A+ Question of the Week: Dot-matrix Printer

AplusQOW1Which of the following is LEAST likely to be a symptom you find when troubleshooting a dot-matrix printer?

    1. A straight dark line down the length of the page
    2. An intermittent straight blank line across the width of the page
    3. A straight dark line across the width of the page
    4. A consistent straight blank line across the width of the page

The correct answer is 1.

Because dot-matrix printers are line printers and not page printers, there is no opportunity for them to exhibit a printing problem that manifests itself as a uniform defect down the length of the page. Non print-related, full-page concerns can, however, be caused by a paper-feed problem, for instance. The other problems are line-based issues that can be caused by pins stuck in or out by printhead cable flaws.

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  1. Andy Reply

    I’m surprised by the question. Does anyone even use dot matrix anymore? Back in my day they did, but I haven’t even seen one in years.

    [WORDPRESS HASHCASH] The poster sent us ‘0 which is not a hashcash value.

  2. Toby Skandier Reply

    Stick with us, Andy. We’ll interpret the CompTIA objectives, which do indeed still contain impact-printer questions due to their ongoing presence in the field, and prepare you for the exams.

  3. Thomas Reply

    Correct me if I am wrong, but I don’t think this is entirely accurate. On an OKI data printer for example, if the print head cannot move back and forth and is stuck in one location, yet the feeder works, there will be a continuous black line down the page, granted it will not look the same as your typical toner-based vertical banding problems, or ink based smears. Maybe I’m way off, but this has been my observation.

  4. Toby Skandier Reply

    Thomas, you’re exactly right. I’d stand behind the fact that you’d more likely see pin problems, but the spirit of the question centered on a line down an otherwise well-printed page. That definitely should have been stated. Good catch!