Need help with Epson disc printers

vbimport

#1

I need help with my Epson Artisan 50 disc printer. I really like the way it does direct printing on printable CD/DVD discs, but I am about to throw it right through the window and try another brand. My problem is in trying to print on more than one disc at a time, either multiple copies of the same disc or on different discs. I’m using Epson’s Print CD program v.2.00.00A, which I also like. It’s very easy to use and it does everything I need.

The first disc will always print just fine, but trying to print on subsequent discs, either the same label design again or a new label design, will throw the printer into a fault condition with the disc kicked back out, error messages popping up on the screen and both orange lights alternately flashing on the printer. The only way I’ve found to recover from this is to delete the print job from Windows, close the Print CD program, shut off the printer, wait a minute, turn the printer back on, wait for it to re-initialize and start all over again. Sometimes I even have to re-boot the system to get rid of the error condition.

I’ve found that completely closing the program and re-opening it again for each new disc sometimes helps, but not always.

I should mention that I’ve had this same problem through three different Epson disc printers, an R280, R320 and my current Artisan 50. These printers have been on three completely different systems with three different operating systems and I’ve used three or four different versions of Epson’s Print CD program, but the problem persists. The Artisan 50 is currently connected to an Intel i7 Quad-Core 3.06GHz system with 12GB of triple channel memory and Windows 7 Home Premium x64.

Has anyone else had this problem with Epson disc printers or is it just me? What have I been doing wrong all these years? Why can’t I ever just remove a finished printed disc, load a new disc in the tray, shove it in the printer, line it up, hit print again and expect it to print without a problem??


#2

Have you installed the drivers and status monitor from here? I believe Win7 does not have native support for the 50.
When printing more than one copy of a label, what happens if you simply change the number of “copies” in the print dialogue box to 2, 3, etc.?
This is not a problem I’ve had w/ my R340, RX680, or Artisan 800. I have found that PrintCD ver. 1.60A has been the least buggy on all my machines: XP, Vista, 7, 32 and 64 bit.


#3

Quick search for Print Cd 1.60, and of course one of our members was kind enough to provide it :). You may wish to alter the destination folder name to C:\Program Files (x86)\Print CD160 . Drag a shortcut from the EPSONCD.exe file to your desktop to run it.


#4

Yes, I originally did install the Drivers and Utilities Combo Package for Windows 7 64-bit (epson13417.exe) from the page you suggested. Everything works fine on Win7 Home Premium x64 except, of course the disc handling/printer fault issue.

As I said before, it has been a problem through three different systems with three different operating systems, three different Epson disc printers (R280, R320 & Artisan 50) and also several different versions of Print CD over the years. I can recall downloading versions of Print CD from Epson Europe when I was running XP Pro, just to try a different version that wasn’t available on the U.S site, so I’m sure I tried 1.60 with at least one of my Epsons at one time or another.

The best solution I’ve found is to close the Easy Print program completely after each disc prints and re-open it to print again, whether printing a new label or more copies of the same.

I’m sure it’s my fault and there’s something I’ve never really understood about using the disc printing function with Epsons, since nobody else seems to be having a problem, but I’ll be damned if I know what it is! I may try a Canon next, since they are FINALLY offering the disc printing function on some of their models to people in the U.S.!


#5

One long-shot possibility: Did you use the same USB cable in each case? (Could have high resistance, intermittant contact in a conductor or plug.) Or is it an older USB 1.0 cable?

I’ve read of plenty of weird problems with the Artisan line of printers and it appears they are now out of production (can only find them for sale in quantity from Epson and those might be refurbs); but to have similar problems with older Epson printers seems very odd. I currently have 5 R-series Epson printers and have never had the type of problem you describe – only occassional ink flow issues…

Oh - and two other really long-shot possibilities: Any chance the disc tray is hitting the wall coming out the back? (Don’t even know if this applies to the Artisan series since I’ve never used one, and I assume you don’t move the printer back after the first successful print. But we [I]are [/I]grasping at straws here.)

Also, any damage to the tray such as warping, or any ink splatter to the white or silver areas where the printer reads to accurately position the tray before printing?


#6

Everything has changed with these printers over the last few years - computers, operating systems, cables, different versions of Epson software.

I was hoping it was some basic flaw in how I was doing it. Like “you have to open the program before you switch the tray to the CD position” (or the reverse). Or “you have to wait X number of seconds after printing the first disc before inserting subsequent discs”. I just don’t know and at this point, I no longer care.

