HP 3700 NIC/EIO Woes

Our office has a sweet HP 3700 color laser jet. Fast output. Cool features. Consistent print quality. It’s a thing of beauty.HP 3700 color laser jet

Most of the time, it sits idle. Color laser toner is expensive. You don’t use this thing to print out your email or web receipts. Every time we do use it, though, for onesies and twosies, it’s there for us.

Until the proposal.

We had a short turn-around on a contract proposal. Final editing would end Monday morning, and we needed to print and bind copies in the afternoon to be able to ship by 9:00 that evening. It was a perfect scenario for a Kinko’s/Fedex commercial. And we would have used Kinko’s to do our printing. Except that the last time we had them print a proposal—a 200 page monster—their KDF File Prep Tool butchered our text. Live and learn.

So, we decided this time we were going to use our own printer. And the printer completely crapped out.

About half-way though the 80 page document, printing came to a halt. The log showed strange errors, 81 0180, with the informative description: Printer Error. Resending the print job produced the same response at about the same page. It seemed to indicate a memory problem. Resetting the printer did not help.

According to post on an HP Support Forum, error 81 0180 means the Jet Direct card has gone south:

Jason Tucker ( Jun 6, 2006 )
The printer stopped printing, then after several reboots and clearing out the print queue, the printer displayed this message [81 0180 EIO 1 Error on HP Color 3700N]. Now the printer will not print, and does not show the Network card in the menu. This happened 3 days ago. After re-seating the card, the printer was able to function. The Jet Direct card was then updated with the latest firmware. The problem has resurfaced again today. Does anyone have any ideas? Do I need a new card?

Paul Canuck ( Jun 8, 2006)
Yes. If you have a JD 610, 615 or 620 you could get an exchange with part number J7934-69011 at http://partsurfer.hp.com or call HP parts center.

The network card on our 3700 also disappeared from the menu. We assumed the card had just gone belly up. So we purchased a Print Server to work around it.

D-Link Print Server DPR 1260The Print Server is a great gadget that allows you to connect USB printers to your LAN. We choose the D-Link DPR-1260 based on price and advice of the well-informed Best Buy associate who told us, “It should work.”

It did work. Right out of the box. I’m very impressed with it and heartily recommend it. This print server is wireless which is a selling point for a home network, but not so cool for a business. Turning off the radio is very easy, and the antenna is detachable. If you do use it wirelessly, you gain the option of connecting a printer via the ethernet jack in addition to the four USB ports.

I mentioned our 3700 woes to a friend, and he said their office has the very same problem. The network card seems to go “into sleep mode” as he put it. The only solution his office found was to physically unplug the printer. Turning it off wasn’t sufficient. Then, the network card would reappear on the menu.

Well, not that I distrusted my friend’s advice, but it seemed a bit weak that turning the printer off wasn’t good enough, that I had to unplug it. So, I tried it. Lo and behold, the EIO menu reappeared.

So, there’s your solution. When your HP 3700’s JetDirect card stops working and you can’t see it on the printer menu, just unplug the printer. How easy is that?

We’re sticking with the Print Server solution, however. We need the printer to work all the time. Not just when we don’t need it.

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Published in: on September 27, 2006 at 7:30 pm  Comments (5)