HP Printer WinXP Weirdness
January 2, 2004 10:24 AM   Subscribe

I have an old HP Printer (LaserJet4P) which works perfectly even though it's a decade old. But ever since upgrading to WinXP, it spits out a sheet of paper every time I boot up the computer. The sheet is blank except for a tiny nonsense character in the upper-left corner. I have the latest driver, but it doesn't help. The only way I can get it to stop wasting paper is to remember to keep the printer turned off when I boot up. But I usually forget. Any ideas?
posted by grumblebee to Computers & Internet (5 answers total)
Do you have any other devices hooked into the parallel port? Or is it directly from the computer to the printer?

When does it begin printing this blank sheet? When the computer is first powered up? Or when windows loads?
posted by MiG at 11:34 AM on January 2, 2004

If there aren't any other devices in the parallel port, try changing the type of port in your BIOS. From ECP to Bi-directional or vice-versa.

HP has a page about this problem.

This problem is usually due to a data signal generated through the PC's parallel port during the computer’s power on self-test, or while restarting Windows 95, Windows 98 or Windows Millennium Edition (Me). In most cases, the data signal being sent determines if a particular device (or type of device) is attached to the parallel port. When the printer receives a string of data that it does not recognize, it will attempt to interpret the data and assign a character for the unrecognized signal. This results in garbage characters or symbols printing on the page.
posted by MiG at 11:43 AM on January 2, 2004

Thanks, I'll try it. (The printer is hooked directly to the parallel port.)
posted by grumblebee at 12:11 PM on January 2, 2004

Hey, MiG -

That tinyurl thing you used to create the link is really cool! I'd never heard about it - now I can't wait to use it!
posted by jasper411 at 12:23 PM on January 2, 2004

see the also useful www.hugeurl.com (still in beta)
posted by Fupped Duck at 5:07 PM on January 2, 2004

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