons with bad cables (though I can’t find online confirmation for that). Could it be as simple as that?

My operating system is Win98, 128 M of Ram. 20 G hard drive … over 14 G free space.

I know this is not much info to go on, but I’m currently trying to get this three-year-old printer out of mothballs and get it working again. Anyone have any ideas? Please ask any questions that can help lead to a solution.

BTW, I’ve tried EPSON technical support pages … they didn’t seem to be much help.

Thanks in advance for any help anyone can offer.

I’m afraid your printer may be dead by now. Most Epson inkjet printers have fixed non-removable print heads. If you don’t use it for a while the ink tends to dry up and clog the print head, and then there’s nothing you can do to replace or repair the head. I once tried to revive an Epson printer which hadn’t been used for a year and I only got thin streaks out of it, indicating most of the print head was clogged. Next time get a Canon or HP printer - they have removable print heads. IIRC Canon has separate ink cartridge and print head, while the HP combines the ink and print head into a single cartridge. (That’s why HP ink cartridges are expensive - you’re getting a fresh new print head with each one.)

IMHO Epson thinks that print quality is all people care about. I’ve used many Epson printers over the years, not just inkjets but monochrome and color laser printers as well. They all had great print quality, but they were all unreliable and difficult to service. We have two Epson color laser printers at work and I can’t remember the last time both were in working order. My father’s monochrome Epson laser has such a convoluted paper path that he had to take it into a service center to get a paper jam fixed.

Argh! At work I use an Epson daily. I have to clean the printer head about ten times before I can get a decent print. I always thought it wa because I sometims use generic ink cartridges.

Note: I’ve used other models that have consistenly marvelous results. My SO, Sniffs-Markers, owns two of them, different models – one is fabulous the other is “adequate”. I’m thinking there are hardware issues. Just cloggy type stuff.

I`ve had the Epson photo stylus-ex for over four years now and have never had one problem with it.
I liked it so much I got the new C-82. So far so good.

A lot of the members of my freshman class took advantage of a deal from the school bookstore, wherein we received heavily discounted (or free, don’t remember) Epsons with our shiny new iBooks.

I can’t think of any one of us who HASN’T had a problem with their printer. Mine had a faulty cable, for starters. Other people have had to replace bitsw and pieces, mostly cables as well. And they take forever to rev up their “specially calibrated ink heads.”

Still, beats a poke in the eye with a sharp stick. You get what you pay for, apparently.

Yeah, that’s the reputation. Epsons have great print quality, but break down with more frequency and in more annoying ways than other printers.

Me? I have an ancient Canon BJ2000C that’s been chugging along for years. Got it at a yard sale for five bucks. Thing’s gone through thirty reams of paper by now. Great printer.

Yes, mine (stylus color 640) recently stopped printing black. New cartridge…nothing. Not even a streak. I like the print quality (when it works) but I think I’ll go with Canon or HP next time (which is gonna be real soon because I can’t print black). argh.

So, anyone have a preference between Canon or HP? I need a new one, so I might as well ask here.

I’m moving away from Epson now; for a while they were the choice because they led the market in terms of quality, but everyone else seems to have caught up now, so there’s no compelling reason to endure the buggy drivers, fixed print heads and poor paper handling any more.

The thing that annoys me most about the Epsons is that the ‘status monitor’ often simply crashes when the machine runs out of ink, leaving you to figure out for yourself which tank needs replacing - I’ve seen this happen on no less than three different models.

I just bought an HP all-in-one scanner/copier/printer for home and I’m really pleased with it - I normally would not buy a combination device, but this one was such good value that it was daft not to (given also that I have limited desk space at home).

The HP all-in-one printer aligns it’s own print heads automatically - it prints out a calibration sheet (like the rest do), but then it asks you to put the sheet face down on the scanner and the rest is done for you!

I had exactly the same problem scr4 mentioned with my first Epson about a year after I bought it, right when I needed to print out resumes and couldn’t really afford to buy a new printer. My next printer was also an Epson (I didn’t know this was an Epson-specific problem, and it was on sale for the same price as repairing the old one) and has lasted three years without any problems.

Next time, though, I’ll probably go with a different company.

I have had an Epson Stylus 440 for three years and have never had a problem with it for normal pages but I have never been really satisfied with photo printing.

Or maybe it prints photos fine but I want one of those new compact photo printers. :smiley:

My first printer, an HP, stopped being recognized by Windos 98 after a few months. I sold it on eBay (explaining the problem—that Windows no longer recognized it) and got rid of it. The new buyer said that their PC had no problems with it. I am convinced that in my case, it was Windows 98, not the HP printer, that was at fault.

I also have an Epson that is giving me problems. I have had a bad relationship with every printer I’ve ever owned. I don’t like printers. I avoid them.

Wo! Deja Vu! I had issues with my Epson 440 last week! It had served me well since my freshman year of college 5 years ago but now it decided to go all retarded on me. It would spit out paper and would only print a few lines of random nonsense ASCII characters. At one point, the print head would move back and forth but nothing would come out. It also wouldn’t even let me change the ink cartridge. I’d press the button and as soon as the print head came out, it would zoom back in like a frightened turtle before I could touch it. It’s official, Epson sucks.

Spent 150 bucks on an HP 5550. Much happier now.

Oh, yeah, and the one Epson printer (the one that is not fabulous of our two) sometimes will draw in the entire stack of paper. I don’t know why the rpinter would expect a single page to be half an inch thick… causes quite the paper jam.

Nurobath I don’t know how this would weigh in on your decision, but HP consumables are sometimes quite expensive and IIRC there aren’t generic, no name ink cartridges for them. (This may have changed, but my SO’s business partner was ticked off when he discovered that his cartridges were really expensive and there were no other alternatives.) He loves his HP printer otherwise.

Tell me about it! I had to print a batch of address labels this morning (200 sheets) - It would only work if I fed it one sheet at a time - it does the same with plain paper, although marginally less often.

Epson printers suck. But then again, inkjet printers suck in general. laser is the way to go.

I just got one too. I normally don’t like combination devices either, but I think this particular combination makes a lot of sense. It works as a stand-alone color copier which is a very useful thing to have around. The only thing I don’t like is the way it only holds two cartridges at a time, so when I print a full-color photo I need to take out the black cartridge and insert the photo color cartridge. (Well I don’t need to, but it produces better output that way.)

Before that I had an HP 850. I bought it in 1995 and never had problems with it until I threw it away last week. I feel a bit guilty for that but I had no space to keep it, and it was horribly obsolete. (Though I could still get cartridges - got to give HP credit for that as well.)

My 660 does a real good job, but only if I use genuine Epson cartridges. I have tried three different generic cartridges, and none of them worked properly

Thanks for the help, all!

Okay, do a printer self test (listed in the manual, but usually you just hold down a panel button when you are turning it on) not connected to the computer. If that is fine, then get a new cable. I’ve needed to put on new cables numerous times.

Also, printers only take input from the computer if the printer is ONLINE…