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Print to HP Laserjet 6p problem


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#1
Ztruker

Ztruker

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I have a HP LaserJet 6P that I've been using for several years with no problems. Recenty printing to it has gotten very slow, sometimes taking 4 or 5 minutes between pages. It was connected to my Dell 4100 running XP Pro that I use as my Web Server, and was shared to my HP Desktop and Dell Laptop.

For debugging purposes, I moved it from the Dell and made it a direct connect printer on my HP Desktop. XP found and installed the driver, but when I print to it, it spools, I see the pages building up (10 all together), the printer light flashes as if it's going to print, then poof, it's gone. The spool is empty and the printer does nothing.

I downloaded and installed the latest driver from HP, no change same problem. I've uninstalled and reinstalled the printer several times with no change.

Next I went into BIOS and changed the Parallel port setup from DCP to Normal to see if that made any difference, it didn't.

Then I went into the printer properties and disabled spooling so I print directly to the printer, still no change. The printer light blinks for a bit then stops and nothing prints.

I'm ready to move it back to the Dell Web Server and see if it works there but was wondering if anyone here had any suggestions on troubleshooting this.

I posted here as I'm not sure if this is a hardware or software problem.
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#2
Ztruker

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Moved the printer back to the Dell web server and it works again, but still prints very slowly and depending on what is being printed, gets data errors.

I replaced the cable with a good quality one but that made no difference.

I'm going to try a Laserjet 4P that I can borrow from a friend, to see if it has the same problems with specific word documents (data content) or not. Perhaps the Laserjet 6P has a memory problem?
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#3
John Hook

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Ztruker,

I've seen this problem before and the issue was related to both the parallel port's BIOS settings as well as the Windows XP parallel port driver. If you change the BIOS settings, I've found that you need to go into Device Manager, DELETE the parallel port device and let windows re-detect and re-install the driver. I believe the proper driver should be "ECP Printer Port". In the properties for the "ECP Printer Port" device, go to "Port Setting" and use the "Never use an interrupt" setting. I believe the BIOS settings should be EPP+ECP or something like that (the one that uses DMA instead of IRQ7).

If you're running XP on both the PC where the printer works and the one where it doesn't check the BIOS parallel port settings as well as the XP port driver and settings on the system where the printer works. Again - I've found that when you change the parallel port's BIOS settings - you need to remove the XP port device and let XP re-detect and install the appropriate driver.

Make sure that you're using the HP PCL driver and NOT the PostScript driver. I've found that in some cases the older PCL5 drivers work better than the new PCL5 drivers. Check which drivers you're using on the server or PC where the printer DOES work. Try to find and install like the same or comparable drivers on the XP system you're having this problem with.

Hope this helps.

- John
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#4
Ztruker

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Thanks John, I'll try your ideas and see what happens but I think it may be the printer as I just swapped it out with an older LaserJet 4P and that works flawlessly either as a direct printer or as a shared printer.

Any chance this could be caused by bad ram in the printer itself? I believe it has 1MB of ram.
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#5
John Hook

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Ztruker

RAM (either faulty RAM or not enough RAM) could be the case. What confuses me about this is that the printer does seem to work on another PC. It's possible that the complexity of the documents you're printing or additional data that the print driver is adding to the queued data is overloading the printers RAM where it didn't before.

Usually, when there's a memory problem, you'll get a print overrun or out-of-memory error on the printers display or the crytic flashing LEDs on the printers panel. If you're getting some LED flashing (being just the recieving data LED), then you could look up those codes on HP's site for the LaserJet 6P at:

http://h20000.www2.h...=reg_R1002_USEN

This documents flashing LED errors for SIMM, data, timeouts, memory overflow, print overrun, etc. If you're experiencing any of these flashing LED message when the printing fails - this should identify what's gong on.

Hope this helps.

- John
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#6
Ztruker

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Turns out it was data overflow due to not enough ram for the document being printed. I reduced the default resolution to 300x300 from 600x600 and it prints with no problem. Print quality is good, but not as good as it was.

The 6P comes with 2MB on the system board and 3 additional slots where I can add an additional 48MB. I think I will see about picking up one stick of ram for it, then I can return to 600x600.

No idea why it worked on one computer but not the other a few days ago. I tried it again today and it works fine on both. I've now got it installed on the server and shared to my desktop and laptop and it works perfectly and is quite a bit faster at the lower resolution.
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