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Some see things as they are, and ask "Why?"   I dream things that never were, and ask "Why Not".  
Robert F. Kennedy

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Old Chinese Proverb

Sunday, February 19, 2017

HP OfficeJet Pro 6975
How to clear a Printer Failure 0x6100004a


Today I had an interesting experience with a (relatively) new Hewlett-Packard OfficeJet Pro 6975 Multi-Function Printer.  I encountered a strange "Printer Failure 0x6100004a" error.  Since extensive research online didn't disclose a fix, I decided it was time for another QA Tech-Tip!

When I attempted to print something today, I received a "Paper Jam" message instructing me to remove the back panel and/or the AutoDuplexer attachment and clear a paper jam.  After verifying that there was no paper jam, and that paper was loaded, (as sometimes if the paper pick-up rollers miss a sheet, it reads as a paper jam), I dismissed the error.

It is interesting to note at this point that the OfficeJet Pro 6975 doesn't have either a removable back panel or a removable "auto-duplexer".  Maybe it's time for a firmware update to the on-screen error messages?

The printer then threw a "Printer Failure 0x6100004a" message, instructing me to turn off the printer and then turn it back on again.  Of course, "If this error persists, please contact HP".

The characteristics of this issue are as follows:
  • The printer throws a "paper jam" error even though there is no paper jam present.
  • Clearing the error by pressing "OK" on the front panel display ultimately ends up with a "Printer Failure 0x6100004a" message, at which point the printer will not do anything else.
  • Attempting to shut-down the printer may cause it to hang at the "shutting down" screen.
  • "Resetting" the printer by the usual "user-mode" methods such as turning it off-and-on, disconnecting power, applying power with the "Power" button pressed, etc. does no good.
It turns out that there IS a solution and it's (relatively) easy to do.  It's just hidden within the printer's hidden System Support menu.

What appears to be happening, (at least this is what the chat representative at HP told me), is that - for whatever reason - the printer gets "stuck" in a "paper-jam" mode and can't get out.  This makes the printer think that it has encountered a hard failure.  It stamps its feet, has a tantrum, and refuses to play.

Here's the fix:
  • With the printer on, and stuck in this error, return to the "Home" screen somehow.  You will probably have to "OK", "Hide", or whatever your way back to the "Home" screen.
  • Find the "Back" button.  It's in the lower-left corner, just outside the visible area of the front panel's screen.  If you can't find it, just touch something, (like "Copy Document"), on the home screen and it will light up.  Once you find it, press it to go back to the home screen.
  • Even though it is not lit, press it four times in succession.  You should be rewarded with a blank screen with "Support Menu" at the top.  Getting it to happen can be a bit tricky as the taps have to be right on the button, even though dark, and there's a certain technique to it.  If you don't get the support menu right away, take a deep breath and keep trying.
  • Once you get to the "Support Menu", tap on the words "Support Menu" at the top of the front panel display to enter the Support menu.  Once you do this, you should see something like "Support MCP2C11234ABC" on two lines.
  • At the bottom of the screen you will see a big "X" in the lower left, a left bracket "<" a right bracket ">", and the word "OK" on a blue background.
  • Press the right bracket ">" twice until you see "Resets Menu".  If you accidentally hit the left bracket, or hit the right bracket too many times, keep pressing it, it will eventually wrap-around and bring you to the "Resets Menu".
  • Select "OK, and you will see "Country/Language reset".  Press the right bracket and you will see "Partial Reset".  Pressing it again will bring you to the "Semi-Full reset" prompt.


At this point, you are just about to do what HP calls a "Semi-Full" reset.  When you press the "OK" button, you will reset any customizations you have made to the printer - in essence nuking it back to the Stone Age - and once you press it, it takes effect immediately!

Go ahead and ask me how I know.  I was repeating these steps for the sake of this article, I got to the final "OK", and pressed it to see what the confirmation prompt would be.  Guess what?  There wasn't one!  All the printer's setup that I had laboriously restored prior to writing this article, gone!

When you perform the Semi-Full reset you:
  • Reset most, if not all, of the internal states and registers of the printer.
    (This is the step you want, as it clears the paper-jam state.)
  • It will also reset the printer's
    • Language
    • Region
    • Paper size/type
    • Network settings (both wired and WiFi)
    • Fax settings, including auto-answer, fax ID and number, possibly including the phone book, junk fax blocking, etc.  I don't use the phone book or junk fax settings, so I don't know if they get nuked.  I would expect them to be nuked though.
    • HP Web Connect and any other on-line services like "instant ink"
    • Internal printer settings like print-head alignment.
    • And maybe a few others I don't remember.
In essence, you will be doing the equivalent of an Out-Of-Box setup when you are done, or as the HP chat representative told me: "this will reset all the printer settings to factory defaults".

(I sure hope you have your settings written down!)

Are you ready?

Go ahead and press "OK". . . . . .

The printer may make a noise, (or it might not), it will appear to "hang" for about thirty seconds or so, and then it will turn off.

When you turn it back on, you will be confronted with the HP logo for a moment or two, and then you will be brought to the language setup screen, where you will begin configuring the printer as if it were brand-new, right out of the box, all over again.

You might be tempted to "restore" a saved settings file you might have for this printer.  I'd recommend against it - you're trying to clear out the cruft, remember?  Who knows what odd-ball cruft might be hiding in that file?

Once this is done, the printer should be printing again, and you should be a Happy Camper!

Update: 01/15/2018

This error appears to be caused when the printer cannot pick up a sheet of paper, throws a paper-jam error, and the error is not resolved after several retries.

The USUAL culprit is a legitimate misfeed - the paper wasn't picked up by the paper pickup roller.  And what usually happens is that you go thorough the whole "paper-jam" drill, open up everything, re-seat the paper, etc. etc. etc. - and you end up with a working printer.

You can try the following to convince your printer to play nice:
  • Remove the paper and make sure it's not unusually slick or slippery.
  • Look for anything that might cause sheets of paper to "hang" or stick to each other, like humidity, dampness, something sticky on it, a dented edge, etc.
  • "Fan" the stack of paper by holding it up on it's edge and running your thumb through it causing all the pages to flippppppp like a fan.
  • Try turning the stack over.
  • Change the paper, or - if the printer's getting low - add more.
If that doesn't fix it, the printer throws another paper-jam error, and hopes this will resolve it.  If the paper still doesn't feed, you get the, now famous, "Printer Failure 0x6100004a" message.

In many cases the paper misfeed is a temporary occurrence, and a reset usually clears up the problem.
If it still isn't behaving itself after a few resets, then maybe you need to call HP.

Observations?  Comments?  Post 'em below!

Thanks for watching.

Jim (JR)