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HP Laserjet Won't Print


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#1 EducatedGuess

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Posted 01 October 2012 - 07:13 AM

Hi, Everyone.

I have an older HP Laserjet 4 that was working fine and then suddenly stopped printing on just one of my computers. It prints fine on my other computers, which means the cable and the printer itself are functioning normally.

The computer that won't print to the LJ4 is an older Dell XP laptop. It "pops" when the USB cable is plugged in, so in some sense it is "seeing" the printer, but it keeps getting an "Error" message when trying to print. I have deleted and reinstalled the printer five times now, including rebooting the computer between installations, and it does the same thing every time. I'm a little stumped, since this has never happened before.

I am assuming that some registry or OS functions have been corrupted along the way, from virus or spyware removal, or whatever.

What is the easiest and most likely way to fix this problem? I have Malwarebytes already installed, and can run that. Is there a free Registry fix or cleaner out there that might clear up this problem? Do I need to run a full OS reinstall (I have the discs).

Thank you in advance for your help.

EducatedGuess

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#2 dc3

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Posted 01 October 2012 - 12:11 PM

First off... I would suggest not using a registry cleaner. Below is the warning that one of our Site Admins wrote.



Registry Cleaners

Bleeping Computer DOES NOT recommend the use of registry cleaners/optimizers for several reasons:

Registry cleaners are extremely powerful applications that can damage the registry by using aggressive cleaning routines and cause your computer to become unbootable.

Not all registry cleaners are created equal. There are a number of them available but they do not all work entirely the same way. Each vendor uses different criteria as to what constitutes a "bad entry". One cleaner may find entries on your system that will not cause problems when removed, another may not find the same entries, and still another may want to remove entries required for a program to work.

Not all registry cleaners create a backup of the registry before making changes. If the changes prevent the system from booting up, then there is no backup available to restore it in order to regain functionality. A backup of the registry is essential BEFORE making any changes to the registry.

Improperly removing registry entries can hamper malware disinfection and make the removal process more difficult if your computer becomes infected. For example, removing malware related registry entries before the infection is properly identified can contribute to system instability and even make the malware undetectable to removal tools.

The usefulness of cleaning the registry is highly overrated and can be dangerous. In most cases, using a cleaner to remove obsolete, invalid, and erroneous entries does not affect system performance but it can result in unpredictable results.

Unless you have a particular problem that requires a registry edit to correct it, I would suggest you leave the registry alone. Using registry cleaning tools unnecessarily or incorrectly could lead to disastrous effects on your operating system such as preventing it from ever starting again. For routine use, the benefits to your computer are negligible while the potential risks are great.

* Ed Bott's Webog: Why I don’t use registry cleaners
* Do I need a Registry Cleaner?


The Windows registry is a central repository (database) for storing configuration data, user settings and machine-dependent settings, and options for the operating system. It contains information and settings for all hardware, software, users, and preferences. Whenever a user makes changes to settings, file associations, system policies, or installed software, the changes are reflected and stored in this repository. The registry is a crucial component because it is where Windows "remembers" all this information, how it works together, how Windows boots the system and what files it uses when it does. The registry is also a vulnerable subsystem, in that relatively small changes done incorrectly can render the system inoperable. For a more detailed explanation, read Understanding The Registry.

Back to the printer.

Can you see the printer in the control panel?

One thing that you can try, if you still have the driver installation disc, is to remove the old drivers in add/remove and reinstall them.

Family and loved ones will always be a priority in my daily life.  You never know when one will leave you.

 

 

 

 


#3 EducatedGuess

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Posted 01 October 2012 - 09:30 PM

dc3:

Thanks for the warning on registry cleaners. I wasn't planning on going that way anyway, but now I will def steer clear.

The printer is visible in the Control Panel and everything is normal. I don't have the install disk, but I've had this printer for more than 15 years and this has never been a problem. The drivers for this printer are built directly into XP and all later OS's, so this won't help, but I do thank you for responding and chiming in. Still searching for an answer... Thanks again, Educated Guess.

#4 dc3

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Posted 02 October 2012 - 09:10 AM

I tried to find a reference to that printer using native drivers but was unsuccessful. I was able to find HP drivers though, you can download them here if you care to try them.

Family and loved ones will always be a priority in my daily life.  You never know when one will leave you.

 

 

 

 


#5 EducatedGuess

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Posted 02 October 2012 - 09:18 AM

Oh wow, very thoughtful of you. Really appreciate it. I'm slammed at work the next 2-3 days, but will try this as soon as I can and report back to you. The printer is working just fine on my other laptop. Really weird.

Do you think an OS Repair or Reinstall would most likely fix the problem as well?

Thanks for Everything....

#6 dc3

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Posted 02 October 2012 - 10:34 AM

I would suggest downloading and installing the driver and then see how things are running. If there aren't any other problem with the operating system I would leave it alone.

If there is a problem other than the one with the printer there are other applications which should be tried before doing a repair installation or reinstalling the operating system. Check disk (chkdsk) is one of these, this can be run from a command prompt or from My Computer. You can go to Microsoft Support for instructions.

Another application that is useful is System File Checker (sfc). If there are files that need to be repaired or replaced you will need the Windows XP installation disc.


Run sfc with the scannow option, this will scan and repair important Windows files.

Instructions

1. Locate your Windows XP installation CD. If you don't have one, you'll need to locate a directory on your system that's named"i386" (without the quotes). This directory may be on a hidden partition on your hard drive.

2. Go to Start, then to Run, and type in "SFC.EXE /SCANNOW" (without the quotes - and with a space between the SFC.EXE and the /SCANNOW). Then press Enter. (For VISTA, go to Start and type in the above information, then go to the top of the box and right click on SFC.EXE /SCANNOW and select "Run As Administrator")

3. The program may (or it may not) ask you for your Windows XP installation CD - please insert it at the prompt. If it doesn't ask you for the CD this means that it wasn't necessary to replace any files.

4. In the event the the system asks you for the CD, you must visit Windows Update immediately after the scan is completed (Please note that there won't be any confirmation dialog - the program will just exit without telling you anything).

5. If this doesn't repair the problem with your system other troubleshooting procedures are required.

*Credit for these instructions goes to USASMA.

Edited by dc3, 02 October 2012 - 10:35 AM.

Family and loved ones will always be a priority in my daily life.  You never know when one will leave you.

 

 

 

 


#7 EducatedGuess

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Posted 07 October 2012 - 11:04 AM

dc3/Recalcitrant:

Hi. Just wanted to let you know that, after all your wonderful time and instructions, the problem seems to have fixed itself. This morning, for about the eighth time, I uninstalled the old driver and reinstalled the standard driver built into XP. Voila! it printed! No idea why. I did nothing different than any of the other times. A total mystery.

Anyway, thank you so much. I will keep your instructions on file in case this happens again. This forum is full of wonderful people like yourself who are always willing to lend a hand.

Thanks Again. I really appreciate it.

EducatedGuess




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