Category Archives: Hardware

Answers to common and obscure hardware issues.

Add/Change Print Driver on the server (Win2000/2003).

You have a printer installed on the server, but you want to change the print driver. If you open your Printers folder on your PC, you will see that the ability to change the print driver has been grayed out. If you go to the Printers folder on the server, you can change the driver there, but this will change the print driver for everyone on the network that accesses this printer. This can be undesirable. These instructions will show you how to add another printer setup that uses the desired new driver without changing the original printer setup.

If your printers are on the network via a print server:

1. At the Server, open the Printers folder and double-click Add Printer.
2. Click “Next”
3. Select Local Printer (do not automatically detect Plug and Play printers)
4. Click “Next”
5. Select “Create a new port” and select from the drop-down menu “Standard TCP/IP Port.
6. Select “Next”
7. Select “Next” again.
8. Type in the IP address of the printer port. It will be the same IP address of the printer port already installed on the server. As you type it in, it will automatically fill in the next line, Port Name.
9. If you were to hit “Next” now, eventually in this process, the server would realize that you were trying to add the same printer that is already there. So here is where you make it different before hitting “Next”. In the Port Name line, add something to the end which makes this printer port name unique from the one already installed, like “Port 2”.
10. Click “Next”.
11. On the next screen, under Device Type, select from the drop-down menu the type of print server that the printer is attached to.
12. Click “Next”.
13. Click “Finish”.
14. Select the print driver that you desire to use for this instance of the printer.
15. Give the printer a name and click “Next”
16. Share the printer out and click “Next” three times and then click “Finish”. This should print out a test page.

When you are finished adding all of the printers you want, your printers folder on the server will have a new printer.
These are all the same printer with the same IP address, just with different port names defined.

At the workstation, to connect to the printer that you just installed, go to a Run Command (Click Start > Run) and type in the following:
\\servername
For example, \\Smith_Co, and click OK. This will open up a window to your server and you will see all of the shared folders and printers on that server.
If you right-mouse click on the printer icon and select “Connect”, it will install that printer locally on the workstation.

Set Form length on CITOH40Q

Set Form length on CITOH40Q

Verify POWER is on.
Lift top cover.
Press MODE/STORE button.
Check that displayed number is 10 for Form Length.
Press MODE/Store button again.
Check that number matches number of lines per page (default is 66 lines per page for 11″ forms.).
Will need to be 42 for 7″ checks/forms.
Press MODE/STORE switch to store.
Close top cover.
Repeat to reverse settings.

Network Problems

Is the Server running? Are all of the network processes currently running on the server?

Is the network cable from each computer, including the server, properly connected to the network hub?

Is the network hub plugged in and turned on and working properly? (There are lights that indicate it status.)

Is the network protocol software properly installed and setup on each computer on the network?

If only one computer is not seeing the network, its network card could be loose, shut down the computer, and unplug it from the electrical outlet, pop the cover and make sure that it is seated properly.

Hard Drives

Try Scan Disk {Start > Programs > Accessories > System Tools > Scan Disk}. (Used on a regular basis it can prevent some problems. Especially after installing new software or after removing a lot of old programs or data.) Many recommend bi-monthly or monthly.

For Win98 or newer, try Disk Cleanup {Start > Programs > Accessories > System Tools > Disk Cleanup}. This will locate temporary and other unused files. Be careful, this will offer to delete files that are not used often, so data you want to keep on your computer can be removed. Another good reason to do regular backups.

Try Disk Defragmenter {Start > Programs > Accessories > System Tools > Disk Defragmenter}. (Used on a regular basis, it reduces the amount of time that the moving parts of the drive are moving and can help extend the life of the drive, plus it helps increase the speed of the drive since it puts each file on a contiguous part of the drive, rather than scattered.) Many recommend bi-monthly or monthly.

Does the drive light come on?

Are you using disk compression?

Are there more than one logical partitions on the drive?

Does the Autoexec.bat or Config.sys have any start up information that your computer needs to read the hard drive? Many older computers cannot handle the size of some of the newer drives and require either an updated BIOS or a BIOS “overlay” that is written to the hard drive itself. If this is the case when booting from a floppy will not allow you to see all of the drive. This is due to limitations of both the BIOS and DOS.

If it is the C:\ drive or the only hard drive, can you re-boot the computer? (It is a good idea to have a “rescue” floppy available that you can use to boot you computer. If you do not have one, you will not be able to determine if you have a bad hard drive or if there is another problem on it.)

If the hard drive makes noises it never has before or makes no sound, and you can boot from a floppy, it is fairly certain that the hard drive crashed. There are companies that can recover data from failed hard drives, but it costs about $1,000 to start.

Floppy Disks

Floppy disks do wear out. If you have ever recorded the same VCR tape over and over, eventually it has more fuzz than picture. The same is true of floppies.

