Posts Tagged ‘hp’


HP Color LaserJet 1600/2600n Toolbox: Needlessly Well Guarded Secret

January 25, 2013
From back to front: first cleaning effort, followed by a couple cleaning cycles before the second (ghosting) print, then I got HP Toolbox working. Corrected some settings (below) and subsequent test prints got better and better, with the final result looking like a brand new printer - JUST with some settings changes.

From back to front: first cleaning effort, followed by a couple cleaning cycles before the second (ghosting) print, then I got HP Toolbox working. Corrected some settings (below) and subsequent test prints got better and better, with the final result looking like a brand new printer – JUST with some settings changes.

Missing your shortcut for the LaserJet Toolbox? Yeah, we all are. HP apparently thought it would be a funny joke to just… you know, OMIT the desktop/Start Menu shortcut for the HP Color LaserJet 1600 Toolbox from all their driver distributions online now. So if you don’t have the original driver from the original CD, you’re screwed! And HP’s site will mock you as it walks you step-by-step through how to use the HP Toolbox, but yet the icon they’re referring to is LITERALLY FREAKING MISSING. Gone. Poof. It’s nowhere to be found. Uninstall? User’s guide? Got it. Toolbox? No.

OK, so a huge oversight on HP’s part. I want to smack ’em. Here’s how you get that back.

Create a new shortcut and paste this info:
(For Color LaserJet 1600 ONLY)
ZHHP1600.EXE 3911 AGI1600.DLL 1600 ZHP1600R.DLL

For Color LaserJet 2600 series, it’s a little more complicated since I have a 1600 – which is a 2600 without the networking/duplex capabilities – same logic board, same drivers, just different branding. The process may be identical but with the “1600” replaced with “2600” in the line above. Version 5.x of the drivers (the current one available from has the HTTP server (zhhp*.exe) completely REMOVED from the distribution, so the toolbox is literally GONE. You’ll need an older version – and to write a much-needed hate mail to HP for removing it. The “full software solution” download does not seem to have the HP Toolbox files. Maybe the “PnP software” distribution will have it, but look for the “ZHHP*.exe” executable – the “H” is for “HTTP”, the “ZSHP*.exe” file is “S” for “Status (monitor)”.

Launched using the shortcut in this blog post. Up yours, HP!

Launched using the shortcut in this blog post. Up yours, HP!

If you get an HTTP 500 error when you try to access the site (localhost:3911), it means your command line wasn’t correct or it couldn’t find the file you referenced on the command line. It’s very, very ambiguous with the errors.

Also, if you have problems with mirroring/echoing down the page, turn down the fuser temperature under “print modes” for your paper type (almost always the first one, “plain paper”) – set it to Less Fusing. If you have trouble with dirty/messy grey background fuzz, turn on “Background Toner” under the print options menu, and turn “Transfer Current” to “Dry Paper”, turn “Toner” down to “Less Toner” for those print types.

Hope this helps someone out with an old 1600/2600. It sure cleaned mine up!


Ungoogleables: Compaq F700 / HP dv6000/dv9000 buzzing speakers or turn on-turn off problem

August 23, 2010

If your HP dv6000, dv9000, or Compaq F700 has these symptoms:
– Devilish buzzing from the speakers at all times, even in the BIOS or during startup, in tune with the CPU fan speed
– Push power button, and it turns on for a few seconds then turns right back off… push it again, turns on, turns off… mash it again, on and off… and that’s all it does?

Replace the cable between the power button and the motherboard.

That cable powers the speakers (hence the buzzing sound), and if it’s unplugged from a working & running system, the system shuts off. There ya go. It turns on because it gets a signal from the button, but turns off likely because the lid switch wires are broken in the cable (hence it thinks the lid is closed, hence it shuts off). That’s just my theory, but still, pretty reliable fix since I just resurrected a dead motherboard with that theory.


