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HP DeskJet jams when printing

Posted on 1998-11-01
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Last Modified: 2010-04-12
I've had my printer & computer for 3 years and haven't had any problems until recently.  My computer was "messed up" so I used the disk supplied by Compaq to bring the computer back to its original state.  Ever since I've done this my printer freezes after printing 1/2 a page. I've contacted HP and Compaq and have downloaded the latest printer driver (65.9). I've also downloaded the bug fixes for Win95, but the printer is still freezing.  It's currently set at the default preferences and an ECP port.  I'm thinking I may need to buy a new printer, yet I don't understand why it's doing this. Can anybody help? [HP DeskJet 540]
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Question by:keli
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21 Comments
 

Author Comment

by:keli
ID: 2013067
Edited text of question
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Expert Comment

by:motim
ID: 2013068
try changing to lpt1 in the bios so in windows it will apper as
printer port lpt1
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Author Comment

by:keli
ID: 2013069
Motim,

Thank you for getting back to me so prompty.  Can you give me step by step directions on how to do what you said.
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Author Comment

by:keli
ID: 2013070
I just want to give you more info.  The port says   LPT1:(ECP Printer Port)
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LVL 15

Expert Comment

by:jrhelgeson
ID: 2013071
Keli,
Please reject that "answer" as it is not going to help you solve anything.

What I would like you to try is:
Go into "My Computer"
Printers
Right-click on your HP DeskJet 540, Then click Properties.
Click the Details tab
Click Spool Settings
Select "Disable Bi-directional support for this printer
Click OK,
Click Apply.

Then exit back out and see if that has any effect on your problem.

I have experienced this type of problem before in working with these older printers and "newer" computers.  What is usually happening is windows starts spooling the print job to the printer.  When the print buffer gets full it tells the computer to "hang on while I print the info i've got".  Well, the computer is expecting a response from the printer via standard Bi-Directional communication however your printer does not support (or need) bi-directional communication because its functions are pretty limited.  When the computer does not hear back from the printer "Ok, I've printed the contents of the buffer.  Please send more data."  The computer just sits there, waiting to spool out the next chunk of data.
If you disable the bi-directional support, windows will just look at the DTR signal pin that your printer IS sending (Data Transmit Ready), and when it is triggered the computer will start and stop the transmission of data according to that very simple signal.

Disabling bi-di printing for that printer  will *not* have any side effects or impact [decrease] the performance of your printer port when using any other devices that you may have connected to it (such as a Zip drive or scanner).

If that does not work, I would suggest that you try changing the spool format from EMF to RAW or vice-versa (same screen that you went to, to disable bi-di..).

Try a different printer cable.

That should take care of it.  Let me know and we can continue on with some more troubleshooting.

Joel R. Helgeson
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LVL 15

Expert Comment

by:jrhelgeson
ID: 2013072
Sorry, I forgot to re-read my comment before posting it.  If you find it to be confusing let me know and I will correct myself...

JR
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Author Comment

by:keli
ID: 2013073
Didn't solve problem.
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Author Comment

by:keli
ID: 2013074
The comment: "Didn't solve problem" was for Motim.
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LVL 3

Expert Comment

by:vikiing
ID: 2013075
Beside Helgeson's answer, I'd try to change the port setting from ECP to SPP (at BIOS setup). If you're using the standard paralell cable, that's the way the port must be defined.

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LVL 15

Expert Comment

by:jrhelgeson
ID: 2013076
I would not do what vikiing has suggested simply because disabling bi-directional printing as I have suggested does the same thing without reducing the capabilities of the printer port itself.  Basically it forces windows to communicate with that printer as if it were using an SPP mode port but only when communicating with that specific device.

JRHelgeson
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LVL 3

Expert Comment

by:vikiing
ID: 2013077
Dear friend Helgeson:

    I had a problem like Keli's, and I've also tried by disabling bi-directional process, with poor results. It was only by specifying SPP mode for LPT1 port which I could put my HP-4L to work.

The fact of disabling bi-directional process is not EXACTLY the same that saying "I have a non-bidirectional port".

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Author Comment

by:keli
ID: 2013078
Viking, I can not "disable -bi-directional support as Joel recommended. Setup will not allow be to select either "disable bi-directional support" or enable bi-directional support.  How do I change from ECP to SPP.  I need step by step directions.
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LVL 3

Expert Comment

by:vikiing
ID: 2013079
You have to check BIOS setup. When you turn on your machine, you can press DEL key to enter to setup routines. Newer machines (let's say, since one or two years approx.) have an option named "Integrated peripherals" or something like that. In it, it's possible (that deppends on the type of motherboard and/or the BIOS manufacturer) to find and option associated to "Parallel port".

There, you can change from SPP to EPP (and other different values). If your motherboard support that operation, try to put there SPP. That value is the simplest one, which requires absolutely NOTHING special (from the point of view of software), and which allows to work with any printer cable.

Other values often require a printer capable of bidirectional communication, and there is where some problems like yours often appear.
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Author Comment

by:keli
ID: 2013080
I'd like to thank everybody for their attempts to help me solve my printer problem.  I ended up having a computer person come over my house to help me.  The problem ended up being this: When I brought my compter back to it's "original state" I had to reinstall all of my software back in the computer.  When I reloaded the pritner software I used the disks  that I received when I purchased the printer.....only it was for Windows 3.1 instead of 95!  All this has been corrected.  Thanks again everybody.  I'm sure none of you would have ever thought that this was the problem!!!!
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LVL 15

Expert Comment

by:jrhelgeson
ID: 2013081
Yep, your right.

Whoo'd a thunk it?
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LVL 1

Expert Comment

by:schmitty22
ID: 2013082
here my answer....... kick yourself for putting us thru this horror...hahahah.. obviously reload the proper software for win 95...
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Author Comment

by:keli
ID: 2013083
Problem has been corrected via Hewett Packard Technical support.
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LVL 15

Expert Comment

by:jrhelgeson
ID: 2013084
Also commonly referred to as a problem with the RTFM.

(Read The Flippin' Manual) 9o)

Glad we could help!  Send a message to customer service to have them archive this question so future users may refer to it.  They'll also refund your points for the question.

Joel R. Helgeson
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LVL 3

Expert Comment

by:vikiing
ID: 2013085
Many times occur that nobody thinks about obvious things, because one suposes *THAT* can't be.

I think I'll have to learn to answer starting with "¿Is the machine plugged on?"...  ;)
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LVL 27

Expert Comment

by:Asta Cu
ID: 7401074
Please take a moment to revisit this question & reward your points or post additional commentary, as appropriate. If no further action is taken with this question within 7 days, Community Support will be requested to finalize this and unless there is objection or further activity, I will request that points be

->  REFUNDED and item closed ... PAQd

** PLEASE DO NOT ACCEPT THIS COMMENT AS AN ANSWER **
Thank you,
":0) Asta
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