Help! My computer crashes when i use the printer!

Well, the thread title pretty much says it. I click File, click Print, click OK on the dialog box, light on the printer blinks as usual, then, <black> my computer reboots. Does anyone know the possible cause of why this happens, and how I might go about finding a remedy for this? For the record, I spend quite a bit of time using the 'net, yet I’m not that computer literate (I took computer class when DOS was still in vogue; not much training in Windows). Possibly a virus? Thanks.

IANA a computer geek, but in my admittedly limited experience, viruses don’t usually cause this. What usually causes this is a conflict between what the computer wants to do and what the printer wants to do. The printer has been told “Print this”, and it needs to use some particular file full of instructions that’s located on the hard drive in order to print, but the computer says, “I can’t let you print because I’m busy using that file”, and the printer says, “Oh, yeah?” and the computer says, “Yeah, and furthermore, watch this, sucker”, and it reboots.

What OS are you using? And what kind of printer is it?

Try reinstalling the printer? That means you first uninstall the printer (some printers come with an Uninstall Software program on the CD), then you disconnect it from the computer and restart your computer without it, which tells the computer “you no longer have a Whatever-brand-of printer”, then you start from scratch when it finishes the restart, installing the printer as if you just brought it home from the store, with the CD.

You do still have the CD, don’t you? :smiley:

…even better, you could go to the printer manufacturers’ website and see if they have a more recent version of the printer drivers available to download.

Joe, I know our techs are going to ask this soon, what model computer is this & what version operating system & what is the type–model printer you have?

OK, Joe, you’ve got two identical threads going here in GQ. Since this one seems to be getting more traffic I’ll paste what I posted in your other thread in hopes I can get an answer too.

FTR, I’ve already tried what DDG and keithnmick have suggested as well.

Two identical threads? I was afraid of that. My apologies.

Oh, and as for the printer/PC specs, (sorry for not posting them yet)

Hewlett Packard LaserJet 4 (printer)
The PC itself is an AuthenticAMD AMD Athlon™ processor with 511.0 MB of RAM.

Thank you to all for the responses.

Sorry for all these posts where one well-thought out post could cover everything; I’m getting back on a better sleep schedule, and I am sleep-deprived as I write this and the others.

I am running Windows 98. <checks back of CPU> And the printer is held down with a regular printer cable to a printer socket.

Hope you get your info as well, Horseflesh, despite the differences.

Printer driver is likely corrupted. Delete/Remove printer from printers folder and any HP printer software from add-remove programs list. Re-install latest driver set from HP or off of OS disk. You may need to remove all installed printers if you have several different printer definitions.

Also try setting the printer port in your BIOS setup to be basic bi-directional mode and not EPP or ECP enabled.

Perhaps another device other than the parallel port is using IRQ7.
Run WinMSD to check.

I have that printer, a 4L actually. Unplug it from wall for a full minute or more then plug back in, thismight do it.

Is the printer and PC plugged into the same outlet/power supply/UPS? A power dip might cause the problem.

Or the cable.
Just unplug it from the wall & the computer for a minute, plug only into wall, then push the button on it for the self test.