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HP LaserJet 4100 "Processing"

LiquidRetro 12,661 4,824 January 21, 2016 at 03:08 PM
We have several old but reliable HP 4100 printers. They are work horses and generally easy to fix/get parts for when needed. This situation is a bit different. So the basic problem is I go to print a 12 page B&W text report to Printer C and I get 3 prompt pages and then the printer while still running says processing. It will do this forever until you stop it. You can open the front hatch which stop it from running, let it sit 5 seconds, shut the door (let it do it's thing) and then you will get about 3 more pages. Rinse and repeat.

Doing a little reading online I read it might be your Firmware module, Ram, Jet Direct Card, or Fuser. So I do some swapping of all of those with our spare printer. I even swapped toner for the hell of it. NO difference.

Next I try the backup printer, put the jet direct card of Printer C into the Backup and I get 9 pages before the same thing happens. I can print the same report to Printer A which has a newer Jet Direct card and More ram, and a Duplexer and it's fine.

Last thing I am going to try here when people go home is to Take the Firmware Module, Ram, and Jet Direct card out of Printer A and put it into Printer C and see what happens. I somewhat expect it still not to work.

Any thoughts?

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#2
The 4100 is certainly a reliable work horse, I haven't used one in a few years and I don't recall this particular problem. I think it's safe to say 15 years is a pretty good run for a printer.

Does it do this with everything or is there something special about this report? You might want to verify if there are any differences in printer or driver settings (things like vector vs raster). Don't forget to include some simple things like the network cable in your troubleshooting and try not to change too many things at once (controlled experiments).
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#3
Quote from jkee View Post :
The 4100 is certainly a reliable work horse, I haven't used one in a few years and I don't recall this particular problem. I think it's safe to say 15 years is a pretty good run for a printer.

Does it do this with everything or is there something special about this report? You might want to verify if there are any differences in printer or driver settings (things like vector vs raster). Don't forget to include some simple things like the network cable in your troubleshooting and try not to change too many things at once (controlled experiments).
Well we have not had them that long, this particular one is for a controller to print more private docs so not that many pages considering my main unit has well over a million pages. I like them quite a bit because they are usually easy to fix, parts are in expensive and per page costs are so low with 3rd party toner. They can get slow when printing graphics.

I can produce the same problem on my PC (Different driver version) and I pulled it out to a different location so I am using a different cable. After switching tons of stuff around I am about ready to say the motherboard is bad and start looking for another unit.
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#4
Quote from LiquidRetro View Post :
Well we have not had them that long, this particular one is for a controller to print more private docs so not that many pages considering my main unit has well over a million pages. I like them quite a bit because they are usually easy to fix, parts are in expensive and per page costs are so low with 3rd party toner. They can get slow when printing graphics.

I can produce the same problem on my PC (Different driver version) and I pulled it out to a different location so I am using a different cable. After switching tons of stuff around I am about ready to say the motherboard is bad and start looking for another unit.
One thing I don't think you swapped is the power supply. I'm not sure the exact date ranges the 4100 was produced, but I think it could be that old**. My first guess would be dielectric breakdown in some electrolytic caps on one of more circuit boards (you probably wouldn't see bulging/leaking in this instance).

**EDIT: looked it up, 4100 discontinued 2003.
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Last edited by jkee January 22, 2016 at 11:24 AM
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#5
Quote from jkee View Post :
One thing I don't think you swapped is the power supply. I'm not sure the exact date ranges the 4100 was produced, but I think it could be that old**. My first guess would be dielectric breakdown in some electrolytic caps on one of more circuit boards (you probably wouldn't see bulging/leaking in this instance).

**EDIT: looked it up, 4100 discontinued 2003.
The two that are proving to have this problem are LaserJet 4100 DTN produced in 2001 and 2002. The one is reporting nearly 500,000 pages the other 125,000 (Likely reset)

While the power supply is possible I have a hard time believing it was the case since it does print 5-6 without trouble.
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#6
With decent laser printers available for $150 or less, it's much cheaper to just replace it. Frown I love my Brother HL-2270DW and got it for $55 through a deal here a few years ago. $10 toner deals come along quite often. It's fast, quiet, warms up quickly and uses less than a single watt when in standby mode.

HP used to build some legendary stuff, but over the last 10-15 years they seem to have put quality pretty far down their list of importance during design and manufacture. Frown
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My HP2605DN would do something similar but the only way you could fix it (temporarily) was to turn it off, wait an hour or so, then turn it back on. Turns out the issue was one of the circuit boards (forget which one). It was about 7 years old at the time, just replaced it rather than trying to fix it.
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Quote from HarryH3 View Post :
With decent laser printers available for $150 or less, it's much cheaper to just replace it. Frown I love my Brother HL-2270DW and got it for $55 through a deal here a few years ago. $10 toner deals come along quite often. It's fast, quiet, warms up quickly and uses less than a single watt when in standby mode.

HP used to build some legendary stuff, but over the last 10-15 years they seem to have put quality pretty far down their list of importance during design and manufacture. Frown
We are talking different classes of printers here. The 4100 is enterprise class, my main one is well over 1m pages. That being said picking him up a low end network printer is probably what I will do. Just wish a sale would pop now.

Quote from Dr. J View Post :
My HP2605DN would do something similar but the only way you could fix it (temporarily) was to turn it off, wait an hour or so, then turn it back on. Turns out the issue was one of the circuit boards (forget which one). It was about 7 years old at the time, just replaced it rather than trying to fix it.
Ya I suspect this is something with the motherboard. It's 15 years old so its served a good life. Low page count on this one though.
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Quote from LiquidRetro View Post :
We are talking different classes of printers here. The 4100 is enterprise class, my main one is well over 1m pages. That being said picking him up a low end network printer is probably what I will do. Just wish a sale would pop now.



Ya I suspect this is something with the motherboard. It's 15 years old so its served a good life. Low page count on this one though.

Interesting thing is, I got 2 of the same printers within a few months of one another - one at work and one at home. the one at home is still OK - only given me the error once - but the one at work we got rid of nearly a year ago. Major difference is page count, obviously the work one many many more pages.
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