HP Deskjet 520 Printer Problem

Posted on 1998-08-31
Last Modified: 2011-04-14
I tried to print with Windows 95.  The Printer self test would work.  When I installed the generic text driver the print test would work, but when I tried to print from Word for Windows the printer would not space between words and piled letters upon each other.  When I tried to install the 520 driver, the printer printed garbage when I tried to run the print test and would not stop.  I took the printer to a local computer repair person who said that it was an electrical problem which would cost me about $200 to fix, so I should get a new printer.  What could be the problem, and could I fix it for less than $200?
Question by:kensim
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Expert Comment

ID: 2012417
It could be the mainboard of the printer or motherboard in the printer, I could see this costing alot of money as it is the main part of the printer, We have no way of knowing if the printer truely is bad or not, did this printer ever work with win95 properly?  There are many problems with Hp deskjets and windows 95 that we can get to if I know that this printer once worked under win95 and now does not, then I would think that it maybe a hardware problem with the printer.  If a test page works then I do not see how the printer could be bad, as the test page also would not work if the printer was bad.  Try to answer some of the questions I asked.  Do you know if the printer port is setup with ecp/epp?  What type of computer and system do you have?

Expert Comment

ID: 2012418

Check out this flow chart from Hewlett Packard to see if it helps.  Also, if you have another IEEE-1284 printer cable available try using that.

Expert Comment

ID: 2012419
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Expert Comment

ID: 2012420
If the printer self test and the generic text driver work fine, I would be inclined to think that it is a device driver problem. Did you delete the generic text driver first and then reinstalled the printer? I would also use the drivers that are on your Win95 CD rather than the floppies that came with the printer.

Expert Comment

ID: 2012421
Try downloading current drivers from the Hewlitt Packard web site at

Expert Comment

ID: 2012422
Which PC brand are you using ? If it is Compaq then you need the drivers from Compaq Soft Packs.

Accepted Solution

jkjung earned 200 total points
ID: 2012423
1.  Try changing the printer cable; or
2.  With a slightly-damp cotton swab (or other lint-free cloth), clean the clear, plastic strip that is connected to the cartridge holder's interface.

I hope this helps.

--MikroData (jkjung)

Author Comment

ID: 2012424
I don't know what you mean by the strip on the printer cartridge interface.  I have now tried to install the printer on a Packard Bell Executive 486/33 with software I downloaded from HP.COM.  When I tried the self test, I got garbage that would not stop printing on its own.  If you would more fully explain your suggestion and maybe offer some more information regarding 3.1, I would appreciate it.  I have tried the printer with several cords and have always gotten the same result.

Expert Comment

ID: 2012425
Open the cover.  Behind the metal, sliding rod, you will see a clear, plastic strip with data imprinted on it (making the strip gray).  Clean it with a lint-free, slightly damp cloth.

I hope this helps.

--MikroData (jkjung)

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