Dell 2350d annoyances (MPF and Busy USB message)

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Dell 2350d annoyances (MPF and Busy USB message)

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I recently purchased a Dell 2350d laser printer.  After a lot of researching, I chose this printer based on its feature set, cost of ownership, and good reviews.  The printer is much faster than my 10+ year old HP that finally died and I love that I can print duplex now.  However, there are a number of things that annoy me that I'd really like to get resolved before deciding to keep this printer and not look for something else.

I have two main problems.  The first is that whenever I print a large-ish file, say greater than 10MB, the printer makes noises like it's going to print, then stops and displays a "BUSY USB" message.  Eventually, the printer will start up again and finally print the file, but this sometimes takes minutes (larger files take longer).  I tried printing a 23MB file which took on the order of 10 minutes to finally come out of the printer.  I found that I can work around this problem by turning off bidirectional printing support on the virtual USB printer port.  Of course, when I do this I lose the dialog telling me how much toner I have left, but that same 23MB file that took 10 minutes to print now flies out in a matter of seconds.  The story is the same (fast printing) if I use one of the other supplied drivers (the vanilla driver or the PS3 driver) which seem like they don't have bidirectional support options.  So, this workaround is fine.  I don't need the extra software running that just tells me my remaining toner level.  Still, because the driver that is installed by default (XL) turns on bidirectional support and the extra software is installed, I feel like Dell expects these features to work, and they don't for me.  I tried a few different USB cables but they all produced the same results.  One has USB 2.0 printed on it, so I know it's USB 2.0 rated.  All cables I tried where 6' long.

The second problem I've not yet found a workaround for.  I can't get the multipurpose feeder to work predictably.  I'd like to be able to open the MPF, add a sheet of paper, and have the printer grab that sheet before going to the main tray.  From what I can tell, I've got everything set up to do just that.  In the printer settings (the menu accessible on the printer itself) I've set the default tray to be the MPF, and I've set the Size and Type of the paper to be the same in the MPF and Tray 1 (Letter, Plain).  The MP Config is set to Cassette.  On the printer driver, Input is set to Automatically Select and paper is set to Plain.  Click Print and the paper is fed from Tray 1, not the MPF.  Setting the driver to explicitly use the MPF doesn't work either.  Setting the driver to use Manual does work, it will feed from the MPF, but of course I have to press a button on the printer after each page to get that to work, and I shouldn't have to do that.  The bothersome part is that In playing with all these settings on the printer and in the driver, I have gotten the printer to feed from the MPF from time to time just like I'd expect.  But then I'll try again the following day (all settings still the same) and the printer will feed from Tray 1 again instead of the MPF.  That's really frustrating, and I'm getting tired of wasting paper trying to figure out how to make this work.

I've installed the firmware found on Dell's driver downloads page for this printer.  I've also installed the driver found on the same page (although I think it's the same driver that came on the CD with the printer).  I found a set of instructions for installing the driver on Windows 7 which I followed (setting the install exe to run in Vista SP2 compatibility mode and running with admin privileges).  I tried Dell's Open Print Driver too.

Anyone else have these problems and come up with a workaround?  I'm considering returning this and just going with a similar HP to see if I have more luck.

Also...anyone think this printer is really loud?  I'm using it in a quiet home so maybe it just seems worse than it really is.  My last printer wasn't this loud, but it didn't have the horsepower that this one does either.  Maybe this is common these days.

--jason

All Replies
  • Regarding the MPF issue, it seems like the problem might be something along the lines that the printer doesn't know that there is anything (or the right type of paper) in the MPF.  Manual mode works...and when you choose manual you tell the printer that you're loading a certain type of paper in the MPF by pressing the Check button on the printer.  Once I've done that once, selecting the MPF in the driver works (don't have to select manual).  But if I go back to printing from Tray 1 I can't switch back to using the MPF unless I first jump through the hoop of selecting Manual mode first.

    I've never owned a printer where using the MPF was such a pain.  It was never never a concern before...they just worked.  Put paper in them, printer uses that paper.  No paper in the MPF?  Use the main tray.  With all the research I did on this printer before purchasing I never though that the MPF would be the biggest problem.

    It would be great if someone from Dell could respond about this.  Or if there was some sort of e-mail support for this printer.  I really don't want to go through the explanation of this over the phone.

