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wfr5
Level 1
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Message 1 of 8
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Solved!

M402dn Service Error 79 after firmware upgrade

HP Recommended
LaserJet M402dn
Linux

Hello,

This will be a long post, but the background details will hopefully result in some useful responses from people who understand the problem:

 

My organization utilizes 14 networked laser printers for a specific business purpose, where when a particular event takes place, a sheet is sent to the two nearest printers. This happens tens of times a day, thousands of times a year. The printers are a mix of Lexmark and HP. Of those printers, we have two HP M402dn, and this post is in reference to both of the M402dn, but not any of the other printers.

 

The application which generates these print jobs is a Java application which sends its print jobs as PostScript. The application runs on a server maintained by the software vendor, and while I am not certain of this, I believe it runs Red Hat Linux. Some of the printers, including the two M402dn, are also printed to from Windows desktop computers using PCL drivers. The printers are only accessed via network (IPv4, static addresses, using the IP address and not the hostname, without using a print server).

 

The two M402dn were purchased in June 2019. They have been properly working with the PostScript application, but have experienced strange printing delays/pauses when printing from the Windows computers. As part of troubleshooting this, driver updates were attempted on the Windows computers, with no improvement. I then tried firmware updates on the printers.

 

The firmware update (old = 20170802, new = 20190712) did improve the Windows printing issue, but it introduced problem with PostScript printing from our critical application.

 

Now, occasionally, when the job is sent to the printer from the application, the printer screen illuminates, then half of the screen goes blank, then the screen shows "Service Error 79, turn off then on". The printer then power cycles itself as if it crashed. We see this for 2-5 print jobs at a time, then after that, the printer begins working just fine, even with an identical print job (reprinting the same document again which caused the error 79 only a moment earlier). It will continue to work fine for several hours before the issue returns. I have adjusted the sleep settings and not found that it seems to have any impact.

 

Note there are two M402dn, both were updated to the same version at the same time. Neither had this problem, ever, before the firmware update. After the firmware update, both printers have the problem, but sporadically - for a given print job, sometimes M402dn #1 will give the error but #2 will not, or vice versa.

 

Because this issue was introduced following the firmware update, AND the issue inconsistently affects only one, the other, or sometimes both printers, it seems possible to me that HP has potentially introduced a PostScript bug in firmware 20190712. 

 

Can anyone weigh in here and advise if my thinking is on the right track?

Thank you!

 

 

1 ACCEPTED SOLUTION

Accepted Solutions
wfr5
Author
Level 1
9 7 1 0
Message 6 of 8
HP Recommended

An update, because this thread will serve no purpose if it isn't seen through to the end:

 

The technician provided me with an older build of the firmware (20190113) and directed me to install it, and test the printers.

 

The firmware was provided as a bare .rfu file (HP_LaserJet_M402_M403_Series_FW_20190113.rfu). Newer LaserJet Pro printers do not make it straightforward to flash a .rfu file, but I was able to do so following the method using the 'lpr' command.

 

Initial impressions are good. I cannot confidently say yet that the firmware has fixed the issue, but the printers were not bricked by the downgrade, and have not shown the error yet after a handful of test prints. I should be able to better confirm the outcome in a couple days.

 

Update 2020-05-19: the printers have continued working consistently since the firmware downgrade. I'm calling this fixed, as far as I can see. 

View solution in original post

7 REPLIES 7
Repairatrooper
Level 13
Level 13
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Message 2 of 8
HP Recommended

May not be much help but here is HP's official public troubleshooting for 79 errors, You might want to try reapplying the firmware. I am also curious, if Post Script was working, why did you not just install the HP PostScript driver on the Windows machines. 

Document attached.

If you find the information provided useful or solves your problems, help other users find the solution easier by giving kudos and marking my post as an accepted solution.
I am a volunteer, offering my knowledge to support fellow users, I do not work for HP nor speak for HP.


wfr5
Author
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Message 3 of 8
HP Recommended

Thank you for the t/s document. It's interesting that it could potentially implicate the printer's memory...in this case that seems unlikely given the circumstances, and some unknown other firmware fault looks likely. I have a feeling this will result in a case being logged with HP support as the units are in-warranty, which I will do after trying the step of eliminating surge protection. I have doubts that will do much, as that didn't change, but they've evidently suggested it for a reason.

 

As to your point about PCL vs PostScript, it is a very fair point. I should have tried the HP Universal PostScript driver, but as it isn't referenced on the driver page for the M402, it didn't occur to me until after it was too late to have made a difference (two schools of thought there - it's universal, and supports M402, so it would be reasonable to list it there). Right this moment, if I could walk back the firmware change and try the universal driver, I would very much prefer to have tried that...but hindsight is 20/20.

wfr5
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Message 4 of 8
HP Recommended

As a further follow-up:

I relocated one of the problem printers to my office to troubleshoot it. In doing so, it's now on a totally different AC power source and not behind a surge protector. I installed that particular M402dn on a Windows 10 machine using the HP Universal PostScript driver (upd-ps-x64-6.9.0.24630.exe, released Dec 1, 2019). The Universal PostScript driver specifies that the M402 is supported.

 

Guess what - even the Windows built-in test page is making the printer crash with "79 Service Error, turn off then on". Indications at present are that the firmware update breaks PostScript printing ability. 