Yesterday, I changed two color cartridges, both genuine Epson from a retail package and the printer would not recognize one of them (cyan) as an Epson cartridge! Tried all the tricks and fixes I could find on the web, but no luck. I ended up driving a 20 mile round trip in a snowstorm to buy another cyan cartridge which, thankfully, worked.

It was strange in that the Epson Status Monitor had a big red X on the first cartridge indicating it couldn’t be recognized and that maybe I should “use a genuine Epson cartridge next time”, but clicking on the information button showed that particular cartridge WAS recognized as “EPSON genuine CYAN 78”. In other words, it couldn’t recognize it in one case, but could in the other.

Does anyone not play games with their printers, like HP with their half-full “starter cartridges” or Epson with their chip-in-the-cartridge that used to tell you it’s empty when it wasn’t? I’m about to try a Canon PIXMA iP4920 for disc printing, since they’re finally making printers for the US market with disc printing capabilities. I’ve never been very impressed with Canon in the past, but maybe I’ll give them another try.

I really hate to change brands because the EPSON works fine for all other printing and does a great job of disc printing (when it’s not in a “fault condition”), the PrintCD software is very easy to use and serves my purposes well, but I’m getting sick of some of the quirks in these Epsons.


#7

I see I didn’t answer all your questions. No chance of the tray hitting the wall. The whole tray is only 9 3/4" long and there is 11" of clearance behind the printer. The white markings on the tray are clean and bright and it has never had a problem positioning the tray to print the first disc. It’s only when I remove the first printed disc from the tray, put in a new disc, re-insert the tray with the arrows lined up and hit the on-screen print button in PrintCD that it pushes the tray back out and all the lights start flashing.

Now, even when it’s working properly, the printer’s first action is to push the disc back out about 1" - 1 1/2" and then pull it back in for positioning. If the disc is pushed out farther than that, it stays out and I know I’m in trouble.


#8

[QUOTE=pcarey;2618951]I see I didn’t answer all your questions. No chance of the tray hitting the wall. The whole tray is only 9 3/4" long and there is 11" of clearance behind the printer. The white markings on the tray are clean and bright and it has never had a problem positioning the tray to print the first disc. It’s only when I remove the first printed disc from the tray, put in a new disc, re-insert the tray with the arrows lined up and hit the on-screen print button in PrintCD that it pushes the tray back out and all the lights start flashing.

Now, even when it’s working properly, the printer’s first action is to push the disc back out about 1" - 1 1/2" and then pull it back in for positioning. If the disc is pushed out farther than that, it stays out and I know I’m in trouble.[/QUOTE]

You may want to keep an eye on reviews for that Canon printer for a bit before pulling the trigger on purchasing it. Another member reported problems with ink easily rubbing off the printed discs. I suspect it is the same problem that many others have had with HP disc printing, a result of the fact that they use pigment black, unlike Epson’s dye black ink. Doesn’t absorb well, and can be a real problem with discs.

I avoid the chip hassles by simply installing a good CISS right off the bat with my Epsons.

Did you try changing the number of copies in the print dialogue when printing more than 1 of the same label to see what happens?

My RX680 always kicks the disc out a bit before pulling it in as well.


#9

Two other things occur to me. Have you tried going into “speed and progress” settings and enabling “high speed copies” and or disabling Epson status monitor.

What happens if you click the “print” icon in PrintCD and select your print options including enabling “print preview” and click print and wait for the print preview window before inserting the tray?


#10

Thanks for the heads up on the Canon. If the ink is the problem with Canon and HP, then that doesn’t leave us much choice, does it? To me that means that no model of Canon or HP printer would be satisfactory.

A few years ago I tried an HP 5160 but it had absolutely lousy disc printing software. Rather than being a stand-alone application, like Epson’s Print CD, the HP disc printing application is integrated (read as “buried”) in the general HP PhotoSmart Premier application and was difficult to use. The HP also had weak color compared to the Epson R320 I had at the time and took a long time to dry.

BUT - the HP 5160 had a superior disc handling system. A blind person could set the HP disc tray in the proper position. Simply drop down the tray feed door (no re-positioning of the feed tray) and shove the tray in until it stops (no lining up any arrows). Didn’t seem to make any difference when you do it. Tray feed mechanism was very solid and positive, compared to the Epson and I never a problem printing multiple discs.

You’re right in that the Epson ink takes really well on the Verbatim and Philips white and silver inkjet printables I use. It dries quickly and you have to work hard to smudge it after only an hour of drying.

