On Both Sides

Q. Is it possible to print documents on both sides of the paper with an inkjet printer, or do you need a laser printer? If so, how?

A. The ability to automatically print on both sides of the paper (also called duplex printing or double-sided printing) usually depends on the printer and its capabilities, but many inkjet models can handle the job. Check the printer’s manual or manufacturer’s Web site for specific information and instructions.

If the printer does not support automatic double-sided printing, it can be done manually without special equipment. Just print the odd-numbered pages of a document first, flip the pages over, reload the paper into the printer and print the even-numbered pages.

Depending on the printer, you may need to experiment, especially if the machine shoots out pages face-up and in reverse order. In this case, try setting the odd-numbered pages in normal order before you flip the stack and print out the even-numbered pages in reverse order.

Like other printer manufacturers, Hewlett-Packard has a guide to manual two-sided printing on its Web site at If a document has a lot of large graphics, pictures and other ink-hogging elements, you may want to use slightly thicker paper or print in a low-ink draft mode to help prevent saturation, wrinkling and smudging. Waiting for each side to dry before printing the other side can also help prevent frustration.

A Time Warp

On the PC

Q. My computer never has the correct time anymore and I have to keep resetting it. Why is this?

A. First, make sure the computer is set to the correct time zone. If the settings are correct, the other common culprit for lost time — especially on an older computer — is a fading CMOS battery on the motherboard.

CMOS is short for “complementary metal-oxide semiconductor.” The little CMOS chip stores basic settings for the computer used by the BIOS (basic input/output system) like hardware passwords, date and time information and other configuration settings.

The CMOS has its own little battery to power it, even when the computer is turned off. When this battery starts to falter, the computer may have trouble keeping time or it may display messages about the system configuration being lost. To replace it, check the computer manual for the type of battery used, where it sits on the motherboard, and how to install it. Replacement batteries usually can be found in stores like Radio Shack for $10 or less.

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