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'The Computer Is Unable to Establish a Two-Way Communication with the USB Device' Message Displays on the Computer

  • PrintPrint

Issue

The following message displays on the computer when you try to view estimated ink levels in HP Printer Toolbox: 'The Computer Is Unable to Establish a Two-Way Communication with the Device' and the ink levels do not display.
Click the plus sign () for more information.
The issue can be caused by any of the following situations:
  • The product might not be getting enough electrical power.
  • Bidirectional support is not enabled.
  • There is no printer icon in the printer folder.
  • The HP Digital Imaging Monitor is not running.
  • The HPZPML driver is not running.
The issue can be caused by any of the following situations:
  • The product might not be getting enough electrical power.
  • Security settings are blocking communication.
  • Some software needs to be updated.
  • A firewall is blocking communication.
NOTE:Some of the following solutions require you to restart the computer. Consider bookmarking this page on your Web browser, so that you can reference it after restarting the computer.
Follow these solutions in the order presented to resolve the issue.

Solution one: Check cartridge compatibility

To purchase cartridges or check cartridge compatibility for your printer, go to HP Home & Home Office Store (US only), and then click Ink Toner & Paper.
If you are located outside of the US, follow these steps to purchase cartridges using HP SureSupply.
  1. Scroll to the bottom of the page and make sure that the country/region location is correct.
Genuine HP cartridges can also be purchased from other retailers.
NOTE:If you installed a refilled or remanufactured cartridges, or cartridges that were used in another product, the ink level indicator is inaccurate or unavailable.
  • If your cartridges are compatible with your product, continue to the next solution in this document.
  • If your cartridges are not compatible with your product, replace them with genuine HP cartridges. If replacing the cartridges resolved the issue, you can stop troubleshooting. Otherwise, continue to the next solution.
  • If your cartridges are refilled, remanufactured, or were used in another product, replace them with genuine HP cartridges. If replacing the cartridges resolved the issue, you can stop troubleshooting. Otherwise, continue to the next solution

Solution two: Plug the printer directly into a wall outlet

Your product might be getting too little power to work normally. Follow these steps to plug the product directly into a wall outlet.
  1. Disconnect the power cord from the rear of the product.
  2. Unplug the power cord from any power strip or surge suppressor, and then plug it directly into the wall outlet.
  3. Reconnect the power cord to the rear of the product.
  4. Press the Power button () to turn on the product.
  • If these steps resolved the issue, you do not need to continue troubleshooting.
  • If the issue persists, continue to the next solution.

Solution three: Connect the USB cable directly into the computer

If you connected the USB cable to the computer through a USB hub, disconnect the USB cable from the hub, and then connect the USB cable directly into a USB port on the computer.
  • If these steps resolved the issue, you do not need to continue troubleshooting.
  • If the issue persists, continue to the next solution.

Solution four: Make sure that bidirectional support is enabled

Bidirectional support allows Windows XP and the printer to transmit data to each other without interruption.
Follow these steps to enable bidirectional support.
  1. Click Start ().
  2. Click Printers and Faxes.
  3. Right click your product name, which has a checkmark.
  4. Click Properties, and then click the Ports tab.
  5. Select the Enable bidirectional support box located on the lower left side of the window.
    If you cannot select bidirectional support, contact the computer manufacturer to find the enabled BIOS settings.
    NOTE:If bidirectional product support is not available on the computer, you cannot receive extended printer messages, ink level or product usage information (myPrintMileage), or user-intervention instructions for printing on both sides of the paper (duplex).
  • If these steps resolved the issue, you do not need to continue troubleshooting.
  • If the issue persists, continue to the next solution.

Solution five: Make sure that the Digital Imaging Monitor and the HPZipm12 driver are running

Follow these steps to make sure that the Digital Imaging Monitor and the HPZipm12 driver are running.

