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Old 12-13-2012, 11:42 AM   #1
Static EMP
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Default New LaserJets Print Avery Labels off alignment. Prints too far up and sometimes left

Hi,

OS: Windows 7 64-bit

I am completely frustrated with this problem. I have tried finding a solution, and it seems like I've stumbled across a few people having this problem, but no concrete solution; yet it seems to be something that would have been addressed by HP, Avery, or Microsoft by now.

We print a lot of labels at work. Mostly Avery 5160s, sometimes 5963, 8667, and others. We use Microsoft Word templates, and it has always printed just fine, exactly like the preview. My old LaserJet 4050 at work broke down, so I had to go get a new one. I went and purchased a HP LaserJet Pro M1212nf MFP, and it was fine until I realized that when I tried to print labels, the labels would be pushed too far up, and sometimes to the left. It actually seemed like it would be crooked sometimes when printing multiple pages. I spent an hour on the phone with HP support. I could tell the guy didn't know the problem, and after an hour just told me the margins were wrong. Unfortunately, I can't accept that answer, as (1) all of our other LaserJets print them fine, and (2) we print too many labels on too many different media to have to set margins every time, and then have to set them for new computers depending on which printer they're printing too... it just isn't gonna work.

I began to think maybe it was because this was an all-in-one printer, so I returned the printer and purchased an HP LaserJet P1606dn. Of course, when I hooked it up, I experienced the same exact problems. What's the deal? Do new LaserJet printers not print labels correctly?

For both printers, I had updated to the latest drivers.

The print previews look fine, and when I send the document to one of our other laserjets in the office, it prints correctly as previewed.
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Old 12-13-2012, 11:52 AM   #2
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Are you sure you're not still using the printer drivers for an older model LaserJet? Try uninstalling all HP printer drivers then clearing out any left by going to Print Server Properties->Driver tab.
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Old 12-13-2012, 12:25 PM   #3
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I've done that. I manually cleaned the drivers and did a completely fresh install.
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Old 12-13-2012, 12:30 PM   #4
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Since you are doing this from within MS Word try this:

  1. On the Tools menu, click Envelopes And Labels.
  2. Select the Labels tab, and then click Options.
  3. In the Product Number list, select your label number
  4. Click Details, and in the Custom Laser Information dialog box, change the Side Margin or Top Margin as needed to get it to print properly.
  5. Click OK, and then click OK again when asked if you want to save the changes.
Repeat as needed for the various types of labels you are using.
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Old 12-13-2012, 01:51 PM   #5
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I was hoping I wouldn't have to experiment and find the different margins for every type of label I will have to print. And then to do that every time I have to set someone up with a new computer and printer we get at the office doesn't make sense.

Since the templates print fine on our other printers, I'm wondering if this problem only applies to new HP printers, or new printers in general. I've tried two new HP printers, and they both printed labels incorrectly in the same way. So the error must be common. If that's the case, I imagine there has to be some sort of fix that either updates the label templates to work with new printers... and if not, maybe it's just new HP printers and I need to buy a different brand? I'd like to be sure before I go out and get a new printer for the 3rd time. We do a lot of mail merges, and it makes no sense that newer technology can't do an age-old task correctly.

HP, Avery, and/or Microsoft can't honestly expect all the business out there to manually figure out the margins for every label template when they buy a new printer.
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Old 12-13-2012, 02:09 PM   #6
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For the sake of entertainment have you tried printing with your old driver?

Or better yet, something REALLY old like a Laserjet 4+ driver?

There's a pretty decent chance that a 4+/5 driver or your old 4050 driver will work with your new printer. You'll lose all the MFP capability of course but if the job is processed through the same driver you will probably get the same output. In the end your solution could be as simple as a built-in Windows 4+ driver for the labels and the full featured driver for MFP needs.

[EDIT]Scratch the above, you've picked yourself a host based printer.[/EDIT]

