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HP LaserJet - Update the printer firmware


This document applies to some older HP LaserJet business printers. For instructions on how to update the firmware for a newer HP LaserJet Enterprise or HP LaserJet Pro model, go to one of the following links:
For version information and links to the latest firmware downloads (where available), go to HP FutureSmart - Latest Firmware Versions.

What you need to know

Before performing a firmware update, review these requirements:
  • If you have a third-party solution, HP recommends contacting the vendor to make sure that the latest firmware version is compatible with the third-party solution.
  • A firmware update can require 10 to 30 minutes or more to complete depending on the speed of the computer and the connection type to the printer, and any print jobs pending in the printer queue.
  • The firmware update process requires a network or USB connection.
  • Access to some menus on the control panel might require administrator privileges or a passcode.

Before updating the firmware

Before updating the firmware, follow these steps:
Do NOT power cycle the printer or reboot the PC during a firmware update. This might cause the printer to become unstable and or inoperable.
  • Make sure no error messages display on the control panel and clear any that are present.
  • Make sure the printer is in a Ready state and is not in sleep mode or power save mode.
  • If the firmware update involves a change in the format of the nonvolatile random-access memory (NVRAM), make sure to back up any menu settings that have been changed from the default setting. These settings might return to the new default settings and must be reconfigured after the update. For a list of settings that might be impacted by the firmware update, see the Readme file.
  • Check the speed of the host computer and the hardware configuration of the printer. The update time depends on the specific hardware configuration of the printer, such as the number of EIO devices installed, the presence of external paper-handling devices and / or other features such as Fax capabilities. The elapsed time for an update depends on the I/O transfer time, which depends on a number of things. These include the speed of the host computer that is sending the update and the I/O method (Local Port or network), as well as the time that it takes for the printer reinitialize.

Step one: Print a configuration page

To determine the current firmware level and obtain the IP address, print a configuration page.
  1. On the printer control panel, select the Administration icon or the Menu button.
  2. Select INFORMATION.
  3. On MFP models, open the CONFIGURATION/STATUS PAGES menu.
  5. Select Print or OK.
On the printed configuration page under the "Device Information" section, find the firmware date code to determine the current firmware level. The firmware date code will look something like this: 20040322 48.001.0.

Step two: Download the latest firmware

The HP LaserJet firmware download available from contains firmware for the printer, embedded JetDirect (if applicable), and HP paper handling accessories used with the printer in one convenient file.
  1. Go to HP FutureSmart - Latest Firmware Versions, determine the latest version of firmware available for the printer, and compare it with the version installed on the printer (see the configuration page).
  2. Use the links in the HP FutureSmart - Latest Firmware Versions document to go directly to the printer download page, download the firmware, and then extract all files.
  3. Make sure the printer is On and in a ready state.
  4. Note the location of the .rfu file.
    The firmware file is in the format "xxxxx.rfu," where "xxxxx" indicates the filename and ".rfu" is the file extension.

Step three: Update the firmware

Follow these steps to update the firmware remotely for a single printer or multiple printers at one time using HP Web Jetadmin 10.4 SR2 or newer.
The duration of these steps varies depending on the printer firmware file size and server capacity. Even if HP Web Jetadmin is installed on a high-end server, HP recommends that you keep other HP Web Jetadmin tasks to a minimum while any firmware upgrades are running because it is a resource-intensive operation.
These steps should only be used if the printer is able to boot to Ready.
Follow the instructions for either Mac OS, Unix, or Windows.

Control panel messages during the update process

Three messages display during a normal update process.
Printer message
This message displays from the time the printer recognizes the beginning of an .RFU update until the time the printer has verified the validity and integrity of the .RFU update.
This message displays while the printer is actually reprogramming the firmware.
This message displays from the time the printer has finished reprogramming the DIMM until the printer reinitializes.

Troubleshoot the update process

Use the following information as guide when trying to troubleshoot the update process:
  • If the remote firmware update process is interrupted before the firmware is downloaded (before or during the RECEIVING UPGRADE message displays on the control panel), then the firmware file must be sent again.
  • If power is lost during the update process (when the PERFORMING UPGRADE message displays on the control panel), the update will be interrupted.
  • If the message RESEND UPGRADE or a similar message displays (in English only) on the control panel, then the firmware update might need to be re-sent using a computer that is attached to the parallel or USB port of the printer.
The following table lists the causes of possible interruptions and the resulting status to the firmware update.
Print jobs sent to the printer while an update is in process do not interrupt the update.
Causes of firmware update interruptions
The job was cancelled from the control panel.
No update has occurred.
A break in the I/O stream occurred during send (for example, the parallel cable was removed).
No update has occurred.
A power cycle occurred during the RECEIVING UPGRADE process.
No update has occurred.
A power cycle occurred during the PERFORMING UPGRADE process.
No update has occurred. Resend the update through a parallel port.
A power cycle occurred during the INITIALIZING process.
The update has been completed.
The following table lists possible causes for remote firmware update failures and the corrective action required for each situation.
Causes of firmware update failures
Corrective action
The .RFU file is corrupted.
The printer recognizes that the file is corrupted and rejects the update. Download the file again and send the new file to the printer.
The wrong printer is contained in the .RFU file.
The printer recognizes the printer mismatch and rejects the update. Download the correct file and send it to the printer.
The upgrade was interrupted.
See the support pages for each printer model.
A flash hardware failure occurred.
Although it is extremely unlikely, the device might have a hardware failure. Call technical support to address the problem (see the flyer that came with the printer for a local telephone support list).