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"Printer out of paper" comes up every time

Posted on 1998-09-04
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Last Modified: 2010-04-12
I am stumped.

A PC in my office will not print.  Every time we try, we get a printer our of paper error message.  The computer now has a new hard drive with a new W95 install.  We are using a different printer model (HP Laserjet 4L) with newly installed drivers, and we have replaced both the printer cable and the LPT1 port hardware, and we still get the same error.  What in the world is happening?
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Question by:idiot1
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Expert Comment

by:tdealexa
ID: 2012516
To see if you have a physical connection go to dos prompt and print a text file to the printer. ex : type config.sys >lpt1

You say you have newly installed drivers, are they the latest drivers from hp website ? If not get em.  Also check under device manager under ports, com + lpt, check and see if you are using ECP or standard lpt, try switching these.  

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mark2150 earned 200 total points
ID: 2012517
Does the printer say "Paper Out" on the display? Will it print a self test page OK?

If there is paper in the printer but it says "Paper Out" on the display then the switch in the paper tray has failed or is jammed.

If the printer will self test printOk, and the display is ONLINE then it is correctly sensing presence of paper in the tray and the problem is elsewhere. It could still be the printer with a bad signal on the /PAPER OUT line, but that is unlikely.

DOS printing is the test. If you can send to the printer from DOS command line, then printer is OK and problem is with windows. tdealexa's advice is good.
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Author Comment

by:idiot1
ID: 2012518
Found the problem.  Pursuant to tdealexa's comment, found through the DOS command that there was not a physical connection.  In checking the box, found that the replacement LPT port had been installed incorrectly, and a couple of pins had been bent.  Straightened the pins, hooked the LPT1 back up, and everything ran smoothly.
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