Cannot Send or Receive Faxes: Troubleshooting Fax Issues
Review the symptoms and issues below carefully, and then select the symptom that best fits your issue. If the proposed solution links to a different document that does not resolve it, please return to this document to continue troubleshooting.
Step 1: Previous steps
Make sure that the following items are available to complete the troubleshooting steps included in this document:
- Another fax device for testing: The phone number of another fax machine that can be used to verify whether the HP fax is sending and receiving correctly. This fax can be placed in the same building (on another phone line) or at another location with someone who can assist.
- A single-line telephone: This phone will be used for testing the phone line.
- The original HP Fax Cable supplied with your unit.
Step 2: Testing the phone line and phone cable
This step is aimed at testing both the phone line and the phone cable. To do so, follow the instructions listed below:
- Unplug the phone cable from the HP Fax rear.
- Plug the phone cable into a single-line phone.
- Pick up the handset and listen for a dial tone.
- If no dial tone is present, then replace the phone cable with another one, and listen again for a dial tone.
- If a dial tone is present now, unplug the phone cable from the test phone, and plug it into the fax line port on the HP Fax rear (see image below).Once this is done, please test the sending and receiving functions of the HP fax product.
- If the fax works properly, stop here.
- If the fax keeps on failing, please skip to the Verifying the fax configuration and settings section.
- If no dial tone is present yet, then stop here, and contact your telephone service provider for assistance.
- If a dial tone is present, follow the steps below:
- Dial a local phone number and verify that the call can be completed.
- If the outgoing call cannot be completed, please stop here, and contact the telephone service provider for assistance.
- If the outgoing call is completed correctly, continue troubleshooting (Step 2 ).
- Have someone dial your number from another phone line to verify that the phone rings and the incoming call can be answered (allow three rings before answering).
- If the line rings briefly and then stops, another device may be answering the line. This device could be a credit card machine or a computer modem connected to the phone line and set to answer incoming calls. Try to identify which device is answering the call, disconnect it from the line, and test again.
- If the incoming call cannot be received, stop here, and contact the telephone service provider for assistance.
- If the incoming call is completed correctly, skip to the next section: Verifying the fax configuration and settings .
Step 3: Verifying the fax configuration and settings
Follow the steps listed below to set up the fax with a basic configuration in order to test the HP Fax functionalities:
- Remove any additional device sharing the phone line. These devices may be plugged directly into the rear of the HP fax product or into another wall jack on the same line (including answering machines in another room or on the same phone line, and any line splitters and extension cables).
- Connect the fax to a regular analog phone line. See How to setup your HP Fax product on an Analog line to learn how to do it, and return to this document once the setup is completed.
- Enable the Auto Answer option by pressing the Auto Answer button on the HP Fax front panel.NOTE:If there is not a button named Auto Answer on your unit front panel, please check the your User Guide to learn how to enable this option.NOTE:If the Auto Answer green LED remains off even when the Auto Answer button has been pressed, please make sure that the HP Fax product is plugged directly into the power outlet (bypassing any surge suppressor), and/or try a different power outlet. Besides, make sure that the front panel is installed correctly (see image below).
- Configure the fax settings as indicated below:
Fax menu option Setting Answer Ring Pattern (or Answer Pattern) All Rings Automatic Reports Setup Every Error
- Send a fax to the test fax machine, and have someone send a fax to your HP fax device.If faxes still cannot be sent or received, check the following sections and determine which one best describes your issue, and follow the troubleshooting steps provided.
Faxes can be sent but not received
Review the information below to determine the reason why faxes are not being received:
- Phone company services: Check whether any of the following telephone line services is enabled:
These phone services are intended to prevent undesired calls, so they may also block incoming faxes. Please, contact your telephone company to disable these features as they can interrupt fax communication.
