Troubleshooting Fax Transmission and Reception Issues
Review the information below to determine why faxes cannot be sent or received.
Review the symptoms below carefully and then select the symptom that best fits your problem. If the solution links you to a different document that does not resolve the problem, return to this document to continue troubleshooting.
- The fax machine doesn't receive or send a fax and prints an error report (buu02549) (in English)
Faxes cannot be received but they can be sent
Review the following information to determine why faxes are not being received.
- Phone company services: Do you have any of the following telephone line services from your telephone company: Voice Mail, Privacy Block, Security Screen, Anonymous Call Rejection, or Privacy Manager?These phone services are meant to prevent unwanted calls, but they will aslo stop faxes. Contact your telephone company for their recommended solution for receiving faxes on the same line with these services.
- If you wish to receive faxes automatically, verify that automatic answering is enabled on models that have an Auto Answer button, or that the Rings to Answer setting is set to a number equal to or larger than one for models that do not have an Auto Answer button. On models with an Answer Mode setting, it should be set to Fax, FaxTel, or AnswerMachine depending on your setup.
- If you have a HP PSC 2200 or an Officejet 6100 that interrupts calls or will not receive faxes, download and install the HP Firmware update for these products.
- Save these instructions to your computer, and then go to the Support & Drivers page.
- Type in your model number (HP PSC 2210xi for example).
- Click the search arrow to the right of the text entry box. You may be asked to select your product from a list of models.
- On the software download page, select your operating system version.
- Locate and select the firmware update.
- Follow the directions to download and install the update
- If an answering machine is connected to the same line, fax reception problems can occur. These problems may be corrected by changing settings or phone line connections. For more information on using a TAM or distinctive ring service, go to Using the HP All-in-One and Fax Products with a Telephone Answering Machine (buu04072) (in English).
- If you have a PBX phone system, or an ISDN or DSL modem connected to the line, there may be some phone line configuration problems. Fax machines are analog devices and cannot be used on a digital phone service such as those used in many businesses (PBX systems). Install an analog phone line for a fax machine. To learn how to correct these problems, go to Using an HP All-in-One or Fax Product on a PBX, ISDN, or DSL Phone System (buu50333) (in English).
Faxes cannot be sent but can be received
Follow the steps below to correct the problem.
- Verify that you are dialing the number correctly. You must dial all of the numbers required to make a phone call from the same line. This includes numbers that must be dialed to access an outside line or to access long distance services.
- If you have been using a speed dial or are faxing from the computer, print the page to be faxed and manually dial the number from the front panel of the fax. If the fax can be sent when dialed from the front panel, recreate the speed dial setting and insert some pauses.
- If you are trying to fax from the computer with a model that supports PC faxing and the fax does not try to dial when you send a fax job, test the communications to the all-in-one by clicking Status in the Director, or by trying to print to the all-in-one.
- If this is reported as disconnected or printing fails, verify that the communications cable from the computer to the all-in-one is connected correctly and restart the computer.
- If communications still cannot be established, troubleshoot the communications.
Faxes fail intermittently or with only one fax number
- If static is present on the phone line, fax communication may fail. Have the phone line checked and serviced by the telephone company (or have the other party check their line). Phone line quality is the most common reason for intermittent fax failures. Some older locations and buildings have inadequate phone system wiring.
- If you are trying to send a color fax and it fails, try sending the same machine a black and white fax. Normally the fax will detect that the other fax is not color capable and will offer you the option to send the fax as black and white but this might not always be the case. Do not send color faxes unless you know the other fax machine is capable of receiving color faxes.
- Check the phone cable from the wall jack to the fax. It should not be coiled or longer than necessary. Coiling the cable can cause cross talk or echo on the line. Signal strength and quality can be lost with long cables.
- Make sure the phone cable routing (and any cables not plugged into the same jack but sharing the same line) is not near any electrical appliances (electric motors, fans, kitchen appliances, or televisions). Many of these devices do not have sufficient electrical shielding and can induce electro-magnetic force (EMF) onto the phone line. Computers are usually shielded sufficiently and do not cause this problem.
- Do not use a call-waiting service on the same line connected to the fax machine. The click sound caused by an incoming call can cause the fax to fail.
- You can block certain faxes on some models. Verify that the telephone number of the sending fax is not blocked in the faxing software. This is usually located in the Fax History.
- Reconfigure the local fax machine to use different configuration settings, enable or disable the ECM setting.
Faxes cannot be sent or received or the problem cannot be determined
Follow the steps below to correct the problem:
Step one: Reinitialize and check the fax machine
- Disconnect the power cord from the back of the fax machine and from the wall outlet. The fax machine will reinitialize when it is plugged back in. You must disconnect the power cord, turning the fax off using the power button will not reinitialize the fax. Leave the power cord disconnected for now.
- Verify that the phone cable is fully inserted into the fax machine. If your model has a removable line interface unit (LIU) that the phone line plugs into, verify that it is securely snapped in place.If the fax is an HP Officejet R80 series model, also verify that the cable that runs from the automatic document feeder assembly to the back of the all-in-one base is connected.
