CompTIA A+ Rapid Review: Printers
This section contains the answers to the “Can you answer these questions?” sections in this chapter.
Objective 4.1: Explain the differences between the various printer types and summarize the associated imaging process
A laser printer has a high-voltage power supply, providing between -500 and -1,000 VDC. This voltage is used by the primary charge roller (or in older laser printers, a corona wire) to charge the imaging drum.
The two primary safety concerns related to laser printers are the high-voltage power supplies and the high-temperature fuser assemblies. The high-voltage power supply can deliver lethal electric shocks, and the fuser assembly can cause burns.
The two types of inkjet printing are thermal (or bubble jet) printing and piezoelectric printing. Thermal inkjets heat the ink, creating small bubbles that are sent out the heads. Piezoelectric printing uses a crystal to create small droplets, and these droplets are charged so that they stick to the paper or drop off.
Thermal printers are commonly used at point of sale locations to create receipts.
Impact printers are used to print multipart forms that have carbon paper within them. The impact of the pins on the head prints on each form. In contrast, a laser printer cannot print multipart forms, but it can print multiple individual copies.
Objective 4.2: Given a scenario, install, and configure printers
USB connections are the most common method used to connect printers directly to a computer. They are also the easiest, especially on Windows 7. If the driver is installed, the printer is automatically added when the USB connection is plugged in.
A primary concern with networked printers is ensuring that they are assigned the same IP address each time they are turned off and back on. This can be done by manually assigning an IP address or by configuring DHCP to assign the same IP address to the printer based on the printer’s MAC address.
Users need to know the UNC path to a shared printer in order to connect to it. This is in the format of \\ServerName\ShareName, where the server name is the name of the computer sharing the printer and the ShareName is the share name of the printer.
Objective 4.3: Given a scenario, perform printer maintenance
A laser printer maintenance kit typically includes one or more pickup rollers, a separator pad, a transfer roller, a fuser assembly, and toner. Toner can be replaced at other times.
The primary maintenance required for a thermal printer is to periodically clean out the paper dust and the print head. An ESD-safe vacuum cleaner can be used to remove the dust, and isopropyl alcohol with a lint-free cloth can be used to clean the print head.
An impact printer print head needs to be replaced if one or more of the pins jam.