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Researching all-in-ones. MP390 for Win2K, 128M RAM?

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Anonymous
March 11, 2005 8:33:14 PM

Archived from groups: comp.periphs.printers,comp.periphs.scanners (More info?)

<Sob story>
I bought an HP PSC750 (printer/scanner/copier) 2 years ago. Used it
lightly (about 500 pages printed) over the last 2 years. It quit
working as a all-in-one last summer, when I the hard drive on my
laptop. After a full week of full-time troubleshooting, much of it
with tech support by phone and email, I finally got the printing
working. The problem had to do with the drivers, and HP's tech
support blames it on my switching from FAT32 diskf format to NTFS. I
was coached in opening up permissions to some pretty sensitive
regsitry keys, which I was later told was a bad idea (from other
professional techies). Anyway, I used the remaining print
functionality until the black ink ran dry. Then I found out how much
the ink cartridges were. It wasn't worth it, considering that the
device was more than 50% dysfunctional under my NTFS system. I tried
some of the more expensive remanufactured cartridges, but they ink
bleeds.
</Sob story>

That was the story behind getting a new all-in-one. Hopefully, the
cartridges won't cost an arm and a leg, and the drivers well tested
enough that they don't malfunction just because I use NTFS with Win2K.
I basically need a home printer/scanner/copier of document-quality.
If the machine doesn't do faxing, I'll just use the windows faxing
function. I don't dabble in digital photography. I might want to
print out mapquest maps in color. I haven't yet decided whether to
print out my business card on the home printer (it is black and white,
and blue, no graded colors or grayscale, all line-art). So business
cards is a "maybe" need, and the quality of color printing will decide
for me. I will decide whether to print out my resume in
black-and-white if the quality is good enough. I would like the
quality of the black-and-white/grayscale to be good enough for
"non-photo" quality prints, such as an image of an envelope signed
across the seal, or copies of black-and-white printouts of
car-accident damage from a digital camera (these are only examples
from the past). Due to limited space in my home, a small footprint is
also highly desirable. My current budget is below $200, preferably
$150 or lower, but not necessarily so if it sacrifices too much
quality.

From googling reviews of all-in-ones, the MP390 seems like a good candidate.
Though it has small cartridges, they are cheap. Hopefully, they will stay
cheap and readily available for a good long time. Has anyone run into
problems with it using Win2K and NTFS? If you have as little RAM as I do
(128MB) and use it without problems, that would be reassuring to know, too.

Thanks.

Sad About HP PSC 750
March 12, 2005 3:16:28 AM

Archived from groups: comp.periphs.printers,comp.periphs.scanners (More info?)

In article <42321CAA.B064A610@HPpsc750.com>, Sad@HPpsc750.com says...
> <Sob story>
> I bought an HP PSC750 (printer/scanner/copier) 2 years ago. Used it
> lightly (about 500 pages printed) over the last 2 years. It quit
> working as a all-in-one last summer, when I the hard drive on my
> laptop. After a full week of full-time troubleshooting, much of it
> with tech support by phone and email, I finally got the printing
> working. The problem had to do with the drivers, and HP's tech
> support blames it on my switching from FAT32 diskf format to NTFS. I
> was coached in opening up permissions to some pretty sensitive
> regsitry keys, which I was later told was a bad idea (from other
> professional techies). Anyway, I used the remaining print
> functionality until the black ink ran dry. Then I found out how much
> the ink cartridges were. It wasn't worth it, considering that the
> device was more than 50% dysfunctional under my NTFS system. I tried
> some of the more expensive remanufactured cartridges, but they ink
> bleeds.
> </Sob story>
>
> That was the story behind getting a new all-in-one. Hopefully, the
> cartridges won't cost an arm and a leg, and the drivers well tested
> enough that they don't malfunction just because I use NTFS with Win2K.
> I basically need a home printer/scanner/copier of document-quality.
> If the machine doesn't do faxing, I'll just use the windows faxing
> function. I don't dabble in digital photography. I might want to
> print out mapquest maps in color. I haven't yet decided whether to
> print out my business card on the home printer (it is black and white,
> and blue, no graded colors or grayscale, all line-art). So business
> cards is a "maybe" need, and the quality of color printing will decide
> for me. I will decide whether to print out my resume in
> black-and-white if the quality is good enough. I would like the
> quality of the black-and-white/grayscale to be good enough for
> "non-photo" quality prints, such as an image of an envelope signed
> across the seal, or copies of black-and-white printouts of
> car-accident damage from a digital camera (these are only examples
> from the past). Due to limited space in my home, a small footprint is
> also highly desirable. My current budget is below $200, preferably
> $150 or lower, but not necessarily so if it sacrifices too much
> quality.
>
> From googling reviews of all-in-ones, the MP390 seems like a good candidate.
> Though it has small cartridges, they are cheap. Hopefully, they will stay
> cheap and readily available for a good long time. Has anyone run into
> problems with it using Win2K and NTFS? If you have as little RAM as I do
> (128MB) and use it without problems, that would be reassuring to know, too.
>
> Thanks.
>
> Sad About HP PSC 750
>
>
I am runing an HP 750XI under WIN XP NFTS with absolutely no problems.
--
Cheers!

