01-28-2011 07:52 PM
Somewhat amazingly, I couldn’t find anyone on the web who had successfully installed a completely new, blank hard drive in a DesignJet 5500PS.
I managed to do it by piecing together bits of information from all over the web, but ultimately the process turned out to be uncharted waters as far as the whole process goes. So here’s how it worked – and it should work for you, too.
Background: Your DesignJet 5000, 5000ps, 5500, or 5500ps won’t boot up.
In my case, a 2004 60” 5500ps would freeze at the 4% level when booting, then ultimately fail. Repeated resets brought the same thing – dead printer!
Here’s what you need:
A new, out-of-the-box hard drive! Amazingly, it DOES NOT need to match the size of what was in the machine originally, which was a WD 40GB. It DOES need to be a PATA (parallel ATA) drive with the standard connectors we all know and love. I used the smallest drive I could buy, which hilariously turned out to be a WD Caviar Blue, 140 GB, much bigger than the 40GB installed in the machine.
A computer running Windows 98, 2000, or XP. I have no idea if Vista or Windows 7 works, likely not to be problem because of the next point: You need a computer with a parallel port! I’ve never seen a parallel port machine running anything greater than XP.
A parallel printer cable. We all had them. We all threw them away. Find one any way you can; your local third-party computer store may still have one in the back. The connection on your computer should be a DB25 for the printer port (with two thumb screws), and the other parallel printer port end connects to the back of the Design Jet, down low – you can’t actually see the connection unless you’re kneeling; it’s underneath where the Ethernet cable plugs in. The DJ even has the two wire clips for the connector, just like printers used to have.
It’s going to be okay. Have lots of coffee and patience ready. Breath deep.
Download the new firmware from the HP web site. I fought with link after link in this and other forums, only to find that the best way in was to walk in through the front door: HP.com, search for drivers, enter 5500PS, and POOF! There you are. You’ll need to say what client software you’re using; I used XP and got right to the drivers / firmware page. Download the DesignJet firmware (you need to be on the right page for 5000, 5000ps, 5500, or 5500ps – they are all unique). For the 5500ps I serviced, the file was large – around 500 MB. After the file is downloaded, move the file (which should have the .UPG suffix) to the root directory (C:\). It will make things easier later. Trust me.
While you’re downloading, this would be a good time to physically replace the hard drive. Power down the machine (of course). Remove the cover on the back of the machine that is just big enough to cover the hard drive with a ½” of styrofoam all around it. The Styrofoam holder slips right out – careful, the cables are still attached. Remove the cables. You’ll note on the old hard drive that the jumper is set to CS (Cable Select). Set your shiny new hard drive to the same setting. Connect the cables, place the foam holder back around the hard drive, and slide it back into the machine. You can leave the cover off while you work on the machine, if you like.
Remove any media from the printer. It won’t have any media profiles in the new hard drive after it restarts, so you’ll have to remove media and restart it if you don’t do it now.
Okay. Here we go. Connect the parallel cable to the computer and the printer. If you used and old laptop like I did, make sure it’s plugged in.
THIS NEXT STEP IS CRUCIAL, AND CONTRADICTS WHAT YOU MAY READ ELSEWHERE: Boot the machine into DOS mode. This is different than opening a DOS window (for reasons I’ll explain in a bit). Do this by booting the machine, and as soon as it starts to load Windows, hit the F8 key. This will bring up a start menu. You’re looking for something like “Reboot in MS-DOS mode” or “Boot Safe Mode” with command prompt. Reason? When you open a DOS window from inside a fully-booted Windows environment, you get all the DOS software functionality, but the HARDWARE interface to the parallel port is still being controlled by Windows. We need “just DOS” running, so it can talk directly to the printer port without being blocked by Windows.
At this point, you should be staring at C:\> prompt. Good. If not, enter cd\ to get to the root drive.
We’re now going to prepare to make a binary file copy from the root drive of C: to the parallel port. List your directory with the good ol’ dir command. If you copied the firmware correctly to the root directory after you downloaded it, you’ll see the file name shortened to something like HP5500~1.UPG (your filename may be different).
