The Case of the RESEND UPGRADE message


I don’t like them. If you’ve read more than five posts on this blog you may have noticed that already.

This is the tale of how I started down the long, dark, road of hatred towards HP, and why I think they are largely incompetent at what they do.

It started soon after I began my current job, and I first learned that you could perform BIOS upgrades on network printers by sending the upgrade over the network. Struck with the novelty of this, I naively decided it would be a good idea to make sure all of our network printers were up to date. The upgrades actually all went well. Apart from one.

The one failure – a LaserJet 4250n – was not that serious; in fact, it didn’t impact the printer’s operation at all. The only sign that something was wrong was that instead of displaying ‘Ready’ on the LCD panel on the front, it displayed ‘RESEND UPGRADE’. The manual suggested that resending the BIOS update would clear it. It did not. In fact, nothing I tried would clear the message.

Knowing full well that this would lead to frequent reports from users that the printer was “doing something weird,” or “showing a funny message,” I called HP, as the printer was under warranty. Once they finished asking me to do all the things I had already tried, they sent out an engineer.

He failed to fix it. The next engineer came with a new part. That didn’t work either. The third engineer was sent with no description of the problem other than “displays error message,” and was unsurprisingly unable to clear it. The fourth engineer replaced almost every circuit board in the printer in an ultimately vain attempt to remove the message. After 3 weeks of undoubtedly expensive engineer call-outs, HP sent a new printer instead. These things cost about £800 to buy, so sending out replacements is not undertaken lightly. Once the new one was installed, HP told me someone would be in touch about collecting the old one.

No-one ever called.

The printer sat gathering dust in my office for months, a bleak reminder of my folly and HP’s inadequacies. Then, one summer, I decided once again to see if I could fix it myself. Making the first of many visits to the HP Business Support forums, I found a recent report from someone who had encountered the same problem, and an HP call centre worker had told them, off the record, that the problem was due to a mistake in the BIOS upgrade code. What’s more, there was actually a (relatively) straightforward method to fix it: I had to disable the network card, perform a newer BIOS upgrade that had since been released via the parallel port, then re-enable the network card and reset it to factory defaults.

I did so, and was greeted with ‘Ready’. End result: one free £800 printer, and all down to me mucking up a BIOS upgrade.

This all happened nearly three years ago. Against all odds, the printer has been running fine in one of our IT labs ever since.

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About The Angry Technician

The Angry Technician is an experienced IT professional in the UK education sector. Normally found in various states of annoyance on his blog. All views are those of his imaginary pet dog, Howard.

13 responses to “The Case of the RESEND UPGRADE message”

  1. stiggyworld says :

    Cool, I think i’ll perform BIOS upgrades on all our HP’s…hang on, we’ve got about x20 HP4250s…..think i’ll not bother :-)

  2. AngryTechnician says :

    The latest BIOS upgrade did not cause the same flaw when I used it on a newer 4250n about a year after this. Nonetheless, it’s not a task for the faint of heart.

  3. Dale says :

    HP make great printers. They have crap support, and crap Universal Printer Drivers; but great printers.

  4. andyt31 says :

    We have Dell printers here (re-branded lexmarks I believe)

    Biggest pile of cack ever! Give me HPs any day!

    • Lukas Beeler says :

      We have lots of Lexmark T64x/T65x out there and i’ve never seen any issues with them. And they even have a great feature that HP doesn’t have: Tray Remapping, which is great for crappy legacy apps.

  5. James says :

    Can you tell me how you “disabled” the network card? I have tried your approach and I can’t seem to get it to work for me. Thanks.

    • The Angry Technician says :

      The menu you need is one that is only available during boot-up: it;s the same menu that has the COLD RESET option on it. Normally you get it by holding down the green GO button while the printer is powering up.

  6. steddy says :

    Hi there. I’m having this same issue. I’ve followed your instructions, however I’m not able to clear the “resend update” message. The only difference is that I am not able to connect via parallel. I am connecting via USB. Is that not sufficient? Any clues would be so helpful! This is a P4015tn (with the extra tray removed) and a Windows 7 x64 machine.

  7. Bryant says :

    Hello, I am having the same problem and also I can not add an extra tray even though my printer has only tray 1 an tray 2.

  8. Brian says :

    I’m having the same problem with a p4014dn and don’t have a parallel card to save my life. Going to see if I can find one lying around but wish their was a fix via network or USB connections.

  9. Ngb says :

    Hello. Any updates from you (Bryant and Steddy)? Same problem than you with 5 HP 4015 and the “resend upgrade” after the “checking paper” problem…

  10. Nathan Felton says :

    Found a site with a fix that worked for me on a P4015n:

    1. Turn the printer power off
    2. Power the printer back on and watch for the memory count to begin
    3. Hold down the Cancel (X) button when you see the memory count begin. Continue holding this button down until all three printer control panel lights flash once and then remain on. This may take up to 10 seconds.
    4. Press the SELECT (OK) button and then the MENU button.
    5. Scroll down until you see “Clear All RFU Errors”.
    6. Press the SELECT (OK) button twice until the highlighted cursor is the letter ‘C’ in the word ‘Clear’.
    7. Scroll down until you see “Set Runmode to Manual”.
    8. Press the SELECT (OK) button once until the highlighted cursor is on the letter ‘R’ in the word ‘Runmode’.
    9. Scroll down until you see “Set RFU Error Off”.
    10. Press the SELECT (OK) button twice until the highlighted cursor is on the letter ‘S’ in the word ‘Set’.
    11. Turn the printer off and power back on.

  11. Cheryl Lomedico says :

    I work with Nate Felton and had to use this solution recently and it worked. Thanks Nate!

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