Trouble Comes In Threes – Part Two: Hewlett-Packard

After the complete disaster that was Microsoft’s KB4088776 update, one of the things I had to do was to re-install the printer drivers for my two printers. I have an Epson XP-950, with I use almost exclusively for photo printing, along with an HP OfficeJet Pro 8100, an A4 duplex (double-sided) workhorse printer. The HP has been absolutely fantastic – it’s compact, quiet, extremely fast and economical to run, even with the very expensive HP inks [I only use original inks].

After the rebuild of my “Office” system, I downloaded and installed the latest HP printer driver, but, in a momentary lapse, allowed it to perform a “complete” installation, so in addition to the basic drivers, I also ended up with all the “phone home” technology.

Later that day, I went to print off some documentation I had been working on, only to have this HP printer throw an error. “Print head failure…” was being reported… Wait, what? I had just been using the printer earlier that same day, from Mint Linux running from my little fanless system, and all had been perfect. What gives? OK, print head…

The 8100 comes with a removable print head [it used to be possible to purchase spares] and as a result I lifted out the unit to give it a thorough inspection. There was absolutely nothing showing from a physical point of view, even scanning the print nozzles using my camera and a macro lens…

I took an hour to painstakingly thoroughly clean everything with isopropyl alcohol and put it all back together, and… a different error. Reboot. A different error. Reboot. A fourth error. In short, the printer was completely toast. According to my records, I purchased the 8100 from GA Business on July 20th, 2014 – so I’d had it roughly three and a half years. In all that time I had probably printed 500 sheets, half of which would have printed double-sided, so say 750 sheets of paper… Print quality was flawless, right up to the moment it died.

In fact, the only thing that was remotely unusual was that the failure happened the moment the Windows “HP software” connected to the Internet and phoned home.


What do you think?