Friday, January 05, 2007

the printer blues

I have a several-year-old HP Deskjet 812C that's seen very heavy use since the start of school. Though it's not a particularly fast printer, I like it because it's reasonably cheap to run (the cartridges hold a lot of ink and you can buy third party ones) and HP's printer driver will work over a network, so we can use it through the wireless network. (Note that the printer itself isn't network aware--we have a computer that acts as a print server--but HP didn't take steps to keep the driver from being network compatible, unlike with Coppertop's 5150 driver which seems to actively resist printing over our network setup.)

The problem is that the printer's slowly dying. The belt that drives the print head is disintegrating. Today, I nearly tossed the printer in recycling but ran a last-minute Internet search to see if a fix existed.

Turns out that disintigrating belts on these old printers are a common problem. There's a helpful thread here that discusses it. Even better, they offer a link to buy a replacement belt, which is great because HP's stopped offering that part. The $38 for belt, including shipping, is about what a cartridge costs, making it worth the attempt because otherwise I'd have to sell or recycle spare cartridges and have the extra headache of losing network printing. So I've placed the order. We'll see how well this replacement belt works.


Wataru said...

False, I actually have a working HP Deskjet 812c sitting in our closet not really doing very much after we replaced it with one of those "all in one" printer/scanner/copier printers. I was just keeping it because it works with some of the older operating systems (Mac and Windows) which often do not have printer drivers. If the replacement belt solution doesn't work and if you want it, let me know.

False Data said...

Thank you very much for your kind offer! As it turns out, the surgery was successful and the patient has recovered--I'll post a follow-up blog entry shortly--but it was great to know I had a safety net if things went badly.

Anonymous said...

any chance someone could offer the print driver for the 812C? I restored my WIN98SE and did not find my print driver disk yet. download from HP sited unsucessful

False Data said...

The download problem might've been a temporary glitch. I was able to download the Win98 driver from HP's web site this morning.