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HP Jetdirect and Embedded Jetdirect Inside Print Servers - Basic HP Jetdirect Troubleshooting

Introduction

The scope of this document is limited to basic concepts and troubleshooting techniques used to investigate problems such as:

  • The computer or server cannot print or a network printer does not print. Print jobs appear to be stuck in the queue or spooler.

  • HP software is unable to find, communicate, or configure the HP Jetdirect print server.

  • The computer or server cannot ping or telnet the HP Jetdirect print server.

This may seem rather simplistic for some users, however if you are experiencing any kind of situation where the printer or print server does not seem to be connecting to the network, it is always a good idea to approach your problem systematically and be sure to cover the fundamentals.

This document does not cover the many, many possible combinations of specific printing problems, specific errors, error messages, network configurations, printers, or operating systems. In fact, the focus will be on basic hardware connectivity and TCP/IP troubleshooting. Other protocols, such as IPX/SPX or DLC/LLC, or other networks, such as Novell Netware, are not covered.

However, these subjects are covered in individual documents that can be found on the HP support Web site . In addition, documents addressing specific error messages or specific topics may be found by searching the HP web site for keywords of an error message or a topic.

Other sources of help with troubleshooting

Very useful information can be found in:

  • The Help screens of the HP software.

  • The Installation Guides that come with HP Jetdirect servers or printers.

  • Other technical documents for specific printers or products on the HP Web site.

  • Other companies' web sites that provide network products or services, such as Cisco or Microsoft.
NOTE: For software downloads and configuration instructions, see the links throughout and at the end of this document.

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The basic strategy in network troubleshooting

The strategy in network troubleshooting is based on a process of elimination. The process of elimination should narrow the problem to one of three basic components mentioned below. If design of your network is complex or unknown, start by examining the printer's connection to the network, then the computer's connection. Leave the more complex network connections for last.

Troubleshooting an HP Jetdirect print server involves three general groups of components:
A computer that is either printing to the HP Jetdirect print server or configuring the HP Jetdirect print server.
The network hardware that connects the computer to the HP Jetdirect print server. This includes cables, hubs, switches, bridges, routers, or servers.
The printer(s) with an HP Jetdirect print server (internal or external).

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Instructions

Troubleshooting the printer's connection to the network

One of the best troubleshooting tools available is the HP Jetdirect Configuration page, sometimes called a Self Test page. The Configuration page can be printed using the printer's control panel or the Test button of an external or LIO print server.

Printing a Configuration page from a printer's control panel

There are a wide variety of printers and there are at least two styles of printer control panels - "Classic" and "Flex". Classic control panels typically have Menu and Item buttons; Flex control panels have a check mark button and arrow buttons and/or a numeric keypad.

While this complicates things in an environment with many different types of HP printers, the basic navigation concepts apply: the HP Jetdirect Configuration is usually found on an Information menu and since it is an I/O port on the printer, configuration menus are usually on an I/O or EIO menu. Some printers can print a Menu Map to show what is available.

For Classic menus:
For Flex or Graphical menus:

Figure 1: Classic Control Panel

(The button layout will vary on different printer models)
  1. Use the MENU key on the Front Panel to go to the Information, Test, or PCL Test menu.

  2. Press the ITEM key to go to the Print Configuration, Print EIO Configuration, PCL Configuration Page, or the Self Test.

  3. Press Select, Go, or Enter.

Figure 2: Flex or Graphical Control Panel

(The button layout will vary on different printer models)
  1. Press the green check mark button to enter the menu system.

  2. Press the down arrow button to Information.

  3. Press the green check mark button to enter the Information menu.

  4. Press the down arrow button to Print Configuration.

  5. Press the green check mark button

Printing Configuration pages from other printers or HP Jetdirect models
  • On printers such as the HP LaserJet 2100, 2200, and others, simultaneously press the Job Cancel (1) and the Go (4) buttons on top of the printer.

    Figure 3: HP LaserJet 2100 control panel

    • 1 - Job Cancel
    • 2 - Attention
    • 3 - Ready
    • 4 - Go
  • Printing Configuration pages from External HP Jetdirects or LIO HP Jetdirects (e.g., 200m or 250m models).

    Press the Test button on the top or the back of the HP Jetdirect.

    Figure 4: Example of a Test button on the back of an external HP Jetdirect

  • Designjet printer control panels vary even more - their Configuration pages are usually under the Utilities menu and are called Service, Print Service Config, and Config Plot.

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Reading the Jetdirect Configuration page

Figure 5: Example of Jetdirect Configuration page (with sections outlined)

Check the printer's network connectivity by examining the following:

  1. Verify that the I/O Card status reads “Ready." If an "I/O Not Ready" message is present, look up the specific code or message in the HP Jetdirect Software Installation Guide or Administrator's Guide.

