Printer help

My laser printe started spitting out rubbish and I have no idea why. I have an NEC Superscrip 870 laser printer from 1999 (worked like a champ until yesterday).

When I print a test page from the printer itself, it comes out fine (tells me how much memory is installed, how many pages it's printed, ect).

But if I print a test page from within Windows XP (from the properties box), or if I print anything else, like a simple text document, the page looks all jumbled and messed up. The text isn't legible, there's lines, and it's all scrunched up. It's like something is messing up the data transfer.

Things I've tried so far:

- New serial cable (no usb on this printer).
- Deleting the printer profile and having WinXP reinstall it and the drivers.

Any ideas?

NEC's Driver page

I searched your model for WinXP, but they don't have a driver on there. Try the Win2k one. Might work. There's no telling what drivers Windows Update was givin' ya.

Yeah, I saw those drivers, but I wasn't sure if the Win2K would work with XP. I'll give it a shot.

Well, that driver didn't work. I was reading on fixyourownprinter.com that the drum kit might have a bad wiper blade or be busted. My NEC has a photoconductor module and a toner cartridge. Is the photoconductor module the "drum kit"?

I'm not sure how many pages the drum kit is supposed to support, but I've printed 23,000 pages so far since 1999. But the drum kit costs over $100 and I don't want to pay that much and then have it not be the fix.

How does one know if the Drum Kit has died? Or needs to be replaced? What are the tell-tale signs? Thanks for the help!

Read the bottom of this page:

Gripes about NEC SuperScript 870

Go down and find the section labelled "Windows XP Driver Issues".

Well, if it prints anything- like the test page- that's good...

Might I inquire as to the size of the file being printed? Is it a graphic file (like AutoCAD) a photo, a database...a document?

We had a laser printer that kept pooping out with big docs till we added more memory.

Maybe that's a place to start.

Thanks for the link. That minolta driver kinda worked. The test page was messed up at the top, but the rest of the doctument looked okay.

I've tried printing various sized docs, from 10k text pages to a GWJ forum page.

This site here recommended using the HP LaserJet IIP drivers, which actually improved the pages quite a bit. At least I'm getting text now instead of garbage. There's some streaking though and graphics are still messed up.

The whole problem seems to be that NEC licensed "PrintGear" tech from Adobe, but then Adobe abandoned the software and would not negotiate with NEC, so there actually aren't any official NEC WinXP drivers for the NEC SuperScrip 870. The HP LJIIP are working for now though, but it's not a long term solution.

I've got my eye on this Brother HL-5200 laser jet (with duplex printing!) so I think I may be ready to toss in the towel and upgrade.

So I'm not the only one nursing an old NEC SS 870? I've had no problems using the default WinXP drivers with my printer other then I'm on the origional toner cartridge and it's now on its last legs.

Didn't know about the built in test page checked the online pdf manual and ran it, almost 2800 pages. That Brother printer looks like a fine replacement for my 870 too.

It's been a great printer, and it's been working like a champ under WinXP Pro since last September (which is when I upgraded). It just up and died all of a sudden; like the printer equivalent of a heart attack. Just placed my order for the Brother HL-5200, and grabbed some additional memory for it as well.

The Brother HL-5140 was also a great deal at only $158 (after $20 rebate), but I really want the duplex printing (paper's expensive!) and the built-in networking.