Step one: Make sure that the Digital Imaging Monitor is running

NOTE:If you chose a custom install when you installed the product software and did not select HP Digital Imaging Device Functions, the Digital Imaging Monitor is not installed. If so, discontinue this procedure and skip to the solution in this document to Check the HP Solution Center software version.
  1. On the keyboard, press the Ctrl, Shift, and Esc keys at the same time. The Windows Task Manager opens.
  2. Click the Processes tab.
  3. Select Show processes from all users.
  4. Under Image Name, make sure that the hpqtra08 and hpqste08 processes are running.
    • If the processes are running, skip to the next step in this solution to Make sure that the HPZipm12.exe driver is running.
    • If one or both processes are not running, continue to the next step.
  5. Click Start (), and then click Run.
  6. In the Run text box, type msconfig, and then click OK. The System Configuration Utility window opens.
  7. Click the Startup tab.
  8. Search the list of startup programs for the following Digital Imaging Monitor processes:
    • hpqtra08.exe
    • hpqste08.exe
    If the Digital Imaging Monitor processes are not listed, skip to the solution in this document to Check the HP Solution Center software version. Otherwise, continue to the next step.
  9. Check the boxes next to hpqtra08 and hpqste08, if they are not already checked.
  10. Click Yes to restart the computer.
  11. After the computer restarts, repeat steps 4 to 10 to make sure the Digital Imaging Monitor processes are running.
    • If the Digital Imaging Monitor processes are running, continue to the next step in this solution.
    • If the Digital Imaging Monitor processes are not running, skip to the solution in this document to Check the HP Solution Center software version.

Step two: Make sure that the HPZipm12 driver is running

  1. Click Start (), and then click Run.
  2. In the Run text box, type msconfig, and then click OK. The System Configuration Utility window opens.
  3. Click the Services tab.
  4. Select HPZipm12, and then click Start.
    • If these steps resolved the issue, you do not need to continue troubleshooting.
    • If the HPZipm12 service is not listed, restart the computer, and then repeat steps 1 to 4.
    • If the HPZipm12 service still is not listed, continue to the next solution.

Solution six: Check the HP Solution Center software version

HP Solution Center version 13 or higher includes updates that resolve the issues listed in this document. If version 13 or higher is available for the product, download and install the new software.
  1. Go to HP Drivers & Downloads . If prompted, type your printer model number, click Go, and then click Drivers.
  2. Make sure that the Windows XP operating system is selected, and then click Next.
  3. Scroll down the page, and then click Driver.
  4. Locate the Version number, and then check if the driver version is 13.0.0 or higher.
    • If a version 13.0.0 or higher driver is available for your product, continue with the steps in this solution.
    • If a version 13.0.0 or higher driver is not available for your product, skip to the next solution in this document.
  5. Click Download, and then follow the on-screen instructions to save the software to your computer.
  6. Open the folder where the software file saved (usually Downloads), double-click the file, and then follow the on-screen instructions to complete the installation.
  • If these steps resolved the issue, you do not need to continue troubleshooting.
  • If the issue persists, continue to the next solution.

Solution seven: Service the printer

If you have completed all the steps listed above and are still experiencing a problem, continue to the Service the printer section at the end of this document.
Follow these solutions in the order presented to resolve the issue.

Solution one: Check cartridge compatibility

To purchase cartridges or check cartridge compatibility for your printer, go to HP Home & Home Office Store (US only), and then click Ink Toner & Paper.
If you are located outside of the US, follow these steps to purchase cartridges using HP SureSupply.
  1. Scroll to the bottom of the page and make sure that the country/region location is correct.
Genuine HP cartridges can also be purchased from other retailers.
NOTE:If you installed a refilled or remanufactured cartridges, or cartridges that were used in another product, the ink level indicator is inaccurate or unavailable.
  • If your cartridges are compatible with your product, continue to the next solution in this document.
  • If your cartridges are not compatible with your product, replace them with genuine HP cartridges. If replacing the cartridges resolved the issue, you can stop troubleshooting. Otherwise, continue to the next solution.
  • If your cartridges are refilled, remanufactured, or were used in another product, replace them with genuine HP cartridges. If replacing the cartridges resolved the issue, you can stop troubleshooting. Otherwise, continue to the next solution

Solution two: Plug the printer directly into a wall outlet

Your product might be getting too little power to work normally. Follow these steps to plug the product directly into a wall outlet.
  1. Disconnect the power cord from the rear of the product.
  2. Unplug the power cord from any power strip or surge suppressor, and then plug it directly into the wall outlet.
  3. Reconnect the power cord to the rear of the product.
  4. Press the Power button () to turn on the product.
  • If these steps resolved the issue, you do not need to continue troubleshooting.
  • If the issue persists, continue to the next solution.

