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13 Paper Jam 50 error
20 error 51 error
22 error 53 error
Paper Jams MP Load, PC Load LC, Load 
Marks on the page User Maintenance
A note on Error messages Printer Drivers
Setting the printer's active port A Great QMS-PS 810 web site
Strange Noises A note on HP
Color Laser Printers

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Marks on the page

A large portion of calls that we get are problems with black marks on the page. While we love the idea of dropping by your office and fixing your problem (along with submitting a bill for our services), We want to repair laser printers, not replace toner cartridges. The number one fix for this problem (survey says) is replace the toner cartridge.


Many customers will say "I just changed the cartridge". This is all the more reason to change the cartridge. Many people think that if a cartridge is new (or newly recharged) it is not going to fail. In an ideal world, yes, but who knows what this cartridge has suffered between manufacture and arriving in your hands. Leave a cartridge on the dashboard on a summer day in a closed car and it's gone. What damage is caused sitting shrink wrapped on a pallet on a loading dock in the summer? Get the idea?


If there is another printer of the same type around your office, you can swap cartridges print something and if the problem goes away, then print on the other printer, if it now has the problem, take the cartridge AND the example page, stick it in a cartridge box and take it back to your recharger or store (only if it's a fairly new cartridge will the store help you out. Any reputable recharger will take care of you if the cartridge isn't almost empty). [As an aside, realize that most rechargers are very good at what they do and they know how much a full cartridge weights and what an empty cartridge weights. They usually mark their cartridges in some way and they have very good records of when they sold you the cartridge]


If you only have another cartridge that is new in the box, open it and swap because it's cheaper than calling us for a service call to open it for you. You can always put it back in the box and use it later if it turns out that it isn't the cartridge.

The above is intended to advise anyone who has a printer with a cartridge that has the drum in it. All Hewlett Packard, most Apple, all Canon, a good number of QMS, a few Brother machines and a good deal of other brand name printers use this type cartridge. There are other brands that have them too but they are quite expensive to purchase (cartridges). The idea will above still applies. Some printers have a separate drum and toner cartridge. On these machines, the above will not work unless you change the drum unit NOT the toner box. Most color printers don't have one cartridge, although the latest generation of HP (4600, 5500) have gone back to the one cartridge one drum system.


If the above doesn't help, look at your fuser. This is the last major device that the paper passes through in your laser printer. It's job is to fuse the toner to the paper. It does this with heat. The fuser consists of two rollers one on top of the other. The lower roller is usually a rubber roller or some other substance which is firm. The upper roller is the most important. It is an aluminum roller with a Teflon coating and it has a halogen lamp running through the middle of it. If the nonstick Teflon gets scored and it exposes the aluminum, a mark will occur on your page as the toner sticks to the spot (or line) on the upper roller. There is usually a way to look at this roller. Warning it's HOT!

The newer generation printers from HP use an instant heat device that has a film around it pretending to be a roller. If it rips or tears you will have the same problems.

These new type fusers are meant to be changed as part of a regular maintenance cycle. They will not last forever. See User Maintenance.


Paper jams

There are reasons for all paper jams. Usually replacing a roller or two will fix the problem for the long term. Cleaning the rollers will sometimes offer a short term solution. We're not real keen on "cleaning paper" type products. Here are some workaround solutions to use until a repair tech gets there :


On some printers (HP II/III, Apple LWII series) , there is a rear door that will allow the paper to pass out the back instead of having it turn 180 degrees to come out on the top of the printer. If you are getting a jam as the paper exits one of these type printers this will offer a solution as long as you want to put up with having the paper come out the back.


If you are having problems with an HP4 (and on some 4+) there is a roller that needs to be replaced and this offers a permanent repair. There isn't any temporary solution. If it is jamming as it comes out of the printer and you are getting an accordion type of jam, this is what I'm talking about.


On some printers if the paper jams because it never makes it out of the paper tray, you can "help" the printer by using the manual feed and push the paper in as you hear the paper pick up roller turn.


Envelopes: It's amazing that they go through some printers at all. Envelopes vary in size and paper quality. Watch for unusual printing on envelopes and the same is true for letter head. We have seen some pretty wild and colorful letterhead and a lot of it has trouble going through a printer. The ink provides a slippery surface for the paper roller to deal with.

While we're on ink, make sure that the ink on letter head is rated for laser printers. Make sure you remember to tell your printer to use this ink when refilling your letterhead order. The problem is that the wrong type of ink will melt when the laser printer is fusing the toner to the paper. This melted ink will cause a build up on the upper fuser roller. This roller is a Teflon coated roller. Teflon is a no stick surface and once the ink from the letterhead sticks to it, the roller picks up toner and will re-deposit the toner on your page causing a repetitive mark down the page. The mark is usually the exact copy of a part of that same page.

