Question: When is a FACTORY RESET not a factory reset?
Answer: When you’re dealing with an HP printer.
One of my wretched HP Color LaserJet 3600 printers was annoying me today after it started printing specific pale shades of colours completely incorrectly. In printouts of photos, this showed up as blotches of an odd colour where it shouldn’t be, usually magenta in the middle of some pale green or blue.
If there’s one thing that will get a teacher calling you faster than a printer cartridge running out, it’s when their photos don’t print out right. I ruled out any driver or software problem, as the colour sample prints that you get from the printer menu itself were also showing up problems. Here’s the swatches from overview page:
If you’re paying attention, you’ve probably already spotted the odd shades in the top-right of each group. Here’s what page 15 looks like. All of these are supposed to be a shade of blue:
I tried the usual tricks of power-cycling, performing a factory reset from the printer menu, and even pulling the formatter board and reseating it, as per some guidance from the HP forums. Nothing helped, but I soon discovered it was the factory reset option that had been my downfall.
You see, on an HP printer, FACTORY RESET doesn’t mean ‘reset everything to how it was at the factory’. All it does it reset the configuration options to their defaults. True, they were at their defaults when the printer left the factory, but there are a lot of other internal variables that won’t be reset to how they were at the factory if you rely on this procedure. For that, you need the mystical COLD RESET.
To perform a cold reset:
- Power off the printer.
- Hold down the green GO button, and power the printer on. Keep holding until all three control panel LEDs are lit up and stay lit.
- Press the down arrow until you get to COLD RESET, then press the green GO button.
The printer will then reset everything, including the JetDirect card, and spend a few minutes (longer than usual) performing a calibration. My problem went away after that.
Thanks, HP! As usual, your dedication to obscure, hard-to-locate functionality does you proud.
I go offsite for SIX MEASLY HOURS today to attend the SharePoint in Education event, and what happens? The switch that malfunctioned a few weeks ago chose today to suddenly lock up again, after I thought I’d fixed it following a firmware upgrade and two weeks of uptime.
SIX HOURS. I rarely leave the damn site that long at the WEEKEND, so of course the sodding thing had to pick today to wet its knickers. Words cannot express my annoyance when I got back on site. I hate this switch with a passion you can only dream of.
ROM information: Build directory: /sw/rom/build/fishrom(f04) Build date: Jul 21 2004 Build time: 10:45:52 Build version: H.08.02 Build number: 137 OS identifier found at @ 0x7cb80000 Verifying Image validity ... CRC on OS image header Passed CRC on complete OS image file Passed Valid OS image @ 0x7cb80000 Decompressing...done. initializing... SYSTEM NEEDS REPLACEMENT. Initialization halted.
There are going to be some murders.
Over the weekend I saw yet another update by someone on Facebook blaming Windows for the fact that their god-awful HP laptop was overheating, and singing the praises of the Mac they would soon be receiving, in the vain and misguided belief that all Mac laptops run cooler than a penguin’s posterior whilst sitting on an iceberg in the middle of the Antarctic winter. At night.
This is the world in which technologists are now forced now live: one where actual technological advantages are usurped in the eyes of the consumer by mindless and unsubstantiated claptrap put out by marketing. Where buyers believe the only differentiator between laptops is whether they run Windows or OSX, and that sole difference is to blame for everything. The next time someone complains about Windows making their laptop run hot, I’m going to boot it into Linux, fire up MPrime, and stuff it where the sun doesn’t shine. If it happens to be a MacBook… well, we can skip booting into Linux, and they can be thankful for rounded corners.
The even greater irony is that, if anything, the biggest complaint I ever hear about Apple laptops is how hot they run. It’s one of the few complaints Apple owners will ever admit to having, other than being forced to constantly admire their smug expression in the shiny exterior.
A little diversion shortly followed to calm my nerves:
Number of Google search results for x overheating problem, with x being one of the following 5 computer manufacturers, in descending order:
Disclaimer: this study is utterly unscientific and these figures mean absolutely bugger all, serving no purpose other than the entertainment of the author. They certainly should not be considered representative of the number of people complaining about Apple laptops overheating, and should absolutely not be considered in the context of Apple having the lowest US market share of the five manufacturers listed here at the end of 2009.
I used to have a PalmPilot back in the day. Well, that’s not strictly true; I had an IBM WorkPad, which was a rebranded PalmPilot. And by “rebranded”, I literally mean “painted black with ‘IBM WorkPad’ written on it”. It was completely identical in all other regards, and nothing in the device’s OS or other attendant software mentioned IBM.
I eventually gave it up during my university years when I realised I was spending too much time playing Solitaire on it during lectures. Little did I know that playing games would soon become the principal lecture-hall activity undertaken by all students in the smartphone future to come (soon after usurped by Facebook and Twitter, of course). While it lasted, it was a decent device, and Palm didn’t really deserve to languish on the sidelines in the years that followed.
However, languish they did, until things started to look up with the launch of the Palm Pre, webOS looking to be a worthy successor to the Palm OS of yore. My wife bought a Pre not too long ago, and it’s a nice little phone. Alas, poor marketing, a lack of apps, and faulty hardware soon put paid to Palm’s return to grace, and as of today the days of Palm as an independent company are gone.
An ugly wedge now threatens discord in the Angry household. Mrs AT is now the owner of an HP product.
The first full school day after Easter is always a fun experience.
What is less fun is running around the school with emergency swap-in equipment after a two-month-old HP Procurve 2650 decides to lock up inexplicably and leave an entire building without IP connectivity.
I was… unamused.