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HP Designjet 5000 Series Printers - Firmware History


The following document is the complete history of the HP Designjet 5000 system software (firmware). Each of the releases listed below are complete with the list and the explanation of the fixes. Also included is the added functionality of each release.

Remember upgrade files are available for the designjet online at:
List of system software/firmware releases for 5000 series (from newer to older):
  • A.02.17
  • A.02.16
  • A.02.12
  • A.02.10
  • A.02.08
  • A.02.07
  • A.02.05 (first UV compatible firmware)
  • A.01.14
  • A.02.04 (Do not use!! - upgrade ASAP)
  • A.01.12
  • A.01.11
  • A.01.10

Remember that each firmware release is a superset of the previous one. This means, for example, that all the improvements done in the A.01.14 will be included in the A.02.05 and so on.

System software (firmware) version: A.02.17

New functionality

  • Extend the printhead warranty from 700 ml to 1000 ml
  • Media length tracking pattern shows the “HP invent” logo

System software fixes

  • The printer shows a continuable error when printing the media length-tracking pattern and no media is loaded. Previously, the printer was printing on the center platen.

  • When additional memory is installed in the printer, extra memory is allocated to the writing system in order to print complicated images.

  • Form Feed and Cut does not enable the cutter when TUR (Take Up Reel) is on.

  • Downloaded media profiles from the Web will not be lost when changing ink types.

  • Media length is saved in memory on every print (previously it was saved only when the printer was set to standby).

  • When a new PS (PostScript) font was uploaded to the printer, the printer was displaying a system error (00F300 02FA0D9F) because it was not able to re-initialize. Now it shows a message PostScript needs to restart printer informing the user that the printer has to be turned off, then on.

  • When the printer asks to unload the roll and then press Enter, a new message Please remove the media completely appears during media unloading. The reason for this new message is that, with some media types (such as Canvas), when the cutter is disabled, nothing happens after pressing Enter. It may seem that the printer has hung up, but the printer is waiting for the customer to unload the rest of the roll manually.


System software (firmware) version: A.02.16

New functionality

  • New media length option.

    There is a new option of 225 feet whenever the customer has to select the roll media length.

  • Tubes ERROM backup.

    There has been a growing number of messages WARNING/Incorrect type of Tubes System/Switch power off related with a corruption of the EEROM included in the tubes assembly.

    This EEROM contains, among other information, the type of ink that those tubes can accept. Therefore, if it is corrupted, the printer cannot decide which type of ink tubes have been installed, showing the above mentioned message. In order to avoid this failure, this firmware will create a backup of the tubes EEROM into the HDD (one for the dye tubes and one for the UV tubes). Then, if the printer detects at start-up that the tubes EEROM is corrupted, it can recover the values from the HDD and continue working.

    The tubes EEROM backup file is refreshed in the following situations:
    • Whenever the main backup is performed from the service menu.
    • Whenever the ink tubes are removed following the front panel procedure.
    • Every 20 prints.
    The tubes EEROM backup is recovered in the following situations:
    • Whenever the main restore is performed from the service menu.
    • When initializing the printer and the internal ink tubes EEROM check function returns an error and the tubes are properly connected to the printer (the FW restores the backup and then retries checking the ink tubes EEROM).

System software fixes

  • AppleTalk printer name deleted at power up with the previous firmware release. The AppleTalk name defined by the customer was deleted every time the printer was rebooted. Therefore, the printer was always showing designjet 5000ps_1 instead of the name defined by the user.

  • There were some applications (among them, QuarkExpress) that were sending the Pantone colors in a special way, which was not correctly interpreted by the printer. As a result, the Pantone color was completely wrong. This problem was solved by a fix in the postscript interpreter.

  • Some RTL library’s procedures have been modified in order to make the printer able to process direct by plane RTL data format up to 24 bits per pixel as it was requested by some ISV Developers (It was able to process up to 8 bits per pixel only).

  • Add new functionality into the CLC algorithms to accept the beta media profiles version 36. These new beta profiles have been created in order to reduce the grey neutrality issue detected by several customers. The problem was detected only on HW Coated and Photo Imaging Gloss (both dye inks). Therefore, the fix will only be visible with the combination: firmware v A.02.16 plus (+) attached beta media profiles.
    • HP_HWCoatedPaperBeta_7_v36.pdw
    • HP_PhotoImgGlossBeta_5_v36.pdw

    The firmware version A.02.16 in combination with the default preloaded media profiles (version 35) will not use this new functionality in order to avoid backwards compatibility issues.

