How to Troubleshoot An HP Printer

by Contributor

Hewlett-Packard, commonly referred to as HP, manufactures both computers, printers and a variety of other electronic devices. HP's printers are one of its most popular product lines. Unfortunately, HP printers occasionally have problems with printing. Learn how to troubleshoot an HP printer to resolve the HP printer errors and get it back in working order.

Clear any paper that may be jamming the HP printer's input and output points. Occasionally, paper can become jammed if used incorrectly or if the paper is a size that is not compatible with the HP printer. To troubleshoot the HP printer when it is jammed, open the printer's front door. Pull gently on the exposed end of any jammed paper, being careful not to tear or rip the paper. Roll the internal printer wheel in the HP printer to help push any paper pieces out of the HP printer. When the paper is removed, turn off the HP printer and turn it back on to clear the jammed paper errors.

Check that the HP printer is communicating correctly wit your computer hardware. This is a common cause of errors when trying to troubleshoot an HP printer. Print a test page to see if the printer itself is working and is simply not communicating with your computer. Press the "Go" button on the HP printer's front control panel while the HP printer's front screen reads "Ready." This will initiate a test print to help you troubleshoot the exact cause of the HP printer's issues.

Disconnect the parallel cable that connects the HP printer and the computer. Check the ends of each side of the parallel cable to check for any broken pieces or frayed wires that may be causing the errors in which you are troubleshooting the HP printer. Try using a new cable to isolate the printing problems and see if the HP printer errors are caused by the cable.

Attempt printing a smaller file to see if the HP printer is having problems storing data in its internal printer memory. Click the Start menu in the lower left-hand corner of your computer screen and click Settings.

Click Printers. This launches the Printers screen. Right-click the icon for the HP printer. A dialog window will appear. Click "Properties." Select "Finishing" in the top of the window. In Customer Settings, lower the quality of your printing and print a test page to see if this resolves the issue you are troubleshooting in the HP printer.

Visit HP's printer support website (link in the Resources section). In the "Support for your products" field, enter the specific make and model of your HP printer and click the arrow button to view specific, known errors for your HP printer and how to fix them.