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Why does my HP Officejet keep printing the letter "e"?

Posted By : of Data Doctors on November 15, 1999

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For two years my Compaq PC and HP OfficeJet LX printer have worked fine. Then, out of the blue, I am printing all too frequently an extra "garbage" page. This garbage page prints out typically as the first page of a new instruction to print. And it prints the letter "e" in the upper left hand corner of the page. And that's it, just the letter "e". That page comes out of the printer and the next page(s) is then the correct one------and it is 100% correct. I cannot predict, when I hit the print icon, whether the correct printing (without the garbage page) or the incorrect version will happen. So I waste a lot of paper. I may put letterhead or envelopes in the printer------and just watch them get wasted with the letter "e". Any solutions?


This question was answered on November 15, 1999. Much of the information contained herein may have changed since posting.

Killing a few trees, are you Lou? Printers of all types from time to time seem to take on a life of their own A very common problem with laser and inkjet printers is the printing of an extra blank page or one with various characters on a separate page from the actual document In your case, it seems that the letter “e” is a constant and that may help track down the problem Printers transfer their information via the drivers that are loaded for the printer and the printer port Because you stated that everything was working for two years, I am assuming that you are running Windows 95 A possible solution for your situation could be to update the driver for the printer port Any time that you have errant characters in a print job, the most likely suspect is a driver (a software program that controls a piece of hardware) According to HP, if you are having the “e” problem on an OfficeJet LX or 300 series printer running on Windows 95, the driver that controls the printer port which is the “LPT.VXD” file should be checked and/or updated The updated driver version should be equal to 4.00.503 or 4.00.951

To check the revision of the LPT.VXD file do the following:

Click on Start/Settings/Control Panel and double click on the System icon Select the Device Manager tab at the top then double click on Ports (COM & LPT) to expose the available ports Double click on the “LPT1” port to expose the printer port properties Click on the Driver tab at the top then on the “Driver File Details” button towards the bottom The version of the LPT.VXD file will be listed on the File Version line towards the bottom The proper version should be 4.00.503 or 4.00.951 or higher You can update the driver by clicking on the Update Driver button on the previous screen The proper LPT.VXD file Version 4.00.503 should be available on your Windows 95 CD-ROM in the D:\DRIVERS\PRINTERS\LPT folder (assuming that your CD-ROM drive is “D:”) You can also get an updated LPT.VXD file at the Microsoft Support website by downloading Service Pack 1 from

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REMEMBER, this is information for Windows 95 only DO NOT install the above service pack if you are running Windows 98!

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of Data Doctors on November 15, 1999

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