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Old 01-06-2007, 03:06 PM   #1
dthomsen8
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Default HP LaserJet 4 Plus doesn't print

Suddenly my HP LaserJet 4 Plus won't print. All print jobs just accumulate in the print queue until I cancel them. I can wait a bit and then see a message down in the lower right corner saying that the print failed. That provides a whole long string of troubleshooting questions from Microsoft, none of which are of any help. No, it doesn't print from Notepad.

Worse, it doesn't print from the other boot of my dual boot Win XP Pro computer. The other boot is an independent OS, with its own printer drivers, but that boot does exactly the same thing as the primary boot. No, I haven't reinstalled the printer drivers. Could that help?

While the printer is old, it has been faithfully working for years, with a checkup along with replacement of the top paper drive wheels a few months ago. I have tried all the remedies that MS suggests. Natually I can take it to the repair shop again, but maybe there is some other idea to try.

With some moving around, I could try it on my wife's Win XP Home Edition computer. If it works there, then there is something peculiar about my Win dows XP computer, in two boots, but if not, the shop is the next step.
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Old 01-06-2007, 03:29 PM   #2
Hugh Wyn Griffith
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I don't remember how to access it but HP laser printers usually have a test print function entirely within the printer -- maybe turning it on with the cancel print job button held down?

That's always a good first troubleshooting test.

If that fails then with the cost of spares it's time to think replacement. When my LJ2100 failed they wanted $500 for two circuit boards they said needed replacement so I bought the LJ2200d for $650 -- and now you can get good laser printers much cheaper than that.

   
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Old 01-06-2007, 07:01 PM   #3
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It pays to shop around for a place that does flat rate printer repairs. The rate for our HP LaserJet 4M Plus was $75 last month and just went to $85 as of the first of the year. (Still a great deal.) I found a number of places that do this. In the past we shipped to a place in southern CA but this time I found a place less than an hour away that does on-site service at no extra charge! It sounded too good to be true but the technician was great and I was thrilled not to have to shop for (ugh), purchase (ugh, ugh) and become acquainted with (triple ugh) a brand new printer when the one I have does everything I need.

   
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Old 01-06-2007, 07:09 PM   #4
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Originally Posted by Franca View Post
It pays to shop around for a place that does flat rate printer repairs. The rate for our HP LaserJet 4M Plus was $75 last month and just went to $85 as of the first of the year.
I wish!

Still I really wanted to get built in duplexing .......

BTW http://www.fixyourownprinter.com/ is a wonderful source of help, fix-it kits and so on. Note the videos that come with parts showing how to fit them!

If you don't see an answer, send an email to moe on the contacts page -- he used to be a regular on the Compuserve PCHW Forum but got too busy but he's still very helpful.

   
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Old 01-06-2007, 09:48 PM   #5
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Originally Posted by Hugh Wyn Griffith View Post
Still I really wanted to get built in duplexing .......
Aha!

Quote:
BTW http://www.fixyourownprinter.com/ is a wonderful source of help, fix-it kits and so on. Note the videos that come with parts showing how to fit them!

If you don't see an answer, send an email to moe on the contacts page -- he used to be a regular on the Compuserve PCHW Forum but got too busy but he's still very helpful.
That looks like a very useful link - thanks, Hugh!

   
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Old 01-07-2007, 11:53 AM   #6
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Hugh's suggestion is a good one. I have an LJ4v (in storage, no longer in use) but with luck, the magic keys shouldn't be too different. On mine:

To print a test page:
Press On Line to take the printer off line
Press Menu until TEST MENU appears
Press ITEM until the test you want to print appears
Press ENTER to print the test
Press On Line to put the printer back on line

I'd have sworn that there was a way to start a test by holding down one of the buttons while turning the printer on. Try each of them and see what happens if Cancel doesn't do it.

If the printer self-tests ok, try shutting it and the computer off for a few minutes, then power back up and re-test from Notepad or from the printer driver settings/test page feature.

If it self tests but still won't print anything from the computer, try a different cable.

   
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Old 01-10-2007, 05:18 AM   #7
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Default Try the cable

Quote:
Originally Posted by Steve Rindsberg View Post
If it self tests but still won't print anything from the computer, try a different cable.
The answer is, make sure the printer cable is plugged in. It was plugged in under my computer desk, but not in the back of the printer, where it had pulled loose somehow. <Sigh.> It is now plugged in, and the top clip is back holding the plug in.

Thank you for all the suggestions, though.
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Old 01-10-2007, 11:29 AM   #8
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Originally Posted by dthomsen8 View Post
The answer is, make sure the printer cable is plugged in. It was plugged in under my computer desk, but not in the back of the printer, where it had pulled loose somehow. <Sigh.> It is now plugged in, and the top clip is back holding the plug in.

Thank you for all the suggestions, though.
I guess we're all too nice to suggest that one. The HP LJ4s were so reliable I was having trouble believing it was a printer problem. If it makes you feel any better, my last HP LJ4 problem was a mystery Epson printer job left lingering in the print queue.... Sigh. The two printers share the LPT1 port on my computer. I plug and unplug as jobs require. The thing is I don't think I'd used the Epson for months prior to the problem cropping up so I don't know why it suddenly became an issue. I got the repair guy out and he didn't diagnose the problem immediately either. The printer needed a routine cleaning and service anyway so nothing was lost by having him come out.

This type of problem does make you feel stupid but OTOH when you finally figure it out it's a relief to know that you don't need an expensive part or a new printer. Always look at the bright side, I say.

   
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Old 01-10-2007, 02:12 PM   #9
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franca: The two printers share the LPT1 port on my computer.
In the near future, I'm going to be going into my pc box and removing my second lpt port card as my Epson 4000 runs via firewire and I got rid of my Epson 1160 and will be moving my HP6MP to the main lpt port (Epson 1160 was on it)...

Soooo...would you like to have my lpt card? It's a pci card...let me know...

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Old 01-10-2007, 11:33 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dthomsen8 View Post
The answer is, make sure the printer cable is plugged in. It was plugged in under my computer desk, but not in the back of the printer, where it had pulled loose somehow. <Sigh.> It is now plugged in, and the top clip is back holding the plug in.
Join the club! Lee K over in PCHW who works in a box store has a number of customers who have found this is important! Some get quite rude when he suggests making sure the monitor is plugged in, for example, and come back red-faced (even on the phone) <g>

Maybe you need a slightly longer cable? I think I managed to find a 10ft parallel cable.

   
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