  • I contacted Dell support about the MPF problem.  We were able to get the MPF to print as expected while on the phone with the tech, but only after rebooting the printer, removing paper from tray 1 and only having paper in the MPF.  After that, the printer would remember that it had paper in the MPF, but would forget a day later, either after a reboot or printing from tray 1 for a while, etc.  It seemed unpredictable and was just frustrating.  Dell tech support wanted to escalate me to a more experienced tech the following day, but if you ask me, if this printer/driver worked as expected it wouldn't take an experienced technician to make it work.  I just gave up.

    I ended up returning the Dell and buying a similarly spec'd HP (P2055d) for around the same price after a few discounts.  The HP's MPF worked exactly as expected out of the box and I didn't need to set any settings on the printer itself.  The HP prints fast, I never get a "busy" blinking light for minutes after sending a complex job.  I will say that the Dell was a bit faster (when it did finally print) and seemed to be built a little better.  The buttons on the HP seem a bit flimsy.  I'm also noticing that the HP curls my pages just slightly in duplex mode (on HP LaserJet paper) which I don't remember on the Dell, but it's not that big of a deal.  Both printers seem to be about the same loudness when printing.

    I took a chance on the Dell printer hoping it might have been better built at a cheaper price than the current HPs.  The 2350d could've been a great printer, but I think Dell overlooked a few important details and as a result I won't be able to recommend them.

  • I purchased the 2350dn this week and I am having the exact same problems.  I also researched and purchased it based on reviews, cost and features.  But...it is very loud.  I bought the extra memory that was suggested but if you are using it as a local printer, it doesn't make a difference and is a waste of money.  The MPF is impossible to use - unpredictable as you said.  I can't get labels to print correctly.  My last HP was much more user friendly.  I'm going to try to send this printer back. 

  • Same problem here!  The MP feeder issue was a problem with the 2330 and seems to be carried over to the 2350 series.   According to the Dell tech I spoke with, there is no paper sensor in the MP tray so it can't automatically be selected just by inserting paper.

     My workaround is to set up a  second printer in Windows called "Dell 2350dn MP Tray" (choose the same port and driver as the first),  go  to  Printer Properties, select the Advanced  tab,  Printing Defaults, Paper tab, and set Paper Tray to Multipurpose feeder.  Apply settings and OK.  Now, when I need to print to somthing in the Multipurpose Tray, I select print and choose my "Dell 2350dn MP Tray" printer and it priints to the MP tray every time.  Also, be sure to set the MP Tray defaullt size to "Letter" and the default paper type to "Plain Paper" on the physical printer panel. 

     Dell, If you're listening,  a 25 cent paper sensor and default configuration to draw paper automatically from the MP tray when available would save you thousands of returned printers.  People are use to this feature with HP and are very dissapointed to find it missing on Dell Printers. 

  • I too am having the exact same issue with the MPF. I have several 2350 printers where I work so it was easy to spot a printing/feeding difference among them. I'm wondering if the recent firmware update is causing the issue?

  • Just got off the phone will Dell concerning the problems discussed in the thread. Here is what they had me do:

    Turn printer off at switch. While holding the left arrow and check mark buttons down on the printer panel, turn the printer on. Continuing holding both buttons until you see the Diagnostic mode display on the printer panel. I think you go to settings next but you want to end up at "Engine Setting 2". Change the default to 4 by pressing the right arrow until 4 is diplayed and then press the check mark. Turn printer off for 15 seconds and then back on. You should at least now be able to print multiple documents or copies from the MP Feeder. You will still have to manually choose the MP Feeder in the print properties and then also remember to change it back if needed. Also remember to close the MP Feeder or at least remove the paper from it or other print jobs will pull from it before pulling from the other trays. It is simply not possible for the printer to automatically pull from the MP Feeder when paper is placed in it because it lacks a paper sensor for the MP Feeder. A workaround is to pull the other trays out enough to force a pull from the MP feeder. Also setting up the second printer instance as a MP Feeder only printer as RACSRV wrote above.

  • Hi All,

    genestet is very close to the answer. There are several different modes for the MPF but the ones most people will want are listed below:

    Turn the printer off, and then wait 5 seconds

    For 2330DN/2350DN, press and hold the Check Mark and the Left Arrow on the keypad while you turn the printer on

    Press the arrow buttons until Printer Setup appears and then press the Check Mark

    Press the arrow buttons until Engine Settings 2 appears, then press the Check Mark

    Choose one of the following solutions:

    4

    Pull paper from the multipurpose feeder when the user selects MP Feeder as the paper source from the software application or the printer driver

    8 **

    Pull paper from the multipurpose feeder, regardless of user settings. If there is no paper in the MPF it will then move to the next logical tray.

    Hope that helps!

  • Printser-- thank you so much!  8 is the magic number!