Enter the following command:
copy /b hp5500~1.upg LPT1
If the printer is still off (which it should be), you’ll see a failure message, with our old friend “Abort, Retry, Fail?” as a choice. Good. This is what you want at this point; it just means the printer is offline, and that it accepted your filename. Leave it with this message while you now work with the printer.
Switch on the printer. You should see a “disk spinning up….OK” message. When (or just before) you see that, start pressing (repeatedly, but not frantically) the TOP button on the printer. It took me a few tries of switching off the printer and starting over, but it will eventually interpret your frantic tapping and take you directly to the “Disk Utilities” menu. Good. Follow the menu and select “Format Disk.” Press Enter. The menu nearly instantly bounces back to the “Disk Utilities.” Wow. The proprietary, hardware-based HP format routine is FAST! I did it several times, since I wasn’t sure it was “taking.” In fact it was.
Shut the printer down. Hold down the TOP key while switching it back on (okay, that’s nearly impossible unless you have a helper, so HP gives you 15 or so seconds to begin holding down the TOP button after switching on the someone with you. Soon you’ll see a new choice appear: “Upgrade Firmware”. Select this.
The “Upgrade Firmware” selection turns the printer’s parallel port “online.” It will time out in a few minutes, so quickly now, back to the computer. Take a deep breath, and carefully type “R” (for Retry) from our DOS session above. If you did everything right, you will NOT get a confirmation from the computer display that anything is happening! If you did it wrong, you will get another error message. Check the printer display; you should see it say something like “Upgrading Firmware” with a 0% display. It will sit there forever. On the 5500PS, the file is large and the parallel port is slow. After a minute or two or three, you’ll see the display change to “1%.”
You’re on your way!
Total load time for the firmware is around 2 hours (!). It will finish, and the printer will do the rest without further assistance.
The printer will ultimately reboot itself and you’re good to go!
It’s important that there be no media in the machine after it’s fully booted, since there are no media profiles in the hard drive, and oddly, any media left in the machine causes an error that prevents the printer’s web interface from allowing media profile installations. So leave the media out.
You can now use the web interface to install updated media profiles, which you probably saw on the HP website when you downloaded the firmware. Grab them, UnZip and go. Install the media profiles. Install the media, and the printer will now run a printhead calibration.
That’s all, folks! You’ve just replaced your DesignJet hard drive!
I’ve successfully done this procedure now on a 5000ps (three years ago) and a 5500ps. According to memory, the procedure is pretty much identical as far as I can tell; please don’t fume too much if there are in fact some differences. I do recall the 5000ps is somewhat smaller than the 5500ps software. I now have a 5500ps working perfectly, and the entire hard drive (131,xxx MB free) is visible and usable. Wow. That’s a lot of paper on the floor to wind up the next morning!
If this procedure works for you, you owe me nothing. If it doesn’t work for you, I’m truly sorry – I tried my best! Many people have helped me with frustrating technical problems over the years, and if you see some poor service bureau or cash-starved operation trying to keep one of these great old machines going, help them out. You’ll feel better for it, I promise.
Michael in Michigan
01-29-2011 09:49 AM
Great post. Thank you. Can you give a bit more detail on the loading of the Media Profiles. I know there have been questions here before regarding an issue where the instructions say to type in the ip address and then click on the setting tab and then Media Profile Update and people do not see those items in the web browser. Were they there or did you have to do something different to get the media profles loaded. Thanks again.
02-01-2011 04:21 AM
Great work and thanks for posting this up.
I have two printers; 5000ps and 5500 that I'm going to try this with.
Do you have an email address, in case of problems?
02-04-2011 01:09 PM
Great post....I have a 4500 with a similar problem...but have only a USB PORT ant TCP/IP....
If my post was useful, clik on my KUDOS! "White Star"...
02-10-2011 12:39 AM
I will add some points to this.
- Easiest is to have an OS with fat32. Winxp can be installed with this file system.
- I always use Hiren's BootCD to get into proper DOS. Winxp command prompt will not work.
- NTFS with ntfs2dos does not seem to work.
To answer the question about media profile: All media profiles seem to be included in the firmware file.
