Sunday, 24 August 2008

Upgrading Epson 4800 printer driver from v5.55 to v6.50 – think before you do it!

Recently I was trying to work out why my Epson 4800 printer was not printing on A3 and roll paper properly. As a part of the process I installed Epson’s latest printer driver v6.50. I quickly discovered that I would really rather not have done so.


For a couple of months I have been living with the fact that whenever I printed on A3 paper the printer would leave a 14mm or 20mm margin at the top or left of the page, whatever it had actually been asked to print. Since this was happening using both Lightroom and Qimage to print I determined that it was the printer or driver, not the printing applications themselves. Printing using roll paper was also not working properly – it was not starting to print in the right place and not cutting at all. Printing using A4, however, seemed to be OK…

I decided to fix the problems and did the usual things to fix these types of problems – reinstall the driver, and if that does not cure it, then the firmware.

First I downloaded the latest printer driver from Epson v6.50 (dated the 7th March, 2008), replacing v5.55 which was the one I had been using. I did not see any harm in this, but I was wrong (more on this below). This did not cure the eccentric printing, however, so I downloaded the firmware (the same version as the one I had been using) and installed that via Epson’s LFP Remote Panel. Initially LFP would not recognize the printer’s existence (although it was printing OK), but after a few cycles of re-booting the computer and the printer it accepted that it was really there. After updating the printer started printing accurately on the page where requested.

But…
Printer driver v6.50, however, was a pain. Basically for two reasons.

Firstly all my paper and set-up specific settings carefully saved in both Qimage and Lightroom were lost. Both remembered the ICC profile settings (happily), but both lost all the other settings; such as media, paper handling and quality settings. So I had to go back through all the combinations and reinstall them, and since I had not exactly copied all of them down as they were stored in the applications and backed up I had not thought it necessary, this was a time consuming and frustrating process.

Secondly it has changed the layout and operation of the various panels so I had to relearn all of them and I can not find any documentation from Epson about what the changes are.
Below are screenshots from the Main, Page Layout and Utility panels - double click on them is you want to see them full size.





There is an extra panel, to the right hand side in the screenshots above, showing the Current Settings which can be turned on or off as desired.

They seem to cover the majority of the previous functions in much the same way, but annoyingly different, so setting up quality for a particular paper is a bit hit & miss.

There are a few interesting enhancements – the main one I have noticed is that the custom paper settings are replicated on the Media Type dropdown (see screenshot) below, rather than hidden in the custom settings panel.



The printing status screen (see screenshot below) has been re-worked to include cartridge codes (but they use Epson's old ones, not the new ones - e.g. the LLK cartridge options are listed as T5649 & T5659 , not T6059 & T6069 for the 110ml & 220ml versions respectively that Epson currently uses)



Conclusion
If you use pre-sets or saved printing settings in applications such as Lightroom and Qimage think very carefully before upgrading, unless you really want some of the enhancements in v6.5 (whatever they are). If you do, then carefully record what they are before the installation or you may lose them as I did.
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3 comments:

Vanessa said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Amy Carpenter said...

I was having the same problem and I was not able to get the prints working Then I contact geek squad which told me to pay me $100 to fix my printer problem and I know which is not worth so my facebook friend suggestd me about Computer tech repair guys "25dollarsupport" its a global tech support company

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