Authentec TrueSuite Starter for Windows 7 x86/x64

April 14, 2010

So, Authentec thinks it’s cute to say that they only provide software through OEMs. It’d sure be nice if the OEMs actually lived up to that fairy tale…

I’d recently picked up a DV6000 laptop with a fingerprint swipe. Somehow, Windows Update picked up the driver for it… “ooh wow, a driver, I’m so lucky”, I thought (sarcastically). I knew it needed software. But I tried it anyway… I clicked Start and entered “finger”. Sure enough, 3 results for fingerprint software already installed. What? I hadn’t installed anything…

Turns out, I was dead wrong. The software I’d used in the past for fingerprint login is slow, clunky, and WAY overfeatured for just wanting to use it to log in and geek out friends. It was HP ProtectTools suite that I had on my tablet, and it SUCKED. Slow, slow, slow. Quick to reject a fingerprint but slow to reset/retry, slow to log in, slow to open. This was all different. The software, TrueSuite Starter, is dead simple. It’s FAST. It gets the job done.

I killed ProtectTools on the tablet. But the TrueSuite software wasn’t offered. Huh? So I dug into my new DV and found out where Windows Update saved the downloaded driver. Curious… it stores the whole installation package in a DLL file. No EXE to set it up with. That’s OK. I checked the device IDs, and sure enough, the scanner in my tablet was included as well. So who knows how many other people on the internet might find this useful.

As far as I can tell, this is a package that works for all Authentec brand fingerprinters. Just update the driver for it (notice that it is, in fact, signed… I’m not f*cking with you guys here), and it’ll install the TrueSuite for you in the background (be sure to get rid of any other crap you’ve got installed first!). Then just enter “fingerprint” in your Start search, and bam! Fingerprinty goodness.

Works with the following Device IDs:


Open your existing (or unknown) biometric device in Device manager, verify the Hardware ID under “details” (it must match one of these!), then Update Driver, “On my computer”… “I’ll pick one”… “Have disk” to the folder you extracted this to… then install!

DOWNLOAD -> LINK <- DOWNLOAD (Updated 2/22/2013)


Hah, suck on that, HP warranty.

March 12, 2010

Ah, the DV2000/6000/9000/F700 nVidia failure. What a fun little story. HP makes a line of notebooks that has a critical flaw, much like the Xbox 360’s failure. The nVidia chipset on the board fails, leaving the computer completely inoperable, and, without replacing the motherboard, also unfixable. Also just out of the warranty period as well. Most of these notebooks were manufactured in the year of Vista’s release, around 2007. By now most of them have already failed. Including one Compaq (HP) Presario F700 that I got, because the owner didn’t think it was worth fixing (at the time I didn’t know how to fix it).

The short of it is, first the wireless adapter goes out – no longer shows up in Device manager, light always stays orange. Then, a short while later (under the same conditions at least – could be held off if the BIOS is updated, or the fan is cleaned), the whole computer goes dead. It locks up, then fails to restart. It just dies. To the dumpster with it, it’s dead.

I finally decided to give it a go myself, trying to fix the motherboard by reflowing the solder under the northbridge chip (that’s cracked). A heat gun and a good amount of meticulous over-heating and melting later, I’m now writing on a previously-“dead” F700.

I now call it “Lazarus” for obvious reasons. And it runs Windows 7.

So now when I look at the bottom of the computer and see “Warranty: 1 year”, I lol a little. Suck on that, HP warranty. Evade!


I feel so damn dirty with a tablet.

December 6, 2009

So, on Thursday, I got the part needed to complete this awesome new gift that was given to me (by a kickass Air Force vet, I may add). A busted-as-hell convertible tablet PC – an HP Compaq (isn’t… that… uh) tc4400.

Extensa 4420 and Compaq tc4400

My previous computer, the Acer Extensa 4420, well… let’s say I put enough attention into that thing, that it may very well have changed model numbers under my nose with all the changes I’ve made to it. It gets a _lot_ of attention. I’d take it everywhere – to work, then to school, to restaurants, to a friend’s place, to the living room… I went, and it went.

However, for the first time Friday, I left home without it. I only took the tc4400 with me. I’d only had it for a day – I fixed it up and installed Windows on it on Thursday. It’s Sunday now and I’ve found myself only using my “old” Acer in order to get data off it.