02-15-2011 10:19 AM
Hi Evary body do u have any solution for installing a blank hard drive in Designjet T610 printer . It have USB port . If you have any solution then please help me, my mail address is email@example.com .I am very greatfull to you if u solve my problem .
02-15-2011 06:29 PM
Here’s what I hope is a more complete walk-through on the media profile installations.
Media Profile Installation AFTER new hard drive and firmware installation.
This post assumes you have a HP DesignJet 5500 or 5500ps that boots normally, either with a new hard drive AND firmware installed, or an existing system for which you just want to update the media profiles.
The DesignJet hard drive stores a bunch of information that the printer uses, most notably:
-- The operating system, otherwise known as the firmware,
-- The media profiles
-- Some configuration and calibration data and settings.
When the hard drive is replaced, the media profiles are lost – they are separate from the firmware. After this procedure is complete, and new media is installed, the printer will automatically run a new printhead calibration.
Step 1: Get the PDW files from the HP Website:
Download the new media profiles from the HP website, listed under “Software – ICC/Paper Presets” This is a good idea to do even on an older system, since according to the file dates HP updated many of the profiles in 2008 and 2009. You’ll need a PC for this step, since the files are ZIP formatted (self-extracting) EXE files.
HELPFUL HINT: The HP site only shows the downloadable printer files if you select a Windows operating system when doing a driver search. If you select a Mac OS, you get Mac OS info, which is fine, but no printer files or software.
Double-click the file after downloading, and the file will self-extract into two families: a group of .ICC profile to use with your desktop output program, and a corresponding group of .PDW file that get permanently loaded onto the printer.
Once you have the .PDW files, you can use either a PC or a Mac for the next step, as long as you have access to the PDW files.
Step 2. Finding your printer’s TCP/IP on the network.
By far the easiest way to find your printer’s IP address on the network is to use the printer’s front panel: Go to “printer setup options,” then “I/O setup,” then “Card ID.” The second line of the next screen shows the configuration of the printer’s internal JetDirect interface. The screen shows the printer’s IP address, and will be something like 192.168.0.X where X is the address assigned by your network’s DHCP server. The other common format is 10.0.1.X.
Step 3. Launch WebAccess and Upload the Media Profiles
Once you know the printer’s IP address, you’re almost there! Go to a PC or Mac on the same internal network, and launch your favorite web browser. Enter the printer’s IP address (Example: http://192.168.0.115), and – if the printer has fully booted, you’ll be taken to the printer’s own internal web server, a program known as WebAccess. It’s a “website” on your network that lets you configure the printer and upload print jobs, and software. WebAccess is part of the printer’s firmware. Beginning with Version S.05.01, various category tabs are available at the top of the page.
With the printer booted, functional, and NO MEDIA INSTALLED in the printer, the WebAccess setup tabs are available, and you can select the “Upload media profiles” button. Click the button, point to the .PDW file you downloaded from HP, and it transfers it to the printer. Note: You can’t delete or check which media profiles are installed from the WebAccess interface; you can check and delete files from the printer’s control panel.
That’s it! After you upload your media profiles, you can load media without rebooting the printer.
In my case, I uploaded ALL the available HP files, then deleted at the printer the ones I knew I’d never use.
NOTE: At least on the 5500ps, the media profiles are not included with the firmware. I believe they may be included in the firmware file for at least some of the other printer models.
Good Luck, and I hope this helps all the great folks on this forum!
02-15-2011 06:44 PM
02-16-2011 01:02 PM
I agree this is a great post. Kudos!
Do you happen to know if this can be further refined to accomodate using a CAT 5 connection to the JetDirect card,
by remapping the TCP/IP port to LPT1 as it is implied in the post below?
03-04-2011 04:17 PM
Well, I would never stand in the way of someone who actually managed to claim to have done it! :-)
I would add -- and only as one person's opinion -- that even if it does work via CAT-5, there are still some really annoying LPT to ethernet printer connections to mess around with. In my case, I actually read the post you were good enough to reference before I replaced my drive, and although it seems feasible, I knew the sure-fire way would be to "baseline" the hardware and software configuration, making it as simple as possible: DOS (or command line boot in XP) + parallel cable + DOS copy command = very simple and reliable connection. I had to dig out an old laptop from the basement that still had a parallel port, ditto for the cable.