Solution three: Connect the USB cable directly into the computer

If you connected the USB cable to the computer through a USB hub, disconnect the USB cable from the hub, and then connect the USB cable directly into a USB port on the computer.
  • If these steps resolved the issue, you do not need to continue troubleshooting.
  • If the issue persists, continue to the next solution.

Solution four: Make sure that bidirectional support is enabled

Bidirectional support allows Windows and the product to transmit data to each other without interruption.
Follow these steps to enable bidirectional support.
  1. Click the Windows icon ().
  2. Open the Printers folder:
    • Classic view
      Click Control Panel, and then double-click Printers.
    • Control Panel view
      Click Control Panel, double-click Hardware and Sound, and then click Printers.
  3. Right click your product name, which has a checkmark.
  4. Click Printer Properties. Select the product, and then click the Ports tab.
  5. Select the Enable bidirectional support box located on the lower left side of the window.
    If you cannot select bidirectional support, contact the computer manufacturer to find the enabled BIOS settings.
    NOTE:If bidirectional product support is not available on the computer, you cannot receive extended printer messages, ink level or product usage information (myPrintMileage), or user-intervention instructions for printing on both sides of the paper (duplex).
  • If these steps resolved the issue, you do not need to continue troubleshooting.
  • If the issue persists, continue to the next solution.

Solution five: Make sure that the Digital Imaging Monitor and the HPZPML driver are running

Follow these steps to make sure that the Digital Imaging Monitor and the HPZPML driver are running.

Step one: Make sure that the Digital Imaging Monitor is running

NOTE:If you chose a custom install when you installed the product software and did not select HP Digital Imaging Device Functions, the Digital Imaging Monitor is not installed. If so, discontinue this procedure and skip to the solution in this document to Check the HP Solution Center software version.
  1. On the keyboard, press the Ctrl, Shift, and Esc keys at the same time. The Windows Task Manager opens.
  2. Click the Processes tab.
  3. Select Show processes from all users.
  4. Under Image Name, make sure that the hpqtra08 and hpqste08 processes are running.
    • If the processes are running, skip to the next step in this solution to Make sure that the PML HPZ12 driver is running.
    • If the processes are not running, continue to the next step.
  5. Click the Windows icon ().
  6. In the Search text box, type msconfig, and then press Enter. The User Account Control window opens.
  7. Click Continue. The System Configuration Utility window opens.
  8. Click the Startup tab.
  9. Search the list of startup programs for the following Digital Imaging Monitor processes:
    • hpqtra08.exe
    • hpqste08.exe
    If the Digital Imaging Monitor processes are not listed, skip to the solution in this document to Check the HP Solution Center software version. Otherwise, continue to the next step.
  10. Check the boxes next to hpqtra08 and hpqste08, if they are not already checked.
  11. Click Yes to restart the computer.
  12. After the computer restarts, repeat steps 4 to 10 to make sure the Digital Imaging Monitor processes are running.
    • If the Digital Imaging Monitor processes are running, continue to the next step in this solution.
    • If the Digital Imaging Monitor processes are not running, skip to the solution in this document to Check the HP Solution Center software version.

Step two: Make sure that the HPZPML driver is running

  1. Click the Windows icon ().
  2. In the Search Programs and Files box, type Serv.
  3. Double click Services.
  4. Select HPZPML, and then click Start.
    • If these steps resolved the issue, you do not need to continue troubleshooting.
    • If the HPZPML service is not listed, restart the computer, and then repeat steps 1 to 4.
    • If the HPZPML service is still not listed, continue to the next solution.