Jan
Anonymous
March 12, 2005 3:55:51 AM

Archived from groups: comp.periphs.printers,comp.periphs.scanners (More info?)

Jan wrote:

> I am runing an HP 750XI under WIN XP NFTS with absolutely no problems.

It's quite possible that the problem depends on the driver (mines was for a PSC 750)
or the windowing system (Win2K). It is also possible that the attribution of the
problem to NTFS was incorrect. I get the impression that it was more a conclusion
than actual knowledge, based on the fact that the problem came up when I replaced
the hard disk, and formated with NTFS rather than FAT32. It is a plausible hypothesis,
since the two formatting systems are (apparently) not identical in terms of security. I
have no idea why opening up permissions on registry keys would resolve the disparity
between the two systems, but such an effect does point to security differences as the
cause.

At any rate, after a week troubleshooting the problem, it just didn't make any sense to
continue, especially after finding out that the step for opening up registry key permissions
was ill-advised. As far as I'm concerned, this is a problem with software design, testing,
and support. Not that it's relevant. The end result is that more than 50% of the functionality
is inaccessible. The effect is no different than if the machine itself was defective. Not
only did it cost dearly in terms of time, but my system was compromised by misleading
advice, despite prior, point-blank questions about the effects on security of the ill-advised
step.

If others can get such a peripheral working on their system, I think it's great that they don't
have to deal with the same problems. My situation is what it is, however, and I will do
everything within reason to avoid a repeat of my experience. That's why I'm researching
peoples experiences with various all-in-ones, with the exception of HP.

Sad About HP PSC 750
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Anonymous
March 12, 2005 1:42:57 PM

Archived from groups: comp.periphs.printers,comp.periphs.scanners (More info?)

Sad Re. HP PSC 750 wrote:
> <Sob story>
[snip sob story]

> From googling reviews of all-in-ones, the MP390 seems like a good candidate.
> Though it has small cartridges, they are cheap. Hopefully, they will stay
> cheap and readily available for a good long time. Has anyone run into
> problems with it using Win2K and NTFS? If you have as little RAM as I do
> (128MB) and use it without problems, that would be reassuring to know, too.
>
> Thanks.
>
> Sad About HP PSC 750

I don't recommens _any_ consumer level all-in-ones, especially any below
about $500. Such machines compromise on quality, and their cost of
operation will exceed their low acquisition cost many times over. Cheap
cartridges usually mean fewer copies per cartridge. I'm not familiar
with the MP390: if you replace only the toner in it, then printing cost
should be quite low per page. But sooner or later you would have to
replace the drum assembly, which may well cost more than the machine did
new.

If you want a good, reliable all-in-one, go to a good local
business/office supply dealer (the kind that has a loyal and satisfied
local customer base) and explain what you want. They may have a
refurbished office-quality unit or two. It will cost you more to buy,
but the lower operating cost and hassle-free ownership will more than
compensate for that. My budget was somewhat more generous than yours, so
I bought a Canon Imagerunner, and I'm thoroughly satisfied.

The driver issue is something else: do not buy any machine without a
good solid driver. (The file system used by W2K is irrelevant.) And BTW,
get some more RAM ASAP -- 128MB isn't really enough for W2K to work
smoothly.

HTH&GL
Anonymous
March 12, 2005 4:22:03 PM

Archived from groups: comp.periphs.printers,comp.periphs.scanners (More info?)