I probably won’t do anything right away on changing printers. I’d like to stay with Epson just because of the quality of their printing in general, but I was really ticked off last night over the “unrecognizable” new genuine Epson cartridge issue, but that’s the first time I’ve ever had that problem. Epson owes me a new CYAN cartridge! I wonder if they’ll replace it if I sent it to them? :slight_smile:


#11

I’ve participated in many threads over the years regarding disc printing issues that were a result of pigment black ink being a poor choice for disc printing. Didn’t want to see you trading one hassle for another one ;).

That’s one of the reasons I find myself inclined to recommend Epsons for disc printing. Doesn’t hurt that the disc print quality with my RX680’s or Artisan 800 is gorgeous either :D.

You may want to consider a refurb Arty 7xx or 8xx next for disc printing. Tray is built in to the printer :clap:. Push a button, tray slides out, drop a disc in and go. I see them regularly going for less than $100.00 at Epsonstore and elsewhere. Excellent scanner too. You may want to go with 710 /810 or later models if you wish to also use it for 8x10 photo printing. 800 does fine with the 4x6 dedicated tray, but has a little trouble feeding some 8 1/2x 11 photo paper.

Have you tried the printing methods I described? It seems possible that its spitting it out because you’re inserting the tray before the printer settings have been changed from the default tray to the CD tray?

Sounds like you’re ready for some good refillable carts or a CISS :bigsmile:.


#12

Don’t seem to be able to find any “Print Preview” button in the print window. Only options or buttons are Printer Selection, Number of Copies, Print Color Correction, Print Confirmation Pattern, Adjust Print Position, Tray, Manual Print and Test Print. PrintCD version is 2.00.00A.

As far as the speed settings go, there seems to be two places to select high speed. One was under the Maintenance/Speed & Progress heading and the other was under the Advanced heading. One was checked and the other was not. Checked both of them.

Epson Status Monitor has been off and on over the years, depending on how much it annoys me at any particular time. I’m sure it’s been off at some point while I’ve printed discs, but I disabled it again.

Maybe I’ll have a chance to try some disc printing this evening using some of your suggestions, but right now the wife is saying she is going to the Mall, which translated means, I’m taking her to the Mall. :frowning:


#13

[QUOTE=pcarey;2618976]Don’t seem to be able to find any “Print Preview” button in the print window. Only options or buttons are Printer Selection, Number of Copies, Print Color Correction, Print Confirmation Pattern, Adjust Print Position, Tray, Manual Print and Test Print. PrintCD version is 2.00.00A.

As far as the speed settings go, there seems to be two places to select high speed. One was under the Maintenance/Speed & Progress heading and the other was under the Advanced heading. One was checked and the other was not. Checked both of them.

Epson Status Monitor has been off and on over the years, depending on how much it annoys me at any particular time. I’m sure it’s been off at some point while I’ve printed discs, but I disabled it again.

Maybe I’ll have a chance to try some disc printing this evening using some of your suggestions, but right now the wife is saying she is going to the Mall, which translated means, I’m taking her to the Mall. :([/QUOTE]
Go into default printer settings and enable the print preview. May be one reason I’ve not had trouble as I always enable this first thing w/ a new printer.

Have fun at the mall :eek::bigsmile:


#14

“It seems possible that its spitting it out because you’re inserting the tray before the printer settings have been changed from the default tray to the CD tray?”

That would only apply to the first disc printed and it never screws up on the first disc, only on subsequent discs, whether the same label or a new label. I’ve had some luck in exiting and re-opening the program between discs, in fact that’s the only way I can have any luck in printing more than one.


#15

[QUOTE=pcarey;2618978]“It seems possible that its spitting it out because you’re inserting the tray before the printer settings have been changed from the default tray to the CD tray?”

That would only apply to the first disc printed and it never screws up on the first disc, only on subsequent discs, whether the same label or a new label. I’ve had some luck in exiting and re-opening the program between discs, in fact that’s the only way I can have any luck in printing more than one.[/QUOTE]

Do give a try to printing in the order I mentioned? Inserting the tray at the end right before clicking the print button in the preview window? I’m grasping at straws here trying to figure what you are doing differently from me :).

Also do not hesitate to try unchecking high speed copies if having them checked is no help.


#16

I have a R200, which is an older model, but the print tray and process looks the same as yours. I had the same problem with it too. What I do after I print the first disc is…
after printing the first disc, I insert the tray until the clear plastic leading edge of the tray is just about touching the small gray rollers inside the printer. I do not line up the arrows, otherwise the printer will try positioning the disc a few times until it throws an error.