A little backstory. A friend gave me this broken-old tablet that evidently was in a bag that fell off his motorcycle while doing 80. Scratched the ever-loving shit out of the top cover, right down to, but not quite into, the display cable. Trashed the hard drive. Cracked the LCD. And, evidently, shorted the power adapter as well. A short trip to eBay and about $11 later, I’ve got a new, questionably-working-but-not-cracked complete display assembly on its way, Another $13 and I’ve got a power adapter. Drop in a new hard drive I had laying around, and an extra stick of RAM (it only had 1x512mb DDR2), and… holy crap, everything worked.

From the moment it turned on and I saw the HP logo gracing the crackling-to-life screen, I loved the thing. It was literally a dream come true. I’d always wanted a tablet PC so I could do paper-like things – like writing and drawing (or at least, trying to) – without paper. Wacom tablets had always intrigued me, but the price tag made me gag. Now, I actually have one built into the screen! A real Wacom tablet (yes, multi-button pen, position-sensing, and it doesn’t detect finger presses). It’s as close to drawing on real paper as it can get, only the paper is backlit.

But the problem is, now my poor Acer is sitting there going “Wtf, mate?”. I’ve all but left it behind with my shiny new tablet. With the only defining difference between the two being that the Acer has an optical drive and Bluetooth (the tablet has neither), and an extra gig of RAM (the tablet has 1gb RAM, the Acer has 2gb), I find myself struggling to find a reason to keep it around! =\

I can’t bring myself to part with it. It’s the first computer I bought brand new, and I’ve put so much time and money into upgrading it – in fact, I’m still in the process of adding a webcam to it, as I find the parts. I’m also fairly certain that if I do sell it, I will sorely regret it in the near future when I tire of the tablet (for anything except its tablet functions, I’m sure). But I don’t see a purpose for it anymore. The tablet fits my work life perfectly, and it’s a godsent for school. It’s light, and it has a pen. What to do with the Acer?!


About HP ProtectSmart

May 27, 2009

So, a laptop I’m playing around with has “HP ProtectSmart”, a technology supposedly designed to protect hard drives from falling damage by parking them when it detects a drop.

Yeah right.

I knew right from the start that this technology would need to be high tech. It would need to interface with the OS at a realtime level and park the heads within a couple milliseconds of detecting freefall, in order to do anything. Why did I know this wouldn’t work? Well… think about it. This is HP we’re talking about. Designers of the most bloated, slow, inefficient software on the planet. ProtectSmart is a gimmick.

So I dropped a laptop to test it. Yep.

I first checked that HP ProtectSmart was running. Control panel says it’s supported, enabled, and active. I picked up the edge of this laptop, about 4″ high (pivoting on the rear which is still on the table), then let it bang to the table. Funny, it didn’t show anything about protecting the drive. I did it again, a little higher. Still no indication from the OS. A little higher – this time I picked up the whole computer about 3″, and dropped it. That time it noticed – the system tray icon showed an orange icon, then went back to normal. So, basically, in order for ProtectSmart to “Protect” your drive… it’s got to be enough to totally destroy the drive. Nevermind that those last two bumps were enough to practically kill it already…

I notice that the front hard drive light turns orange when I did that as well. So I pick up the computer and try out its accelerometer. Resting the whole computer on one hand, I give it a simulated drop. Yeah, it’s still white… it didn’t even care. I give it a sharper drop, and at the bottom of the fall (you know, where the simulated fall would have HIT the ground already), it turns orange. Again and again, I test this with the same result – a noticeable delay between when I had simulated the drop (and it should have detected a “lack of gravity” indicating a fall), and when the light turns orange to show that it parked the hard drive.

Several minutes later, I find that my encoding process on that system had hung, and the hard drive was clicking away at unreadable data. Yep, that hard drive is shot. I thought that was impossible with HP ProtectSmart? I didn’t even drop this thing like a normal “drop” would (falling off the couch, etc).

ProtectSmart is nothing more than a gimmick at this point. It won’t protect your drive if it falls; the delay is too long. There are rubber bumpers supporting the drive, but that’s about it and that sure won’t help cushion the blow much if at all. Hopefully HP can improve their software response time, but I rather doubt it knowing HP’s track record.

Can you believe that this computer (HP DV6) won’t even display to an external screen without Vista being booted? Good luck navigating the system (or recovering it) if you can’t get the screen up…