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Solutions: Dealing with a 'printer offline' problem

I have a Gateway Windows 7 desktop computer with Dell laser printer 1700. For some reason, it will no longer print and opens a message that states "Printer Status: Printer Offline." It is set as default printer and Use Printer Offline is unchecked. Printer status shows ready. How do I get the printer back online so that it will print?

The computer can no longer see the printer. It could be the printer, the computer hardware, the software drivers or the connecting cable. You have to try and eliminate and potentially fix each failure point one at a time until you find the problem. Always start with the easiest solution, which in this case is trying a different USB port (unplug the printer from the PC, reboot and then reconnect to a different USB port). Next, try using a different printer USB cable. If no change, I would go to Control Panel, View Devices and Printers, right-click the printer and select Remove Device. Go to Dell's support website and download the latest software driver for your model printer. Disconnect the printer and install the new drivers following the installation instructions.

I am getting the following when I switch from page to page in Internet Explorer: "This webpage wants to run the following add-on: 'wsdetect.dll' from 'OracleAmerica, Inc.' "

The two choices are Allow and Allow for all websites. Windows Help and Support says the topic is not available for this version of Windows. I am running Windows Vista Home Premium, service pack 2. If the program is safe and I need it, I will run it. If it is unsafe or I choose not to run it I would like to stop the pop-up from appearing. If there is a way to disable pop-ups, I would also like Internet Explorer to stop asking me if I wish to disable add-ons for faster Internet.

Wsdetect.dll is a normal part of Java, which is owned by Oracle. However there have been some security problems with past versions of Java which have since been addressed. I would go to Control Panel/Programs and uninstall Java and/or Java runtime. In Internet Explorer go to Tools, Manage Add-ons and disable anything Java related. At this point make sure you are receiving clean scans from your antivirus and Malwarebytes Antimalware before proceeding (the free version of MalwareBytes Antimalware can be found at www.tinyurl.com/2fwj868). Try Internet Explorer and see if you are still being prompted.

If you find you absolutely need the Java runtime for particular sites or applications, go to java.com and run the latest download/install version of the Java runtime. The Internet Explorer message asking to disable Add-ons may also stop since the time to load your existing Add-ons should now be shorter. If you still see it, click the down-arrow next to "Ask me later" and select a longer time frame before being notified. Normally it is not a bad thing to be told that some Add-ons are loading abnormally slow and it should be checked out.

Send questions to personaltech@tampabay.com or Personal Tech, P.O. Box 1121, St. Petersburg, FL 33731. Questions are answered only in this column.

Solutions: Dealing with a 'printer offline' problem 08/23/13 [Last modified: Friday, August 23, 2013 7:46pm]

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