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Color LaserJet 4600 PCL XL Error

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Medium Priority
Last Modified: 2013-12-15
We have a networked 4600 in our office, recently when one of our sales girls is trying to print out some legal flyers (4-5 copies of each) it will print out the first page then spit out a page that says:
PCL XL Error
Subsystem: Image
Error: MissingData
Operator: ReadImage
Position: 614 (number varies from page to page)
We are running the PCL 6 driver and PS driver on the server and when I tried the PS driver it would print out garbage on some of the documents or put black lines through where some of the pictures were.  I downloaded the Universal 5 driver and got about the same results as the PS driver.   So I'm a little stumped as to what is causing this.  Something else, I don't know if this would have anything to do with this issue, but I've noticed that we seem to be getting some 82 0180 errors in the log, I know this has something to do with the jetdirect card.  So I'm wondering if this thing is on the fritz then could it be causing the problem with the printer not getting part of the data it needs to print the documents?
Watch Question

  1. Do you get this error when printing from more than one application or is it the same application always?
  2. How many pages is in each copy?
  3. If you print the same document from another computer do you get the same result?
  4. Have you tried yo update the firmware on both JetDirect card and the printer?
If you havent tried it maybe you should try HP Universal print driver, to compare if you get the same result.
/ Mikael

Very common error especially when print EXCEL files. Make sure you have most current firmware installed in the printer. Also make sure have the most current drivers on the PC.

The simple way to fix PCL XL errors is to install the PCL5 or PostScript driver instead of PCL6. Get it from:


Intermittent PCL XL errors (where the error, especially the Position value, changes) are much more likely to be hardware-associated; some background:


PCL XL errors are reported because the printer believes that the print stream is corrupt in some way.

The printer is able to do this because the PCL XL language (the 'official' name for PCL6) is very highly structured - so any departure from this structure is relatively easy for the printer to recognise.

The reason for a corrupt print stream could be:

(a) A badly written, or corrupt printer driver.

This is more likely to be the case if the error is consistently EXACTLY the same (including the Position value) for the same input (i.e. the same document, within the same application, being printed again via the same driver).

(b) Corruptions are being introduced between the PC and the printer (for example: bad cable, connection, port, network, etc.).

This is much more likely to be the case if the errors are intermittent and apparently random.

(c) A fault within the printer itself.
Probably much less common - usually (but not only) if Jetdirect card is bad.

If the corruption IS produced between the PC and the printer, then you could switch to a different driver, which uses a less-structured Page Description Language (PDL) like PCL5; if you do this:

(1) You will not get PCL XL errors.
But other PDLs may sometimes generate different error messages.

If the PCL5 interpreter detects an invalid sequence, it just ignores it, and then carries on the best it can, but no error messages are usually produced - exceptions to this are things like 'Out of Memory' errors, but these can also occur with valid streams.

PostScript probably sits in between PCL5 and PCL6 in terms of how easily the language interpreter in the printer is able to detect corruptions in the print stream, and react to them by generating PostScript error pages.

(2) You may still get corrupt output.
This could be very noticeable, or hardly noticeable at all, depending on the degree of corruption, and just where it occurs in the print stream.

PCL5 can usually 'recover', by 'synchronising' on the start of the next escape sequence, but other PDLs may not be able to do this, because it is more difficult, or impossible, to find something unique to 'latch on' to - hence they tend to abort the print, and produce an error report.


Your symptoms indicate that the PCL XL stream is being corrupted 'randomly' (as the Position value in the error message changes), so hardware corruption (rather than a software fault) is the more likely cause.

The fact that you appear to also be getting problems after switching to the alternative drivers (PCL5 and PostScript) reinforces this view.
i.e. the PCL5 and PostScript print streams are also probably being corrupted randomly, but (due to the nature of those languages) the printer does not usually abort the print and output an error message, but just soldiers on the best it can.

Finding out the cause of intermittent corruption is very difficult - the only practical way in most situations is via controlled (one at a time) substitution of components like cables, NICs, etc.

If currently going via a 'print server', try changing this, so that each client PC prints direct to the printer via a TCP/IP port, to see whether or not this makes any difference.

Having said that, the fact that you ARE getting errors logged on the printer (not being a hardware person, I'll take your word that these are associated with the JetDirect card) might perhaps indicate the first port of call as regards substitution.

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Thank you, I swapped out the JetDirect card with a spare I managed to dig up from another printer that had died and it resolved the problem.
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