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49 Error HP LaserJet (all models)

The 49 error codes on HP LaserJet printers are communication error codes. They can be hard to troubleshoot as quite a few culprits cause 49 errors.  Also, these errors can be just temporary errors that clear with a reboot, or more permanent errors that actually require a hardware replacement.  Here are some tips for resolving 49 error codes on HP LaserJet printers.

First, the general advice is to assume it's a temporary error.  Turn the printer off, unplug the printer from the network/computer, clear any pending jobs from the print queue (on the computer), then reboot the printer to make the 49 error disappear.   Then you can reconnect the network/computer cable and try printing again.

Second, a mismatched or corrupted driver can cause 49 errors.   Try to remember if the 49 error only occurs during certain print jobs (for example only when printing from custom software or only when printing a certain document that is more complex or memory-intensive than average).  In those cases, it's very possible that a mismatched or corrupted driver has been assigned to the printer.  Faulty drivers can send bad data to the printer, cause confusion and trigger the 49 error.  Try downloading & replacing with a different driver; we usually recommend PCL5 drivers and PostScript drivers (not PCL6).  Finding the right driver can take a good bit of experimentation.  If you're unfamiliar with drivers, see our tutorial here: Installing printer drivers tutorial.

A faulty JetDirect network card can also trigger a 49 error.  You can test "around" the JetDirect network card by connecting to the printer via an alternate connection like a USB or parallel port, and see if the same jobs print ok when you bypass communicating through the network card.  Replace the JetDirect card if needed; we have JetDirect cards here on our JetDirect page . Many of the modern LaserJet printers don't use JetDirect cards and just have the network port directly soldered onto the main system board (called the formatter assembly).  In those cases you would need to replace the entire formatter assembly.

A failing accessory or failing memory chip installed in the formatter slots can cause a 49 error.  Common accessories include optional hard drives, memory chips, etc.  If you suspect one of these items, try removing the accessories or memory chips one at a time and rebooting to see if anything improves with a certain accessory or memory chip missing. We stock hard drives, accessories, and memory at PrinterTechs; if you need to replace anything give us a call toll-free 866-352-7108 or local 608-831-2396.

Finally, a failing formatter can also cause 49 errors.  There are certain models that are notorious for formatter failures, and there are other models where formatters basically never fail.   To be clear, the formatter assembly is the circuit board that controls the logic, receives data from the computer, and issues the print commands.  The LaserJet P3005 is a prime example of a printer with notorious formatter failures. (read more about the P3005 model Replacing the Formatter HP LaserJet P3005 P3005D P3005N P3005DN P3005X).  Other popular models that often have formatter failures are the LaserJet P2015, LaserJet M2727, LaserJet M3027, LaserJet M3035.

Call us with any questions -- toll-free 866-352-7108 or local 608-831-2396.