If you’ve just invested in a new printer and are panicking about having to set it all up, you needn’t worry. The latest models are designed to be incredibly straightforward; in some instances all you need to do is install the ink cartridges, plug it in and connect the printer to your computer or server. However, there are some basic guidelines that you need to follow.
As with any new piece of equipment, you would be well advised to consult the manufacturer’s manual before going too much further. This should provide you with specific details and step-by-step instructions to follow. It can also serve as a useful reference point if you get into difficulties further down the line.
Take Your Time
There’s an old adage that haste makes waste; this is especially true if you’re trying to set-up an expensive printer without any real knowledge about what it is that you’re doing. You might be keen to see it all up and running, but by jamming in ink cartridges or toner where it doesn’t belong, you can end up doing more harm than good.
By taking your time and double checking what goes where, you can avoid any costly mistakes. Again, if you ever think that you’re unsure of what to do next, the manual ought to be your first port of call.
Connecting to a Network
If you’re setting up a printer for a busy office then there’s a good chance that you will need to connect it to the local network. Now this may be a wired connection, or it could be wireless; depending on the model you’ve purchased of course.
In the case of a wired network, you will need to locate an Ethernet LAN cable. This should plug directly into the printer and will provide access to all users across the network. With the printer powered up, you can then begin the straightforward installation process.
For wireless printers, the same basic principles apply except it can be set-up anywhere with access to the wi-fi router. Most will automatically locate the signal, which means all you have to do is select the right access point and complete any security checks.
In both cases, the installation is completed once the printer is detected by the network. From here, you just need each user to download the driver and they should be able to print without any further trials or tribulations.
Setting up at Home
If you’ve purchased a printer to use with your home computer or laptop, you probably won’t need to be overly concerned about networks. Fortunately, the installation process is even easier for standalone printers, with much of the process managed on the computer. Essentially the methodology is the same; the only difference being that you don’t risk any issues with connecting to a network.
Just attach the USB cable to your printer and plug it into your computer; the device should then be automatically detected, allowing you to install the necessary driver. Most will come with a disk, which should allow you to download all the necessary files to complete the setting up process. This is important as the computer needs to be able to communicate with the printer, otherwise the data won’t be transferable from one to the other. Some drivers can also be downloaded, so don’t panic if the disk goes awry – although you should take care to avoid this.
Installing Ink Cartridges
A printer without ink isn’t going to be very useful to anyone. Therefore, as part of the installation process, you will need to make sure that all cartridges and, in the case of laser printers, toner and waste are all in place. If you have multiple colour cartridges, which is often the case with large laser printers and specialist photo models, then take care to match these up correctly. While most have unique designs for each, helping to avoid any disasters, it’s still advisable to take care.
I have written this guest post for Printware, a leading reseller of office and home printers.