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2014-11-01, 08:08 #1
- Join Date
- Apr 2002
- Polk City, Florida, USA
- Thanked 4 Times in 2 Posts
PC restarts when printing (Solved)
(I tried to post this in an old similarly-named thread and was denied.) So... I saw this problem in an old Dell Vostro 400 running Windows Vista, trying to print to a Dell 1125 Laser printer. (Spoiler: The fact that it was a laser printer is important.) The fact that this all happened in an old system is relevant, but you have to consider the ENTIRE system.
I first did all the normal stuff -- updated Vista, the BIOS, the print driver, the printer firmware, and gave the PC a thorough cleaning. No change -- after clicking PRINT, in any application, there would be a slight pause, the PC would restart, and during all this the printer would happily go about its business and print the document. The only item in the subsequent event log was an "unexpected restart" kind of message.
The problem was obvious once I figured it out (as are most problems). Everything was powered from an APC ES550 UPS, which had a completely dead battery. (Simple test: unplug the UPS from the wall and watch EVERYTHING die immediately.) The UPS was tucked away under a mass of wires and dust under the desk, so the red "Replace Battery" LED was invisible. After the document was transferred to the printer and the first page was ready to print, the fuser lit up, and the sudden power demand caused a momentary voltage drop large enough to trigger a PC lost-power restart. The printer WAS plugged into the "surge protect only" side of the UPS, but apparently the UPS internals don't isolate the two sides very well.
The temporary fix was to power the printer from the wall socket directly; the permanent fix was (obviously) to replace the UPS battery. Even plugged into the wall socket, you could see the desk lamp flicker when the printer started up, suggesting that the house wiring was also marginal, perhaps contributing to the problem.