Wolf Kirchmeir wrote:
>
> I don't recommens _any_ consumer level all-in-ones, especially any
> below about $500. Such machines compromise on quality, and their
> cost of operation will exceed their low acquisition cost many times
> over. Cheap cartridges usually mean fewer copies per cartridge. I'm
> not familiar with the MP390: if you replace only the toner in it,
> then printing cost should be quite low per page. But sooner or later
> you would have to replace the drum assembly, which may well cost
> more than the machine did new.
>
> If you want a good, reliable all-in-one, go to a good local
> business/office supply dealer (the kind that has a loyal and
> satisfied local customer base) and explain what you want. They may
> have a refurbished office-quality unit or two. It will cost you more
> to buy, but the lower operating cost and hassle-free ownership will
> more than compensate for that. My budget was somewhat more generous
> than yours, so I bought a Canon Imagerunner, and I'm thoroughly
> satisfied.

I will certainly consider your points. My situation differs somewhat,
though. I am postponing any nontrivial costs until some time in the
future. To some degree, that indicates a low machine cost, even if
the per-page cost is more. Furthermore, it is for personal use rather
than a home office, so the actual page cost is per month is not much.
I went through one cartridge and half a package of paper in 2 years
(500 pages of printing, since I usually print on both sides). So
having the machine is as much for the ready accessibility to all its
functions (not just printing) as it is to save page costs. In fact,
it might not even be cheaper than going to a copy center. Now I'm
ready to replace the beast, and if the machine's first cost was
ammortized over the period of ownership, it would probably dwarf the
variable costs. Despite this, I am considering the cartridge cost
anyway, since I am not sure that such minimal usage will persist.

I am also looking for something with a small footprint (for all the
functions combined). This usually indicates consumer-level
all-in-one.

> The driver issue is something else: do not buy any machine without a
> good solid driver. (The file system used by W2K is irrelevant.) And
> BTW, get some more RAM ASAP -- 128MB isn't really enough for W2K to
> work smoothly.

On properly written software, the file system /should/ be irrelevant.
This doesn't seem to be the case in my situation, since wholesale
changes to system registry keys were needed under NTFS (and not FAT32)
to get partial functionality. My impression is that HP's software
leaves much to be desired, in contrast to its awesome hardware. In
this case, however, the end effect of bad software is even worse than
bad hardware, considering the lost troubleshooting time and
irreversible compromises in the security of registry keys. I don't
want to turn this into a rant about how this happened, but suffice it
to say that the tech support advice sounded very dubious, and I asked
point-blank whether security would be compromised, and whether it was
reversible -- a number of times. These concerns were unequivocally
dismissed. A number of other reliable sources supported my
suspicions, after the fact.

About memory and not buying a machine with a solid driver, I trusted
the HP name, and the documentation clearly stated Win2K support and
32MB RAM (64MB recommended). I've simultaneously ran /many/ complex
apps on my 128MB without problems (though it may not run the fastest),
and I made sure that minimum number of processes were running when
troubleshooting the driver problem. I agree that more than 128MB is
desirable, especially for recent software, and I will likely upgrade
in the future; however, I don't think the problem can be attributed to
the memory, since it worked fine under FAT32 with many apps running
simultaneously. It was not until much later that I discovered the
problems under NTFS, well after the warranty. In fact, it was HP's
tech support that attributed the problem to NTFS, and it certainly
wouldn't have been my first suspicion. I don't think it is
unreasonable to expect HP to thoroughly test the product under both
systems before branding it as suitable for Win2K.

I appreciate the pointer to the the Canon ImageRunner. From the
brochure for the desktop models, I think it goes beyond my home
needs in terms of size, capacity, and cost. Your idea of looking
for refurbished at at reliable outlet is good, too. One question
about that: Would you say that such advice is applicable for the
lower-end printers typical for home use? For some reason, I expect
such small ticket items to be not taken very seriously, and either
not worth the effort for a commercial retail outlet, or not worth
their while to rigorously ensure proper, reliable operation.

Sad About HP PSC 750
Anonymous
March 12, 2005 6:03:50 PM

Archived from groups: comp.periphs.printers,comp.periphs.scanners (More info?)

Sad Re. HP PSC 750 wrote:
> Wolf Kirchmeir wrote:
[snip explanatory repsonse]
> I appreciate the pointer to the the Canon ImageRunner. From the
> brochure for the desktop models, I think it goes beyond my home
> needs in terms of size, capacity, and cost. Your idea of looking
> for refurbished at at reliable outlet is good, too. One question
> about that: Would you say that such advice is applicable for the
> lower-end printers typical for home use? For some reason, I expect
> such small ticket items to be not taken very seriously, and either
> not worth the effort for a commercial retail outlet, or not worth
> their while to rigorously ensure proper, reliable operation.
>
> Sad About HP PSC 750

OK, I understand your dilemma. For your needs, a cheaper printer is
apparently a good price/quality compromise.

