This article shows how to upgrade the firmware on an HP Laser Jet 600, M601, M602 and M603 Series Printers. We will also show you why you may or may not need to upgrade the firmware in the first place.
“When do I need to upgrade the firmware? “
You might ask. Upgrading the firmware can correct problems and also add new features to devices without replacing hardware. It depends on the printer and your printers issue. One of the biggest and most important problems firmware fixes is the 49 error. As computers progress many times the printers don’t. The 49 errors are the printers way of telling you there is a communication malfunction. The printer/computer are speaking a different language and can’t understand one another. There are many other issues that different models have that a firmware update addresses. I have the list of fixes from HP for the M602 series at the end of this article.
Batch Loading Firmware
If you have a large fleet of laser printers, you do not want to up-grade your whole fleet all at the same time.
The ability to upgrade firmware on multiple devices “simultaneously” is available with “Web Jetadmin” a free application for managing HP printers. This “batch” process of upgrading your fleets firmware has the well meaning intention of saving you time, but it is possible you could have some failures and that’s not good. I would definitely do some testing before the actual process and verify the best practices and procedures on test machines.
Here is an example of why you may want to reconsider broadcasting firmware. On the HP LaserJet P4515 series printer, using HP’s easy firmware upgrade utility . If you leave the optional 500 sheet tray(s) on the printer when you send the files, it will brick the tray and the formatter. To this day I haven’t seen where HP has fixed this.
This is just one example. My point is, test and verify everything. I only upgrade the firmware on a unit if it is having a problem that only firmware can fix. If it’s not broke, don’t fix it. I determine if a printer needs a firmware upgrade on a one on one basis. Don’t just go willy nilly and start sending global firmware updates!
Hewlett Packard’s new way of upgrading the firmware in their LaserJet enterprise printers and MFPs is “FutureSmart”. Future Smart firmware is similar to an operating system . It enables your LaserJet enterprise devices to be upgraded over time, similar to a PC’s operating system with service packs or upgrades.
Service Pack Updates – Source: Hewlett Packard
These maintenance upgrades allow customers to maintain feature stability for their fleet. Service pack updates do not affect existing device features, such as control panel layout and options, while providing important security and regulatory updates or operation fixes. New service pack updates are available multiple times throughout the year.
Major release upgrades
These upgrades allow customers to upgrade their compatible HP FutureSmart devices with the latest features and changes to device functionality. A new major release is easily identifiable with the release number directly following the “HP FutureSmart” name
(for example, HP FutureSmart 3.0). Major release upgrades are made available to current HP devices when the next generation of HP FutureSmart features is introduced.
Step by Step Instructions for Updating Firmware on the HP Laser Jet Enterprise 600 M601, M602 and M603 Printer.
Method: Pre-Boot Walk-Up Method (USB)
NOTE: There are five different methods of up-dating this firmware.
IMPORTANT: Please print a configuration page prior to performing any firmware update.
Retrieve the .bdl file from the HP Support Center
Download the Firmware File and unzip.
NOTE: USB Flash Drives that are not in a Fat32 format or having a CD formatted partition may not be recognized by the printer. You may need to try a different USB flash drive.
#1.) Turn the Power on.
What is the Root Directory on a Thumb drive?
If you open the thumb drive (Removable Disk “E”or what ever Letter is asighned) This is the root directory and it is where you will place the .xxxxxxx.bdl file.
#7.) When the message Complete appears on the control panel display, press the Back button 3 times. When the message Continue appears on the control panel display, press OK. The printer will continue to boot to the Ready state. After the printer or MFP is back online, print a Configuration Page and verify that the new firmware has been installed.
Enhancements and Fixes provided with the Firmware revision 2131305_192069
The following new functionality or features are provided by this firmware release:
Firmware Datecode: 20111217
Firmware Revision: 2131305_192069
Added backwards compatibility of PDL commands to control source input trays with all PDLs.
Added the ability to modify trays security constraints.
Ability to unlock stored jobs based on authenticated user.
Ability for a User or Administrator to re-print the Welcome page.
This feature provides access for web services applications, including Web Jetadmin, to the FIPS 140-2 status information of installed encrypted hard drives and the ability to enable/disable the encryption on the drive.
The ability to prevent disk corruption when power plug pulled during Firmware upgrade.
Add a new internal page: Administration, Reports, Configuration/Status Pages, Web Service Status Page. On this page it will list all of the currently running web services.
Usage Page displays the correct tray information and counts for an Installed Envelope feeder.
The ability to collect diagnostic log information if not able to boot to Ready. This new feature allows you to use the Pre-boot menu and a USB thumb drive to collect the log files.
Added the ability to Support Additional Output Bin Types with Paper Path Test.
The ability to hide the Job list.
The user can enable/disable 10 User Defined Media Types via SNMP, Web JetAdmin or EWS. The user can assign a print mode to the User Defined Media types. The user can create their own customized name for the User Defined Media Types.
The UI constrains the displaying of User Defined Media Types based on whether the SNMP OID has been enabled or disabled. When disabled, the specific User Defined type is not listed in the Adjust Paper Type menu. When enabled, the specific User Defined Media Type is displayed in the Adjust Paper Type menu.
Unsupported USB device messages are now able to be hidden.
The signed in Username will now be visible from most control panel screens.