Question about HP DeskJet 5550 InkJet Printer

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Can't view ink levels

Can't view it. Help allows me to select it, but then says, "The computer is unable to establish two-way communication with device."

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Re: can't view ink levels

The computer or notebook that is connected to the printer needs the bidirectional settings turned on in the bios. To get to your bios you will need to press any one of the keyboard keys given here every two seconds while the Pc begins to start up. You can only try one key at a time. At boot up start pressing the Delete key as mentioned above. You will know when you are in the Bios because there is no mouse support there. Only keyboard. Instructions on how to move around in the bios is listed at the bottom of the window. Next try F12 , F1, F2 or F10.
Once in the bios you will need to find a setting that will allow you to set bidirectional on. You need your manual for this to help you find it. You did not list your Pc model.
You can fallow the instructions given by HP even though these instructions are meant for win2000 they will function in XP.
Click the link:
Post back if this fails & provide me with your model number & name brand of your Pc so I can direct you while in your bios.
Take your time!

Posted on Feb 07, 2008

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It looks that you can receive data (eg.scanned) from your MFC but cannot send information to it {eg. reference to 2-ways communications not working):
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1)right click the my computer icon
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Cannot See Estimated Ink Levels on Printer Toolbox

I came across this similar problem and spent days trying to figure it out. I knew I was close when I tried to start the HPZ12 service and it kept failing with "unable to find the specified file". I traced it with a process monitor and found that it was looking for a registry key that was not present. Specifically:

HKLM\System\CurrentCosntrolSet\Services\Pml Driver HPZ12\Parameters

It was looking for the string:


which should be set to:


(or something similar).

The unfortunate thing is that no matter how many times you install and uninstall the HP drivers, then don't reset the registry keys for the HPZ12 service. In the end, I ended up doing the following:

1. Uninstall software and reboot
2. Go through registry editor and delete the PML key (just did a search for all PML occurences)
3. Deleted the c:\program files\Hewlett-Packard directory
4. Deleted the c:\program files\HP directory
5. Deleted the c:\windows\system32\spool\drivers\w32x86\ contents (anything that referred to an HP printer or driver)
6. Deleted the HKLM\Software\Hewlett-Packard registry key
7. Rebooted
8. Reinstalled and everything worked.

I suggest you backup any registry keys prior to deleting them in case you make a mistake. You can use the Export feature on the right-click context menu to save each key you delete, or use some tool to make a backup of your registry prior to making these changes. Similarly, for the files, I renamed directories or created backups of their contents.

Once I reinstalled, I found that there were TONS of new registry keys added that weren't there before. So the real problem is with HPs install/uninstall. It doesn't clean up properly and any aborted or failed instalation will leave the drivers in a poor state.

Hope that helps.


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2 Answers

Cannot See Estimated Ink Levels on Printer Toolbox

Hi Dganske,

If your printer is installed or connected in network then you cannot see the ink levels in printer toolbox.

I suggest you to contact HP chat support, this support is free of cost and online technician will help you with any All-in-one issue.

Please click on the web link given below and select your product and start chating online to get the issue fixed.

Have a great day!

Oct 14, 2007 | HP Photosmart C3180 All-In-One InkJet...

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