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Z5400 79:04 error

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HP Z5400

For the last year we have had issues with our Z5400 plotter with error code 79:04. We have called our tech support person (outside company) for assistance and they have tried everything including replacing the mother board and reseating the formatter.


  • The firmware is up to date:  CH_06_06_00.1
  • The plotter isn't used that much (on average 6ft/day with a 36" roll) and should not be needing replacement.
  • Tech support is costing us a fortune as is replacing parts
  • We shut down and restart every time the error code pops up. Once the plotter reboots it works for all print jobs stored in the plotter hard drive but we get the same error message if we send a new project to be printed.
  • The plotter is plugged in and connected to our network

We will try all options you think of!

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If it hasn't been tried yet, take the plotter off the network, and connect a laptop directly to the plotter via the network jack. From there you may be able to access the plotter via EWS and check for more definitive error codes (79:04 is very generic).

Try sending a print job from the laptop. If it works, you can be reasonably assured that the problem lies on the network or with the application.

If it doesn't work, or if the error code comes back when connected directly with the laptop, there is a remote chance there is a problem with the network portion of the formatter. You said that the formatter was reseated but not replaced.

If possible, move the plotter to a different location, preferably another room that is likely to be on a different part of the network, and try a print job. It may or may not prove anything, but if it suddenly works, get IT in the loop, perhaps there is a problem with the switch/port it was attached to in the original location.

What are the lights on the formatter doing? There are probably three LEDs that are either on, off, or flashing. Sometimes these can point to a specific system failure.

Since you have nothing to lose, try this. Remove the ink cartridges, the media, the network cable, and the printheads, simulating a machine right out of the box. Power up and follow the prompts to install the above. If there is a specific hardware problem that is being masked by the 79 error, it might show up here. Plug the network cable in last. Wait a few minutes to see if the error returns. If it doesn't try a print job and see what happens.

Hopefully it's not a bad formatter, they are pretty pricey. If your support provider is an HP partner, they should be able to communicate with HP tech support directly and get some focused assistance. Perhaps if there is an HP employee monitoring this forum, s/he can offer some suggestions.

Good luck!
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Thanks for all of the great suggestions! We are going to work through all of these next week and see where we end up. We really appreciate your help.

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