A network printer should be plugged directly into the network.

That’s what Douglas E. Dykstra thought when he entered a new office he was supporting and saw an HP color LaserJet 5 printer shared through a computer in the room.

“I set the printer up to run on DHCP and connected it to the network using the [printer’s] Jetdirect Card,” Dykstra wrote in TechRepublic’s Technical Q&A. “When I attempted to connect to the printer via HP JetAdmin Utilities, it asked me for a password.”

He didn’t know what the password was, and neither did anyone else in the office.

“Now I know why the printer was shared and not networked,” he wrote.

In his question, worth 150 TechPoints, Dykstra asked how to reset the password so he could get this printer (see Figure A) on the network.

Figure A
The HP color LaserJet 5 has been a mainstay printer in many enterprises.

Quick response gets better
Soon after Dykstra posted his question in the Technical Q&A, member JohnM responded that although he didn’t have the exact HP printer, he knew how to reset a similar model.

JohnM wrote that on an HP LaserJet 5N, the default settings could be restored by holding down the Go button during a restart of the printer.

He wrote back to augment his answer later in the day with more information he found on Hewlett-Packard’s Web site. HP’s restore terminology is called doing a cold reset.

To perform a cold reset:

  1. Press ON-LINE while powering on the printer.
  2. Release ON-LINE when the control panel lights are on. The display will read 08 COLD RESET.
  3. The Cold Reset is complete when the display reads 05 SELFTEST.

This information is confirmed in another support article on the HP site, and this method of clearing the password will work on many HP printers that have the Jetdirect print server card.

“Most HP printers with internal HP Jetdirect print servers can be reset to factory defaults (or cold reset) by turning the printer off and holding down the ONLINE or GO buttons while turning the printer back on. The printer control panel display should read, Cold Reset or Restoring Factory Settings,” according to the HP support article.

The article warns, however, that while the cold reset is a useful troubleshooting step, restoring the Jetdirect card to factory defaults will erase any configuration information. Restoring those settings may require the support tech to have some network knowledge and the appropriate permissions to reconfigure the card.

The cold reset process “also allows the Jetdirect to broadcast DHCP and BootP packets, which will allow it to be configured by a DHCP or BootP server,” the HP support article states.