- Reconnect the power cord to the unit and then plug it in to the wall outlet. After the fax reinitializes and is ready, try to send and receive faxes again. If the problem still exists, continue to Step two: Check the connections.
Step two: Check the connections
Check the cable connections to the fax following the directions below.
NOTE:The HP Fax 1050 does not have a 2-ext or auxiliary port for use with other phone appliances.
- Examine how the telephone cable is connected to the fax. The fax must be connected directly to the wall phone jack and the cable should be plugged into a jack on the fax that is labeled Line, 1 - Line, To Wall Jack, or has an image of a wall jack.Any other devices that must be plugged into the same phone jack can be connected to the auxiliary ports on the fax as is shown below.
If you have changed any cable connections, try sending and receiving faxes to determine if you still have a problem.
- For more information and detailed diagrams for connecting other basic phone line equipment to the fax, go to Connecting Phone Equipment to the Fax (c00014834) (in English).
- If you are connecting the fax to a PBX phone system or have a DSL or ISDN modem, go to Using an HP All-in-One or Fax Product on a PBX, ISDN, or DSL Phone System (buu50333) (in English) to learn how to connect the fax in these environments.
- Examine the cable from the wall jack to the fax. You must use a cable that has only two copper leads or wires as is shown in Call out 1 below (similar to what shipped with the fax). Replace any four-conductor cables with a two-conductor cable. If you have the cable that shipped with the fax and it is long enough, use that cable. You may also want to try changing the cable.
- If you have other devices (caller ID boxes, answering machine, and etc.) connected to the phone line, disconnect all of these devices, even if they are not connected to the same phone jack or are in another room and then try to send and receive a fax.
- If you are able to send and receive faxes after disconnecting the other equipment, add the devices back one at a time until you discover the device that was causing the problem.
- If faxing still isn't working, continue troubleshooting with Step three: Check the phone line. Leave the other phone line devices disconnected for now.
Step three: Check the phone line
The following items are required to check the phone line:
- The phone number for another fax machine that can be used to verify whether the HP fax is sending and receiving correctly. This fax can be in the same building, on another phone line, or at another location with someone who can assist.NOTE:It is also very helpful to call the person or company you are dialing and speak to them. They can tell you how their fax is behaving when called by your fax. This can be valuable information when trying to determine the problem.
- An ordinary single-line phone This phone will be used for testing the phone line and testing different faxing options.
Begin troubleshooting the phone line by following these steps:
- Disconnect the phone cable from the fax machine and plug the cable into a standard single-line telephone.
- Pick up the handset and listen for a dial tone. If no dial tone is heard, replace the telephone cable between the wall jack and the telephone with another two-conductor cable. If a dial tone cannot be heard after changing the cable, contact your telephone company for assistance.
- Dial the number of a fax you have been trying to send a fax to:
- If the destination fax answers the line, continue to the next step.
- If the call fails to go through, try a different number. If the second call is also not answered, replace the phone cable and try again. If it still doesn't ring through after replacing the cable, contact your phone company for assistance.
- Hang the phone up and either call your phone line number from a phone on a different line (like a cell phone) or have someone call your number. If the phone rings and you can answer it, continue to the next step. If the phone doesn't ring when called, replace the phone cable and try again. If it still doesn't ring after replacing the cable, contact your phone company for assistance.
- Disconnect the phone cable from the telephone and reconnect it to the fax. Before making any calls, change the fax settings to those listed in the table below by pressing the Setup, Menu, or Fax Menu button (depending on the model) repeatedly to access the Basic Fax Setup menu or the Advanced Fax Setup Menu.As an alternative you may also reset the fax machine to the factory default settings by selecting that option in the Maintenance, Status and Maintenance, or Tools menu or some all-in-one models allow you to use the software to change the fax settings.
Fax menu Fax menu option Setting Basic Fax Setup Rings to Answer 1 (or 2) Basic Fax Setup Ring Volume Medium or Loud Advanced Fax Setup Answer Ring Pattern All Rings Advanced Fax Setup Automatic Reports Setup Every Error
- The following sequence of events will occur if the fax is working correctly:
Dial the same fax number you called in Step 3 using the front panel. Watch the front panel display and listen to the fax.
- When the fax machine starts to dial, you hear a dial tone briefly followed by the sound of the fax dialing. "Dialing" will appear in the front panel display
- When the fax you are calling answers the line, the fax machines will exchange tones and "Connecting" appears in the display. During the connecting phase, the two fax machines will compare capabilities, exchange information about how the fax is to be sent, and try to establish a reliable transmission speed.
- After a connection is established, the pages of the fax are sent. "Sending page 1" or similar message will appear in the display.
- If the fax is transmitted successfully, continue to the next step.
- If you do not hear a dial tone and/or the other fax does not answer the line, try calling another fax machine (the first may be busy) to verify that the result will be the same. If the second attempt also fails, see Step four: Final steps for final steps to take before you service your product.
