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Issue #468: July 10–16, 2016

Q: I have Windows 10 on an HP w1707 desktop, connected to a HP Photosmart D110 printer. When I try to print an e-mail in Outlook or Gmail, it brings up that black printer box, and says “Nothing was sent to print. Open a document and print again.” This occurs whether I use the three dots (…) on the Edge toolbar, or the options print in the email. Though rarely it does work OK. I can print from other applications, or even “Edge” on a normal web page, using the 3 dots (…).

– Dale A.
Forest Lake, Minnesota

A: I appreciate you including such detailed information on your PC, and the manufacturer and model number of your printer.  Unfortunately, in this case, I don’t think it would make much difference, as this is strictly a Microsoft issue, and more specifically, an issue in the Edge browser.  I say that, because several Microsoft forums are littered with problems similar to yours, and the common thread is Windows 10, and the Edge Browser.  One other common theme is that there doesn’t seem to be a deterministic solution to this problem.  In the threads where I’ve seen a Microsoft support person actually responding, they tend to recommend inane actions which they are probably pulling from a checklist, but which don’t really solve the problem.  These include the standard stuff like making sure you have the latest drivers and updates installed, making sure your printer is set to be the default printer, and other troubleshooting steps like these:  At least one user solved his issue by doing a clean re-install of Win 10.  That seems like a rather radical solution, with no guaranteed chance of success.  Other options available include using another browser, such as Internet Explorer, which is still on your system under Win 10.  I have also read about a few successes of using alternate methods than the ellipsis (the proper name for the “three dots”) to initiate printing, such as the key combination of Ctrl+P.  I would think that doing that would give you a print of the entire web page, rather than just the selected e-mail.

Sorry my answers aren’t more conclusive, Dale, but let me say this: I was having similar problems with my personal laptop a few months ago, and they went away on their own, probably after an update was auto-installed.  So, perhaps there is something after all to ensuring you have all the latest updates.

• • •

 Q: I have a Windows 7 operating system. When logged on to the computer, and not touching the keyboard or mouse for fifteen minutes or so, the keyboard quits working in that selecting keys results in nothing being typed into a document or password request. The keyboard is not completely dead for if the computer has gone into sleep mode (30 minutes), touching the shift or control key wakes the computer up. Rebooting the computer resolves the issue. The mouse remains active and doesn’t share the problem.

– Mike B.
Niceville, Florida

A: It sounds to me like one of, or a combination of device drivers, power settings, or batteries in the peripherals (if they are wireless).  Check your power options for something obscure, like the USB “Selective Suspend” setting.  Also, it sounds like you believe the “Sleep” timeout to be set to 30 minutes.  Make sure it’s set the way you think it is, and that the timeout hasn’t been scaled back to 15 minutes.  If your devices are wired, make sure the wires are not kinked or otherwise damaged, and if they are wireless, make sure the batteries are viable.  You might also try plugging them into different USB ports to see if you get different results.

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