- Voice Mail
- Call Waiting
- Billing Tone
- Privacy Block
- Security Screen
- Anonymous Call Rejection
- Privacy Manager
- If automatic fax reception is your desired option, verify that the Automatic Answering feature is enabled either making sure that the Auto Answer green LED is on, or using the unit main menu (if there is no Auto Answer button on the unit front panel).Besides, make sure that the Rings to Answer value is set to a number of rings equal or larger than one.NOTE:If your HP Fax model is provided with an Answer Mode button, this should be set to one of the following values:
- Answer Machine
- If your HP Fax model is either the HP PSC 2200 Series or the HP Officejet 6100 Series, and the fax interrupts the calls or faxes cannot be received, please download and install the HP Firmware upgrade available for these products.Follow the steps listed below to download and install the firmware upgrade applicable to your model:Click the Software & Drivers Downloads link.Type your model number in the text box (for example, HP PSC 2210xi).Click the Search Arrow link placed to the right of the text entry box.NOTE:The product may have to be chosen from a list of models.On the Software Download page, select your Operating System version (for example, Windows XP).Locate and click the Firmware Upgrade link.Choose the directory where the downloaded files will be stored, and wait until the file is completely downloaded.Install the update by double clicking the downloaded file and then, follow the instructions provided by the assistant.
- If an answering machine is connected to the same line, fax reception problems may occur. These may be corrected by changing fax settings, or phone line connections.For more information on using a TAM (Telephone Answering Machine) or a Distinctive Ring service, consult the Using your HP Fax product with a telephone answering machine (TAM) document.
- If your line is not analog, refer to document How to setup your HP Fax product on an ISDN, PBX and ADSL line to learn how to resolve the problem when the HP Fax is set up over one of this kind of lines.
- If faxes still cannot be received, skip to the section Faxes cannot be sent or received or the issue cannot be determined .
Faxes can be received but not sent
Follow the steps below to resolve this issue:
- Verify that the number is dialed correctly. All the digits required to make a phone call from the same line must be dialed. This includes digits that must be dialed to access an outside line or long distance services.
- If the Speed Dial has been used for dialing or the fax has been sent from your computer, print the page to be faxed and dial the number manually on the HP Fax front panel.
- Make sure that the appropriate option between Tone Dialing and Pulse Dialing is set on your HP Fax product depending on your phone service provider or PBX.NOTE:Consult the HP Fax User Guide to learn how to set this value.
- If faxes are sent correctly from the HP Fax front panel but fail when sent from the PC (supposed your HP Fax supports PC faxing), test the communication between the HP All-in-One product and your computer by clicking the Status button in the HP Director application, or trying to print some document.
- If the status is reported as disconnected or if the printing fails, verify that the communication cable from the computer to the HP All-in-One product is connected correctly, and restart the computer.
- If communication still cannot be established, troubleshoot the communication failure.
- If faxes still cannot be sent, skip to the section Faxes cannot be sent or received or the problem cannot be determined .
Faxes fail intermittently or with only one fax number
Check the following items to find out the cause of the failure:
- If static is present on the phone line, fax communication may fail. It is advisable to have the phone line checked and serviced by the telephone company (or have the other party check their line).NOTE: Phone line quality is the most common reason for intermittent fax failures. Besides, some old locations and buildings have inadequate phone system wiring.
- If a color fax cannot be sent, please try sending a black and white fax to the same machine.NOTE: When a color fax is sent to a not color capable fax, your fax will usually show a message offering the option to send the fax as black & white, but this may not always be the case. Do not send color faxes unless it is certain that the other fax machine is capable of receiving color faxes.
- Check the phone cable from the wall socket to the HP Fax product. It should not be coiled or longer than necessary.NOTE:A coiled cable can cause cross-talk or echo on the line. Besides, signal strength and quality can be lost with long cables. Make sure that the original fax cable (supplied with your HP Fax product) is being used. Otherwise the HP Fax product may not work correctly.
- Make sure that the phone cable routing (and any cables not plugged into the same socket but sharing the same line) is not close to any electrical appliances (electric motors, fans, kitchen appliances, or televisions) and/or near coax cables.NOTE: Many of these devices do not have sufficient electrical shielding and can induce electromagnetic force (EMF) onto the phone line.