  • This new firmware includes a new PS code that solves a problem that affect the colors defined through an indexed colormap. The problem was that ink emulations were not applied to colors defined through an indexed colormap causing color mismatches. This was a bug detected by the ISV Developers and no customer complains have been detected.


System software (firmware) version: A.02.12

New functionality
  • New Accessories submenu in the Device Setup menu

    There is a new Accessories submenu in the Device Setup menu that substitutes the TUR submenu (we have changed that from the previous firmware release where accessories was an option, not a menu).

    This new submenu includes two options:
    • TUR
    • Other accessories

    These two options are incompatible. If TUR is set to Yes, the Other accessories option will be disabled. When the customer is setting the Other accessories option to Yes, the printer must be restarted to enter in a new mode that allows the third-party accessory to communicate with the printer through the serial port (integrated in the parallel port).

  • New PS fonts print into the Demo menu only in PS printers

    HP has recovered this PS fonts print from the CP and the 1000 series that prints a sample of the internal postscript fonts.

  • Fixed hard disk drive sizes

    As the market evolves, the sizes of the HDD increases, so with time you will see different HDD sizes working with the HP Designjet 5000. The writing system is not using all the HDD but the initial defined sizes. This is 5 GB (4884 MB) for the RTL printer and 20 GB (19609 MB) for the Postscript printer.

    In order to avoid customer complaints (they could have two printers with different HDD sizes) HP has fixed the HDD sizes reported by the printer to the above sizes, independently of the real size.

    This applies to the HDD sizes shown in the current config print, the service print, the information shown inside the statistics menu, and the initialization information.

System software fixes

  • Garbage showing the front panel instead of incorrect type of tubes system message

    The sentences are repositioned to be shown correctly.

  • Inked area (still) not working with some Postscript files

    This bug was supposed to be fixed with the firmware A.02.10, but HP detected some cases were it was still failing. The writing system was fine tuned in order to print fine those cases.

  • Incorrect AppleTalk printer name

    The firmware was not assigning correctly the AppleTalk printer name showing the general network card name (HP Peripheral). With this fix, the name assigned will be HP Designjet 5000ps or HP Designjet 5000 depending on the model.

  • Incorrect number of copies

    The management from the front panel of the number of copies of a job with multiple pages inside is incorrect. If you reprint it from the front panel, you get an incorrect number of copies. If afterwards you access to the copies feature, your printer does not respond and you must reboot it.

  • PG1 HP-GL\2 command not working

    This command should create an empty page. The problem was due to the fact that there was nothing in firmware that process the case of nothing-to-be –printed when changing the status in the writing system.

  • 42-inch printer hangs printing high resolution prints

    Some high-resolution prints (in this case, at 1200dpi creating a 12 GB file) hangs the 42-inch printer with the front panel showing printing message. The problem was due to an insufficient writing system partition memory for large prints. The change consisted in adding 5 Mbytes to the writing system partition for the 42-inch printer.

  • 0F0100 037C02C2 when using a third-party RIP application. Varware dry time

    The varware dry time to be applied at every pass it was failing. The related problems were system errors and no pass dry time.

  • Printer hang with 740-inch (or longer) Varware prints

    This was happening because there was an overflow when converting print height to writing system units. The units converting process consists in a multiply and a divide operations here when multiply two 32 bits values, the result does not fit in 32 bit and becomes truncated. Fix consists in use double variables.


System software (firmware) version: A.02.10

New functionality

  • RTL backwards compatibility

    The printer will correctly print rtl files generated with earlier printer driver versions (e.g. 750, 1050, CP, etc).

  • Varware Dry time

    The drytime setting available in the VARWARE Plus documentation was not implemented in the previous firmware code, but is now included in this version.

  • Detection of semi-transparent media

    There are available in the market semi-transparent media types that are detected correctly by the 1000 series during the media loading process. The majority of those media type were not detected by the 5000 series, causing many customer complaints. With this new firmware, HP has relaxed the limits between the black reference and the white level of the media, allowing those media types to be loaded.

