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HP LaserJet 3200 and 3300mfp Series Products - Port Communication Issues

Introduction

This document discusses parallel port and USB port connections and offers tips for troubleshooting port communication problems with HP LaserJet 3200 and 3300mfp series products.

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About port communication

HP LaserJet 3200 and 3300mfp series products include both an IEEE-1284 (parallel) port and USB port, and can be connected with both the IEEE-1284 port and USB port. Two completely different devices can be connected to these products at the same time; one to the USB port and the other to the 1284-C port. For example, connect two separate computers in a small office. Even if only one device will be connected, connect in the manner most efficient for the desired working environment.

NOTE: Utilizing both the USB and Parallel port from different devices at the same time may create a communication error, therefore connecting two separate devices to the printer via USB and parallel is not a supported configuration.

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Parallel port connections

Requirements

  • The HP LaserJet 3200 and 3300mfp series products must be directly connected to a computer with a parallel port featuring a bidirectional data bus. Ports referred to as Enhanced Capabilities Ports (ECP), IEEE-1284, or PS/2 qualify.

  • Extended parallel port only (EPP-only) or unidirectional ports are not supported. However, some ports can be set to EPP/ECP through the CMOS setup or a jumper setting, and this arrangement is supported.

  • The HP LaserJet 3200 and 3300mfp series products must be directly connected to the computer's parallel LPT1 port. If a switchbox or other device is connected to the parallel port, disconnect it prior to connecting and using the HP LaserJet 3200 or 3300mfp series product. Assign the other device to a second parallel port or consider installing a second parallel port in the computer.

Changing parallel port modes

The parallel port mode can default to a number of different settings, which determine how the parallel port performs with the HP LaserJet 3200 or 3300mfp series products. Unfortunately, the product software cannot automatically select the best setting. (ECP mode generally provides the best printing and scanning performance.) Therefore, check this setting.

Basic Input/Output System (BIOS) options frequently vary within a computer manufacturer's range of products. Changing the parallel port mode is a similar process for all computers if they have the capability built-in. See the appropriate computer documentation for specific instructions on changing the parallel mode for the computer.

A parallel port might not follow the ECP protocol, even if the label on it says ECP. If the port mode option clicked does not work, try another option in the Setup. If the computer does not have built-in ECP capability, install an external parallel port card to add it.

Other potential conflicts

Even if the parallel port mode is set correctly, software and hardware from other manufacturers can create areas of potential parallel port conflict. If none of the options in the Setup allow the HP LaserJet 3200 or 3300mfp series product to talk to the computer, or if other devices need a parallel port, add an external ECP parallel port card to the computer. These parallel port cards are available at computer stores and allow the product to communicate with the computer without conflicting with other devices. Connect the product to one of the parallel ports and connect any other devices to the other parallel port.

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Universal Serial Bus (USB) port connections

The Universal Serial Bus (USB), version 1.1, is an alternative I/O device supported by both PCs and Macs. A wide variety of devices, such as digital cameras and scanners, also support USB. Version 1.1 is the current standard, and is compatible with version 2.0.

There is a distinction between a USB host and a USB device. The HP LaserJet 3200 and 3300mfp series products are USB devices that can only connect to USB hosts.

NOTE: Windows 95 and Windows NT 4.0 do not support USB cable connections.

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Port communication issues

Any of the following issues may result from port communication problems.

