I recently posted this question, and it got closed rather quickly. Some comments suggested that it might be better suited for SU, but laser printers are almost exclusively used in a professional capacity, not at home. They require a specific set of knowledge, which I do not have (and I'd guess that many others here also have little clue about them and would appreciate some basics). If my boss tells me to fix the printer and I tell him "Oh, that's not my job. All the regular users should know how to do that.", there would obviously be issues.

Simply because performing maintinance on a printer requires physical labor, instead of sitting behind a keyboard while typing and doing computery stuff, doesn't mean it should get automatically categorized as a lesser task. Any discussion and clarification would be appreciated.

  • 3
    I think it's a stretch to say that laser printers are almost exclusively used in a professional capacity.
    – MDMarra
    Jan 14, 2012 at 0:23
  • 2
    When I saw that the question was closed, I was wondering if this issue would come up... Jan 14, 2012 at 3:26
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    Keep in mind that it only takes 3 people to choose the reason a Question is closed. I think your topic was too broad for a Server Fault Question. But should not have been closed as Off Topic.
    – Chris S
    Jan 14, 2012 at 15:05
  • I agree, it was probably too broad, but I didn't think it was off topic. I suppose I have my answer too... this is one case where RTFM applies, not because of ignorance of the user, but because of the heterogeny of printers.
    – Bigbio2002
    Jan 16, 2012 at 17:39

5 Answers 5


I'd have said close it because it's too open-ended. Although there are common parts in laser printers, exactly how you maintain them varies widely between manufacturers and models.

OTOH, if you made it specific to a certain model, it'd likely be closed as too localized, i.e. who will care in 10 years what the maintenance best practices are for a current laserjet?

Offhand, I think a question along the lines of "Do you perform regular maintenance on your printers and if so, what do you do?" might be an acceptable subjective question.

  • 3
    +1 i don't think office quality printers are off topic, but that question would have been better closed as not contructive
    – Zypher
    Jan 13, 2012 at 23:36
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    I think Zypher is right on the close reason bit, and Ward has a good point about a rephrasing that makes the question "Good Subjective"
    – voretaq7
    Jan 13, 2012 at 23:38

We try not to generalize, but the subject is just too wide. There are a plethora of manufacturers and models, and every model differentiates.

Some of them requires you replace almost 90% of the printer just to fix a broken drummer/roller/burner, whilst some of them are heavily modular where you can change one specific component at at time.

Because of this it's pretty much impossible to answer your question, as it depends on the points I listed above, plus how much it costs to replace parts versus the cost of buying a new printer, plus maintenance agreement etc.


Ask you vendor/reseller. Sorry for not being more helpful :)


Broken HP laser? We have to call an HP repair tech for that.

I'd call that an engineering question, and a fairly interesting one at that, but not a system administration question.

And "computer hardware" does fall under SU's umbrella, and I tend to classify basic printer repair as similar to basic PC repair. Also something I tend to think falls under SU's area of focus.

  • Good point, but it's generally accepted that server hardware falls under our footprint. I'd say commercial office printers are in that category to an extent, but I'm not sure how far that goes before it becomes "Go call the vendor".
    – voretaq7
    Jan 13, 2012 at 23:25
  • @voretaq7 Not that I have VTC privs, but I'm with you on not delete but not getting up in arms to vote to reopen either. Small printers are throwaway anymore and many large ones require a vendor-certified service technician to even order parts. If this were a Q&A site about engine repair, I'd consider this kind of question akin to "how do I change my oil?".
    – Magellan
    Jan 13, 2012 at 23:34
  • Once was a time when such instructions were included in the owners' manual.... Now we weld the hood shut :P
    – voretaq7
    Jan 13, 2012 at 23:43

Hmm - I don't know that maintenance of commercial, networked laser printers is off topic, but I don't know that it's on-topic either.

Laser printer maintenance on commercial units basically boils down to "Follow the instructions in the manual. Call your vendor for anything that isn't covered in the manual."

Modern units like the Canon ImageRunner series will tell you what to do to resolve a problem, step by step, on their MFD. Beyond setting up the network interface and other "brains" aspects a typical end user can do everything I would do to fix a printer, right up to "Call the service center and have them send the part we need, or a tech".

I wouldn't delete your question, but I'm not really sure it should be kept open.

(Desktop/personal laser printers, even the kind with WiFi/Network connectivity, are definitely off topic though -- you should make it clear that you're talking about a commercial office machine :-)


The question you linked to would get closed no matter what the topic. It's not a real question and sounds more like something taken from a test paper.

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