Old printers – Lexmark, Xerox, Canon

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I’m not sure why, but a lot of older printers, especially the larger strand up multifunctions, aren’t compatible with newer systems. This causes headaches. Painful ones.

As you know, my company provides 3rd party IT support services for clients. A lot of what we do are network overhauls, completely replacing server and workstation infrastructure. Just the other day, we were doing a network overhaul for a client. Everything was going well, all the data got transferred over, everything was going according to plan without issue. Until we got to the printer installation. Oh man.

This printer wasn’t that old. It was a 3 year old stand up multifunction with multiple trays. You know, your standard larger office copier. This one was from one of the major manufacturers of those units (I won’t mention the brand, but it’s one of it not the world’s largest copier company). It has a nice full color LCD screen on it, the works. I just assumed it would work with the new operating systems. I was mistaken.

Apparently, this 3 year old, $8,000.00+ stand up multifunction copier did not have ANY….. ANY Windows 8 or Windows Server 2012 drivers. Worse yet ? I was told that none will be made. What ? Seriously ? Luckily, this manufacturer has a regional franchise office with some really great staff, whom I know and deal with fairly regularly. They were able to come out, and between a firmware update on the multifunction itself and some very strange custom settings on the Windows 7 drivers, we were able to get the new Windows 8 workstations to print directly to the copier. No-go on getting Windows Server 2012 to install the copier (like I wanted, so I could share it onto the network from there), that will never work I’m told.

Needless to say, there was significant frustration and hours spent on this copier. Thankfully the client was very understanding and also highly displeased that they purchased a multifunction copier for that much money just for it not to be supported with newer operating systems. The lesson to learn here is that we should never assume anything. Just because something isn’t that old and should have its software supported, doesn’t mean it will. And this hold true for all the mainstream brands, Xerox, Canon, Lexmark, HP, etc. Remember, it’s our job to double check these things and make sure everything will work as expected.

Author

Martin Lehner

Martin Lehner is an technology professional working for an IT services firm in Whitehorse, Yukon (Canada). He has been working in the technology field for over a decade. With a degree in Business Admin and numerous industry certifications, Martin leads a team of IT professionals that provide third party support for clients. Originally starting a company to offer web development services, Martin quickly realized that clients wanted the entire spectrum of technology services. When Martin is not at work (which is not often, since his company offers 24/7 support), he is busy at home spending time with his family.

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