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Weird HP Printer Problem: Please help!

Weird HP Printer Problem: Please help!

Weird HP Printer Problem: Please help!

Hi, I have a strange but simple problem.  I have a strange but simple problem.  For many years I have owned the world's most reliable computer printer: a heavy-duty HP LaserJet 5N.  It never breaks.  All the sudden it cannot be recognized by my laptop.  I replaced the cable and tried again.  Same issue.  I also tried it on two other fully functioning laptops: same error message: "Windows couldn't find software driver for your device."

Someone told me to throw it away and buy a new one, but that isn't the point.  The printer works perfectly; it just cannot be seen by the laptop.

Has anyone encountered this, or does anyone with an electrical background at least have a thought?  I am not highly technical, but my suspicion is that there is an output voltage issue with the printer through the printer cable.

Please respond if you have any ideas.  I love this printer; it's a real workhorse.

I'm new here, so thanks.

RE: Weird HP Printer Problem: Please help!

"The printer works perfectly...".  Well I'm not sure you can actually say this with certainy!

The information I see on this printer tells me it could give you a variety of connection options, e.g. Serial port, Parallel port, or with a card, even a Network port.

Tells us how you are connecting it to your laptop, and what operating system your laptop is running.

Is this the only computer you have, or can you connect the printer up to another machine?

Is there a front panel menu system on this printer to enable/disable certain ports?  Check that whichever port you're using has not become disabled for some reason.


RE: Weird HP Printer Problem: Please help!

It is a little like saying that although the brake pedal has snapped off, the car still runs perfectly! Hmmm.

I would guess that somewhere inside the printer a physical failure has occurred. It may be as simple as a loose connection, broken connector or burnt out component, even a fuse. Being a workhorse, a popular model from one of the largest printer manufacturers, there is a good chance that someone, somewhere not only can diagnose the failure, but also source the replacement part and perform an economical repair. Failing that, another identical but working, pre-loved printer may be available.

Assuming a parallel cable connection has been used up till now, as Roger states, an alternative could be tried. There may be workarounds  such as obtaining a suitable serial connection cable between laptop and printer, or even a crossover ethernet cable for a direct network connection between the two, or a standard ethernet patch cable to hub or router.

Depending on the location of the failure, neither of these options may work.

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