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HP LaserJet 1100, 2100, 2200, and 4050 Family Printers - Troubleshooting Communication Problems

If the HP LaserJet printer is directly connected and prints garbled text or symbols, try the following troubleshooting steps:

  1. Print an internal self-test from the printer.

    • To print a self-test page on the HP LaserJet 1100 or 1100A printer, press and release the GO button on the printer control panel while the printer is in the Ready state. If no lights are on (printer is in Power Save mode), press and release the GO button once to awaken the printer; then press and release the GO button a second time.

    • To print the configuration page (self-test) on the HP LaserJet 2100 and 2200 press and release the GO and JOB CANCEL buttons simultaneously when the printer is the ready mode. If an EIO card is installed, a second page will print, listing all of the EIO information.

    • To print the configuration page (self-test) on the HP LaserJet 4050 Series Printers, press the MENU button on the printer control panel until Information Menu appears. Now press the ITEM button until Print Configuration appears. Press SELECT to print the configuration page.

      NOTE: If the self-test prints correctly, then the printer is functioning properly. The next steps would be taken to test for an issue with the communication between the printer and the computer.
  2. Disconnect the parallel cable from both the PC and the HP LaserJet 1100 or 1100A printer, inspect the cable ends for any damage. Then, reconnect the cable, ensuring that the connection is tight.

  3. Ensure that the parallel cable meets specifications and is directly connected from the printer to the PC.

  4. Try a different cable if possible.

  5. Try printing a directory from DOS. Use the following steps:

    1. Verify that the printer is turned on and is in the ready state.

    2. Attach the printer directly to the PC. Verify that no printer-sharing devices or daisy-chained devices are between the computer and the PC.

    3. Restart the computer.

      • For Windows 95 press F8 when "Starting Windows 95" appears on the screen.

      • For computers with Windows 98, press and hold the CTRL key immediately after the computer’s power-on Self Test (this is usually when the computer beeps during the startup process and then briefly goes to a solid black screen).

      • For Windows 3.1x; simply exit Windows and go to Step 6.

  6. From the Windows Startup Menu, select "Command prompt only.”

  7. At the C:\> prompt, type DIR>LPT1 (LPT1 is generally the parallel port to which the printer is printing). If the port is different, insert the correct path to the port. Then, press ENTER.

  8. Restart Microsoft (R) Windows and try a test document from either WordPad or Write. Use the following steps:

    1. In Windows 95 or 98, click Start , Programs , Accessories , and click WordPad . In Windows 3.1x, from the Program Manager, double-click the Accessories group icon and double-click the Write icon.

    2. Type a line or two of text.

    3. Select the File menu and click Print .

    4. In the Print dialog box that appears, ensure that the HP LaserJet printer is selected and click OK .

  9. Try attaching the printer and the cable to another PC; then attempt to print a directory from DOS.

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