I have an HP LaserJet 4 printer connected to my new Dell 3646 desktop computer. The printer worked for a few months but now it doesn’t work. When I try to print through Microsoft Word the Word print function screen shows the HP printer as “Ready” but the printer does not print. Windows gives me an error message: “The printer couldn't print Microsoft Word document - Test.docx”. When I look in the control panel printer page the status is: “Error – Printing.” The result is the same when trying to print through Notepad or printing a test page from the control panel.
The operating System is Windows 8.1. The connection cable is a Centronics to USB cable. I tested the printer with this cable on another computer and it worked. The other computer is a Sony desktop using Windows XP. I bought a new cable and I tried every USB port but the result is the same.
During the period when the printer stopped working, I was installing new programs of all sorts to get everything installed on this new computer.
I ran the printer installation program from HP many times. The computer control panel says that the printer is installed. I ran the Dell diagnostic program and it passed all of the tests except the DVD drive test, because there was no disk in the drive. The Dell log file shows the HP printer as installed.
I called Dell. They ran the computer in remote control and concluded that the computer is working properly and the problem must be an obsolete driver. I have reloaded the drivers from HP several times. I called HP. They referred me to a forum post which said to make sure the printer port is “USB001 Virtual Printer port.” I made that change and it did not change the result.