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Old 12-13-2012, 04:09 PM   #7
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Some of the other printers around the office that work fine are LaserJet P2015, P2035, 1018, and 4050. Are those host-based also?
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Old 12-14-2012, 06:34 AM   #8
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Most of the HP printers have paper options you can set in the software that controls the printer. Also with labels, it is crucial that you insert the page of blank labels the proper way. Sometimes, just flipping it 180 degrees is enough to put the labels in the correct spot. And if it is like most HP printers,
it goes in Label Side Down in the tray.
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Old 12-14-2012, 11:23 AM   #9
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These new printers go face up actually. I'm definitely feeding the labels the right way, and when I try it the reverse way, the same thing happens (these 5160s and 5963s don't have a feed direction because they are symmetrical).
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Old 12-14-2012, 05:11 PM   #10
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I tried a few different drivers. UPD, as well as the old 4050 drivers... none of them fixed the problem. But I'm starting to think that the problem lies in the way some of these new laserjets feed paper... they have trays like inkjets with a small paper guide, rather than trays you pull out like drawers. Sometimes, the labels get printed out skewed a little crooked, with it going diagonally up from left to right.
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Old 12-15-2012, 01:02 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Static EMP View Post
... I'm starting to think that the problem lies in the way some of these new laserjets feed paper... they have trays like inkjets with a small paper guide, rather than trays you pull out like drawers....
I think you may be on to something here. My venerable LaserJet 4000 is built like a battleship, and the paper drawer as well as the direct feed tray are tight and true.l I added memory and a ethernet card, and I see no reason to replace it anytime soon.

Many of the newer HP products reflect a slip in quality such as you describe. Price competition does have this effect.
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Old 12-17-2012, 12:52 PM   #12
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So am I screwed? I can try exchanging this for one of the M400 series laserjets, which has the paper drawer, although I'm not even sure if that would work at this point. I am pretty disappointed with HP right now.

Is there a better brand now that I should know of? A model of printer that I can rely on to print labels and mail merges when I need to? I'm sick of exchanging these over and over.
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Old 12-17-2012, 02:19 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Static EMP View Post
So am I screwed? I can try exchanging this for one of the M400 series laserjets, which has the paper drawer, although I'm not even sure if that would work at this point. I am pretty disappointed with HP right now.

Is there a better brand now that I should know of? A model of printer that I can rely on to print labels and mail merges when I need to? I'm sick of exchanging these over and over.
One thing to keep in mind here is that you went from what was (in its day) a nice workgroup printer to something that is essentially a personal printer.

I'm not all that familiar with HP's current lineup (I knew a ton about the 4000 through 4200/4300 when they were current models). At quick glance the Laserjet Enterprise lineup seems to be roughly the current equivalent, something like the M601n.

This will give you network connectivity, full PCL support, proper paper handling/duplexing, high maintenance intervals, and all the other things that go with being a workgroup printer.

There are MFP workgroup printers as well, but the M601n seems to be the most direct replacement for the 4050.

If you don't have the budget for that can you consider a used/refurb model? I'd much rather have an older workgroup class printer than a newer personal model. That doesn't always fly in corporate environments, but at home I run a maxed out LJ 5 with great results.

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Old 12-18-2012, 11:31 AM   #14
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On the HP Support Forum, I engaged with a tech since last week in trying to solve the problem. None of the solutions worked. If you'd like to see the details of this thread, look here: http://h30434.www3.hp.com/t5/Printin...2259761#M31233

Long story short, I'm going to return the 2nd HP printer and try an m401dn. Normally, I'd choose another brand at this point, but I need to see if the will print off alignment as well. I feel like if it does, that will be proof enough that HP has a case of "we don't build them like we used to" on their hands.

Thanks for your suggestions Viper. I understand the P1606dn is more of a "personal" LJ; however, the 1018 is as well and had no problems. I really don't ge tit.
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Old 12-18-2012, 01:14 PM   #15
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Here's an idea that may fix this. You said in the first post OS Win 7 X64 bit.
Are you using Win 7 64 Bit specific HP Drivers ? ?
Can you try and use drivers for 32 bit or install the printer in XP Compatible Mode
and then see if it works ok ? ? My guess is the Win 7 driver (64 bit) is defective somehow.
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Old 12-18-2012, 05:37 PM   #16
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bruceb, I have already returned the old printer and purchased the M401dn. However, I do believe I had tried 32-bit drivers at one point (mainly because I wanted them to be available to the 32-bit machines that try to access the shared printer on my computer). When those were loaded, however, I recall the printer properties page crashing.

However, I would like everyone to know that the M401dn prints labels perfectly, just as the other LaserJets.

This is what I wrote in the HP forum:

I got a M401dn and the labels print perfectly.

This does not mean I am satisfied with HP right now. It took me 3 printers to find one that does a simple job of printing lables correctly. I am completely disappointed in HP's products and support.

I would like to know why this printer can handle labels fine, and the other two could not. Is it a mechanical issue with paper feeding? Is it a driver issue? Or is it an issue with the old printers not supporting PCL and being a host-based printers?

I've practically done enough "testing" in this ordeal for HP to at least look into it.
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