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HP Embedded Jetdirect J7949E - How to Use Embedded Network Diagnostics with Firmware v.33.xx

The Need for Diagnostics

In the past and currently, HP Jetdirect (hereafter: Jetdirect) served as a network protocol off-load engine. Essentially, Jetdirect is responsible for converting network protocol information into data that can be delivered to the printer. When Jetdirect was initially developed, network printing was new and relatively unpopular. Now, almost every printer is placed on the network. In addition, printers have gained functionality and have become Multi-Function (MFPs). This additional functionality basically demands a network placement. Refer to Figure to the figure below, "EIO Jetdirect with Printer/MFP," for a pictorial view of the separate Jetdirect product providing network capability.

Figure 1: EIO Jetdirect with Printer/MFP

Networking was added to the Printing and Imaging product though a separate hardware platform. As the popularity of networking Printing and Imaging devices increased, it made more sense to integrate the networking into the existing hardware of the Printing and Imaging product rather than duplicate processing power, RAM, and FLASH memory. Refer to the Figure "Embedded Architecture diagram". Unfortunately, these gains in efficiency were had at the loss of some support flexibility. In the past, when troubleshooting networking problems, a customer could simply move an EIO card from one printer to another. If the problem followed the EIO card, one could begin focusing in on a network configuration problem or an EIO hardware/firmware problem. If the problem stayed with the original printer, one could begin focusing on network cabling, print spooling, or printer configuration. With Embedded Networking, this troubleshooting flexibility was lost.


Embedded Network Diagnostics Architecture

In an effort to regain some of the flexibility that was lost when moving from EIO to embedded, the Embedded Jetdirect product designed on board diagnostics that can help isolate some types of problems. In effect, the goal of Embedded Network Diagnostics is to answer the following question: Is the problem internal to the printer/MFP or is the problem external to the printer/MFP?

When the Diagnostics that reside in the Embedded Jetdirect firmware are executed, the Embedded Jetdirect firmware acts like several networking clients. These pseudo-clients are designed to stress the printer/MFP firmware and hardware as well as the Embedded Jetdirect functionality as a whole.

Figure 2: Embedded Architecture Diagram

One of the first things that happen during the execution of the Embedded Network Diagnostics is that the any traffic to/from the external LAN is disabled. This prevents the external network from influencing the Diagnostic results. It also prevents the product from being used normally over the network. Therefore, it is important to execute the Embedded Network Diagnostics when productivity won’t be impacted - in the evening or on the weekend for example.

Once the external LAN has been eliminated as a potential source of problems, the functionality of the diagnostics can now be determined. There are four independent functions associated with the Embedded Network Diagnostics: (1) HTTP Test, (2) SNMP Test, (3) Data Integrity Test, and (4) LAN HW Test. Each of these modules is shown in the Figure "Embedded Network Diagnostics".

Figure 3: Embedded Network Diagnostics


The HTTP test has the Embedded Jetdirect firmware simulating several different browsers that are making requests of the Embedded Web Server in printer firmware. These requests stress the embedded web server and generate a lot of unidirectional stream traffic between the Embedded Web Server and the Embedded Jetdirect firmware.



The SNMP Test has the Embedded Jetdirect firmware simulating several different network management stations making requests of the various MIBs implemented on the device. These requests result in a lot of bidirectional datagram traffic between the Embedded Jetdirect firmware and the printer/MFP firmware.


Data Integrity Test

The Data Integrity Test sends PostScript print jobs from the Embedded Jetdirect firmware to the printer/MFP. These special PostScript print jobs do not print any pages. Instead, they perform self-verifying checks on the data associated with the PostScript program. These print jobs generate a lot of unidirectional stream traffic from the Embedded Jetdirect to the printer/MFP.



Although the Embedded Jetdirect firmware uses the processor, memory, and FLASH of the printer, there are still components associated with the external LAN connection. When the LAN HW Test is executed, these components are placed in loopback mode and multicast ping requests are sent to verify the HW components are sending and receiving data correctly.



Embedded Network Diagnostics Menu Structure

By default, Embedded Network Diagnostics are of course disabled. It is recommended that execution of these diagnostics be under the advice of an HP Customer Care Agent. However, there are times when it may be useful for a customer to execute them on their own.

If you are simply troubleshooting network communication (for example, using the tool ‘ping’), the Embedded Network Diagnostics provides the capability to execute a ping to another host. The execution of the ping can be done via the Control Panel of the printer or via the Embedded Web Server of the printer by going to through the menu structure. In short, if the problem is simple network communication, the ‘ping’ tool is useful. However, it is not advisable to use the Embedded Network Diagnostic Tests (e.g., HTTP Test, SNMP Test, etc…) to troubleshoot this type of problem.

If you are having problems with random Service Errors on the printer for instance, then it isn’t clear whether or not the problem is external or internal. Here is a likely scenario where the Embedded Network Diagnostics could come in handy.

NOTE: The following Embedded Web Server screen shots are for explanation purposes only. It is not recommended that the Embedded Network Diagnostics are executed remotely because their execution will result in the external network being disallowed. This restriction will then in turn prevent the browser from communicating with the printer.

By using the Embedded Web Server, we can quickly see where the embedded Diagnostics are located and what parameters can be utilized. Refer to the figure below titled "Settings."