- Some HP Fax models are capable of blocking faxes sent from certain phone numbers. Verify that the telephone number of the sending fax has not been blocked from the faxing software. Normally, this option is located in the Fax History field on the HP Director application.
- Turn the Error Correction Mode (ECM) off, or turn it back on, depending on its current state. Follow the instructions included in the Changing the Error Correction Mode (ECM) Setting document to learn how to modify the ECM configuration.
- If faxes still cannot be sent or received, skip to the next section, Faxes cannot be sent or received or the issue cannot be determined .
Faxes cannot be sent or received or the issue cannot be determined
Follow these steps if none of the previous sections has helped to resolve your issue:
Step 1: Reinitialize and check the fax machine
- Turn on the HP Fax machine (if it is not already turned on).
- Disconnect the power cord from the rear of the HP Fax machine.CAUTION:Do not turn off the unit before disconnecting the cable.
- Verify that the phone cable is fully inserted into the fax machine. If your model has a removable Line Interface Unit (LIU) where the phone line plugs into, verify that it is securely snapped in place.If the HP Fax model belongs to the HP Officejet R80 Series, verify that the cable which goes from the Automatic Document Feeder assembly to the rear of the HP All-in-One base is connected.
- Reconnect the power cord. After the fax reinitializes and it is ready, try to send and receive faxes again. If the fax sending or reception still fails, skip to the next step .
Step 2: Check the connections
Check the cable connections following the directions listed below:
- Consult the following document to learn how to connect your HP fax product to an analog line, How to set up your HP Fax product on an analog line .If your HP Fax product is connected to an ISDN, PBX or ADSL line, consult the following document, How to set up your HP Fax product on an ISDN, PBX and ADSL line .
- If other devices (Caller ID boxes, Answering Machines, etc.) are connected to the same phone line, disconnect all of these devices, even if they are not connected to the same socket or are in another room, and then try to send and receive a fax.
- If it is possible to send and receive faxes after disconnecting the other devices, add these devices back one at a time to find out which device was causing the failure.
- If faxing is not working yet, skip to Step three: Check the phone line .NOTE:For now, leave the other devices disconnected.
Step 3: Check the phone line
The following elements are required to check the phone line:
- Another fax device for testing. The phone number of another fax machine that can be used to verify whether the HP fax is sending and receiving correctly. This fax can be placed in the same building (on another phone line) or at another location with someone who can assist.
- A single-line telephone. This phone will be used for testing the phone line and different faxing options.
Check the phone line state by following these steps:
- Disconnect the phone cable from the HP 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 socket and the telephone with another cable. If a dial tone cannot be heard yet, contact your telephone company for assistance.
- Dial the number of a known fax:
- If the destination fax answers the line, continue to step 4 .
- If the call fails to go through, try a different number. If this second call fails too, replace the phone cable and try again. If the failure remains after replacing the cable, please contact your phone company for assistance.
- Hang the phone up, and either call your phone number from a different line (like a cell phone) or have someone call your number. If the phone rings and the call can be answered normally, continue to step 5 . If the phone does not ring when called, replace the phone cable and try again. If it still does not 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 or the Advanced Fax Setup menu.
Fax menu option Setting Answer Ring Pattern (or Answer Pattern) All Rings Automatic Reports Setup Every ErrorAs an alternative, it is possible to reset the HP Fax machine to the factory default settings by selecting that option in the Maintenance, Status and Maintenance, or Tools menu.NOTE:Some HP All-in-One models allow to change the fax settings from the software. Please consult your User Guide for details.
- The following sequence of events will occur if the fax is working correctly:
When sending a fax
- When the fax machine starts to dial, a dial tone can be heard briefly followed upon the sound of the fax dialing. The front panel display shows a Dialing message.
- When the fax that receives the call answers, both faxes exchange tones and your HP Fax product shows a Connecting message on the front panel display.During this phase, both fax machines compare their capabilities, exchange information about how the fax is to be sent, and try to fix the most reliable transmission speed.