Solution six: Check the HP Solution Center software version

HP Solution Center version 13 or higher includes updates that resolve the issues listed in this document. If version 13 or higher is available for the product, download and install the new software.
  1. Go to HP Drivers & Downloads . If prompted, type your printer model number, click Go, and then click Drivers.
  2. Make sure that the Windows Vista operating system is selected, and then click Next.
  3. Scroll down the page, and then click Driver.
  4. Locate the Version number, and then check if the driver version is 13.0.0 or higher.
    • If a version 13.0.0 or higher driver is available for your product, continue with the steps in this solution.
    • If a version 13.0.0 or higher driver is not available for your product, skip to the next solution in this document.
  5. Click Download, and then follow the on-screen instructions to save the software to your computer.
  6. Open the folder where the software file saved (usually Downloads), double-click the file, and then follow the on-screen instructions to complete the installation.
  • If these steps resolved the issue, you do not need to continue troubleshooting.
  • If the issue persists, continue to the next solution.

Solution seven: Service the printer

If you have completed all the steps listed above and are still experiencing a problem, continue to the Service the printer section at the end of this document.
Follow these solutions in the order presented to resolve the issue.

Solution one: Check cartridge compatibility

To purchase cartridges or check cartridge compatibility for your printer, go to HP Home & Home Office Store (US only), and then click Ink Toner & Paper.
If you are located outside of the US, follow these steps to purchase cartridges using HP SureSupply.
  1. Scroll to the bottom of the page and make sure that the country/region location is correct.
Genuine HP cartridges can also be purchased from other retailers.
NOTE:If you installed a refilled or remanufactured cartridges, or cartridges that were used in another product, the ink level indicator is inaccurate or unavailable.
  • If your cartridges are compatible with your product, continue to the next solution in this document.
  • If your cartridges are not compatible with your product, replace them with genuine HP cartridges. If replacing the cartridges resolved the issue, you can stop troubleshooting. Otherwise, continue to the next solution.
  • If your cartridges are refilled, remanufactured, or were used in another product, replace them with genuine HP cartridges. If replacing the cartridges resolved the issue, you can stop troubleshooting. Otherwise, continue to the next solution

Solution two: Plug the printer directly into a wall outlet

Your product might be getting too little power to work normally. Follow these steps to plug the product directly into a wall outlet.
  1. Disconnect the power cord from the rear of the product.
  2. Unplug the power cord from any power strip or surge suppressor, and then plug it directly into the wall outlet.
  3. Reconnect the power cord to the rear of the product.
  4. Press the Power button () to turn on the product.
  • If these steps resolved the issue, you do not need to continue troubleshooting.
  • If the issue persists, continue to the next solution.

Solution three: Connect the USB cable directly into the computer

If you connected the USB cable to the computer through a USB hub, disconnect the USB cable from the hub, and then connect the USB cable directly into a USB port on the computer.
  • If these steps resolved the issue, you do not need to continue troubleshooting.
  • If the issue persists, continue to the next solution.

Solution four: Make sure that bidirectional support is enabled

Bidirectional support allows Windows7 and the product to transmit data to each other without interruption.
Follow these steps to enable bidirectional support in Windows7.
  1. Click the Windows icon ().
  2. Click Devices and Printers.
  3. Right click your product name, which has a checkmark.
  4. Click Printer properties. Select the product, and then click the Ports tab.
  5. Select the Enable bidirectional support box located on the lower left side of the window.
    If you cannot select bidirectional support, contact the computer manufacturer to find the enabled BIOS settings.
    NOTE:If bidirectional product support is not available on the computer, you cannot receive extended printer messages, ink level or product usage information (myPrintMileage), or user-intervention instructions for printing on both sides of the paper (duplex).
  • If these steps resolved the issue, you do not need to continue troubleshooting.
  • If the issue persists, continue to the next solution.

Solution five: Make sure that the Digital Imaging Monitor and the Pml HPZ12 driver are running

Follow these steps to make sure that the Digital Imaging Monitor and the Pml HPZ12 driver are running.

