Handling Printing Problems 


In general, most kinds of printing troubles are handled by going to the patrons PC and helping them like you learned about in the previous printing section. If not, then our most frustrating printing problems can be handled at the printer directly.  


We don’t want to delete jobs people need so be careful and pick jobs that are known problems.
For Example: A large and very slow printing job may back up to many other jobs for our system to handle.

If you have a very slow printing job, say, 1 page every 45 seconds, look at the print queue’s to figure out and report the name(s) of the job(s) causing trouble. Then delete that job from the printer using the Printer Control Panel. 

The color printer is an exception to this. The jobs take a long time to process for the color printer even if it a relatively small job. 

Note: When you turn off a printer the jobs in the printers queue will resume printing when the printer is back online



Check on the print queues every so often so you can prevent bigger troubles. When jobs in a queue have the status “Ready” or “Printing” while the printer is silent it means that printer needs help!

Occasionally a printer is stuck & print jobs get out of hand before any student reports it it to us. Something like 30 or more jobs in the queue would be something to worry about. 

With each printer problem we want you to take an organized approach to decide how best to help the patron and keep the printers going. We try not to have much down time for the printers.



  • What does the printer panel say VS what the library patron is saying (a patron may tell you that the printer is out of paper when that is not the case) ?
  • Are there any jobs in that print queue trying to print (jobs that have status “Ready” or “Printing”) ?
  • Are the other printers printing for other users or do we have bigger problems than a single patron/printer (see ‘If All Printers Are Not Working‘ below if none of the printers are printing) ?

About the Printer Queues and the Printer Panel:

We keep a special printer folder on the desktop of every PC. Inside the Printers folder shortcut you’ll find the library printers installed on that PC including the guest pay printer and a PDF printer that makes a PDF document out of anything you can print. Double click a printer to pull up the printer queue. The tech support printer has all the public printers installed so you can pull up their queues.

Open any one of the queues and you’ll see:

  • The name of the printer and its status along the top of the window, then below that:
    • Document Name,
    • Status,
    • Owner,
    • Pages,
    • Size, and
    • Time submitted

For every print job in that printer queue. When a job status says “Printing” the job will load into the printer memory (size will increase until it is fully loaded)  and it will have when the job was submitted next to it. If a job is sitting in a queue with a paused status for 3 hours (or more) put a tech ticket into the tech office so we can delete the old job from the queue.

Library Printer 3 Queue


  • Status Column:  statuses in the printer queue mean this:
    • Paused = The user has not released the print job with Papercut (Paused is the default status)
    • Ready = The job has been released and is in line waiting for the printer to be available
    • Printing = Will only show briefly while printing until the job has loaded into printer memory and prints

PRINTER PANEL STAUSES (the screen on top of each printer)

  • Messages on the printer panel and what they mean:
    • Paused = Someone pressed the Pause/Cancel icon and paused the printer. Press it again to un-pause the printer 
    • Ready = No print jobs / not currently working on a print job.
      • If the queue says a job is “Ready” or “Printing” but the panel just says “Ready” this is a problem. see answer in section below
    • 49.XXX = Printer processor crash. Power the printer off, wait 30 seconds, and restart. Then cancel the first job in the queue. See detailed section instructions below

Messages show in the message section. Press the “Warning/Error” icon to see the instructions to fix any errors.

Panel with notes

 Printer Messages Or Patron Printing Troubles and what to do:

Problem: The printer says “Paused” on the printer panel

Do This: Push the Pause/Cancel  icon on the printer panel (the red X icon) and from there choose to Resume printing

Problem: Patron says the printer is out of paper. The panel says “Tray _ is out of paper” 

Do This: The printer practically always says this but if the printer has paper in any tray it will continue to print. So, most of the time when a patron tells you the printer is out of paper that isn’t what is causing a printing issue.
  • Quickly check the trays and see if it has any paper if it doesn’t fill the tray, if it does hit the prompts on the Printer Panel to reroute the job to a different tray. 
  • If that doesn’t work go to the patrons PC to help them print. Look for their job in the queues and see what printer they printed to in Papercut etc.

Problem: Printer stops printing and says “Add Paper size _____ to tray 1”

Do This: Press the Warning/Error icon on the Printer Panel then scroll down to the bottom of the instruction and press the OPTIONS button. From there select another tray to print from. We don’t ever use tray 1 on the big printers. Tray 1 is for custom printing only.

NOTE: Usually when this error occurs the patron doesn’t realize that the job they are printing is asking for custom paper but if the patron does have special paper they need to print on then they have to use the Quick Print Station in the scanner room. We don’t support paper wider than 8.5 inches even on custom jobs anywhere in the library. 

Problem: Printer Jam message  

Do This: Look for Jams in all possible locations that don’t require you to turn off the printer as per these instructions:
Big Printers: http://library.newpaltz.edu/techpages/manageprinters.html#clearjams
Color Printer: http://library.newpaltz.edu/techpages/colorprinter.html#Jams

NOTE: Recurring printer jams: Power off the printer and open every single paper jam location using the instructions on this page http://library.newpaltz.edu/techpages/manageprinters.html 
**You must know all the instructions on the manage printers page.**

If nothing fixes recurring jams and the tech staff are not around power off the printer and put an “Out of Order” sign on the printer in a plastic sign holder clearly on the top of the printer. Then make sure you report this on the tech reporting form. 