- After the connection is successfully established, the fax page(s) are received. A Receiving page 1 or similar message will appear on the front panel display.
- After the fax page(s) have been sent, the front panel should display a Fax sent OK or similar message.
When receiving a fax
NOTE:If some of the steps listed above do not occur, then the HP Fax product is not functioning correctly. Skip to Step 4: Final steps to try before contacting HP .Dial the same fax number as the one called to in step 3 using the front panel. Watch the front panel display and listen to the fax.
- When your HP Fax answers the line, the message showed on the front panel display switches from Answering or Ringing to Connecting. During the connecting phase, the two fax machines compare their capabilities, exchange information about how the fax is to be sent, and try to fix the most reliable transmission speed.
- After connection is established, the page(s) of the fax are sent. A Receiving page 1 or similar message will appear on the front panel display.
- After the fax page(s) have been received, the front panel should display a Fax received OK or similar message.
- If the fax is transmitted successfully, continue to step 7 .
- If a dial tone cannot be heard and/or the other fax does not answer the line, try calling another fax machine (the first one may be busy) to verify whether the result is the same. If the second attempt fails too, skip to Step 4: Final steps to try before contacting HP .
- If the other fax machine can be heard answering the line and beeping, but the display on your fax does not switch from Dialing to Connecting, your HP Fax machine is not detecting the tones from the other fax machine. Skip to Step 4: Final steps to try before contacting HP .
- Have the owner of the other fax machine send a fax to your HP Fax number. 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 no rings can be heard from your HP Fax machine and/or it does not answer the line when the other fax is calling, have them try again to verify that there is a failure. If the second attempt fails too, skip to Step 4: Final steps to try before contacting HP .
- If your HP Fax rings briefly and then stops, other device is answering the line (another fax, credit card machine, PC faxing or communications software, or voice mail).
- If your fax answers the line, the message on the front panel display should switch from Answering to Connecting. If this does not occur, your HP Fax is not detecting the tones from other fax machine. Skip to Step 4: Final steps to try before contacting HP .
Step 4: Final steps to try before contacting HP
- Reset your HP Fax. A partial reset will return all the fax settings to the default values. The Country/Language settings may have to be configured again.
- Consult your HP User Guide for any doubt about how to set up your HP Fax and what features should be enabled.
- To contact HP for any other issue or doubt, please skip to the Troubleshooting and Help section below.
Other faxing issues
Faxes are blank or have vertical lines
If all your sent faxes are blank or have vertical lines, make a copy from the HP Fax product (the HP Fax product uses the same mechanism for either copying or faxing).
- If the copy is printed correctly, the receiving fax machine may have a problem.
- If the copy is blank, the scanner is not working properly and requires service.
- If the copy shows dark vertical lines, the scanner glass and the white reference strip need to be cleaned. For more information, consult the Cleaning of an HP All-in-One or Fax Product document.
If received faxes are blank or have vertical lines, print a self-test report (Consult your User Guide to learn how to do it).
- If the report is not printed correctly, replace the black ink cartridge.
- If the report is printed correctly, the issue is probably related to the sending fax machine. Try receiving a fax from another fax machine.
Faxes fail when the computer goes into suspend or sleep mode
CAUTION:Do not use suspend or sleep mode on the computer when 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 processes that communicate both the unit and the computer, cannot work. This will cause a communication loss.
Follow the steps below to disable the suspend mode on your computer:
- Click Start, Settings, and Control Panel.
- Double-click the Power Management icon.
- Change the setting for Turn Off Hard Disks to Never, and then click OK.
On some computers, there is an automatic suspend mode that must be disabled in the BIOS. The way for entering the BIOS and the BIOS options may be different depending on the computer brand (Consult the PC manufacturer for assistance).
Troubleshooting and Help
For any doubt about how to set up and configure your HP Fax product, please consult your HP User Guide.
If necessary, click the Contact HP link at the top of the page.
Other solutions customers found helpful
HP All-In-One Fax Products -- How to connect your HP Fax to an Analog line with other analog devices