As of late, I have become increasingly irritated with HP and the general crappiness of its products. A good HP product is now, in my opinion, akin to a good karaoke machine – the point being that neither of these really exist!
Today I had the joy of working with an HP 2600n. It should have been a really easy fix – a few users were complaining that documents were stuck in the print queue and they could not delete them – nothing stopping and restarting the spooler service won’t fix, right?
In fact, that did fix the issue. Instantly, the jobs were deleted out of the queue. Great!….Let’s just print a test page from the server to make sure that it is really working. I open up properties, select the test page and click on OK – within seconds a test page is popping out of the printer.
Fantastic!!! It works.
But then, one of the users tries to print a document to the shared printer.
Nothing happens…and the job is stuck in the queue again. What the hell? I clear the queue and print a test page – bam, test page instantly pops out.
As it turns out, this particular model of HP printer, along with a plethora of other HP printers was not really designed to be shared off of a Server 2003 platform. These “cheap” network printers are actually not fully PCL compliant and are designed to work with HPs Print software and installed drivers but not using the standard drivers that you would install on a typical print server.
The fix, luckily, is easy. If you are having the same issue I had, simply go into the properties tab on the printer and uncheck the “Enable Bi-directional communication”. Apply the change, and your printer will work flawlessly.
But, HP you are not off the hook for this. Making printers and marketing them as network printers knowing full well that these won’t work well when shared out is absolutely unacceptable! As I mentioned in the first part of this blog entry, I have increasingly been spending far too much time troubleshooting nonsense – please count my clients and I out for any future HP purchases.