Piping a file meant for the printer port directly over CAT-5 is a bit of a stretch for most folks, and I suspect there may be functional differences in how this works in various flavors of Windows -- I've found by bitter experience that what works for 95/98/Me/2000/XP/Vista/7 almost always works in one or more but almost never works in all.
If I get time to play with the printer offline in the next week or two, though, I'll give it a shot and report back.
04-12-2011 09:55 AM - edited 04-12-2011 10:37 AM
I see your points. well taken.
I'll start hunting for the parallel cable et. al.
Thanks. I'll let you know how it went.
One question. Can the replacement Hard drive, have been for other purposes previously?
I have an exact match WD 40 gig IDE drive from an old PC.
formatted fat-32 I believe.
Must it be brand new? does brand new imply unformatted? I noticed your post that you hadn't checked. What's your best guess?
04-21-2011 08:40 AM
I followed your directions on this post (great post, by the way!), but when I type the command "copy /b HP5500PostS_S_56_07.upg LPT 1" ( which is how my file is listed in the directory), it tells me "The system cannot find the file specified" What am I doing wrong? Can you help?
04-21-2011 04:11 PM
When you are at the command prompt before you type the command, type dir hp550*.* and hit enter. Does the file show up in the list of files. If not you are not in the right directory. If it does show up, rename it to hp5500.upg and see if that helps.
04-22-2011 04:48 PM
Just looked at your post again. Are you typing lpt1 or lpt 1. It should be lpt1, That said I have seen instances where if the lpt port is not working you can get that message. Make sure the port is set for normal in the bios. If still an issue try booting in safe mode and then go to a command prompt.
04-27-2011 09:28 AM
Ok, I am typing lpt1. I have gone into the bios and I don't see a "normal" setting for the port, just an "auto" I've tried the safe mode with a command prompt too. This is my boss' printer and he is very ill so his wife and I are trying to get this thing up and running again. Any other suggestions? I really appreciate all the info you have provided so far. Thank you!
05-31-2011 10:03 AM
Thank you for your informative read , I followed your instructions using the parrarel cable but when using DOS i just keep saying file not found, even though I have saved on C:Drive
06-01-2011 08:11 PM
If it says file not found then the file is not where you saved it. Also if I remember when you download the file you have to run the it so it unzips. To see if the file is where you think you put it just do a dir and then put in the file name and hit enter. If the file shows it should work and if file not found then you did not save it where you think you saved it.
06-03-2011 03:01 AM - edited 06-03-2011 03:02 AM
No, this is not the problem. You get an error message about the file because the dos emulation can't find the LPT port. Run in proper dos mode and it will work.
See my previous post how to do this.
07-22-2011 07:49 AM
So here's what I'm wondering: Has anyone had luck preparing a replacement hard drive before placing it into their plotter? I purchased a new disk in anticipation of the current 10-year old disk fully failing, and need to minimize downtime for the plotter. I was wondering if there was a way I could attach the new disk to my PC, push the firmware to the disk, and be able to just plug and chug when needed.
can it be done quickly?
Have you tried turning it off and on again?
07-30-2011 10:26 PM
In thia aolution are you making any asumptions about what file system the c: drive is operating under.
I've tried this process with no success, "file not found" and I wonder if this is because the booted OS, doesn't match the file system..
07-31-2011 05:53 AM
This procedure can not be done with a pc. You have to format and load the firmware image using the plotter itself. Many people including myself have tried to use disk imaging software (ghost, selfimage, etc) to copy a good drives image to a computer and then transfer to a bare drive. Does not work. The firmware image that you download has to be written to the new disk while it is inside the plotter since the firmware utilitiy that does this function only works by sending the firmware to the plotter. Also the plotter has a utility that formats the drive so it can accept the firmware.
08-02-2011 03:16 PM
Well, it's good to know at least. The original 40GB drive stated working again after I let the plotter sit unplugged for about 24 hours so I'm back using the old configuration. I'll just have to come in during a weekend and insert/push the firmware to a new drive. On the bright side, if something gets screwed up while I'm trying to load the firmware, at least I have the old drive.
Have you tried turning it off and on again?