Printing woes – a wise warning on inkjet printers

Printing woes – a wise warning on inkjet printers

I should have listened to the sales guy when he told me you need to use this printer regularly. I didn’t and now my Epson L355 (link to manual) only ‘prints’ blank pages – the print head(s) are well and truly blocked.

Just getting the PC talking to the printer was an ordeal. I had previously built a Win 10 VM on Oracle’s Virtualbox and since there are no Linux admin apps for the Epson, I was forced to connect it to a Windows PC to test it out.

One thing about Virtualbox – USB don’t work ‘out of the box’

After a lot of Googling and hours wasted I managed to get Win 10 to recognise the printer by doing the following:

  • Installed drivers for the Base System Device which was showing an error. Found a forum post referencing these drivers which I installed inside my Win 10 VM. I don’t know if this was necessary TBH ??
  • Virtualbox Extension Pack – You need to download the exact one corresponding to your version of VB – which for me is 6.0.0 – NB: The extension pack is different from the Guest Additions
  • Add current Linux user to vboxusers group and activate USB support through the VM settings – see here
    I also had to change to USB 2.0 instead of 1.1 – which is only possible after installing the extension pack.
  • Warning on guest additions: I tried a number of times to install the x86 guest additions under Win 10 on the VM. Everytime it corrupted the VM. Word to the wise – clone your VM after building it the first time, then do all new dev work on the clone. Building a VM from scratch when it’s fooked is such a time waster!

A few VB cli commands worth knowing:

• VBoxManage list usbhost
• VBoxManage list extpacks

We have contact…

With the printer recognised by the Win 10 VM, the correct printer driver was installed by the OS and I was able to access the Nozzle Cleaning function – what a scam that is! All it does is attempt to pump (your) ink through the print head to clear the jam. If you have months (or years!) of dried crusted ink covering those heads then this won’t do a thing.

I’ve done some quick research on how to clean the heads manually but it’s not an easy job and looks like one which will be mothballed for a few months, given what I’ve got on at the moment.

C’est la vie !

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