  • Problems upgrading the firmware with media loaded

    There have been some problems detected with media profiles when the firmware upgrade is done with media loaded. Now when the upgrade process is started, the user will be asked to unload the media.

  • New Accessories option for future use

    HP has added a new Accessories option inside Device Setup menu in order to be able to use possible accessories (multiroll, duplexer, etc) in the future. By default, this option is set to Off. If you enable it, the TUR options will not be available anymore.

System software fixes

  • 31mm bottom margin when sending rtl files with unknown length and inked area defined by PJL command (it should be 7mm)

    The error was due to an incorrect computation at the end of the print. The fix is not completed. The bottom margin (again under the described circumstances) may vary from 6.3mm to 9mm depending on the print. But, with the same print, the bottom margin will never change. NOTE: HP is still investigating the possibilities of completely fixing this problem. HP will inform you on the next firmware release.

  • Inked area setting on the front panel was not working correctly with Postscript file
  • RGB ink emulation not working correctly from the front panel

    The ink emulation RGB configurable in FP menu was not correctly saved in the EEROM. For this reason when the user powered off the printer, the setting of this option could be lost.

  • System error 0F0200 01C7037D when using PosterShop or Wasatch RIPs
  • Error on preventive maintenance counters

    The service config plot does not report the correct carriage cycles and tubes cycles. Tubes cycles counter had two times carriage cycles and carriage cycles warning threshold is 2M instead of 6.5M. The change consists in a modification of the threshold (6.5M).

    The tubes cycles counter remains counting two times the carriage cycles but the internal trigger of the maintenance message and the printout is divided by two (to keep backward compatible with the previous versions).

  • Printhead count error in the service config print

    Consumed printheads remained unchanged in the service config print when a new printhead is inserted. This error has been fixed.

  • Printer was hanging while printing HUGE 60-inch files

    Some 60-inch prints hang the printer with FP display message Printing. The problem was due to an insufficient writing system partition memory. The change consisted in adding 5Mbytes to the writing system partition for the 60-inch machine configuration.

  • System error 0F0200 01E603D2 related with the use of the parallel port

    A workaround has been developed for this system error. It should reduce the frequency of the system error to the minimum, but the system error may still appear from time to time.

  • The limiting performance front panel message was not correctly refreshed

    The limiting performance message due to the number of nozzles out was not correctly refreshed (suppressed) when the problem was solved.


System software (firmware) version: A.02.08

New functionality

No new functionality added in this release

System software fixes

  • The printer is slowing down while printing

    If the printer has the A.01.14 or later firmware releases, the carriage moves slower when the printer is accepting more and more prints. This is not happening with all the prints, but it is accumulative. On previous firmware releases, if the printer is powered off and on, the problem disappears. The A.02.08 fixes this strange behavior.

  • Thin black lines are appearing randomly along the printouts (only in postscript files)

    When printing postscript files, sometimes the printer was appearing printing thin black lines that were not part of the original file. It is a random problem, if the customer re-sends the same image, usually the lines will not appear.

  • System error FFFFFFFF 012A02E4

    This system error was appearing when the first problem (“The printer is slowing down while printing”) was accumulating too many delays.


System software (firmware) version: A.02.07

New functionality

  • System error message changed - A big number of system errors reported to the call center are sporadic system errors that will disappear if the customer is switching off and on the printer. In order to reinforce this fact, HP has changed the front panel message reported by the printer in case of a system error.

  • Reduced advance in the Move media option linked with the TUR - The advances done by the printer, using the up/down keys once the TUR is loaded, has been reduced from 10mm per key hit to 4mm. This was done to be more precise on the positioning of the media.

System software fixes

  • System error

    In some situations, a certain level of abnormal air leakage may occur causing the APS to oscillate around a steady value. In this situation and with a supply near to end of its life (less than 70cc), an internal pressure checking in the firmware triggers this system error.

  • Erroneous options in the front panel menu print
    There were two errors inside the front panel menu print:
    1. The option Printer Setup menu, utilities, replace ink system must be in white color as the option is available with the short menu.
    2. Inside the print, HP has available the option Printer Setup menu, Device Setup, Lang.,HP-GL/2, CALS/G4 when the 5000 series does not support CALS/G4 language.
  • IO timeout setting lost when switching printer off and on
  • Incorrect order in the media removal inside the ink replacement process

    During the ink replacement process, the printer asks for the removal of the ink consumables, and later on for the removal of the media. The problem was that if the track media length is enabled and the media length known, the printer was not able to printer the media length patterns, as there were no printheads present. This new firmware release asks the customer to unload the media before asking for the ink consumable removal.