    Not all products have manuals available, but the following link will cover nearly all the error messages and configuration settings available, including for wireless networks. (The PDF Administrator's Guide is a rather large file). Click here to view a PDF version of the Administrator's Guide for HP Jetdirect print servers.

    NOTE: Newer HP Jetdirect EIO print servers may always have an I/O Ready Status; therefore, always examine the Network Statistics section of the Configuration page to see if network packets are being sent and received.
  2. Examine the status of whichever protocol is being used. For example, the TCP/IP status should read "Ready." If any other message is present, look up the specific code or message in the HP Jetdirect Software Installation Guide or Administrator's Guide.

  3. Examine the Network Statistics portion of the page, and look for anomalies such as the following:

    1. The Packets Received figure is very low or zero.

    2. The Bad Packets, Xmit Collisions, or Late Collisions figure is high (greater than approximately five percent of the Total Packets Received.) Any of these conditions indicates a faulty network connection (e.g., cabling, hubs, routers, or switches).

  4. Verify that the HP Jetdirect firmware version is the most current. Although this may not directly affect the network connectivity of the HP Jetdirect server, new firmware can often resolve errors and intermittent server connections. Click here to download HP Download Manager used to upgrade the HP Jetdirect firmware.

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Resetting the HP Jetdirect to factory defaults

In some cases it is helpful to start with default HP Jetdirect configuration. Often, resetting and reconfiguring the print server will correct any problems. Resetting the print server is useful in the following conditions:
  • The HP Jetdirect needs to be reconfigured from a previous network configuration or from an inadvertently incorrect configuration.

  • The HP Jetdirect is in an error state that cannot be resolved by any other means.

  • To clear passwords, old IP addresses, or old NetWare configurations.

  • To help discover the HP Jetdirect with HP software.

Before resetting the HP Jetdirect (known as a cold reset), print a Configuration page as described in the Configuration page section below, because resetting an HP Jetdirect print server to factory defaults (known as a cold reset) will erase all previous configurations and may require network administrative knowledge, permissions, and access to reconfigure it.

The factory defaults of a Jetdirect print server typically include an IP address of 192.0.0.192 or 169.254.xxx.xxx, unless a DHCP or BootP server assigns the addresses on your particular network. (A cold reset also allows the HP Jetdirect to broadcast DHCP and BootP packets, which will allow it to be configured by a DHCP or BootP server.)

The TCP/IP status on the Configuration page should be Ready, and IPX/SPX status should be Not Configured, though some Jetdirects may be Ready.

  1. Most internal HP Jetdirect print servers can be reset to factory defaults (or cold-reset) by turning the printer off and holding down the ONLINE or GO button while turning the printer back on. The printer control panel display should read Cold Reset, or Restoring Factory Settings, or something similar.

    Click here for more information about restoring the defaults of a Jetdirect in various printers.

  2. To cold reset an HP Jetdirect external print server, unplug the power cord from the HP Jetdirect device, and hold down the TEST button for 5 to 30 seconds while plugging in the power cord.

  3. Embedded Jetdirect Inside print servers: The method to reset an internal embedded Jetdirect Inside print server to factory defaults (cold reset) may vary from printer-to-printer. See the printer documentation for assistance resetting the printer and the embedded Jetdirect Inside print server back to factory defaults.

  4. Some HP Designjet plotters cannot reset an HP Jetdirect device. HP Web Jetadmin can be used to reset the IPX/SPX settings; Telnet can be used to reset the TCP/IP settings. Some newer HP Designjet printers (500, 800, 1050c, 1055cm, 5000, etc.) have a reset option in the control panel menus.

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Troubleshooting the computer configuration and connection

If the Jetdirect Configuration page information looks correct and there are no errors, then test the communication between the computer and the printer with some basic tools. Use as many communication tools as possible to eliminate the possibility of just a software problem. In other words, if the HP Jetdirect software cannot find your printer, and the printer cannot be reached through ping, it is likely to be more than just an HP Jetdirect software issue.

Checking the computer's TCP/IP configuration

Open a command prompt and type ipconfig. You could also type the command ipconfig /all to see all TCP/IP information (such as if your computer is configured by a DHCP server) for all network adapters in the computer. This may be more information than needed for basic troubleshooting, but it might be useful for those more familiar with their network configuration.

Here is an example of the command prompt screen:

Figure 6: ipconfig example

This command will show you what the computer's IP address is and whether or not the network is subnetted and if there is a router ("default Gateway") is being used.

