Friday, June 2, 2023

Prevent Inkjet Printer From Drying Out

Super quick post for this. My parents have a nice Multi-function inkjet that they barely use. A B&W Laser printer is a better choice but its what they got as they thought they would print pictures. I noticed they got a cleaning kit to try and get it back into use after drying out. After helping with that I wanted to come up with something else so they didn't have to buy another cleaning kit or other parts. 

I came up with a simple solution which is a scheduled task that runs weekly and prints out a small color page to keep the inkjet in good condition. Sure it wastes a little ink but compared to the cost of maintenance parts it's way cheaper and the printer is a refillable model.

To facilitate you simply run WordPad with a switch to print a file via a scheduled task. I created an RTF file with the following:

It has a little bit of color to keep the ink fresh but not enough to cost a lot. The cleaning kits would have you print out fill pages of color blocks. For the scheduled task it is super simple. Just start Task Scheduler via Start and create a Basic Task by right-clicking.

Give it some basic info and click Next

Click Weekly then Click Next

Set the schedule to run. In this case I chose Sunday at 3AM as its in their basement and I never run anything on the hour. Click Next

Select Start a program and then click Next

For the Program/script enter 

"C:\Program Files (x86)\windows nt\accessories\wordpad.exe"

and for the Add arguments enter

/p "C:\Path\to\PrintTestPage.RTF"

Then click Next

On the final dialog screen choose the checkbox for 'Open the Properties dialog for this task when I click Finish' and Click Finish.

After the Properties dialog open adjust the user as needed. In this case it is ran on a Windows server so I used a local account. For Windows 10/11 you can use your account or another account. I would shy away from using BUILTIN\SYSTEM or BUILTIN\Administrator as you do not need any elevated permissions to run it. The account that runs the task will need to be able to access the RTF file.