  • TUR loaded option change failure

    Whenever the Media menu, TUR loaded option is changed, if the customer is changing its status from Off to On, the Printer Setup Menu > Device setup > Reduced Margins” option does not appear and the printer is not asking the customer to move the media as it should be.

  • Form Feed and cut does not work if cutter is disabled

    The “Media menu > Form Feed & Cut” option does not cut if the cutter is disabled inside “Printer Setup Menu > Device setup Media menu > Cutter =OFF”

  • Actuator arm (in the tensioner) broken

    The actuator arm could be engaged by chance by the cutter and brake it. This accidental engagement can also force a shutdown before the breakage is produced. This problem can happen in 2 situations: when deactivating the cutter after performing a media cut, and looking for the printer’s length while initializing. To avoid these situations it has been added a speed movement at low speed forcing a shutdown before breakage.

  • Problems after installing brand new HP no83 (UV) printheads
    When inserting a brand new printhead into a HP Designjet 5000, the printer may report several problems:
    1. FrequentRecovering Y printhead message

    2. (0100) Calibration Error. PressENTER to continue” message during the printhead alignment

    3. (2320) RECOVER message when checking the printheads status

    For further information on these fixes, refer to the newsletter “Problems after installing brand new HP no 83 (UV) printheads.
  • Testing Printheads forever

    When you have selected Printer Setup Menu, Page Format, Size = Inked area and a RIP application is used, the front Panel may stay in “Testing Printheads” forever without starting to print.

  • Problems printing a grading from Illustrator v9

    When trying to print a gradient from Illustrator version 9, the results obtained were not as predicted.

  • Printer starts calibrations before the end of the media loading process
  • During the media loading, if a customer waits for about 2 minutes in the step where she/he has to define the media length, this step is bypassed and the calibrations will start as if the media load process was finished. This was happening because the media load process has a timeout, but the option in Front Panel menu does not have it.
  • 3M changeable media not appearing as a selection during the media loading process

    The media profile for 3M changeable Media does not succeed with the printer’s integrity check due to an incorrect temperature for the Black printhead. As the media was not recognized correctly, it was not shown in the front panel.

  • New Durable Glossy UV / Max Quality print mode

    The print mode for the durable Glossy in MaxQuality was modified, increasing the number of passes from 10 to 12. This change was done in order to improve the behavior in terms of banding but it will have an impact, due to the decrease in throughput in about 20 % of the printing time (14-min versus 12-minutes)

Fixes done in the firmware downloader application

  • Downloader language selection is not working correctly - The download application does not take into account the language selected at the beginning of the upgrade. This bug only exists for Windows and if the Operating System Regional Settings are different from the selected language.

  • Communication problems downloading the firmware though 10BaseT from MAC - When an upgrade is done with 10BaseT and MAC systems using AppleTalk (8.6 or 9.0), it can appear that a communications problem has occurred. This error will not allow the upgrade to succeed. This problem does not occur on the Windows platforms


System Software (firmware) Version: A.02.05

New Functionality

  • UV Inks functionality - This firmware allows the ink tubes replacement and has the correct writing system to print correctly with the UV inks.

System software fixes

  • Error hiding in Postscript - the first swaths of the printout were done without applying error hiding.

  • Print on platen without media loaded - removed the issue that allowed the printer to print without media.

  • Varware temperature for RIP Developer - there was a bug with the firing temperatures for RIPs that were stopping them from printing with UV INKS.


System Software (firmware) Version: A.01.14

New functionality

  • Automatic tracking of remaining media length - this improves the media loading experience, as the printer detects the remaining media length automatically and therefore saves you having to use the front panel.

  • Export of ‘accounting’ data to Microsoft® Excel® spreadsheet - this lets you to make cost calculations automatically, based on the cost of your consumables.

  • Remote front panel through internal WebAccess - this lets you configure the printer remotely from your computer, without using the front panel.

  • Online help in WebAccess pages - this gives you your manuals online, letting you do automatic searches without using printed manuals.

  • ‘Percentage job completed’ for PostScript® files - this tells you when the printer will finish processing and start printing.

