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HP Printer wont print-used to until yesterday

Posted on 2006-05-19
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Last Modified: 2008-01-09
I have an old Hewlett Packard LazerJet4 which print(ed) beautifully.
Yesterday I booted the computer and it wont print.
I have jiggled the cords, reinstalled the printer driver and nothing happens. All I get is an error message in a bubble that says "this document failed to print" and says something about troubleshooting.

Thing is, it was a present to me and my daughter (both art students) and when it arrived it had a sticker on it which is long lost which said something about pressing shift and continue together. We have had it about 4 months and never needed to do this.  SO I have tried switching the printer off and holding down shift and continue, all sorts of things.

I use this old toner for my artwork and it is almost essential for me, so I need to know if there is some trick which those 'in the know' use with these wonderful old printers?

This problem is such a 'biggie' for me and I have many points unused so -
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Question by:jenniferpickard
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LVL 97

Expert Comment

by:Lee W, MVP
ID: 16722900
Unfortunately, it's been QUITE a while since I last had access to an LJ4, but some troubleshooting steps - and questions

1.  Reseat the toner (take it out and put it back in).
2.  How is it connected?  via network?  via parallel cable?
3.  Is there paper in the tray?
4.  Turn off the printer.  Then, in Windows, look at the printer in the Printers and Faxes control panel.  Is there any documents in it?  If so, we need to clean them out - which is relatively easy and I'll post that pending your answer.
5.  Try printing the config page directly from the printer -
   1.  Press On Line to take the printer OFF LINE.
   2. Press Menu until TEST MENU appears on the printer display panel.
   3. Press Item until SELF TEST appears on the display panel.
   4. Press Enter to print a self test page.
   5. Press On Line to return the printer ON LINE.
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Author Comment

by:jenniferpickard
ID: 16723022
The connection is to the PC via a parallel cable.
We have a mini network running since my son set up broadband - we have 3 computers.
This is not the problem as it has been all running well together since just before I got my lovely old printer.
We had done all the stuff you mentioned.
Even reinstalled the printer which would have cleared all the buffers (if any) in the printer.
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LVL 97

Expert Comment

by:Lee W, MVP
ID: 16723043
Reinstalling the printer MAY NOT clean out the print queue as you think.  Please answer my original question:
4.  Turn off the printer.  Then, in Windows, look at the printer in the Printers and Faxes control panel.  Is there any documents in it?  If so, we need to clean them out - which is relatively easy and I'll post that pending your answer.
5.  Did the config page print?  You said the you tried everything but failed to explain the results.

I may be able to help you, but please don't assume you know everything I'm getting at and not answer my questions.  I used to work with dozens of these - but that WAS a while ago.

Also, IS there a network port on the back of the printer?  Some had JetDirect Cards, some didn't.
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LVL 6

Expert Comment

by:David523
ID: 16723703
Sounds like you were previously performing a Cold Reset on the printer to return it to an operational status.  Per the Service Manual you perform a Cold Reset:

1. Turn OFF the Printer.
2.  Hold the "On Line" key down while powering ON the printer.
3.  The message COLD RESET is displayed.  The COLD RESET does not take effect until the 00 READY message is displayed.
4.  When the 00 READY message is displayed, the default settings have been returned tothe factory defaults and the printer is ready to accept new settings.

Hope this Helps!!!
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Expert Comment

by:nobus
ID: 16723734
to be sure, test the printer on another pc.
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Author Comment

by:jenniferpickard
ID: 16733049
Leew
I did clean out the print queue on the control panel (actually the little pic of a printer in the bottom RH corner of the bottom taskbar had a ? in red over it - so I cleaned out the print queue by clicking on it).
Also as far as I know there is no network card on the back as far as I can see.

I dont know if you noticed in my first message that it Used to print - perfectly.


David523
Your advice at least got the printer making a noise.
I did mention that it came with a sticky label (now lost) which gave instructions something to do with holding down shift and continue together.  I did your COLD RESET and pressed shift and continue in various patterns and eventually several pages of code came out. Now it wont do this again. Im thinking that maybe the cable is the problem. I maybe shall go out and see if I can buy a new cable tommorrow.
This printer is so old that I dont think it is worth spending money on it. Trouble is the toner is the old style which can be 'transferred' in my artwork.
I dont think the Windows is the problem, we can print to our (also old, but totally useless - USB inkjet in the living room).
cheers
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Expert Comment

by:David523
ID: 16733682
Noises, Alright - But then again, they didn't continue :-(     LOL

The next thing I would do is turn the printer off, disconnect everything from the printer with only the Power Connected.  Turn the printer on performing the COLD RESET.  Next, Open the front door - where the Manual Feed Tray is and looking inside on the Right Side torwards the top you should see a little hole.  Using a straight Paper Clip or something similar, insert it carefully until you Press a Button.  What this does is print an Engine Test.
The Engine Test bypasses many of the internal parts and prints a page with straight lines.  This is the first step in defining a possible hardware problem with your printer.  Please Post the results.  