HP says that the number one reason for paper jams is the paper. I also find that media that has been exposed to humidity will cause jams. I have a few customers that are in a building and the landlord decides to save money by turning off the air conditioner at night. The paper fills up with moisture and causes jams until the A/C dehumidifies the paper in the early afternoon.


Error messages

Most laser printers provide error messages when they malfunction. On the Canon based printers there is usually a number associated with the message. It is helpful if you write down this number and the message. Some error messages allow you to continue with the print process while other ones demand that you pay some attention to the printer.

We have found a simple action that is very helpful when working with electronic devices. When you have a problem and you just can't seem to get the printer (or computer for that matter) to work, save your work, shut everything down, count up to 20 and restart. Pay attention to the order you turn things on. The computer always likes to be turn on last. The computer sends a reset command to all devices connected to it when it starts up.


50 Error

A 50 error or 50 service will not clear when turned off unless you keep the printer off for 10 to 20 minutes. If it doesn't clear after 20 minutes, it will need service from a technician.


13 Error

13 error or 13 paper jam indicates that there is a paper jam somewhere in the printer. It is usually obvious, but sometimes you will get this error just as you turn on the printer. Check for a piece of paper in the fuser when this happens.

Another time you get this error is when the paper fails to get picked up out of the paper tray. The printer goes through the action, but the paper pick up roller slips and no paper enters the paper path. You may be able to fix this temporarily by cleaning the roller with alcohol. Cleaning rollers can sometimes fix this problem for a while but I have found in practice that replacing the roller IS the proper fix in most cases. Rollers wear from use and they also age from ozone and heat.


20 error

This error usually comes with the message "page full". It means your laser printer has run out of memory (or you have sent too much data to the printer for the memory you have installed on it). A good work around is to reduce the file sent to the printer, if it is a picture, use less color. If it is a spread sheet, define less area to the print page. You could also drop the resolution. If this error occurs a lot consider adding more memory to your laser printer.


MP Load, PC Load or LC Load

MP = Multipurpose tray | PC = Paper Cassette | LC = Lower Cassette Usually the correct paper type is not in one of the paper trays. This is sometimes a tricky one. Your software will often tell the printer what type of paper is necessary. Some printers have trays that auto-detect the paper size (in reality you set the size by moving a paper stop) if you set it to A4 and want letter size, the paper will fit in the tray (letter paper) and the tray will think you have A4 paper size. The HP IIP, IIP+ and IIIP printers have two menu items that need to be changed when changing paper type. One is Job size the other is Paper size.


53 error

Memory error. Some memory on the machine is bad. A work around is to remove offending memory. This is something that can be done only to certain types of memory on some printers.


User Maintenance

The HP 3si, 4si, and the HP 4000 series monochrome will get this message every 200,000 pages The HP5000 every 150,000. It means that a maintenance kit needs to be installed. All network printers including the 3SI, 4SI, 5SI, 8000, and 8150 have maintenance kits.We have personal experience of one network printer printing almost two million pages. The maintenance kit is part of the reason that it was able to do this.

The error will stay on the machine until it is reset when the kit is installed. You will not be prevented from printing while this message is displayed. If you are close to the 200k page mark and are having numerous paper handling problems such as paper jams, the installation of this kit will usually fix this problem. A thorough cleaning is also done on the machine at the same time. If you take care of your large network machine, it will take care of you. Failure to install this kit will eventually result in down time.

The maintenance page count for the HP 5si, 8000, 8150 is every 350,000 pages. This is a trend that's here to stay. HP has a great idea with maintenance kits.


51 Error

A 51 error has to do with the laser scanner. It can mean that the laser scanner is needs to be replaced, but can also mean other (cheaper) problems. On the SX engine (HP II, III, IID,IIID, Apple LaserWriter II series and a few others) We have rarely replaced the laser scanner. It is usually not an expensive fix, this error will need a technician's visit to fix.

It could also be another problem. There is a small piece of plastic on the toner cartridge that can break off and cause this error, so replacing the toner cart is a possible solution.

If the toner cart doesn't do it and it's broken in the first way mentioned above, it will be an intermittent problem. Turn off the printer and wait a while. It may work later.


22 Error 

HP LaserJet 4, 4M, 4 Plus, 4M Plus, 4P, and 4MP Printers - Error 22 Appears on Printer Display when Starting Windows . This is caused by a software driver. It usually has something to do with a device that is (or was) on the parallel port. When Windows starts up, the printer gets some electronic info which was supposed to go to this other device and the printer freaks out. HP offers this explanation HP ( HP was hyperlinked to an HP web page. That page is gone ). To work around this, turn off the printer after you get the message and turn it back on (leave the computer on). All should be OK. You'll want to get the offending driver removed or updated for a permanent fix.

