This article discusses the formatter issues with the HP P2015 printer.
First, let’s talk about the symptoms of this particular formatter problem. A “paper jam” or “paper jam and toner empty” error light remains steady when you’re going to print, or turning your printer on in the morning. After checking for and clearing any paper jams (or if your unfortunate and get both the jam and toner empty message, replacing your cartridge) you get the same error. Now what?
Side note: Other errors can result because of this problem; these are just two of the most common.
Verify the problem
- Remove the left side cover by releasing the four tabs located near the cover’s four corners. Starting in the rear works best.
- Locate the engine test button on the engine control board just below and behind the right side of the formatter.
- Press the engine test button. This test bypasses the formatter and verifies the actual engine is working fine. A page of horizontal black lines should print out. Note: make sure the covers are all closed, toner installed, and paper is in the cassette tray before performing this action otherwise it will not work.
- If the page prints out and the display still reads an error state the formatter will have to be replaced or fixed.
If you’re getting other error codes, or if the page doesn’t print out, refer to this link: Hp P2015 Error Codes
The test page printed….now what?
First, it may be helpful to know that some reports say as many as 20% of the HP P2015 printers made have this issue. Most technicians and engineers have come to the conclusion that the material used to solder the chips on the formatter fails. They believe the chips produce too much thermal stress on the solder causing it to break. Not necessarily the chip’s fault, just that the solder material should be stronger. So what you’re left with is a formatter with all working parts but with an internal connection problem.
What are my options?
You have a few. You could send the printer in for repair or you could purchase one that’s already been fixed. Another option would be to buy a new OEM HP formatter. Right now HP is on its second or third generation of boards. The verdict is still out as to whether they have actually figured out a correct way to prevent this from happening again.
The internet is flooded with unhappy customers who have had the formatter replaced under warranty or purchased a new one from HP and experienced similar issues several months to a year later. Most then opt to go with a board that has been repaired (reconditioned or refurbished) because of the lower cost and because the typical warranty exceeds that of HP’s. Market Point has teamed up with a company that specializes in board repair. They make repairs to the boards and add a heat-sink to the processor to help dissipate the excessive heat that causes many of the failures, to make sure the end user is getting a high quality product that will be reliable.
What about the homemade remedies found online?
There are home remedies described online for the boards that involve heating them in an oven. If you’re thinking of using this approach, keep in mind that the oven temperature has to be just right or the heating will be ineffective and may cause other components to fail or melt. And, if the board is not kept perfectly flat it may warp. Additionally, this heating process does not solve any problem that may have been caused by a failed flash memory IC or NVRAM IC, which should also be tested and replaced.
If you do attempt the homemade fix, remember that a re-flowed board is not necessarily a sure or a lasting fix. I’ve heard of some boards reverting back to their original fault state days to months later. In my opinion, your best option is to get a reconditioned board done by a professional board repair provider like Market Point.
A Workhorse Printer
Well that’s it. Hopefully you have been enlightened about your troublesome P2015. I will add that, while this printer model is known to have a board issue, the overall printer is a workhorse. I recently serviced one that had over 175,000 prints and never had a problem. So don’t be too quick to dismiss your HP P2015 printer. With a properly working formatter board, these printers are well worth having around.
Kevin Gumpp is a certified printer technician and freelance writer for Market Point. If you have a question for Kevin regarding this topic or have any other printer repair related questions or topics you would like more information on, please send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.