However, I doubt that a cheap printer is worth refurbishing. An office
supply store might have better quality refurbished printers on hand,
though they would probably be in the $200-400 price range, else there's
not enough profit in refurbishing to make it worth while. But it never
hurts to ask. :-)

You could try tigerdirect.com or newegg.com, both are good, reliable
on-line sources of computer products, at discounted prices, and both
have an everchanging list of refurbished product, including printers.
You should be able to get a better quality item for around the price you
want to pay (but keep shipping and handling in mind.) Or something
similar to the MP390, as long as you have the specs at hand so you
compare. They might even have the MP390.

And there's always Staples, which often has very good deals on
end-of-line items. They also have an unbiased staff, since they aren't
paid on commission. If you have a pretty good idea of what you want,
Staples is a good source. Except for their housebrand consumables, I've
found them a good source of all kinds of supplies.

I don't know about WalMart, I never shop there, and I was not impressed
with Future Shop last time I bought anything there, the sales staff are
constantly trying to switch you to whatever product they are pushing
that week, so I don't trust their advice. But if you have already
decided what to buy, they could be a good source, too.

Good hunting!
Anonymous
March 12, 2005 8:02:07 PM

Archived from groups: comp.periphs.printers,comp.periphs.scanners (More info?)

On Sat, 12 Mar 2005 15:03:50 -0500, Wolf Kirchmeir
<wwolfkir@sympatico.ca> wrote:


>And there's always Staples, which often has very good deals on
>end-of-line items. They also have an unbiased staff, since they aren't
>paid on commission. If you have a pretty good idea of what you want,
>Staples is a good source. Except for their housebrand consumables, I've
>found them a good source of all kinds of supplies.


Good god, MFPs are so cheap these days.
What's the problem?

The Dell 922 is $69, their "top of the line" 962
(with Fax) is $139.

Or consider the Canon Pixma MP130, at $99.
See review here:

<http://www.pcmag.com/article2/0,1759,1774821,00.asp&gt;

Sure, ink will cost you if you start printing large
quantities of color-saturated pages. For normal
text printing, no problem.

I wouldn't say they're "built to last" but the print
and scan quality on these things is good to excellent.


rafe b.
http://www.terrapinphoto.com
Anonymous
March 13, 2005 7:14:46 AM

Archived from groups: comp.periphs.printers,comp.periphs.scanners (More info?)

Wolf Kirchmeir wrote:

> You could try tigerdirect.com or newegg.com, both are good, reliable
> on-line sources of computer products, at discounted prices, and both
> have an everchanging list of refurbished product, including printers.
> You should be able to get a better quality item for around the price you
> want to pay (but keep shipping and handling in mind.) Or something
> similar to the MP390, as long as you have the specs at hand so you
> compare. They might even have the MP390.
>
> And there's always Staples, which often has very good deals on
> end-of-line items. They also have an unbiased staff, since they aren't
> paid on commission. If you have a pretty good idea of what you want,
> Staples is a good source. Except for their housebrand consumables, I've
> found them a good source of all kinds of supplies.
>
> I don't know about WalMart, I never shop there, and I was not impressed
> with Future Shop last time I bought anything there, the sales staff are
> constantly trying to switch you to whatever product they are pushing
> that week, so I don't trust their advice. But if you have already
> decided what to buy, they could be a good source, too.

Thanks for the suggestion, Wolf. I'm not exactly a fan of online shopping
yet, but I was going to check Staples and maybe Future Shop. My visits
to Future Shop have also made me skeptical about the benefit of going
back, but it is as you say -- good if you know what you want. I just wanted
to make sure I was set on the right model first, considering Win2K/NTFS,
128M RAM, $150-$200, light usage, small footprint, testimonies of robust
hardware /and/ software, mostly line art with color fidelity not overridingly
important, and maybe cartridge cost as a secondary factor. I will keep in
mind the possibility that a better refurbished all-in-one can be gotten for the
same price as a new low-end one, given the right retail business.

Thanks again.

Sad About HP PSC 750
!