#17

Finally, someone else has a similar problem! Your R200 is the predecessor to the Artisan 50. But, if your R200 has the thin clear plastic leading edge on the tray, I can remember that Epson changed the tray design to eliminate the clear plasic leading edge while I had my Epson R320 and would send a new tray on request because a lot of people had tray loading problems with that design.

That may have cured the initial tray loading problem, but as I recall, it did not cure my positioning problem with the R320, though. I’m sure all Epson’s since then (R280 and Artisans for sure) have the new design, so I’m not sure your fix would apply. But I’m going to try your suggestion of basically ignoring the arrows after the first disc and try to find a tray loading position that doesn’t cause a fault. You may be on to something here.

deanwitty: “Do give a try to printing in the order I mentioned? Inserting the tray at the end right before clicking the print button in the preview window?”

I’m going to try this also. Frankly, I’m a little stumped by your references to a “Preview” window. Maybe we’re using different versions of PrintCD. This is what I see in version 2.00.00A, and I wouldn’t call it a Preview.



#18

The print preview option is accessed through the driver’s print settings. Either right click the printer icon in the task tray and choose “printer settings”, or click the “manual print” button in the PrintCD dialogue box to select it in this box:

This will bring up a preview window after you click “print” in the PrintCD settings box, at which time you can insert the tray and finally click “print” in that preview window.

How did you end up with “epson artisan 50 series(copy 1)” ? Do you have more than one 50 connected to that computer? If not, you may find it helpful to uninstall all copies of the printer driver, as it is certainly likely to cause glitches if you have more than one driver installation tied to one printer.



#19

[QUOTE=deanwitty;2618974]I’ve participated in many threads over the years regarding disc printing issues that were a result of pigment black ink being a poor choice for disc printing. Didn’t want to see you trading one hassle for another one ;).

That’s one of the reasons I find myself inclined to recommend Epsons for disc printing. Doesn’t hurt that the disc print quality with my RX680’s or Artisan 800 is gorgeous either :D.

You may want to consider a refurb Arty 7xx or 8xx next for disc printing. Tray is built in to the printer :clap:. Push a button, tray slides out, drop a disc in and go. I see them regularly going for less than $100.00 at Epsonstore and elsewhere. Excellent scanner too. You may want to go with 710 /810 or later models if you wish to also use it for 8x10 photo printing. 800 does fine with the 4x6 dedicated tray, but has a little trouble feeding some 8 1/2x 11 photo paper.

Have you tried the printing methods I described? It seems possible that its spitting it out because you’re inserting the tray before the printer settings have been changed from the default tray to the CD tray?

Sounds like you’re ready for some good refillable carts or a CISS :bigsmile:.[/QUOTE]

Well, I can see that my options for finding a different printer for direct disc printing in the Epson line are limited to non-existent, since I don’t want or need an all-in-one or wide-format printer. I already have an Epson V200 Photo scanner which works fine and I simply don’t have the room for an all-in-one or wide-format printer on my desk.

Since you’re saying the Canon or HP are not as good at disc printing quality as the Epson, and that’s probably true, that leaves me with my Artisan 50 as (sadly) the best choice for me.


#20

I just printed four discs in a row without an error!! I think Daemonicus’ reply gave me the clue I’ve been searching for. Even though his printer and disc tray is an older style, I started thinking that my printer was maybe sensing a disc tray positioning error, even though the tray was perfectly lined up with the arrows. So I decided to try multiple prints with the arrow on the tray 1/8" - 1/4" further in past the arrow on the tray guide than it’s supposed to be. Success with three discs in a row! Before printing the fourth disc, I disabled the Windows Print Preview function, just using the Print Button in PrintCD, and it still pulled the disc in and printed without a hitch. First time ever!

That doesn’t explain why it never senses a positioning error on the first disc when the arrows are lined up. But whatever the reason for that is, it may explain why exiting and re-opening PrintCD between discs seemed to help.

Next on the list is to un-check some of the options I enabled in Windows Settings/Printers/Properties/Preferences/Advanced, like High Speed to see if that makes any difference. More testing to follow, but I’m beginning to think it’s a mechanical, electrical or firmware problem with this printer, possibly a balky or mis-positioned sensing switch in the mechanism. Luckily, I just bought a spindle of 100 printable CD’s, so I can use those for testing at about 21 cents a pop, rather than DVD’s.

As usual, I really do appreciate the help you guys have given me on this. Quite often, no one person has the whole answer, but collectively the great people in the CD Freaks forums are hard to beat!

I’ll keep you posted on any further findings. Thanks again!