Issue
Cause
Solution
A message on the computer screen says there was a problem opening the scanner. The product is unable to activate the TWAIN source.
The computer parallel port may not adequately support bidirectional communication.
Another device, such as an external drive or switchbox, may be interfering.
The wrong TWAIN source is selected within the program.
Ensure that the computer has a parallel port with a bidirectional data bus. (Neither EPP nor unidirectional ports are supported.)
Change the parallel port mode setting in the computer’s BIOS. HP recommends setting it to ECP or bidirectional; however, other modes may also work. For instructions about changing the setting, see the computer documentation, or contact the computer manufacturer.
If there is another device connected to the computer parallel port, disconnect it and connect the HP LaserJet 3200 or 3300mfp series product directly to the computer parallel port. It may also be necessary to remove software for the other device before the product will work. Or, use a second parallel port on the computer.
Verify that the correct TWAIN source is selected. In the software, check the TWAIN source by clicking Select Source from the File menu.
Garbled text or unwanted characters are printing.
The parallel or USB cable may not be securely connected or may be faulty.
Make sure the parallel or USB cable is securely connected between the product and the computer.
Try using another IEEE-1284 compliant parallel cable if available.
If the computer has a second parallel port, connect the cable to it.
If another computer is available, try setting up the product on the other computer.
No parallel or USB port is available, or the parallel port is being shared by another device.
The product must be directly connected to the computer’s parallel port.
It might not be able to share the parallel port with another device.
If another device (such as an external disk drive or switch box) is connected to the parallel port, disconnect it and connect the product directly to the computer parallel port.
If this works, to continue using both devices, use two parallel ports on the computer.
Scanning is extremely slow.
The parallel port mode may not be set to its optimal setting.
Ensure that the computer has a parallel port with a bidirectional data bus. (Neither EPP nor unidirectional ports are supported.)
Change the parallel port mode setting in the computer’s BIOS. HP recommends setting it to ECP or bidirectional, but other modes may also work. For instructions on changing the setting, see the computer documentation, or contact the computer manufacturer.
The HP LaserJet Director blinks on and off on the computer screen, even when no document is loaded in the document feeder tray.
The product is connected to a parallel port that is being shared with another device.
The product cannot be connected to the same parallel port on the computer and on another device.
Either buy an additional parallel port or disconnect one of the two devices.
The product does not respond after Print is selected in the software, or a message is received on the computer screen stating there was an error printing to the parallel or USB port.
The printer may be printing a complex image.
The print job may be paused.
The parallel or USB cable between the product and the computer may not be properly connected.
The wrong printer was selected in the software.
The product software is not configured for the correct port.
The computer parallel port may not adequately support bi-directional communication.
The product may not receive adequate power, or there may be voltage fluctuations.
The parallel or USB cable is defective, or the parallel or USB port on the computer is malfunctioning.
The product is malfunctioning.
Another device is interfering with the parallel port.
Allow extra time for the computer to send the image.
Resume printing from the Printers window. Disconnect and reconnect the parallel or USB cable between the product and the computer.
Check the printer selection menu in the program to see if the correct product was selected.
Check the printer selection menu in the program to make sure the software is connecting to the correct port.
Make sure the parallel cable is connected to the correct port.
Verify that the computer has a parallel port with a bidirectional data bus. (Neither EPP nor unidirectional ports are supported.) Change the parallel port mode setting in the computer’s basic input output system (BIOS). HP recommends setting it to ECP or bi-directional, but other modes may also work. For instructions about changing the parallel port mode setting, see the appropriate section above.
Plug the product into a different power source. Try using another IEEE-1284 compliant parallel cable or USB cable.
If another parallel port on the computer is available, try plugging the cable into it instead.
If another computer is available, try connecting the product to the other computer.
Try printing from another program, or try printing a configuration report (see the User's Guide section on printing a configuration report).
The product cannot share a parallel port. If another device is connected to the parallel or USB port, disconnect it and connect the product directly to the port.
It may be necessary to remove software for any other devices before the product will work.
To continue using a second device, add a parallel interface card. An ECP parallel interface card is strongly recommended. Refer to Appendix C of the User's Guide , or the computer’s documentation, for information on installing additional parallel interface cards or resolving conflicts.
Troubleshooting a local connection. When trying to print this message appears: "Unable to communicate with this device ."
The device is disconnected or may be turned off.
There may be a problem with the cable connection between the computer and the device.
There may be an installation problem.
There may be a parallel port device conflict.
Make sure the power light is on.
Make sure the cable between the computer and the scanner is securely fastened.
Make sure the scanner software was installed correctly.
It may be necessary to reinstall the software.
Make sure no other device is using the assigned parallel port.
When printing from an MS-DOS program running in Windows, this message appears: "There was an error writing to LPT1: for the printer (name of a printer, unknown, or it is blank): Cannot access a port... "
The Spool MS-DOS Print Jobs check box may be selected for other printer drivers on the computer.
On the Windows 95 or 98 Desktop, click the My Compute r icon and double-click the Printers icon.
  1. Double-click the icon for the first printer (unless it is the HP LaserJet 3200 or 3300mfp driver).

  2. Click the Details tab.

  3. If there is a Port Settings button, click it. In the dialog box that opens, clear the Spool MS-DOS Print Jobs checkbox. Then, click the OK button.
    NOTE: If there is no Port Settings button, or clicking it does not open a dialog box, then that printer is not interfering.
  4. Click the OK button to close the current printer driver. Repeat the procedure for all other printers on the computer except for the product.

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