Printer Testing

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If you are a Support Volunteer check out the Teaching Printer Testing page.

Printer Keep List

Printer Sorting HowTo

Test Method

  • At the Printer Testing station turn on the computer. The user name and password is written on the monitor. Log in.
  • Plug in the printer, and double-click the program with the printer icon. If the printer is not automatically detected; click on Add Printer.
  • Select the printer from the menu according to the label. Click forward.
  • Once the printer selection is complete click on the Print Test Page button.
  • It will print an Ubuntu Test Page with multiple bars of various shades.
  • If the ink is a solid black or color, with no streaks, it is a pass.
  • If it fails-SCRAP!
  • Tape the test sheet on to the printer.
  • Take Printer to the store.

Laser Printers

All laser printers should be first self tested. This does not require a computer. If the toner looks good, that is solid black colour, with no streaks, it can be further tested. Tape the test sheet to the printer.

HP Laserjets

HP Laserjet 8000, 8100, and 8150 Series

  1. Hold down SELECT and JOB CANCEL while powering on the printer, until all lights are illuminated and the Display is blank. (If the Display Panel reads INTERNAL TEST at this point, the keys were released too soon. Repeat this step until successful.)
  2. Press MENU, then SELECT. The message SERVICE MODE is displayed briefly, then the printer automatically begins an INTERNAL TEST. After several seconds, both Control Panel Indicators turn off. (The printer may display WARMING UP if it has not warmed up completely.) After the printer has warmed up and passed the self test, SERVICE MODE is displayed.
  3. Press MENU once to display SERVICE MENU.
  4. Once it says SERVICE MENU press ITEM to scroll through service mode items.
  5. To exit the Service Mode press GO.

HP Laserjet 5si

  1. Hold down [Items] and [+] while powering ON the printer, until all lights are illuminated and the Display is blank. (If the Display Panel reads INTERNAL TEST at this point, the keys were released too soon. Repeat this step until successful.)
  2. Press [Select]. The message SERVICE MODE is displayed briefly, then the printer automatically begins an INTERNAL TEST. After several seconds, both Control Panel Indicators turn OFF. (The printer may display WARMING UP if it has not warmed up completely.) After the printer has warmed up and passed the self test, SERVICE MODE is displayed.
  3. Press [Menus] once to display SERVICE MENU.
  4. Once it says SERVICE MENU press ITEM to scroll through service mode items.
  5. To exit the Service Mode press [On Line].

HP Laserjet 4V and 4MV

  1. Hold down the [On Line], [Form Feed], and [Enter] keys while powering ON the printer, until all lights are illuminated and the Display Window is blank. (If the Display Window reads 05 SELF TEST at this point, the keys were released too soon. Repeat this step until successful.)
  2. Press the [Form Feed] key, then the [Enter] key. The message SERVICE MODE is displayed briefly, then the printer automatically begins a 05 SELF TEST.

After several seconds, both Control Panel Indicators turn OFF. (The printer may display 02 WARMING UP if it has not warmed up completely.) After the printer has warmed up and passed the self test, SERVICE MODE is displayed.

  1. Press [Menus] once to display SERVICE MENU.
  2. Once it says SERVICE MENU press ITEM to scroll through service mode items.
  3. To exit the Service Mode press the [On Line] key.

HP Laserjet 5000 series

  1. Hold down [Select] and [Cancel Job] while turning on the printer.

(If the control panel reads INITIALIZING, the keys were released too soon.)

  1. Press the right side of the [Menu] key, then press [Select]. The message SERVICE MODE is displayed.
  2. Press [Menus] once to display SERVICE MENU.
  3. Once it says SERVICE MENU press ITEM to scroll through service mode items.
  4. To exit the Service Mode press [Go].

HP Laserjet 1000

  1. Plug in Power
  2. Below printer port there is a engine test button. Small silver box with black button in centre.


HP Laserjet 2xxx series

  1. Remove right panel.
  2. Plug in Power
  3. Push engine test button, small silver box with black button, found below card slot.