Step one: Make sure that the Digital Imaging Monitor is running

NOTE:If you chose a custom install when you installed the product software and did not select HP Digital Imaging Device Functions, the Digital Imaging Monitor is not installed. If so, discontinue this procedure and skip to the solution in this document to Check the HP Solution Center software version.
  1. On the keyboard, press the Ctrl, Shift, and Esc keys at the same time. The Windows Task Manager opens.
  2. Click the Processes tab.
  3. Select Show processes from all users.
  4. Under Image Name, make sure that the hpqtra08 and hpqste08 processes are running.
    • If the processes are running, skip to the next step in this solution to Make sure that the PML HPZ12 driver is running.
    • If the processes are not running, continue to the next step.
  5. Click the Windows icon ().
  6. In the Search text box, type msconfig, and then press Enter. The User Account Control window opens.
  7. Click Continue. The System Configuration Utility window opens.
  8. Click the Startup tab.
  9. Search the list of startup programs for the following Digital Imaging Monitor processes:
    • hpqtra08.exe
    • hpqste08.exe
    If the Digital Imaging Monitor processes are not listed, skip to the solution in this document to Check the HP Solution Center software version. Otherwise, continue to the next step.
  10. Check the boxes next to hpqtra08 and hpqste08, if they are not already checked.
  11. Click Yes to restart the computer.
  12. After the computer restarts, repeat steps 4 to 10 to make sure the Digital Imaging Monitor processes are running.
    • If the Digital Imaging Monitor processes are running, continue to the next step in this solution.
    • If the Digital Imaging Monitor processes are not running, skip to the solution in this document to Check the HP Solution Center software version.

Step two: Make sure that the Pml HPZ12 driver is running

  1. Click the Windows icon ().
  2. In the Search Programs and Files box, type Serv.
  3. Double click Services.
  4. Select Pml Driver HPZ12, and then click Start.
    • If these steps resolved the issue, you do not need to continue troubleshooting.
    • If the Pml Driver HPZ12 service is not listed, restart the computer, and then repeat steps 1 to 4.
    • If the Pml Driver HPZ12 service is still not listed, continue to the next solution.

Solution six: Check the HP Solution Center software version

HP Solution Center version 13 or higher includes updates that resolve the issues listed in this document. If version 13 or higher is available for the product, download and install the new software. If new software is not available to download for your product, you can download a patch in the next solution that fixes these issues.
  1. Go to HP Drivers & Downloads . If prompted, type your printer model number, click Go, and then click Drivers.
  2. Make sure that the Windows 7 operating system is selected, and then click Next.
  3. Scroll down the page, and then click Driver.
  4. Locate the Version number, and then check if the driver version is 13.0.0 or higher.
    • If a version 13.0.0 or higher driver is available for your product, continue with the steps in this solution.
    • If a version 13.0.0 or higher driver is not available for your product, skip to the next solution in this document.
  5. Click Download, and then follow the on-screen instructions to save the software to your computer.
  6. Open the folder where the software file saved (usually Downloads), double-click the file, and then follow the on-screen instructions to complete the installation.
  • If these steps resolved the issue, you do not need to continue troubleshooting.
  • If the issue persists, continue to the next solution.

Solution seven: Download a software patch if you upgraded from Windows Vista to Windows7

Follow these steps to install the HP Solution Center software patch. This patch fixes some product communication issues that exist after upgrading Windows Vista to Windows7.
NOTE: If you did not upgrade from Windows Vista to Windows7, skip to the next solution in this document.
  1. Click here to download the software patch. A File Download window opens.
  2. Choose one of the following options to download the patch to the computer.
    • If you want to install the patch on the computer immediately, click Run.
    • If you want to install the patch at a later time, click Save, select a destination on the computer for the file to save, and then click Save. When the download is complete, click the downloaded file.
  3. Follow the on-screen instructions to install the software.
  4. When you are prompted to restart your computer, click Restart to complete the installation.
  • If these steps resolved the issue, you do not need to continue troubleshooting.
  • If the issue persists, continue to the next solution.

Solution eight: Service the printer

If you have completed all the steps listed above and are still experiencing a problem, continue to the Service the printer section at the end of this document.
Follow these solutions in the order presented to resolve the issue.

