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Printers general discussion FAQ

Asking the best questions here

How can I get the best answer to my HP Question? by gbaughma
Posted: 25 Aug 04

When asking your question in the forum, you can save yourself days worth of "clarifying" the problem if you include the following information in your post:

1) The specific model of your printer (For example, HP LaserJet 2100)
2) Any add-on equipment (Duplexer, second paper tray, etc.)
3) How it is connected (JetDirect card, External print server, Parallel Cable, Serial cable)
4) Is it on a network?  If so, how are you printing to it?  (For example, you have a JetDirect card, using TCP/IP Printing from a central server that has shared the printer that your workstations connect to)
5) What operating system are you using?  Also, give us all the information; if the printer is shared on an NT server, but you are printing from a 98 or XP workstation, tell us that as well.
6) What, specifically, is it doing?  If you have lines on the page, for example, are they vertical?  Repeating horizontal?  Just dark at the top of the page?
7) If you are getting error messages, please tell us EXACTLY what the error message is.  If you are getting a BSOD, please include that information as well.  You may not understand it, but many of us do.
8) Was it working before?  What changed between then and now?

Here's an example of a not-so-helpful post:


Topic: I can't print!
I have an HP printer, and I can't print to it from my computer!

See, this post will require us asking you all of the things outlined above.

Here's an example of a better post:


Topic: LJ2200N network printing stopped
I have a LaserJet 2200N, with a JetDirect card which is attached to our LAN.  We print by installing the JetDirect port on each of our workstations and printing directly to the printer in that way.
Suddenly, the printer has stopped responding.  Jobs appear in queue, but don't go to the printer.  The lights on the printer stay normal (like no print job has been received.)  We verified the link lights on the JetDirect card, and they are OK (Green on the side that says "100").

This post would give us enough information to give you some troubleshooting steps; for example:


1) Try powering off the printer, and re-seating the JetDirect card.
2) Print out a configuration page on the printer, by holding down the triangle button during power up, then pressing the GO button.  Please verify that the printer in fact sees the JetDirect card, as well as the IP address that you have assigned to it.
o  If the printer doesn't see the JetDirect card, it will probably need to be replaced.  If you can try it in another printer, do that first.
o  If the IP address is wrong, you've found your problem.  The printer forgot it's settings.

Clearly defining your problem using the steps above will help get your question answered more quickly, and save both ends a lot of frustration with trying to clarify the problem.

One final note; even if it doesn't seem important, include all of the information above anyway.  It helps to give a holistic view to the entire situation, and will get you a faster, more accurate answer to your question.

Thanks for reading this!

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