 

I put in a case with HP support, and will update with the outcome in further replies.

wfr5
Author
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Message 5 of 8
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The HP technician asked me to retest after clearing/reinitializing the printer NVRAM and restoring default configuration. I did as instructed, found the printer continues to misbehave identically, and reported this to the tech.

 

The tech advised that the printer has defective hardware. I was presented with the following options:

- Accept refurbished replacement printers, and return these ones, or

- Contact a local authorized service centre and have them service the printers

 

I contacted my only local authorized service centre and they advised they only service computers, not printers. However, recognizing that the hardware diagnosis doesn't sound right, they did follow up with HP level 2 support. Level 2 said that even if the older firmware were available, installing a downgrade is known to sometimes ruin the printer, so they aren't interested in doing that...and I understand why.

 

I responded to HP in my support case politely asking them to reconsider and bring this discussion to their firmware engineers, because:

- this affects two printers, not one. The pattern and circumstances make it unlikely to be a hardware problem that will be corrected by a replacement printer.

- a refurbished printer is likely to arrive with the newest firmware pre-installed on it as part of the refurbishing process, and if my belief is correct, that will get me right back where I am currently. 

 

On the flipside, if the refurbished printers don't exhibit this problem (regardless of what the firmware build is), I'll be happy  with that outcome. I'm not unwilling to take the refurbished printers, just suspicious that it won't get me anywhere.

 

I am very interested to know if any other customers are successfully sending PostScript print jobs to their M402dn, and what firmware build they are running, but that's a long shot as users typically don't browse forums for products that are working correctly.

wfr5
Author
Level 1
9 7 1 0
Message 6 of 8
HP Recommended

An update, because this thread will serve no purpose if it isn't seen through to the end:

 

The technician provided me with an older build of the firmware (20190113) and directed me to install it, and test the printers.

 

The firmware was provided as a bare .rfu file (HP_LaserJet_M402_M403_Series_FW_20190113.rfu). Newer LaserJet Pro printers do not make it straightforward to flash a .rfu file, but I was able to do so following the method using the 'lpr' command.

 

Initial impressions are good. I cannot confidently say yet that the firmware has fixed the issue, but the printers were not bricked by the downgrade, and have not shown the error yet after a handful of test prints. I should be able to better confirm the outcome in a couple days.

 

Update 2020-05-19: the printers have continued working consistently since the firmware downgrade. I'm calling this fixed, as far as I can see. 

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RedWinter
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Message 7 of 8
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WFr5

Having the same issues as you, any way you can give me a bit more of a detailed explanation on lpr command and the rfu?

 

Thanks

wfr5
Author
Level 1
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Message 8 of 8
HP Recommended

Hi RedWinter,

 

Yes, I'll help here, but first please read my warnings to you:

-HP support warned me there was a risk this process could ruin the printer. It worked for me, but it might not for you. This is a risk you're taking that I can't help you decide about, and I can't help you fix it if it goes poorly.

-If your printer is under warranty, I strongly recommend you approach HP and open a case with them. If your issue is the same as mine, they will offer to replace the printer. Once they make that offer, you know you can safely attempt the firmware change, because you won't be stuck with a faulty printer if it does go poorly. 

-This only applies to the M402, and maybe the M403, but I don't know for sure about the M403.

-I did this coming from firmware 20190712, going to firmware 20190113. If your current firmware is not 20190712, there might be a higher risk of problems...it's hard to say.

 

To download the firmware file, go here:

https://drive.google.com/open?id=1i93SxUYHi9o89DqdOiFL1iKbAMCGQmBP

Google Drive will preview the content of the zip file. Use the button in the upper right to download the zip, then unzip it.

This is only for the M402, and maybe the M403 (based on its name). Don't try to flash it to any other printer!

 

Flashing the file:

https://support.hp.com/ca-en/document/c01711356

Under the heading "Update the firmware in Windows", then the section "Method three: Remote firmware update using an LPR command" is what I did. I'll outline the process below:

 

1. If using Windows 10, the LPR command is probably not installed/enabled. Go to Control Panel, Programs and Features, Turn Windows features on or off. Check the boxes for both LPD Print Service and LPR Port Monitor and click OK.

 

2. To simplify the command line process I will recommend you make a folder on your C: drive called firmware, and put the .rfu file in that folder. Rename the file to fw.rfu. 

 

3. Open a Command Prompt window. I don't know if admin is required, but I'd play it safe and run as administrator. CD to the folder C:\firmware, where you put the rfu file.

 

4. Ensure the printer is powered on and connected to your network, and that you know the IP address of it.

 

5. In the Command Prompt, run the command:

lpr -P <IPADDRESS> -S <IPADDRESS> -o l <FILENAME>

 

Where IPADDRESS (yes, both of them) are the IP address of the printer, and FILENAME is the .rfu file.

For example: 

lpr -P 192.168.1.100 -S 192.168.1.100 -o l fw.rfu

 

6. The command prompt will flash the cursor for a short time, and the printer will show "Printing Document" for a couple minutes. Do not interrupt this process, let it finish. After a few minutes the printer will reboot and if you check the firmware datecode in the menu or configuration report, it should show 20190113.

 

Please report back with your results.

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