Solution one: Check cartridge compatibility

To purchase cartridges or check cartridge compatibility for your printer, go to HP Home & Home Office Store (US only), and then click Ink Toner & Paper.
If you are located outside of the US, follow these steps to purchase cartridges using HP SureSupply.
  1. Scroll to the bottom of the page and make sure that the country/region location is correct.
Genuine HP cartridges can also be purchased from other retailers.
NOTE:If you installed a refilled or remanufactured cartridges, or cartridges that were used in another product, the ink level indicator is inaccurate or unavailable.
  • If your cartridges are compatible with your product, continue to the next solution in this document.
  • If your cartridges are not compatible with your product, replace them with genuine HP cartridges. If replacing the cartridges resolved the issue, you can stop troubleshooting. Otherwise, continue to the next solution.
  • If your cartridges are refilled, remanufactured, or were used in another product, replace them with genuine HP cartridges. If replacing the cartridges resolved the issue, you can stop troubleshooting. Otherwise, continue to the next solution

Solution two: Plug the printer directly into a wall outlet

Your product might be getting too little power to work normally. Follow these steps to plug the product directly into a wall outlet.
  1. Disconnect the power cord from the rear of the product.
  2. Unplug the power cord from any power strip or surge suppressor, and then plug it directly into the wall outlet.
  3. Reconnect the power cord to the rear of the product.
  4. Press the Power button () to turn on the product.
  • If these steps resolved the issue, you do not need to continue troubleshooting.
  • If the issue persists, continue to the next solution.

Solution three: Connect the USB cable directly into the computer

If you connected the USB cable to the computer through a USB hub, disconnect the USB cable from the hub, and then connect the USB cable directly into a USB port on the computer.
  • If these steps resolved the issue, you do not need to continue troubleshooting.
  • If the issue persists, continue to the next solution.

Solution four: Check for available software updates

  1. Click the Apple icon (), and then click Software Update. The system checks for software updates.
  2. Click Install, and then follow the onscreen instructions to download and install any software updates.
  • If these steps resolved the issue, you do not need to continue troubleshooting.
  • If the issue persists, continue to the next solution.

Solution five: Check the firewall

Follow these steps to check the firewall.

Step one: Create a firewall exception

  1. Click the Apple icon (), and then click System Preferences.
  2. In the Personal section, double-click Security. The Security window opens.
  3. Click the Firewall tab, and then click the Lock icon in the lower left corner of the window.
  4. Type your name and password, and then click OK.
  5. Click Start, if it is not already selected.
  6. In the Security dialog box, click Advanced.
  7. Make sure that the Block all incoming connections box is unchecked.
  8. Select Automatically allow signed software to receive incoming connection.
  9. Click the Plus icon (), click HP, select each HP program, and then click Add.
  10. Click OK.
  11. In the main Security window, click the Lock icon, and then close the window.
  12. Check the ink levels again.
    • If these steps resolved the issue, you can stop troubleshooting.
    • If the issue persists, continue to the next step to undo the firewall exception.

Step two: Undo the firewall exception

If the previous step did not resolve the issue, follow these steps to undo the firewall exception.
  1. Click the Apple icon (), and then click System Preferences.
  2. In the Personal section, double-click Security. The Security window opens.
  3. Click the Firewall tab, and then click the Lock icon in the lower left corner of the window.
  4. Type your name and password, and then click OK.
  5. In the Security dialog box, click Advanced.
  6. Select Block all incoming connections.
  7. Click the check box next to Automatically allow signed software to receive incoming connection to uncheck it.
  8. Click the Plus icon (), click HP, click each HP program, and then click Remove.
  9. Click OK.
  10. In the main Security window, click the Lock icon, and then close the window.
  • If these steps resolved the issue, you do not need to continue troubleshooting.
  • If the issue persists, continue to the next solution.

Solution six: Service the printer

If you have completed all the steps listed above and are still experiencing a problem, continue to the Service the printer section at the end of this document.
Contacting HP for service in all countries/regions except Asia Pacific.
If you have completed all the preceding steps and are still experiencing a problem, service the product.
Determine if your product is in warranty or out of warranty. If you need help determining your product’s warranty status, go to HP’s Warranty Check Tool .
  • If your product is in warranty, Contact HP to obtain service.
  • If your product is out of warranty, Contact HP to find an authorized service provider or to setup service (fees might apply).

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