Unsupported Personality Error HP LaserJet 1012 Windows 7
We are going to call this inverted post style. This article started out down below where the heading HP LaserJet 1012 Printer Driver for Windows 7 Failure, but after writing all of that, I realized that I had taken too long to get to the point. That’s fine, because this is my brain storming, brain dumping, brain overloading, website and I needed to do a little of all three in order to be able to write the meat of this post. So, if you want it to completely make sense go to the heading and read to the end and then come back to the next paragraph. If you just want to know what is going on, just keep reading normally.
Using a different HP printer driver to fix the flawed business strategy of not supporting Windows 7 on popular, recently discontinued printers, has been tougher than it should be. As it turns out, there are two major reasons for this, as I recently found out about on a open-source forum dedicated to Linux printing.
The HP LaserJet 1012 printer worked pretty good for most people, but it was falsely advertised as supporting PCL5. Instead, the HP LaserJet 1012 printer actually supports some HP-bastardized version of PCL5. When the 1012 receives PCL5 print jobs it understands most of the commands it receives. Therefore, it is able to handle print jobs correctly that come from another PCL5 printer driver, like the HP LaserJet 3055 print driver for Windows 7.
Unfortunately, this unprofessional, hacked version of PCL 5 does not understand all of the PCL 5 commands it gets, so it just throws those into an error state. Eventually, all of the discarded commands fill up the printer’s buffers and it begins to generate visible error messages in the form of a printout that says only, “Unsupported Personality: PCL”.
Turning the printer off and back on resets clears the buffers out, and the LaserJet 1012 works on Windows 7 again until there is another buffer overrun.
Unfortunately, since it is the printer’s buffers and not the computer’s printing buffers that are overflowing, occasionally restarting the spooler service or other printer services does NOT fix the error of the LaserJet 1012 eventually crapping out with a PCL unsupported error message.
A permanent fix for the HP LaserJet 1012 Windows 7 printer driver issue would then require using a printer driver that has a similarly misused version of PCL5. Unfortunately, HP was never very forthcoming about the fact that its little laser printer didn’t really support PCL5 like it said it did in the first place, so obviously, they are not too forthcoming about which other HP printers supported on Windows 7 use pretend PCL5 either — if there are any.
So, I continue to search for a usable work-around for using my HP LaserJet on Windows 7 until either
- a) I buy a new NON-HP printer to replace it. (HP is officially dead to me.)
- b) I find a driver and Windows 7 printer settings combination that works.
If you would like to help out, please let me know in the comments or an email or a direct message to Best Hubris on Twitter if you come across information about which other HP printers use bogus PCL5 instruction sets, as well as any suggestions you might have for which (if any) Windows 7 settings or printer configuration options might help mitigate the issue of poorly implemented PCL5 command processing leading to errors inside the printer.
HP LaserJet 1012 Printer Driver Windows 7 Failure
My HP LaserJet 1012 printer has been giving me an error message on Windows 7 ever since the release candidate first came out. I got over it at first figuring that it would be fixed in the final release of Windows 7, but unfortunately, that is not what happened. Instead, HP will not support Windows 7 on lots of printers it sold in the years leading up to the release of Windows 7 despite having supported many of them on Windows Vista, and the great similarity between Vista drivers and Windows 7 drivers.
The HP LaserJet printer line is a popular line of decent quality laser printers used in homes and small businesses. In fact, I used to heartily recommend HP printers to anyone who asked, and plenty who did not, whenever the topic came up. The reason for this recommendation is that in all my years supporting computers and networks the one brand of printer that never had any consistent trouble or “unique” trouble (I’m looking at you Brother and your scored fusers from paper jams).
Not only that, but HP printers are well known within the computer industry for lasting a long time. I can’t count the number of times I walked into someone’s cubical and saw some dinosaur HP LaserJet 4 chugging away on some 40 page report. (The original HP 4 laser printer was rated at eight pages per minute and got a lot closer to five pages per minute if you were printing anything other than a very simple page of text.) It was with deep disappointment and eventual distain that I heard HP would not support the HP LaserJet 1012 on Windows 7 operating system. The printer had been discontinued just four years before Widows 7 was released, and was a very popular seller thanks to quality printouts and low price. It all adds up to tens of thousands or more HP LaserJet printer owners left hanging high and dry without printer drivers.
The worst part about all of this is that it takes a college intern a couple of days to turn out a basic printer driver. Of course, that is the problem. The LaserJet series came with bloated multi-function driver / software bundles that nobody really wanted, and that very few people used. However, HP would find it even tougher to justify not upgrading the whole driver bundle than to just abandon the printer altogether.
If you got to this post by clicking on another on this site, then you know that I have found a functioning work-around for printing on Windows 7 with an HP LaserJet 1012 by using an HP LaserJet 3055 PCL5 driver.
However, that is a very imperfect fix because eventually the printer buffers fill up on the 1012 and it starts printing
Unsupported Personality: PCL
error messages as a single line on a blank page of paper. This is particularly inconvenient, because other than the error message on the print out page, there is no other error message. In fact, on the computer that prints there is no error message at all. Unless you are sitting next to the printer and monitoring what comes out of it, you can end up with a dozen error messages printed out and have no idea that it is all failing. In addition to the wasted paper, this is a big problem for those times when you are printing out 15 different lists or a dozen webpages one at a time. It is not always easy to find them again. After all, if you printed them, you probably weren’t planning on having to get back there electronically.