HP 6P Printer setup

When installing an HP 6P locally using the setup.exe on disk 1, you get an error message saying that bidirectional communication is not enabled.  The printer had previously been setup as a network printer.  It has been tested on several machines and the same error occurs.  There are several possible causes listed including no toner, no paper, and a non-bidirectional cable being used.  None of these is the cause of this error.  The same error occurs whether you are logged into an NT network or using it as a standalone.  What is the cause of this error?
Who is Participating?
briancassinConnect With a Mentor Commented:
try this

HP LaserJet Product - Testing Communication to Your HP LaserJet Printer

In this document:
 Restart Microsoft (R) Windows and try a test document
 Print a DOS directory

If you are having communication problems with your HP LaserJet printer, you may be able to identify the cause of the problem by following the steps below.

Restart Microsoft (R) Windows and try a test document
For Windows 95 or Windows 98, click Start, highlight Programs, select Accessories, and click WordPad. For Windows 3.1x, from the Program Manager, double-click the Accessories group icon and double-click the Write icon.
Type "This is a test."
Select the File menu and click Print.
In the Print dialog box that appears, verify that your HP LaserJet printer is selected and click OK.
If this prints correctly, then try printing from the application you were having difficulty with. Verify that your HP LaserJet printer is selected as the printer in the application when you select Print from the File menu.
If this does not print correctly, try printing a DOS directory.
Print a DOS directory
Verify that the HP LaserJet printer is turned on and is in the ready state.
Attach the printer directly to the PC. Verify that no printer sharing devices or daisy-chained devices are between the HP LaserJet printer and the PC.
Restart your computer. Press F8 when you see "Starting Windows 95 ..." appear on your screen, or for computers with Windows 98, immediately after the computer's Power on self-test (this is usually when the computer beeps during the startup process and then briefly goes to a solid black screen). With Windows 3.1x simply exit Windows then go to Step 5.
From the Windows Startup menu select "command prompt only."
At the C:\> prompt, type DIR > LPT1 (LPT1 is generally the parallel port to which you are printing. If your port is different, insert the correct path to the port). Then, press ENTER. This command copies your root directory to the HP LaserJet printer. If nothing prints, and the control panel light pattern indicates that there is unprinted data in the printer's memory, press the Formfeed button or the GO button on the HP LaserJet printer to enable the printer to print the page. If you get a message "Write Fault Error" when you try to print, you could have a bad parallel cable connection. Try reseating the cables at both the HP LaserJet printer end and the PC end. If this does not work, try another cable. If another cable does not work, try attaching the HP LaserJet printer to another PC; or, if you have another port on the PC, attach it to the other port to see if it will print. If it will not print, it may be a problem with the HP LaserJet printer, and it may need to be serviced. The inability to print from an MS-DOS (R) prompt may be the result of a cable failure, printer port problem, or PC port problem.
If you are successful at printing a DOS directory, try printing from Windows again. If you are unable to print from Windows, then you may have a problem with the installation of the printer driver. You may want to remove the printer driver and then reinstall it. When reinstalling your HP LaserJet printer software, verify that all other applications are closed.

when you standalone do you mean the printer by itself unattached from the pc displays the bi directional error ?

if it is displayign this error with several PC's then it is 1 of 2 things

1. Check your cable make sure it says IEEE1284 compliant on the cable if it does not say this then it will not work properly you will need to get one of these cables

2. The actual port on the back of the printer is bad.

also see this info below

ISSUE: The HP LaserJet 6P Family Toolbox.

SOLUTION: The HP LaserJet 6P Family Toolbox is TSR (Terminate and Stay Ready program) that runs in the background on the computer and continually queries the parallel port to detect the status of the printer. It will report information on screen such as "Add Paper," "Check Printer Cable," "Door Open" etc. It also can be used to control default settings on the printer and print test pages. It exists separately from the printer driver software.

SUMMARY: In order for the HP LaserJet 6P, 6MP Toolbox to function, the following specifications must be met.

1. The operating system must be Windows 95 or 98.

2. The HP LaserJet 6P/6MP printer must be directly connected to the Computer by an IEEE 1284 compliant parallel cable.

3. Cable must be no longer than 10 feet (for the A-B type) or 30 feet (for the A-C type).

NOTE: The HP LaserJet 6P/6MP Family Printers have 2 parallel ports, the first requiring an A-B type IEEE compliant parallel cable. The second parallel port requires an A-C type IEEE compliant parallel cable.

4. The HP LaserJet 6P/6MP Printer must be powered on and in a ready state.

5. Port on the PC must be capable of and configured for Bidirectional communication.

6. The HP LaserJet 6P/6MP Toolbox is not supported in any environment where the direct connection of the printer to the PC is interrupted (such as a tape backup, zip drive, switchbox, dongle, software key, serial to parallel converter, etc.)

7. The HP LaserJet 6P/6MP Toolbox is not designed to function over a network.

8. The HP LaserJet 6P/6MP Toolbox is not designed to function using a serial connection.

9. The HP LaserJet 6P/6MP Toolbox is designed only for Windows 95 or 98. Verify the following settings in Windows 95 or 98:

a. From the Windows Desktop select Start/Settings/Printers.

b. Highlight the Specific HP LaserJet 6P/6MP Printer driver that is set as default.

c. Choose File/Properties.

d. Verify the Port is set to "LPT1 Printer Port" or "Bi-directional Printer Port".

e. Select Spool Settings and Verify "Enable Bi Directional Support for this Printer" is selected and the "Spool Data Format" is set to RAW. Choose OK.

10. Other TSR (Terminate and Stay Ready) programs such as other printer Status Windows, virus checkers, screen savers etc., can interfere with the HP LaserJet 6P/6MP Toolbox.

11. The HP LaserJet Status 6P/6MP Toolbox is not designed to function with any printer other than the HP LaserJet 6P/6MP printer.

here is some more additional info.

Bidirectional communication exists between the HP LaserJet 6P/6MP printer and a computer loaded with:

* PostScript driver (Windows 95/Windows 98, auto configuration)

* HP FontSmart (Windows 3.x and Windows 95/Windows 98)

* Status Window (Windows 3.x)

* Toolbox (tray icon) (Windows 95/Windows 98)

* Utility (Windows 3.x

Bidirectional communication is supported using the following configuration:

* Direct connect using an IEEE 1284-compliant bidirectional cable through ECP, ECP-compatible, or EPP.

If a problem arises with bidirectional communication:

* Ensure that the printer connects with a bidirectional cable.

* Ensure that the parallel port configures for bidirectionality in the PC's BIOS.

* Ensure that the parallel port configures for extended communications protocol (ECP) in the PC's BIOS (contact your manufacturer).

* Turn on Enable bidirectional in the "Spool Settings" in Windows 95/Windows 98: Printer settings, Details tab.
mpsmithAuthor Commented:
This is exactly the fix that I was looking for.
glad i could help :)
Question has a verified solution.

Are you are experiencing a similar issue? Get a personalized answer when you ask a related question.

Have a better answer? Share it in a comment.

All Courses

From novice to tech pro — start learning today.