They should never be formatted at a higher capacity than the manufacturer designed them for. This should be less of a problem with newer computers.

They need to be kept away from magnets, since magnets can erase information or even remove the formatting that allows the computer to read the drive.

Many computer viruses get into computers from floppies. This happens because the virus is designed to be “bootable”; i.e. when you leave a disk in the drive and re-boot you computer it reads the startup information from the floppy. The virus then writes itself to the hard drive and begins its havoc. Avoid leaving floppies in the floppy drive, and especially floppies from any source you are not sure of. It is best to scan floppies for viruses before using any of their programs.

Are you using a new freshly formatted disk?

Can the computer read the hard drive?

If there is another computer, or if there are two floppy drives available, make sure that you can read the floppy on that machine.

Try Scan Disk on the Floppy, if there is a problem it can usually fix it. If it cannot fix a problem that it finds, it will tell you.

If you have important information that you cannot replace, try any Third Party utilities, such as Norton. If that does not work, there are companies that specialize in information recovery, but it gets expensive fast.

Tape/Other Backup Devices

Is the tape drive plugged in and turned on?

Is it properly connected to the computer? (There may also be a printer cable running from the Tape Drive to a Printer, there could be compatibility problems.)

Is the backup software properly installed and setup?

Is the backup properly scheduled?

Is the backup schedule program running when you leave, or do they turn off the computer? If the computer is turned off, it will not get backed up. Check for power outages, especially during thunderstorm season.

CD/DVD Problems

If you have a CD jammed in the drive, there is usually a small hole on the front of the drive that you can stick a straightened paper clip into and it will open the drive, never pry it open.

Internal or external?

Internal:
Is there dust in it?

Is the hardware and software installed and setup correctly?

Is there a CD in the drive?

Is the CD in the drive upside down? The label goes up, shiny side down.

Is the CD scratched? There are kits at most tech stores that can help smooth out scratches.

Does the light on the front of the CD drive come on?

Pop the cover and make sure that the power cable, and the sound cable, and the motherboard cable are connected properly. Sometimes disconnecting them and re-connecting them will wear off corrosion or dirt and it will work.

External:
Is it properly connected to the computer?

Does it have power?

Is there a CD in it?

Is the CD in the drive upside down? The label goes up, shiny side down.

Is the CD scratched? There are kits at most tech stores that can help smooth out scratches.

Is it dusty?

Is the hardware and software installed and setup properly?

Monitor Problems

Is the monitor plugged in and turned on? (Some monitors may plug into a power plug on the back of the computer.)

Is the computer plugged in and turned on?

Is the cable between the monitor and computer firmly attached to both the monitor and the computer?

Is the cable plugged into the proper place on the computer?

Is the software for the monitor properly installed and configured?
(Some old monitors require that a command is in the Autoexec.bat or Config.sys files to load at startup, check the MANUAL for the monitor.)

Are any of the dials on the monitor turned too far one way or the other? (If the brightness is turned all the way to dim, you may not see a picture. If the horizontal or vertical adjustment is wrong, the screen may appear to be off center.)

If there is another monitor available try it. If it works that is a good sign there is a problem with the original monitor, especially if they are the same brand and model of monitor.

Modem Problems

For those still using dial up access, or wanting to send a FAX from their PC.

Is it an internal or external modem?

Internal:
If the phone lines are plugged into proper place, make sure there is a dial tone. (Get a phone that is not in use and plug it into the wall jack and listen for dial tone. If you work in an office with a PBX system, make sure to use a standard phone.)

Is the modem is properly configured? Check in control panel.

Is the modem software set up and installed properly?

If everything else appears okay, pop the cover and make sure the modem card is properly seated in the slot.

External:
Is the modem plugged in and turned on?

Is computer plugged in and turned on?

Is the serial or USB cable between the modem and computer firmly attached to both and plugged into the correct serial or USB port?

Is the phone line between the modem and wall jack in the correct plug on the modem? (There is usually a picture of a wall jack by this plug on the bottom of most modems.)

If a phone shares this line, is the Phone plugged into the proper plug on the modem? (There is usually a picture of a phone by this plug on the bottom of most modems.)

Is there a dial tone? (Use a phone that is not in use and listen for a dial tone.)

Are the dip switches set to the default settings? (They will be on the back edge of the modem, US Robotics modems have a listing of the settings on the bottom of the modem.)

Is the modem hardware configured properly?

Is the modem software installed and configured properly?

Keyboard Problems

Is the computer plugged in and turned on?

Is the keyboard plugged into proper receptacle on the computer?

Is there any dust or crumbs affecting the keys? (Get a can of computer air duster to blow out the dust or crumbs. You can also turn it upside down and shake it over a trash can.)

Is the keyboard set for the language you are using? (If it is set to Greek instead of your desired language, it will give you Greek.)

Try a compatible keyboard from another computer.