How to Use and Troubleshoot HP JetDirect NIC Printing

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This article is a third party product review on how to use and troubleshoot the HP JetDirect printer network interface card and software with a Microsoft LAN Manager Server.

There are three sections below. The first deals with print files hung in the print queue that you cannot delete. The second deals with general troubleshooting and the third with low-memory troubleshooting.

This article deals with HP JetDirect software version A.00.03 issues, although a new version A.00.05 is also referenced.

More information

Dealing With Hung Print Jobs and Queues

Stop the HPREDIR by running the C:\HPNETPRN\INSTALL.EXE in an OS/2 box. At the initial screen, note the version number and press ENTER or click OK. Press ENTER two more times. At the current box asking for the Install directory, press ESCAPE. This stops the HPREDIR and allows files to be deleted from the OS2\SPOOL printer queue directories. This feature is not described in the HP documentation and was intended as a tech support back door for HP. The new A.00.05 JetDirect software (described below) provides a utility to stop the HPREDIR called KILLRDR.EXE.

If OS/2 says the file is in use, boot from the HPFS Recovery disk and run CHKDSK C: /f:3 (located on the OS/2 Disk One) to correct HPFS file problems then delete the queue files. On large drives, this may take a while. If you are running the FAT file system, boot from an MS-DOS system disk and run Norton Disk Doctor version 6 or 7 to repair file problems and Norton Speed Disk to defragment files. Comparable products are available.

Only the MSNULL.DRV driver should be used when setting up printer queues from the HP setup program. Note the version of the HP setup program on the first screen. HP uses LAN Manager internally and uses the MSNULL.DRV, even though the JetDirect manual says to use one of their drivers. Those drivers are for OS/2 applications only.

The HPREDIR is restarted when you press ENTER from the first screen of the HP setup program. If the printer is not hung, all the attached JetDirect printers should re-connect properly.

Do not try to cancel, kill or delete a printing print job. Instead, go to the OS/2 Print Manager, put the queue on hold and let the current printing job finish. Failing to do this or to use the MSNULL.DRV are the main reasons for hung print queues. If you are not using HP JetDirect printers, you can just put the queue on hold and cancel the current printing job.

General Troubleshooting

Always use the HP setup program to create, modify or delete printers. It creates the printer name, queue name and share name and allows you to select a printer driver. The only thing required outside of the setup program is to modify the access rights to the sharename: change it from ADMIN to PUBLIC.

If the printer seems to be hung, turn it off and on to reinitialize its NIC. If it still won't print, print a STATUS page to indicate the card's current status and whether it is having problems. The HP LJ III has a button on the NIC and the III/IV si has a menu option built-in to print the JetDirect STATUS page

Monitor the HP SETUP Error Log and watch for errors reported on the printer's status report. Setting the printer menu option AUTO CONTINUE to YES allows the printer to auto continue after a communication error, saving you the trouble of a manual reset.

If the error message in the HP setup program indicates that DLC settings need to be increased, it is referring to the LAN Manager COMTOKR protocol. Refer to 94084 for the COMTOKR tuning parameters needed. These values are not documented in LAN Manager documents. If you still have questions, call HP and they will advise of what changes to make in PROTOCOL.INI.

READ the README (no extension) file in C:\HPNETPRN directory and the "HP JetDirect Administrator's Guide." Compare the HP SETUP error log with solutions described in the manual. Each error number has an associated message. Call HP to resolve problems not related to generic server or memory issues.

Low Memory Troubleshooting

Change HPFS386 /Cache:auto to 4096 or less, but not less than 2048. If there are more than two HP JetDirect printers on a server and you have poor performance or problems with the print queues or share names, check the C:\OS2\SYSTEM\SWAPPER.DAT file to determine if the server is running out of real memory. Most servers can handle only six printers, although some documentation say seven is the maximum.

If the SWAPPER.DAT file size is larger than the value of the SWAPPATH value in CONFIG.SYS, the server is running out of real memory. The file's date indicates when this last occurred and its size tells you by how much. The default size is 512K. Re-boot the server and monitor the SWAPPER.DAT size and date to see if you can associate running out of real memory with some active process. Try moving services such as Remote Access Service and Microsoft Services for the Macintosh, Microsoft ComServer, Microsoft SQL Server and TCP/IP HUB Service to other servers. All of these services are heavy OS/2 resource and memory users.

If you still have problems with HP JetDirect printing after doing some common sense tuning to the server services, call 208-323-2551 for Hewlett Packard Customer Support (press 4 for Jet Direct) and 1-800-227-8164 to order manuals from HP Parts Direct.

A.00.05 is the latest JetDirect software version according to HP as of 08/04/94. When determining currency, file versions matter, file dates don't. Version A.00.05 is new and testing indicates that it may resolve some issues mentioned in this article. It has not been stress tested, though. You can download it from CompuServe. Type GO HPPER, and download file OS2NPI.EXE. It is a self extracting ZIP file and includes a new README file that is worth printing out and studying; it contains several new tuning recommendations and has a bug list.


"Hewlett Packard JetDirect Administrator's Guide for IBM LAN Server, Microsoft LAN Manager and 3Com 3+Open 1.1 Networks"

"Hewlett Packard JetDirect Card Installation Guide"

Hewlett Packard JetDirect README file

For additional information, please see the following articles in the Microsoft Knowledge Base:
94084 HP Network Printer Interface and Timeouts

97870 Running HP REDIR, Shutting it Down, and Using its Output

97869 Cannot Delete Stuck Print Jobs when Using HPREDIR

99710 Four HP Printer Problems Associated with LAN Manager


97744 How to Install HP Printers onto a LAN Manager Network

119069 Monitoring the HPREDIR Process


Article ID: 119068 - Last Review: October 26, 2013 - Revision: 4.0
Applies to
  • Microsoft LAN Manager 2.2 Standard Edition
kbnosurvey kbarchive KB119068

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