Problem:  Patron says the printer is not printing BUT the Printer Panel says “Ready” and the jobs in the queue all have the status “Paused”

Do This:

  • Go to the patron’s station & show them how to release print jobs 
  • OR If they released it perhaps it went to a different printer find out which printer it went to in Papercut 
  • OR use your knowledge of the printing solutions online to solve their issue. Printing Tech Pages

Problem: Stuck on status “Printing” or printing each page verrrrrry slowly 

Do This: If the printer is printing one page per minute or says “Printing” on the panel but prints nothing – go to the printer queue, find the job that has the status “Printing”, and write down the name of that job and the owner. Then go to the printer panel and press the Pause/Cancel icon and choose Cancel Job from there.

Problem: Printer panel says “Ready” but not printing

If the queue is backing up, the printer is not printing, and the panel just says “Ready”.

Do This: 

  • Power the printer off and wait 30 seconds and power it back on.
  • OR If the other printers are not printing but have jobs in the queue we have bigger problems. (see “If All Printers Are Not Working” below or “Monitor Print Queues to Prevent Stuck on Ready” problem for detailed instructions)

Problem: Library guest user says they cant print

Do This: Library guests are set to print to the Pay10centsperpageGuestPrinter behind the front desk by default. Make sure that is their default printer and that it is not paused on the PC. Like this:

  • Double-click on the Printers icon on the desktop, then right-click on Pay10centsperpageGuestPrinter and choose Resume printing. The status of the printer should read: “Ready”. Right click on it again and choose Set as Default Printer.

Problem: A document embedded in a Blackboard course only lets you print page #1

Do This: Right click on the embedded document and look on the menu for “This Frame. . .“, click “Show this frame only” from the menu. Then look at print preview, you should have the whole document.

Problem: 49.XXX Service error on a Printer Panel OR the panel is crashed and does not respond when you press the buttons

This message means a defective or corrupted PDF document is causing the printer’s little brain to crash.
Do This:

  • Go the printer queue find the job that has the status “Printing” write down the name of that job and the owner.
  • Then turn the printer off and back on again. Stay with the printer while it comes on
  • As soon as the printer is finished warming up, press the Pause/Cancel button. Then select Cancel Job
  • Repeatedly hit the Pause/Cancel Button & select Cancel Job a few times (2 or 3)
  • Then if the printer begins printing normally again the error has been fixed

Also, start watching the queues for the print job name you wrote down. This same print job could be part of an assignment and might pop up on other printers. If you see this error again with the same print job name report it on the tech reporting form.  

Problem: Any other Printer Panel error not listed here

If the printer has an unusual error on the printer panel that does not involve a jam.
Do This: Power it off wait 10 seconds power it on. If it is not fixed after restart, call for or get library tech team assistance & send us an error report from the Tech Problem Report web page.


Monitoring Print Queues to Prevent ‘Stuck on Ready’ Problem:

Sometimes  printer memory can’t keep up & just stops accepting jobs from the queue but it does not report an error. We call this the “Stuck on Ready” problem because the printer panel says “Ready” but does not print waiting jobs. When it happens it usually happens multiple times in a row.

The only way to fix it is to power the printer off and back on. 
We can catch it ahead of time if you are watching the printer queues and you see a job do this:

  • The printer queue will have large jobs in it and one has the happy status Printing
  • The job printing will show an increasing number of megabytes printed VS total in the size columnLike this: 48.0 MB / 91.3 MB
  • & Suddenly the number will stop increasing and revert to a smaller number of KB 

Printing Fine in this example: job size printed OF total increasing normally.
Print job working
But THEN Stuck : Job not done and size suddenly drops to a small number of KB
Printer queue stuck

The panel error:

  • Press OK to print last page Also means the printer may be “Stuck on Ready”

You have to power the printer off and power it on again. (If it says ‘Press check mark and print final page’ do that first then power the printer off) The Power Button is on the lower left side on the front of the printer.

NOTE: The printers always take 4 minutes to fully reset and begin printing again.
NOTE: When watching the queue you have to Refresh the View periodically to force the queue display to be up to the moment. (see image below)

Like this: View Refresh


If all Printers are not Working:

Inquiring minds want to know:

  1. Is it a campus wide printing system problem?
  2. How long will it be down?
  3. Is it a network down problem?
  4. Is it just the one campus network?

These are the things you need to find out. Then you may need to make an announcement to the library patrons or put up appropriate signs. THINGS TO DO:

1.Test the network

  • Test if you can get to a campus web page like the library web page.
  • Test if you can get to an off campus web page like Google.

2. Call the Student Help Desk, ext. 4357 & ask them:

  • Are they able to print? Is their network down?
    • If not, ask if they have any information about an outage
  • Do they know how long it will last?
  • Are any other services affected? (i.e. my.newpaltz.edu, blackboard)

3.You may have to make an announcement to the library patrons!

  • Make the announcement loud enough so they can be heard and sound professional. Ask a circulation manager to make an announcement over the speaker system.
  • Tell them what the problem is, that we are working on as a solution, what they can do if anything.

Examples of announcements:

“Excuse me everyone. Printer 2 is down. We have called to get it fixed but we don’t know how long that will take. When you print please select printer 1 or printer 3 and print to that instead. “

“Excuse me everyone. The campus printing system is down but they are working on it. It may be back up in one hour. Please be sure to save all your work so you can print it later. “

4. Simple Informative Signs

Occasionally we need to place signs out for the public that we don’t have pre-made. If you have to, use as few words as possible. Make the words big enough to fill the page and be clear.

For example:

Printer 1 is down send print jobs to Printer 2 OR 3

Read here for more specific information on the printers on the main floor:

Manage the Big Printers Material: 

The New Color Printer: http://library.newpaltz.edu/techpages/colorprinter.html

Modified 2021-08-05