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IT solutions: Free-printing FAQs and error messages in university computing labs and InfoCommons

Have you ever wondered if you were the only person on campus with a particular computer problem? Got a quick technology question and don’t know who to contact? You are not alone… Contact the IT Help Desk at 785-532-7722 or e-mail us at helpdesk@k-state.edu.

The semester is in full swing. Lecture notes must be printed for class and assignments have to be turned in today. You’re in a hurry and need to print it now. So much to do, so little time… Computers and printers for the campus community are in the K-State InfoCommons in Hale Library, and university computing labs in Justin Hall, Dickens Hall, Seaton Hall, and the K-State Student Union.


Question: There are no computer terminals available anywhere. What are my options?

IT Help Desk: If you have a wireless laptop, printing is available from anywhere on campus to users connected to the KSU Wireless network. See the Wireless Printing instructions for Macs and for PCs for details on installing and configuring the Pharos software.


Question: I tried to print my document but had issues with the print station. Where do I turn for assistance?

IT Help Desk: The IT Help Desk serves as the first point of contact for students and faculty/staff with printing issues. Call the IT Help Desk at 532-7722 or stop by 214 Hale Library.


Question: I got an error message when I tried printing from a print station. What does it mean and what should I do next?

IT Help Desk: Here are the most common error messages and suggested solutions.

  1. The user name and password cannot be identified.
    To release a job from the print station, you must first sign into the system with your eID and password, then swipe your card.
  2. Billing Balance Error.
    This error is most commonly caused by the user not swiping their card correctly. Make sure that you are swiping the card firmly, with the magnetic strip down.
  3. Insufficient Funds Error.
    If you are confident that you still have available funds, click print again. This may take up to 5 clicks to work. If you still get this error, consult the IT Help Desk to have your balance verified.
  4. “? …..”
    This error happens when the card strip is damaged. (Damage can occur when the magnetic strip comes in contact with an electrical current such as when it is near a cellphone when it rings.) It is also possible to get this error if you are not using a K-State ID card. (Make sure you are not using your credit card.)
  5. Multiple User Error.
    This is the most common error that we see at the IT Help Desk, and there are several reasons why you may see this message.
    (1) If you are using your old ID card after being issued a replacement card — Each card has a unique ID associated with your CatCash account, so your old card does not have funds.
    (2) If you swipe your card at the same time that another user swipes from another print station, the transaction will not complete — During times of high traffic, multiple users may attempt to access the print server, but only one transaction is processed at a time (wait a few minutes and try again).
    (3) If you loan your card to a friend who logs in with their eID — Print transactions are verified with each user eID. It is unsafe to share your card with another user, so do not let anyone else print from your card.
  6. Any Other Error?
    Write the specific error message down and consult the IT Help Desk.

by Deborah Goins, IT Help Desk student consultant