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  1. #1
    Platinum Lounger
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    What I learnt talking to an HP techie for 45 mins

    The subject should really have been: <big>When is the same model printer not the same printer?</big> but it didn't fit.

    To explain further. Our HP DeskJet 990Cxi started making a noise like a coffee grinder, so we invoked our three-year Support Pack to get a replacement unit delivered.

    You'd think that all we had to do was remove the failing unit and replace it by the new unit, and all would be well? Well, it wasn't. When the PC was powered up, the printer was shown as offline. Changing it to online didn't help. It would print its standard test page from the printer, but it didn't seem to want to talk to the (Windows XP Pro) PC down the USB cable.

    Cutting a long story short, after 45 minutes on the phone and three HP support staff later, the second techie said that:
    it was necessary to uninstall and reinstall the printer software because some details of the old
    printer (like, presumably, serial number?) were written to the hard disk, and so a replacement
    printer of exactly the same type/model/etc would NOT work without a driver/software reinstall
    . <img src=/S/bwaaah.gif border=0 alt=bwaaah width=123 height=15>

    Did any of you chaps/ms-chaps know this???
    <font face="Script MT Bold"><font color=blue><big><big>John</big></big></font color=blue></font face=script>

    Ita, esto, quidcumque...

  2. #2
    5 Star Lounger
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    Re: What I learnt talking to an HP techie for 45 mins

    HP Technical support has never been at the top of my list of helpful support groups. When I bought my first HP all-in-one (printer, scanner, fax, photocopy) it did everything, except scan. I spent weeks back and forth trying to get something to work - and their solution (wait for it) was always delete the drivers and re-install. I must have done that 16 billions times (ok - I exagerate) to no avail. One day someone suggested I check for new drivers and ... Nice that it works now but <img src=/S/bwaaah.gif border=0 alt=bwaaah width=123 height=15>

  3. #3
    4 Star Lounger
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    Re: What I learnt talking to an HP techie for 45 mins

    My last conversation with HP support, over a network printer that wouldn't accept print requests, led to being advised to reinstall the printer using generic windows drivers and a standard TCP/IP port, in place of the existing latest HP drivers and HP TCP/IP port - go figure! This seemed to work, but left me with the prospect of going round to the twenty or so users for whom that was the default printer, uninstalling and reinstalling the printer. <img src=/S/hairout.gif border=0 alt=hairout width=31 height=23>

    In fact, all it took was reconfiguring the existing printer setup at the print server to use the new TCP/IP port. All the HP person would say was that sometimes the prnter driver goes wrong: very impressive from a large company like HP. <img src=/S/clapping.gif border=0 alt=clapping width=19 height=23> in any case, the problem was clearly actually with the port. Just glad I thought to give it a try!
    We never really grow up, we only learn how to act in public.

  4. #4
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    Re: What I learnt talking to an HP techie for 45 mins

    The two people have replied so far (thanks, chaps!) have gone down a different route from the one I was hoping. Most technical help-line stories relate to the incompetence of the technicians, the length of time spent waiting for the techie, or talking to the techie. From my point of view this was peripheral (aargh! - pun alert!) to what I was intending.

    I was more interested to know whether anyone was aware that installation of (some? all?) HP printer software and drivers apparently keeps information about the printer serial number (anything else?) on the hard disk of the PC, not just the model number, features, etc, that you would expect.
    <font face="Script MT Bold"><font color=blue><big><big>John</big></big></font color=blue></font face=script>

    Ita, esto, quidcumque...

  5. #5
    Plutonium Lounger
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    Re: What I learnt talking to an HP techie for 45 mins

    John,

    I don't believe a word of it.

    Deinstalling and reinstalling printer drivers can often clear strange printer problems, but I just don't believe that any printer vendor intentionally writes software that can't deal with routine hardware replacement. I have definitely replaced many HP printers over the years without bumping into this problem.

    regards,

    StuartR

  6. #6
    Super Moderator jscher2000's Avatar
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    Re: What I learnt talking to an HP techie for 45 mins

    In the distant past, we were reconfiguring our network print services and had to choose between addressing a LaserJet by its IP address or by its an identifying number recognized by the HP server software, which was a short alphanumeric string that seems somewhat akin to a MAC address for an Ethernet interface. Those strings appeared to be unique.

    On a "directly attached" printer, neither would seem to be relevant, but it's possible that the tech was confusing two different situations.

  7. #7
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    Re: What I learnt talking to an HP techie for 45 mins

    <hr>I don't believe a word of it. <hr>
    Stuart

    I admit it surprised me too, but the reality was that
    before the reinstallation of the software the printer didn't get data from the PC and thus didn't work
    after the reinstallation of the software the printer worked perfectly [* but see final para]!

    One of the HP techies (can't remember which) said that it was their standard practice to ask customers to reinstall the software/drivers when a printer was replaced. [Where the h*ll did I put the CD that came with the printer x years ago?]

    That advice might resemble the standard advice to "do a reboot"!

    * You may not believe it (I didn't!) but there is a minor mechanical problem with the replacement printer which means that we need a replacement replacement printer, so I will find out whether a second reinstallation of the software is needed for this printer. Watch this thread!
    <font face="Script MT Bold"><font color=blue><big><big>John</big></big></font color=blue></font face=script>

    Ita, esto, quidcumque...

  8. #8
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    Re: What I learnt talking to an HP techie for 45 mins

    Jefferson

    Yes, I know what you mean, having recently been playing with HP's rather clunky Web JetAdmin 7.2 (or is it 7.0?). But, as you say, it's highly unlikely to be relevant to a USB-attached printer on an XP Pro box.

    For all my computing career I've been plagued by the inanities of printers and their software, going back to the IBM 1403 line printer (print train had limited numbers of characters,
    <font face="Script MT Bold"><font color=blue><big><big>John</big></big></font color=blue></font face=script>

    Ita, esto, quidcumque...

  9. #9
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    Re: What I learnt talking to an HP techie for 45 mins

    . . . which brings up another issue: the outrageous cost of replacement ink cartridges vs. the initial cost of the printer. I have friends who scrap the printer (nothing fancy--just a basic HP inkjet) when the ink runs out. Depending on their shopping prowess, they can usually do better buying a new printer rather than the HP cartridges.

  10. #10
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    Re: What I learnt talking to an HP techie for 45 mins

    Binning the (cheap, and maybe nasty) inkjet printer when the ink cartridges run out is a good financial (if not ecological) strategy -- but only for cheap printers.

    If you need a high quality, fast, duplex, colour printer then you just have to keep buying the cartridges, be they ink or (colour laserjet) toner.

    Making the printer cheap and the cartridges expensive seems to be the current marketing strategy of all computer printer manufacturers. Accountants love this because they worry a lot about the capital (printer) costs but less so about the ongoing maintenance (cartridge) costs.
    <font face="Script MT Bold"><font color=blue><big><big>John</big></big></font color=blue></font face=script>

    Ita, esto, quidcumque...

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