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Re: HP4500 - Error writing to specified device

New Member

HP4500 - Error writing to specified device

When printing a multipage document to our HP4500N, the first page comes out and
then the WNT4 (SP5) server that controls the printer reports the error "Error
writing to 'printername' 'documemt name', The system cannot write to the
specified device". After a few mins the message will disappear and the next
page will print and then the message re-appears. This continues until the
document is printed. This is slowly things up just a tad so does anyone have
any helpful tips for this problem?
Regular Advisor

Re: HP4500 - Error writing to specified device

Hi Russell,

This might be a known Microsoft problem that you are running into. Is this a
parallel printer or are you printing across the network? If it is connected
via a parallel cable, this error can occur if the Parallel.sys driver is not
started. This can happen if NTDETECT doesn't find a valid parallel port on
your system, or if the parallel device is disabled or stopped with the Devices
tool in Control Panel.

Furthermore, if the parallel device driver is not started and you attempt to
start it manually, error 20 (hardware not detected) appears.

If this fits your scenario, the only resolution is to jumper the motherboard to
use the standard parallel port or check the port setting in CMOS to ensure
Windows NT can detect the parallel port for printing.

Some newer motherboards support enhanced parallel port (EPP), enhanced
communication port (ECP), and standard parallel port settings. This is usually
configured by a jumper on the motherboard. Windows NT 4.0 and earlier does not
support EPP or ECP bi-directional communication ports and will cause the
parallel port detection to fail if set to use either one of these standards.

I hope this helps you out Russell. Please write us back and let us know how it

Best regards,
Jamie Hughes
New Member

Re: HP4500 - Error writing to specified device

Unfortuantly I'm printing accross a local network, W95 clients using a varity
of applications.
Tried lots of different things latley, re-installed drivers etc. Found it to
print quicker using the PS drivers. I think it is either a fault of the network
connection or its not spooling the data correctly. The printer flashes it is
reciving data but a 3 page print, full colour but only 1.3MB in size, takes
about 13mins to print. When I can pin down the problem it will be easier to
Regular Advisor

Re: HP4500 - Error writing to specified device

Hi Russell,

That sounds pretty frustrating. Are there any errors or even warnings being
logged by the Print or Spooler service in the Event Viewer on the print server?

The other thing you might want to try is moving the spool directory to another
location. That might help narrow the problem down a little. I'm not sure how
many printers you have setup on this print server and the technique used to
move the spool directory is a bit different depending on whether you want to
change the location for all printers or for a specific printer.

The article that can walk you through the registry change is Q123747 and it's
available on either the HP or Microsoft websites. I'll include the link to the
article available from the HP ITRCs Technical Knowledge Base below this

If moving the spool directory doesn't help and there aren't any errors in the
Event Viewer, you might want to post a question into the appropriate printer
forum. You mentioned that if you use the PS drivers it's a bit quicker so
maybe there's a problem with the drivers. You can access the Printing forums
by clicking on the link at the left that says Printing and Imaging, then follow
the links and choose the appropriate forum. They have forums for LaserJets,
Network Printing, etc.

I hope this helps you out.

Best regards,
Jamie Hughes