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Parallel HP Laser Printer Firmware Update Procedure

HP Laser Printer Parallel Firmware Update Procedure

Downloading the File To download the RFU (Remote Firmware Update) file:


1. Go to www.HP.com and select the “Software & Driver Download” link on the website. 2. Choose the “Download Drivers and Software”, and then type in the model of printer you are working on and press enter.

3. This will display a list of the different models available.


Select your model from the list and you should be looking at a webpage with a list of different operating systems. Depending on the model of printer you are working on, the file can be found in two different places on the page. Scroll down to the bottom of the list of all of the operating systems.

  • If you see “Cross Operating System (BIOS, Firmware, Diagnostics, etc.)”, select this link and you will have the choice to download the file for Windows, Mac, or UNIX.

  • If “Cross Operating System (Bios Firmware Diagnostics, etc.)” does not appear, it might be listed when you choose an operating system.

  • Please note that not all printers have the capability to upgrade the firmware.

4. The files come in a zipped format. Run this file and it will unzip the file. Additional software may be required. The unzipped folder will include the .RFU file and a ReadMe file. Locate the folder that was placed on your system, and remember to completely read the readme file before proceeding.


Updating Firmware Through the Parallel Port: Once you have gone to www.HP.com and downloaded the Windows Firmware file, open or run it and the file should unzip using an unzipping program. Note that the file for this procedure is different than the HP Easy Firmware Upgrade Utility.


** It is important to note that if for any reason the upgrade is unable to complete, there is a chance that the printer may not be able to recover. If anything prevents the firmware update from completing, such as a cable coming unplugged, a power outage, blue screen on your computer, etc,. then a firmware DIMM, or possibly a formatter depending on your model, may need to be replaced.**


You will have the two files opened to a folder in the C: drive on your computer. The first being a .RFU file (not a .EXE file), the other will be a ReadMe.TXT file. Please note that some experience with DOS is recommended.


  1. To make this process easier, first open the folder on the C: drive where the files were saved to by the unzipping program. WinZip is the most common application for this.

  2. Once you have located these files on the C: drive, open another window for the C: drive.

  3. Move only the .RFU file directly into the C: drive. This can be done by copying and pasting, or also by dragging and dropping the file into the C: drive. The reason for doing this is to simplify the command that will need to be entered into DOS.

  4. Next rename the .RFU filename to something that is easier to remember such as Fred.rfu or the model number such as 4200.rfu. Whatever you decide, know that DOS has a restriction of 8 characters for the filename, plus the file extension, in this case .RFU.

  5. The printer must be hooked up using an IEEE 1284 BiTronics Parallel cable, and the driver does not need to be installed on the computer for the upgrade to work.

  6. Prior to beginning the upgrade, restart your computer.

  7. Check the parallel cable on both the computer and also on the printer. Make sure it is seated properly.

  8. Close down all programs that are running in the background on your computer. Don’t attempt this if your area is experiencing frequent power outages.

  9. Open up a DOS Command prompt. The easiest way is to click on the “Start” button then select “Run…” A window will appear and just type “CMD”, or you can type out “COMMAND” and press enter.

  10. A DOS window will appear to get the root directory type CD\, and press enter. (This is not necessary; I like to do it because it cleans thing up.)

  11. Type in the command C:\>Copy/B C:\Fred.rfu LPT1, and press the enter key. Pay close attention not to put extra spaces in the command because DOS does not like extra spaces. Do not power-down your machine until completed. This may take up to 10-15 minutes. The printer should say receiving update, and eventually should restart on its own once it comes back up to ready.

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