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7 Common Disc Publishing Problems and What You Can Do

It always happens when you need your discs in a hurry. You’re working on your disc publishing equipment and you are faced with bad burns, bad prints, or the machine just keeps grabbing more than one disc at a time.

Everything worked perfectly the last time you used the machine, but now everything has gone haywire. You glance at the pile of brand new discs at your elbow and assume that must be the culprit.

What do you do?

Stop for a moment and take a deep breath. Many problems that occur during the printing or burning process can be taken care of quickly and easily. Whenever you have an issue, contact your equipment provider, first. Equipment issues are easier to identify than problems with media and your equipment provider can help you identify and solve most issues over the phone.
Let's take a look at some of common problems Polyline customers have reported.

Wrong or Missing Colors
The most likely culprit is the printer is low on ink or you are using an old inkjet cartridge.

Another possible cause is that the nozzles on your inkjet cartridge need cleaned. (Check the Web site of your printer manufacturer for directions on how to clean your cartridges.)

Even brand new cartridges may require cleaning. If the cartridge is older than 90 days, even if it is sealed in its original packaging, the nozzles can begin to dry out. Rather than keep a lot of cartridges on hand, we recommend keeping one or two on hand and finding a supplier that has your inkjet cartridges in stock and can deliver them to you quickly.

Banding – faint lines that appear across the disc surface
A defective, empty or clogged ink cartridge will cause banding. First, try cleaning the print nozzles. Then, try a new cartridge.

You may also have an issue with your print quality settings. The number of passes the ink cartridge makes increases as you increase print quality.

Image Pixelation
Check the resolution of your image. You can either open the image in your photo editing program or, if you are using Windows, right click on the image, select image properties. Click on the "summary" tab. You may need to click on the "advanced" button at the bottom of the properties window. Disc art needs to be saved at 300 dpi to ensure the best print.

Smears or Smudges
To avoid smudges, make sure the disc is completely dry before picking it up. Because summer is fast approaching, we should warn you that discs may take longer to dry on humid days. Keep in mind that some disc surfaces do dry faster than others. If you've changed disc brands it could affect your drying time.

Blurry Artwork
Blurry artwork can be caused by using a graphic that does not have a high enough resolution. Another cause could be that the designer took a low resolution graphic (like one downloaded from the internet) and attempted to increase the graphics DPI using a photo editing program.

A blurry appearance may also be caused by misaligned print heads. Check with your equipment manufacturer on how to identify and address this issue.

Feeding Problems
If your printer is grabbing two or more discs at a time, the printer may require maintenance. Some machines use springs in their loading systems and those springs can wear out and no longer perform optimally.

Also, not all media are the same. Some discs are thicker or heavier than others. They are not defective, but they may not be optimal for your equipment. For example, we've learned that heavier discs usually perform better in gravity-fed printers. Try to use the disc that is recommended by your equipment manufacturer.

Bad Burns
First, make sure you are using a high quality, professional grade disc. The discs you purchase at big box stores are consumer grade media and contain more "coasters" (bad discs) than a package of professional grade media would contain.

Also, keep in mind, that even professional grade media will hold the occasional coaster. If you are consistently getting error messages or bad results, call your equipment manufacturer. The manufacturer can help you determine if you need to download a new print driver, are having an issue with your USB or have a bad drive.

Prior to purchasing your disc publishing equipment, make sure to ask about the manufacturers policies for trouble shooting and replacing defective or worn-out parts. Most manufacturers provide a standard one-year warranty, with the option of purchasing an extended warranty.

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