Problems with HP 4000 and 8000 printers cropping bottom third of page of print

Posted on 2004-11-11
Last Modified: 2010-03-18

All of our printers are HP4000 (network version I can't remember if it N, TN or what, they are networked with jet direct cards) except for 3 which are HP8000 printers.  All of our users run Office XP Professional Suite.  The majority of my users are on NT4.0 platforms, however I have 15 users who are on XP Professional operating system (no SP2 applied yet, but all other patches are up to date).
Here is the problem:  for some reason the printers (both 4000 and 8000 models) just suddenly crop off the bottom third of the page of text.  Usually if you print preview the document you can see that it is cutting off the bottom of the pages, however it has started cutting off the bottom of pages in the middle of a print job (for example, a 26 page document will print fine for the first 6 or 8 pages then cut off stuff for the remainder of the pages).  
We have (1) downloaded the latest HP drivers for all the printers (both in the NT environment and the XP environment); (2) complete scrubbed the registry of all references to any printers and reinstalled the new drivers; (3) discovered "duplicate" vbs files on some workstations and deleted them but the problem comes back; (4) removed all references to printers in the registry and gone back to the original drivers from the original installation discs for the printers; and finally most drastic of all (4) completely reformatted workstations so we "start from scratch".  None of the above actions solves our problem -- it only a temporary fix.  The fact that this has started occurring in the middle of print jobs makes this way more than annoying.  We have been battling this problem for 3 years.  We even contacted Microsoft directly (and paid an outrageous amount of money to be told that they had never seen this problem before).  Nothing solves the problem permanently.  The best fix is to simply close Word once this happens and then reopen the application -- that is also a temporary fix because the problem always comes back.  (Each user has their own "" on their individual hard drives so if this is a "corrupted normal" I don't know how it could corrupt all the normals.)
Question by:mbell3752
    LVL 104

    Expert Comment

    I haven't seen it before either, but I will throw some suggestions to you.

    Have you updated the firmware in the printers and the JetDirect cards? HP release them quite reguarly and it is one of the first things I do when I go in to a new site as many administrators don't do it. There is a tool from HP that will go and get the correct firmware for you, install it and verify that it is correct.

    Are you printing through a central print server or are all users printing directly to the printer?
    If it is a central print server have you change that machine?
    If it is happening on all machines, on all printers then you have to ask what is the common link? An application or plugin installed on all machines?
    For diagnostics I would take a new or wiped machine, install Windows and Office ONLY - no AV, no other applications. Connect to the Printer directly using TCP/IP printer and see if the problem follows.


    Author Comment

    Thank you for your suggestions.  I have not done anything with firmware on the printers.  I will definitely check into that.  Once I have tried that I will get back to you.  I discovered the other day that if I accept the answer and give it a grade it closes my question.  Since the first suggestion I got (from the networking side) did not solve my problem I want to keep this ticket open until I check out the firmware issue.  Thank you again for this suggestion.  I will definitely get back to you.

    Author Comment

    OK, I have just gotten off the phone with our printer support person and he tells me that on the machines we have the firmware is a physical part that has to be replaced, not something that can be downloaded and installed into the printer.  He says he doesn't think the problem has anything to do with the firmware in the JetDirect card (which he also says has to be replaced -- it's not  a download install item).  So now I am really confused.  
    LVL 104

    Accepted Solution

    The only thing I can suggest is to go to HPs web site, get the firmware downloader from the support page for the HP4000 and see what it detects. The same downloader works for all HP printers - it just detects which is the required file and downloads it for you. You cannot install the wrong one - it is pretty fool proof.

    I know that he is wrong about the JetDirect card firmware. I do it all the time, and recently did an JetDirect EX Plus, circa 1997 with a 10BaseT network connection. So you should be able to update the the cards in your 4000 series.


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