A better solution is to turn on Auto Continue. Take the printer offline, press the menu button until you get to the Config menu, Press the item button until you get to Auto Continue=Off*, press the +/- key until it says Auto Continue=On. Press the enter key on the same printer keypad. You should now see Auto Continue=On* . Note the asterisk, if you don't see it, you need to re-read from A better solution down. Now when the error occurs, it will display it for a minute and continue.


Active Port

HP printers before the HP 4 printer could only have one printer port active at a time. You have a parallel, a serial and an optional port on the II, III, IID,IIID , a parallel and serial on the IIP  and IIIP and a parallel port only on the IIP+. But I digress, If you are looking at this part of this FAQ, you want to know how to change the active port. On the II, III, IID and IIID:

Take the printer off-line, hold the menu button continuously until the LCD screen changes to something else. Press menu until the screen says I/O= SOMETHING. Use the "+" and "-" key to change the value to the port you want. Now to make it permanent, press the enter key on the front panel. You should now see an "*" next to your selection such as "I/O=Parallel*". That's it you're done.

For the applicable P series (2P,2P+ and 3P):

Take off-line, press menu until the LCD screen (10 presses) says DEVICE CONFIG. Press enter on the front panel. Press menu until the screen says I/O=Something. Use the "+" and "-" key to change the value to the port you want. Now to make it permanent, press the enter key on the front panel. You should now see an "*" next to your selection such as "I/O=Parallel*". That's it you're done.


Strange Noises

There are many reasons why printers can have strange noises. Fans go bad over time, rollers wear out, any number of things. There are a few things you can check out yourself that may be the cause of the noise. The toner cartridge. Yes, we're back to the toner cartridge. Things can bind up inside and cause noises. You can pull out the cart and close the printer. There will be a few seconds before the printer realizes that there isn't a cart present. If the noise is a continual one, you may be able to tell if the cart is the problem. You can also change the toner cart. It doesn't have to be with a new one. Grab that old one out of its' box and stick it in the printer. We don't care if it is out of toner or making marks, we just want to see if the noise goes away when the printer is run with another cartridge.


HP Color LaserJets

HP's color laserjet printers have really turned out to be great machines. Once upon a time the 4500/4550 and its' bigger brother, the HP 8500/8550 (does up to 11x17 paper size) were king. These printers have been replaced with the 4600/4650, now the 4700 and newer series and the 5500/5550 series, which are 17 ppm and 21 ppm color printers. This printer has some different designs to accommodate for the faster speed. One new thing which is really an old thing, is that the drums are now back in the toner carts, so you have four toners with drums.

These printers have the same great error messages that the monochrome laser printers have, so all of the above information is applicable to them. Realize that for one color page, the printer has to make four 'planes', one for each color.

The 45xx, 85xx color machines are quite different from the monochrome, first they are full of toner as soon as they are turned on. Don't complain about 'needing a cleaning' if you are getting good copy out of the printer. If you are getting large blops of toner of one color, you are experiencing a leaking toner cartridge. The new 46xx and 55xx printers don't have as much toner under normal running conditions. I have seen these printers with high page

Another point about color machines, from any manufacturer, there are lots of consumable items. The monochrome printers have one toner cart, color printers have many consumables. In the monochrome cart is the drum, toner, waste toner hopper as the main components. Color laser printers have four separate toner carts, a separate drum, some have a separate waste toner hopper, there is also another device that the four planes of the page are stored on and the fuser has become a consumable item.

The end user is expected to change all of these items. In most cases the printer will tell you when to change each item. There is a bit of a learning curve, but at least in HP's case, the printer is quite good at working with you and giving you advance notice about the next item to replace. Luckily, the items don't usually need to be changed at the same time.

NOTE: Third party toner cartridges cause all kinds of problems on the above color printers. I make lots of money when people use them. You will save money in service calls by NOT using them. Third party toner on the 4600/4650 is just a joke. People, they barely work.

Just a note on Hewlett Packard. HP seems to have forgotten that it is a great laser printer company. They are going downhill with their products at a rapid rate. The way it works is you get what you pay for. The cheaper stuff has gotten really bad, especially the cheap color laser. Even their 2000 dollar 4700 color is showing signs of cheapness. Their monochrome lasers are still pretty good as long as you don't go cheap on them i.e.<900 dollars US. If you go cheap just realize that your printer will not last as long as it you expect it will and it will cost more than you think to repair.

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