Updating the Firmware in HP Printers Via USB or FTP
- By Aaron Caspary
- Feb 01, 2011
The following instructions will guide you through the update of your printer’s firmware. If this is the first time you’ve ever updated firmware, please do the following before attempting the update:
• Set aside enough time to read this article in its entirety before you begin.
• Read the “Readme” file from start to finish once it is unzipped.
• Clear any updates with your IT department!
Once you’ve performed these important steps, you are ready to update your firmware.
Downloading the firmware file
1. Go to www.hp.com.
2. Choose the “Support & Drivers” tab.
3. Choose “Download drivers and software (and firmware).”
4. Where it says “Enter a product name/number,” type the machine name or model number and press Enter. This takes you to a list of all the models of this printer.
5. Select the appropriate model.
6. Next you will see a list of operating systems; at the bottom of this list is “Cross operating system (BIOS, Firmware, Diagnostics, etc.).” Select this option to bring you to the page to download the firmware; choose the correct option for your system: Windows, UNIX or Mac.
- NOTE: Some machines may have the HP Easy Firmware Upgrade Utility for Windows only.
- Choose the proper file for the operating system in use. For example, in this article, we are using a Windows-based PC, so we will download the Windows version.
7. Once the file has been downloaded, you will want to run the file. It will unzip to a specified place in your hard drive (e.g., C:\Program Files\Hewlett-Packard).
Simplifying the file path
Given the need to reference the complete file path in this procedure, we are going to make the process easier with the following steps:
1. Open the folder on the C: drive where the unzipping program saved the files (WinZip is the most common application used for this purpose). Once you have located these files, there should be two files in the folder: Readme.txt and FileName.rfu.
2. Open another window for the C: drive.
3. Move only the .rfu file directly into the C: drive by cutting and pasting or dragging and dropping it into the C: drive.
4. Rename the .rfu file name to something easier to remember by right-clicking on the file and choosing “Rename” from the list or by clicking on an already preselected file.
5. Pick a name that is easy to remember, such as “4015.rfu” (remember that DOS has a restriction of eight characters for a file name, plus the file extension).
Next, choose either the USB or FTP update method, depending upon how your printer is connected to the computer or network.
Updating firmware through the USB port (printer is in a ready state)
To perform the firmware update through the USB port, follow the steps in both “Downloading the firmware file” as well as “Simplifying the file path” described earlier.
• Do not attempt a firmware upgrade if your area is currently experiencing frequent power outages.
• Inform all users not to send print jobs during the upgrade.
• Experience with DOS is recommended.
• Hook up the printer using a USB cable.
• Ensure the print driver is installed and working on the computer.
• Restart the computer.
• Close down any programs that are running in the background.
• Ensure you have the following information from your computer:
The computer name
1. Click on the “Start” button.
2. Go to “Settings” and choose “Control Panel.”
3. Choose “System” and then click on the tab labeled “Computer Name.”
4. Write down exactly what is to the right of the “Full computer name” line.
The printer name
1. From “Control Panel,” locate the “Printers and Faxes” icon (XP). (In Vista and 7, this is under the “Hardware and Sound” menu.)
2. Right-click on the printer you want to upgrade and choose “Properties” from the list.
3. From the printer properties screen, select the “Sharing” tab.
4. Choose “Share This Printer” in order to allow the upgrade.
5. Enter a “Share Name” that is easy to remember, then immediately write it down.
NOTE: If anything prevents the firmware update from completing, such as a cable coming unplugged, a power outage or a “blue screen of death” on the computer, it could cause more harm than intended. If for any reason the upgrade is unable to finish, there is a chance that the printer may not be able to recover, and a firmware DIMM or a formatter may need to be replaced, depending on the model.
USB update method
1. Open up a Command prompt:
Windows XP: From the Start menu, select “Run,” type in “CMD” and press Enter.
Windows Vista/7: From the Start menu, type “CMD” in the Search box and press Enter.
A DOS window will appear.
2. Navigate to the root directory by typing “CD\” and pressing Enter.
3. Type in the command exactly as listed below:
C:\>Copy/B C:\Firmware.rfu \\[Computer Name]\[Printer Name]
Assume that the following is true:
- RFU File location = C:\4250.rfu
- Computer Name = Work
- Printer Name = HP4250
For this set of information the command would look as follows:
C:\Copy/B C:\4250.rfu \\Work\HP4250
4. Press the Enter key. The printer should say “receiving update” and should eventually restart on its own.
5. Once the printer comes back up and is ready, print a configuration page to verify that the upgrade was successfully installed by checking the firmware revision number listed under “Printer Information.” You now have the necessary USB firmware version.
Updating firmware using FTP protocol
Depending on the revision of the FTP firmware update you are doing, you may have to follow both the “Downloading the firmware file” and the “Simplifying the file path” listed above. “FTP update method 1” only requires “Downloading the firmware file,” whereas “FTP update method 2” will require following both steps because the update is done using DOS.
Before you begin:
• Advise all users not to print to the printer while you are doing the firmware upgrade.