  • Reduced margins option - this lets you save media when printing in continuous mode.

System software fixes

  • Print cancelled when an electrical failure (ink short) was detected on any printhead
  • Several internal problems when cancelling the disk manager library
  • Job manager cancelling in pending and preparing states cancel process priority data was lost is a user error instead of a system one
  • After an internal cancel it was not possible to print anything
  • When the media end of zone is detected, advance and printing go on until the advance is less than the media available in end of zone. When this condition is no longer exist, the job is cancelled (thanks to internal cancel) and status on the Front Panel changed from printing to Load media for current job. The job is still in the queue and it will re-plot when the media is loaded (job is not lost). If you want to suppress it in the queue it's possible from the Front Panel menu / Queue Management.
  • Do the printhead alignment chassis independently to avoid some misalignment problems (mainly between cyan and yellow) by extending the PAD alignment pattern one swath (from 4 to 5).

  • Add some fault tolerance to nozzles out to the alignment process:
    • Change current threshold to activate calibration error 0100 because of nozzles out from 6 to 54 nozzles out.
    • Interpolate missing measurement as long as we have at least one value per quadrant.
    • Add an alignment anti-saturation algorithm.
  • The printhead alignment will be triggered just after a printhead REPLACEMENT, not a printhead reinsertion.

  • Fixed fffffffff 02b31b0 at the beginning of the printhead alignment.

  • When using the TUR apply always the error hiding algorithms on the first printed swath.

  • RTL and HP-GL/2 files CAN BE printed when sent by EtherTalk. Now, these languages are accepting the binary channel flag sent by the MAC correctly.

  • HP Designjet 5000 Series firmware upgrade code was stopping at 90% when using parallel port.

  • Now, the timeout option has been modified and is recognized correctly and acts accordingly.

  • When a media doesn't allow the color calibration (as Canvas), the color calibration doesn't appear on the front panel.

  • Make CLC available for RIP vendors

  • When building a nest, sometimes the printer was assigned a negative value to an internal counter that is displayed as problems on prints with EMPTY bands:
    • Wrong positioning of objects and

    • Wrong length of the prints this did only affect PS jobs.

  • Nest was broken with 11 jobs when up to 12 should be printed.
  • Improvements on the cleaners scanning process. It was not robust enough when there were no cleaners present (worst case, ink system replacement).

  • New printheads warranty check at the beginning and at the end of each print.

  • The printheads warranty check was based on the drops fired, now it has been changed to cc, so the ink density does not affect the limit. Each printhead has to be out of warranty after having used 700 ml of ink.

  • The image quality print was hanging the printer too frequently, disabling the cutter. Now, the image quality print has been split in different prints to avoid the dynamic changing of print mode in the middle of the print. Apart from that, if for some reason the cutter is disabled, the customer will be able to enable it from the front panel.

  • Fixed fffffffff 03450097 when opening the cover while cutting.

  • Add SE 0B0001 when, at start up, the printer thinks it is smaller than 42inch.

  • Fixed printer hung when selecting "Default menu" option on the front panel.

  • Fixed some hangs after ejecting cut sheet media types.

  • Fixed katakana usage print media names.

  • Correct constants to calculate the humidity function that controls the dry time.

  • Fixed missing vacuum when cutter was disabled.

  • Fixed some situations where the printer was hanging with a black front panel.


System Software (firmware) Version: A.02.04

This firmware version was planned to be the one that will provide the full UV support. Due to some HUGE last-minute bugs, it has been retired from production. Anyway, it is possible that a few printers were shipped with this code.

  • Possibility of printing on the platen without media.
  • Calibrations failing because too many nozzles outs. This was happening because a problem with the warming of the UV printheads.


System Software (firmware) Version: A.01.12

New functionality

  • No new functionality added in this release.

System software fixes

  • Certain circumstances have been fixed where a printhead can print without ink, causing what we call a DRY-FIRE. This problem destroys the printhead. This is caused because of an incorrect detection of the amount of ink remaining. The ink cartridge is declared "Empty" on the Front Panel too late.


System Software (firmware) Version: A.01.11

New functionality

  • No new functionality added in this release.

System software fixes

  • Fixed CRASHES the printer was experiencing when downloading JAPANESE FONTS to the printer's hard disk drive.


System Software (firmware) Version: A.01.10

Initial System Software (firmware) release


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