- If you hear the other fax machine answer the line and starts "beeping", but the display on your fax does not switch from dialing to connecting, the fax machine is not detecting the tones from the other fax machine, see Step four: Final steps for final steps to take before you service your product.
- Have the owner of the other fax machine send you a fax. Watch the front panel display and listen as the fax tries to connect.
- If the fax is received, the problem is corrected and the fax machine is fully functional.
- If your fax does not ring and/or does not answer the line when the other fax is sent, have them try again to verify that there is a problem. If the second attempt also fails, see Step four: Final steps for final steps to take before you service your product.
- If the fax rings briefly and then stops, something else is answering the line (another fax, credit card machine, PC faxing or communications software, or voice mail). You must determine what is answering the line.
- If your fax answers the line, the message on the front panel display should switch from "Answering" to "Connecting". If this does not occur, the fax is not detecting the other fax machine. See Step four: Final steps for final steps to take before you service your product.
Step four: Final steps to try before servicing your product
- To reset the fax, go to Performing a Partial Reset of the All-in-One (c00060793) (in English). A partial reset will return all the fax settings to the default values. On some products, you will need to re-enter the language and country/region setting.CAUTION:After performing a partial reset on an HP Officejet 500 or 600 series product, the unit must be reconnected to a computer, with the all-in-one software installed, to re-configure the settings. Do not perform the reset if the product cannot be connected to a computer and configured with the software.
- If the problem still exists after a partial reset, there is a problem with the fax machine. Service the product.
Other faxing issues
Faxes are blank or have vertical lines
- For sent faxes: Make a copy. The product uses the same scanning mechanism for copying and faxing.
- If the copy prints correctly, the receiving fax machine might have a problem.
- If the copy is blank, the scanner is not working properly and requires service.
- If the copy has dark vertical lines, the scanner glass and white reference strip need to be cleaned. For more information, go to General Cleaning of an HP All-in-One or Fax Product (buu01831) (in English).
- For received faxes: Print a self-test report.
- If the report does not print correctly, replace the black ink cartridge.
- If the report prints correctly, the issue is probably with the sending fax machine. Try receiving a fax from another fax machine.
Faxes fail when the computer goes into suspend or sleep mode
Do not use suspend or sleep mode on the computer when it is connected to an HP all-in-one product. The HP all-in-one product maintains contact with the computer. When the computer goes into suspend or power save mode, the task that communicates with the unit cannot function. This causes communication problems.
Disabling suspend mode in the power management settings
- Click Start , click Settings , and then click Control Panel .
- Double-click Power Management .
- Change the setting for Turn Off Hard Disks to Never , and then click OK .
Disabling suspend mode in the binary input/output system (BIOS)
On some computers, an automatic suspend mode exists that must be disabled in the BIOS. The method for opening the BIOS and the BIOS options might be different on the computer (check with the computer manufacturer for assistance) but use the following steps as a general guide:
- Restart the computer.
- During the restart, a screen might appear with the prompt: “Press (key) to Enter Setup”. Press the key that is indicated. This opens the BIOS setup program. Hewlett-Packard computers use either F1 or F2 to open the BIOS. Check with the computer manufacturer for assistance in using the BIOS on computers from other manufacturers.
- Navigate to the Power menu.
- In the Power Savings category, press Enter .
- Select Disable , and then press Enter .
- Save the settings and exit the BIOS.
Answers to common questions
- Fax machine power - the fax machine must be turned on to send or receive a fax.
- Dial-up modems - If a dial-up modem shares the same phone line as the fax product, it is not possible to send or receive a fax while logged on to the Internet. This is a limitation of the phone system and not the HP all-in-one. Only one device can access the same phone line at any one time.
- Distinctive Ring is an optional service available from many telephone companies. The Distinctive Ring service permits more than one telephone number to be assigned to the same telephone line. When called, each telephone number provides a distinctive ringing sound, such as a single ring, double ring, or triple ring. For example, if an HP fax product and a telephone are both connected to a single telephone line with a Distinctive Ring service, one telephone number can be assigned for fax calls only and another phone number can be assigned for voice calls only. Using the instructions below, you can configure your HP fax product to answer a specific ring pattern and ignore other ring patterns. The Distinctive Ring allows you to use a single phone line for both voice and fax calls, because it provides a unique phone number and ringing sound for fax calls. This feature allows the HP fax to work similarly to a dedicated fax line.NOTE:Faxes cannot be received or sent when the phone line is in use. Even if the HP fax product has a separate telephone number, it is still sharing the same phone line.NOTE:The Distinctive Ring service is the name HP and others use to describe this feature. Distinctive Ring is also known as:
- Call Sign
- Custom Ring
- Personalized Ringing
- Smart Ring
- If the fax machine uses a distinctive ring option to share a phone line, it is still not possible to send or receive a fax while the line is in use. This is a limitation of the phone system and not the HP all-in-one. Only one device can access the same phone line at any one time. To learn more about why you might need to use Distinctive Ring, go to Using the Distinctive Ring Feature on an HP Fax Product (buu04088) (in English).