Ubuntu, pdfs, and the imageClass MF4350d

After a series of cheap printers that offered a high return of frustration on low investment of capital, my wife and I decided to purchase a higher quality computer. After some research, we settled on the Canon imageClass MF4350d.

Why the Canon imageClass MF4350d?

  • It is compatible with Ubuntu, as verified by several blogs and forum threads.
  • It is a laserjet printer, which should save money in the long run.
  • It is not a Hewlett Packard. You could read my Amazon product reviews but to summarize I have not had a positive experience with the HP brand since the 90s.
  • Canon Printers were recommended to me by a small business owner who makes heavy use of printer. Word of mouth always carries a lot of weight.
  • The imageClass MF4350d had mostly positive reviews and the few common issues were minor in my opinion.
  • The deciding factor was that I found it on sale at Amazon for half the normal price. Ink cartridges were also on sale, so I loaded up on them as well.

The imageClass MF4350d is an older printer, hence the good pricing, but it still functions great for home office and small business use. Being older, there are a wealth of excellent guides available online to help get the printer working on a variety of operating systems ranging from Suse Linux to Macintosh OSX.

Now, on to the reason that I made this post… My father-in-law asked me to print off a pdf of some tax forms for him and, after months of working perfectly, the imageClass MF4350d froze up.

After a few minutes, it spat out the error: “DATA ERROR: CHECK PRINTER.

How did I try to fix it?

  1. Fiddle with the pdf printing options. Nothing.
  2. Cleared all print jobs in Ubuntu. Nothing.
  3. Tried printing a word document as a test… It failed to print!
  4. Restarted the printer. Restarted Ubuntu. Nothing.
  5. Hooked up a Windows  laptop via USB and tried to print from that… Nothing!
  6. Searched for the error in the printer manual… No mention of it.
  7. Searched for the error online. Found it! However, trying the fix suggested did… Nothing.
  8. Checked the jobs list on the printer menu…only to discover that Ubuntu hadn’t cleared it! The pdf jobs were still clogging up the printer, cancelling them on the printer got things working again. Success!

So don’t make my mistake and assume that the operating system clears the jobs queue on the printer. Save yourself some frustration and check there first, it might save you a lot of time.

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