Figure 4: Settings

Here we can see what the control panel menu structure looks like. The Embedded Network Diagnostics are located under the Embedded Jetdirect Menu. To get to the Embedded Jetdirect Menu, you must first go to "CONFIGURE DEVICE", then to "I/O", then to the "Embedded Jetdirect Menu".

Refer to the figure "Embedded Network Diagnostic Parameters."

Figure 5: Embedded Network Diagnostic Parameters

Here we can see that each Embedded Network Diagnostic module has its own ON/OFF switch. In other words, you can determine which modules that you want to be active during a given execution. There is also the Execution Time parameter. In other words, how long do you want the Embedded Network Diagnostics to run? Keep in mind that the entire time the Embedded Network Diagnostics are running the printer/MFP will be unavailable for use. HP does not recommend running the Embedded Network Diagnostics in the V.33.10 firmware release longer than 24 hours. Once all the parameters have been specified, the Embedded Network Diagnostics can be executed by setting the Execute parameter to "YES" and clicking 'Apply'. As a reminder, if the Embedded Network Diagnostic is run from the browser, the browser will lose connectivity to the printer.


Embedded Network Diagnostics Execution Process

Once you have decided to run the Embedded Network Diagnostics, there are a couple of preliminary steps that should be followed. First, make sure that a network cable is plugged in to the printer/MFP formatter and that there is a valid Link established with the switch or the hub. Refer to the figure "LEDs."

There are two LEDs by the LAN connector on Embedded Jetdirect indicate the LAN speed and valid Link. Be sure the LAN cable is connected and one of these LEDs is on before executing the Embedded Network Diagnostics.

Figure 6: LEDs

Refer to the figure "Configuration Page for 802.1X." It is important that 802.1X be disabled before running the Embedded Network Diagnostics. By printing a configuration page, 802.1X status can be determined. NOT SPECIFIED indicates it is disabled.

Figure 7: Configuration Page for 802.1X

Once we have made sure that the LAN cable is attached and valid link has been established and that 802.1X is not enabled, we can go to the control panel to start the Embedded Network Diagnostics. The following screen shots have been taken from a LaserJet 4350 printer.

  1. The figure below, "Control Panel" shows the main screen of the HP LaserJet 4350. From here, press the green button to get to the menu structure.

    Figure 8: Control Panel

  2. Pressing the green button takes us to the MENUS where we want to scroll down to CONFIGURE DEVICE. Refer to figure "Configure Device."

    Figure 9: Configure Device

  3. Pressing the green button again leads us to the submenus of CONFIGURE DEVICE. The figure below shows us the submenu I/O is the one we want to select.

    Figure 10: I/O

  4. Pressing the green button again, we get to the I/O submenu. At this point, we can highlight the Embedded Jetdirect Menu as shown.

    Figure 11: Embedded Jetdirect Menu

  5. Pressing the green button again leads us to the Embedded Jetdirect submenu. Here we will scroll down and select Diagnostics.

    Figure 12: Diagnostics

  6. Here in the DIAGNOSTICS submenu, we can select EMBEDDED TESTS.

    Figure 13: Embedded Tests

  7. Under the EMBEDDED TESTS, we have the individual modules that we can enable or disable. Let’s highlight the LAN HW TEST as shown.

    Figure 14: LAN HW Tests

  8. After we press the green button, we then want to enable the LAN HW TEST. This procedure only enables the LAN HW TEST for execution.

    Figure 15: LAN HW Test Enable

    We will then go through the same procedure for the HTTP TEST, SNMP TEST, and DATA PATH TEST

    NOTE: The screen shots for these procedures are not shown, but are similar to the LAN HW Test.

    Now that we have enabled our Embedded Network Diagnostic modules, we can select the amount of time we want the Diagnostics to run.

  9. Select the EXECUTION TIME [H] as shown, and then press the green button.

    Figure 16: Execution Time

  10. We will then get a screen as shown in the figure below. Now we can specify the number of hours we would like the Diagnostic to run. Here we have chosen 1 hour.

    Figure 17: Hours

    At this point, we have only enabled Embedded Network Diagnostics and we have not actually executed them. Once we decide to execute them, the printer/MFP will not be responsive to network based requests. Please plan carefully.

  11. Scrolling down further to EXECUTE, we can then press the green button.

    Figure 18: Execute

  12. Selecting YES will start the Embedded Network Diagnostics.

    Figure 19: Execute/Yes

    NOTE: If you have made a mistake at this point and do not want to wait for the execution time of the Embedded Network Diagnostics to complete, simply power down and then power up the Printer/MFP.
  13. There are two ways to tell if the Embedded Network Diagnostics are running. First, you can simply go into the Embedded Jetdirect menu via the control panel and if you receive the status LAN TEST RUNNING, then you know the Embedded Diagnostics are still running. An alternative, is to get a configuration page from the control panel (e.g., INFORMATION, Submenu = PRINT CONFIGURATION PAGE) and look at the TCP/IP Status for the Embedded Jetdirect card. If it indicates LAN TEST RUNNING, then you know the Embedded Network Diagnostics are still running.

    Figure 20: LAN Test Running

    Figure 21: Configuration Page

  14. At the end of the Execution Time, an EMBEDDED NETWORK STATISTICS page will be printed indicating the results. If there are no failures, then this indicates that the Embedded Network Diagnostics did not find any problems internally. If the printer reports a service error or has extensive failures reported on the EMBEDDED NETWORK STATISTICS page, please consult with HP Customer Care.

    Figure 22: Embedded Network Statistics


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