Anytime you consider the purchase of replacement parts I suggest you also consider the purchase of a replacement printer as the cost are comine down and the capabilities are increasing.  The following link is a great location to get an idea of what is available and identify a potential printer that would meet your needs.  Look on the Right Side and make a selection under "Help me Choose a Printer":

http://www.hp.com/united-states/consumer/gateway/printing_multifunction.html

Hope this Helps!!!
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Accepted Solution

by:
Lee W, MVP earned 1500 total points
ID: 16734216
Ok, the print que is probably empty, but I would still prefer to be sure.  the way to manually clean out the que is to do the following:

1.  Open a command prompt (so you see a C:\> prompt).
2.  Type NET STOP SPOOLER
3.  Type CD C:\WINDOWS\System32\spool\PRINTERS
4.  When the C:\> prompt changes to C:\WINDOWS\System32\spool\PRINTERS>, type DEL *.* and confirm the deletion of everything there.  If you get an error message, that's fine.
5.  Type NET START SPOOLER

I was asking about networking ports because then you could try it with another type of connection - if the parallel port failed, then using the network port might get it to work (parallel ports don't typically fail).

You still haven't indicated if the config page printed correctly - did it?  Basically, I want to know if the printer is printing BY ITSELF, regardless of what YOU want it to print from windows.  The config page is generated within the printer.  If that prints, then the printing mechanisms are all fine, it's EITHER the connection (POSSIBLY on the printer) or it's a driver/Windows print subsystem error.

Is there another computer you can DIRECTLY connect to the printer and try printing from?  What happens with that?

Of course it USED to print perfectly... but it's not NOW - that's what we're trying to figure out
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Expert Comment

by:David523
ID: 16734686
From the Service Manual

Control Panel Keys
There are two rows of control panel keys.  The upper row keys have one fuction each.  The lower row keys have a second level of functions which are accessed by holding down Shift.  Note that the alternate functions Reset, Continue and . are coded the same color as Shift.  

In looking through the Service Manual the following seems to be the description for Continue + Shift:

Continue + Shift:  Allows the printer to resume printing after it has been placed off line due to an error condition or a device attendance request (such as 21 PRINT OVERRUN).  The Continue key clears most error messages and places the printer back on line.  It functions like the On Line key except:
1.  Continue does not override an error condition.
2.  Continue allows you to override the paper or envelope size selection regardless of what size media is in the MP tray.
3.  Continue allows you to override a request to manually feed paper or an envelope; it will select paper from the next available source instead.

Hope this Helps!!!
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Author Comment

by:jenniferpickard
ID: 16765824
leew
Im a digital graphics teacher. Studied CERT4 in software. I know how to use a dos prompt [or used to] cant find it on the computer which has the printer. It is our 2nd computer and is a compilation of several hard disks [son set up] and danged if it gives E:\.  Think you are right though it is possibly a software problem - I chose the easy option and 'system restored' to a couple of weeks ago and I got the printer working.

Anyway now she prints [word doc] BUT only bits of the print and 5 times!! one page - headings - another page headings plus 3 lines of the text - another headings plus 6 lines of the text - another the heading twice!!!!!
But print is coming out :)


david523 - the paper clip didn't work. Neat trick though. I have another [hp 4050N] but it is the OLD lady we love for our art. Just cant get past that old cancer producing toner for transferring art.
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Author Comment

by:jenniferpickard
ID: 16765829
oh forgot to mention - the little printer icon told me that there document didn't print.
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LVL 6

Expert Comment

by:David523
ID: 16768406
The Engine Test didn't work.  :-(  That is an indication of a hardware problem with the printer.  To eliminate a software issue I'd go with the suggestion by nobus above and try the printer on another computer with a fresh driver loaded.  If the printer doesn't work then the old workhorse may have a problem requiring surgery BUT if everything works fine, software may be the solution.  :-)

Hope this Helps!!!
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