HP Laserjet 4100 series

  1. While turning on the printer, hold down SELECT and CANCEL JOB until all of the lights on the control panel are lit.
  2. Press the right side of the MENU key, then press SELECT. The message SERVICE MODE temporarily appears and will reappear when the printer completes the initialization process.
  3. Press [Menus] once to display SERVICE MENU.
  4. Once it says SERVICE MENU press ITEM to scroll through service mode items.
  5. To exit the service mode, press GO.
  • Note: If READY appears in the control panel, the keys might have been released too soon, or the wrong keys were pressed.

HP Laserjet 4000 and 4050 series

  1. Hold down [Select] and [Cancel Job] while turning on the printer until all of the lights on the Control Panel are lit. (If the Control Panel reads INITIALIZING, the keys were released too soon.)
  2. Press the right side of the [Menu] key, then press [Select]. The message SERVICE MODE is displayed.
  3. Press [Menus] once to display SERVICE MENU.
  4. Once it says SERVICE MENU press ITEM to scroll through service mode items.
  5. To exit the Service Mode press [Go].


HP Laserjet 4/4M and 4plus/4Mplus series

  1. Hold down the [On Line], [Form Feed], and [Enter] keys while powering ON the printer, until the ON LINE and FORM FEED indicators are both illuminated and the Display Window is blank. (If the Display Window reads 05 SELF TEST at this point, the keys were released too soon. Repeat this step until successful.)
  2. Press the [Form Feed] key, then the [Enter] key. The message SERVICE MODE is displayed briefly, then the printer automatically begins a 05 SELF TEST. After several seconds, the ON LINE and FORM FEED lights turn OFF.

(The printer may display 02 WARMING UP if it has not warmed up completely.) After the printer has warmed up and passed the self test, SERVICE MODE is displayed.

  1. Press [Menus] once to display SERVICE MENU.
  2. Once it says SERVICE MENU press ITEM to scroll through service mode items.
  3. To exit the Service Mode press the [On Line] key.

HP Laserjet 5/5M series

  1. Hold down the Menu+ and Value+ keys while powering on the printer. Hold the keys down until SERVICE MODE is displayed.
  2. The interrupted power-on self test is resumed. If the test completes successfully, the message SERVICE MODE is displayed.
  3. To exit service mode, press the Go button.

Laserjets 5P, 6P, 2100, 2200 and other printers that do not have a display panel (LEDs only)

These models are designed as low volume personal printers and do not have a maintenance count that needs to be reset or a readily accessible service mode. You can cold reset these printers or completely reinitialize the NVRAM (nonvolatile ram) to factory defaults. Cold resetting will reset most of the system parameters to factory defaults and reinitializing the NVRAM will reset ALL system parameters to the factory defaults. Also, there is a service mode for these printers but it is only accessible through software using PJL service mode commands. Buy the printer's service manual if you want to learn more.

HP Laserjet 5L, 6L, 1100, 1200

These do not have a service mode. You can only perform a cold-reset and continuous self-test.

Inkjet Printers

See if the printer has a self test feature. Many Inkjets do not.

HP Deskjet

Deskjet "tap" diagnostic=

Hold down the power button when the printer is on and press the button next to power either 1, 4 or 8 times, then release the power button. 1-tap is a simple demo page. 4-tap is often a diagnostic page. 8-tap is often a nozzle pattern or larger diagnostic

Deskjet 900 series

Often times, all you have to do is remove and re-insert a cartridge and close the door for the 900 series to initiate a pen alignment diagnostic which shows how the pens are doing. Run the "tap" sequence above to get more information.


Linux Compatibility Test

Printer testing has improved with the use of 7.10.

Hooking up printer via USB is the first choice rather than using the parallel port.

Go to System > Administration > Printing.

In the pop up dialog, right click on the new printer icon and right click to add new printer.

After adding printer, click on make "default printer".

Now click on "Print Test Page".

The page should come out with the same toner quality as the first test. Tape sheet onto printer, and shelf it.