• Make sure the printer is in a ready state.
• Verify the Ethernet connections are properly connected.
• Restart you computer and close any unused programs running in the background on the computer.
• Turn off the OS-embedded firewall and any software firewalls; these will block the update from going through the network. The hardware firewalls should never need to be taken down.
A firewall is essentially a filter that blocks unwanted Internet traffic from reaching the network and computers while still allowing outward communication with the Intranet/Internet. Please know that turning off firewalls can leave a computer open to malicious attacks as well as computer viruses and is done at your own risk. Prior to turning off firewalls, discuss the changes with the IT department involved. Most networks have multiple firewalls, and the firewalls can be implemented in various forms, which are listed below:
Internet provider firewall
• Cannot be turned off.
• Embedded in the network hardware (router/Web servers).
• These should not need to be disabled in order for the firmware update to work.
(Personal firewall) Third-party/software firewalls
• Must be turned off to perform upgrade.
• Protects at the computer level.
• A program that runs in the background of a computer.
• Filters certain network activity and will prompt you to allow or deny access to the network upon any new or unrecognized network requests.
• These can usually be turned off by opening the program and switching off the firewall.
(Personal firewall) Operating system embedded
• Must be turned off to perform upgrade.
• Protects at the computer level.
• Windows XP and Vista have an embedded firewall that is turned on by default.
Depending on your OS, follow the instructions below:
1. Right-click on “My Network Places” and choose “Properties.”
2. Right-click on “Local Area Connections” and choose “Properties.”
3. Select the “Advanced” tab and choose “Settings.”
4. In the “General” tab, select “Off (not recommended)” and press “OK” or “Apply” to save the setting.
1. Open the Control Panel.
2. Select Network and Sharing Center.
3. At the bottom left corner of the window, choose “Windows Firewall.”
4. Find the “Windows Firewall” setting and choose “Turn Windows Firewall on or off.” Select “Off (Not recommended)” and press “OK” or “Apply” to save the setting.
Please note that if you follow these instructions and for some reason they do not work as described, you should consult your IT department. FTP communication intra-network may be considered malicious activity, and many network administrators block this type of communication on their networks.
FTP update method 1 (approximate processing time of three to four minutes):
1. Follow the instructions at the beginning of this article titled “Downloading the firmware file.”
2. Locate the folder where the program used to unzip the file put the RFU file.
3. Open an Internet Explorer browser window.
4. In the address bar of Internet Explorer, type in the printer’s IP address and press the Enter key (for this article, we will be using 192.168.1.12).
5. The address bar should now read “http://192.168.1.12/hp/device/this.LCDispatcher”; the information in red doesn’t always appear and will need to be removed for the next steps.
6. Replace http://192.168.1.12 with ftp://192.168.1.12.
7. Delete anything after the IP address and press Enter.
8. The page should display a “Ports 1” folder. If this does not happen, it will probably display instructions telling you to select the “Page” button and choose “Open FTP site in Windows Explorer.”
9. Locate and open the folder with the RFU file.
10. Drag and drop the RFU file anywhere into the Internet browser, and the update should begin automatically.
11. The printer’s display should read “Receiving Upgrade.” Once the upgrade is complete, the printer will eventually restart automatically.
FTP update method 2 (approximate processing time of three to four minutes):
Because we are using DOS for this procedure, it is necessary to follow both the “Downloading the firmware file” as well as the “Simplifying the file path” instructions at the beginning of this article.
1. Open a Command prompt:
Windows XP: Open the Start Menu, select “Run,” type in “CMD” and press Enter.
Windows Vista/7: Open the Start Menu, type “CMD” in the Search box and press Enter.
2. Type “CD\” to get to the root directory.
3. Type the following command: “FTP (IP Address)” (you can get the printer’s IP address off of a network configuration page). An example of the full command: C:\>FTP 192.168.1.12.
4. It will prompt you for a username and password. Leave them blank and press the Enter key for each.
5. It will scroll through some command lines; after it finishes, you should have a prompt that shows “ftp>”; after this, type “PUT,” the file location and the complete file path. It should look like this: ftp>PUT C:\FRED.RFU.
6. The printer’s display should read “Receiving Upgrade.”
7. Once the upgrade is complete, the printer will restart automatically; eventually, you should restart the printer on its own.
Troubleshooting in DOS:
If you are using DOS to send the firmware update and you get an error, here are some quick tips:
• If you get a syntax error, check the use of your “\” and “/.” If the wrong context is used, it will prevent DOS from recognizing the command.
• Remember the 8.3 rule: In DOS, file names and folder names cannot be more than eight characters long, plus a three-character extension.
• DOS does not like long extensions; follow the instructions and shorten up the file name as well as the path. It is easier to just put the file in the C drive.
• Watch for extra spaces; DOS does not like extra spaces.
C:\Copy/B C:\4250.rfu \\Work\HP4250
If you encounter any additional problems, please contact your IT department.
Contact Aaron Caspary at www.partsnow.com.
This article originally appeared in the February 2011 issue of Recharger.