If your computer has an IP address, you can compare it to the Jetdirect configuration page to see if the IP addresses are on the same subnet. You can also use it to perform ping, telnet, and embedded Web server tests as described below.

Troubleshooting the TCP/IP communication to the Jetdirect

Click here for instructions to configure a TCP/IP address on an HP Jetdirect print server .

Ping, Telnet, the HP Jetdirect embedded Web server, or HP Web Jetadmin can be used to test TCP/IP connectivity and communication with Jetdirect print servers.

If any of these tests fail, this usually, but not always, indicates a hardware connection or configuration problem (for example: a hub, router, switch, patch panel, or cable problem).

NOTE: The HP Jetdirect 150x server does not have a TCP/IP protocol, but nearly all other HP Jetdirect servers support TCP/IP, some limited to Windows operating systems

Make sure the TCP/IP protocol is bound to only the computer's NIC and not to a dial-up adapter as well.

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Using Ping

  • Try to ping the printer (with the HP Jetdirect print server) that is having a problem, or ping other workstations or other printers on the same segment of the network. If ping fails with the response Request Timed Out, the network connection to the printer or configuration of the computer may be faulty.

    At a command prompt, type: ping ipaddress.

    For example, if the TCP/IP address of the HP Jetdirect is 192.0.0.192, open a command prompt and type, ping 192.0.0.192. Replies should be received if the network connection is good.

    Figure 7: Ping command example (using 192.0.0.192)

  • If this test fails, try to ping the loopback address of 127.0.0.1. This is a test of the computer's TCP/IP protocol. If this fails, make sure that the TCP/IP protocol is installed on the computer and that valid TCP/IP addresses are assigned to the computer.

Using Telnet

If the TCP/IP address of the HP Jetdirect is 169.254.52.32, go to a command prompt, and type telnet 169.254.52.32. Press Enter twice to be sure there is a connection, then type a forward slash, and press Enter to see Jetdirect information. If this works, the TCP/IP connection is good.

Figure 8: Telnet command example 1

Figure 9: Telnet example 2

Using the embedded Web server

Be aware that not all Jetdirect print servers have a Web server and that those that do may differ in the look of its Web page due to the firmware or model of the print server. Also, the Web browser used must be a supported version and there may be issues on some networks if secure proxy servers are used or if HTTP communication is restricted in some way.

Without laboring over these details, simply try the steps below, because in many cases, this will work to test the HP Jetdirect TCP/IP connection.
  • Type the IP address of the printer in a Web browser as you would a URL.

    Figure 10: Embedded Web server example 1

    Figure 11: Embedded Web server example 2

Using HP Web Jetadmin

HP Web Jetadmin can be used, but do not download it just to test your Jetdirect connectivity. It is a fairly large and complicated software application recommended for larger, enterprise networks. Click here to download HP Web Jetadmin .

  1. Double-click the printer in HP Web Jetadmin to open the Device Properties.

  2. From the pull-down menu, click Test Page.
    NOTE: Not all printer models will have this feature

Figure 12: HP Web Jetadmin test page

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Troubleshooting the network hardware connections

If the tests above fail, it will be helpful to make the simplest possible network hardware connection between the printer and the computer. This will eliminate the wide variety of variables of network hardware connections that may be causing the problem. Never assume that all network connections are good, even if it is something as simple as checking that a network cable is properly plugged in.
  1. Try to bypass bridges, routers, or switches on the network that may be between the computer and the printer. Do this by, if possible, connecting the printer to a hub and connecting the hub to the computer.

  2. If this is not practical, go to a computer that can bypass complicated network connections. If a laptop is available, this can be a useful technique.

  3. If simplifying the topology is not immediately feasible, try the following:

    1. Attach the printer to a different port on the hub.

    2. Replace cables with cables that are known to work with other HP Jetdirect print servers.

    3. If using a 10Base-T Jetdirect with a 10/100 hub or vice-versa, power-cycle the hub and the HP Jetdirect to restart the auto negotiation of either device.

    4. Hubs must provide a link beat signal to the Jetdirect - verify that the hub provides link beat.

    5. Replace the HP Jetdirect print server with another HP Jetdirect print server that is known to work. If HP software, Ping, or Telnet can communicate with or configure the replacement HP Jetdirect print server, the network connection is good.

      NOTE: Resetting the HP Jetdirect server to factory defaults (as described above) may be useful, or even necessary, if you move it to a known working location then try to ping, telnet, or use HP software.

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Configuration instructions that do not use HP software

HP provides software solutions depending on the network type and operating system as indicated through this document. There are also solutions for printing to an HP Jetdirect print server that do involve using HP software:

TCP/IP configuration instructions:

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