Check your black cartridge. Do the pump the cartridge thing with the plunger on the left of the plotter. Check all the electrical connectors on the cariage and the cartridge - clean with water -or wd40 if you are very careful and check that all the contacts, about 40 of them are clean and undamaged on each cartridge. Replace with known working cartridges. run a color test as specified in the manual -- hp has relased the manual for this printer as they no longer service this unit.
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Has this USB to Centronics cable worked in the past, but has now stopped? The reason I ask is that there are two kinds of parallel ports, and so two kinds of USB-to-Centronics adapators. One is unidirectional, and one is bidirectional. If your plotter requires bidirectional, then it won't work properly with unidirectional.
This could be one of a number of things. The file being sent must be smaller than the total memory of the printer. Connect the computer directly to the plotter with a parallel printer cable and see if it prints. If you are using an OS newer than XP, try using the XP 32 bit driver. If you are printing from AutoCad 14 or older, upgrade AutoCad (newer uses Windows printer drivers). If you can print OK with the parallel cable, get new external JetDirect software from the HP website.
THIS SOLUTION IM ABOUT TO TELL YOU IS IN MY EXPERIENCE THE EASIEST ONE JUST DOWNLOAD THE WINDOWS XP DRIVER FOR THE HP DESIGNJET 450C PRINTER AND INSTALL IT INTO THE WINDOWS PRINTER PLATTFORM, YOU MAY SEE SOME ANOUNCEMENTS FROM YOUR COMPUTER TELLING YOU THAT THE PROGRAM YOUR TRYING TO INSTALL MAY NOT BE COMPATIBLE "DONT LISTEN TO THEM" JUST CONTINUE YOUR INSTALLATION AND PRESTO YOUR DESIGNJET PRINTER WILL WORK PERFECTLY
Take all cartridges out while the plotter is on,then re-insert them one by one and watch the ready light flash after each insertion.If it doesn't flash that could mean 2 things,either the cartridge is bad or the contacts on the carriage are dirty or the entire carriage needs replacing.
I tell all of my dj-4XX customers to check the spittoon assembly(on the inside,right side)for ink buildup. If it looks clogged,you can temporarily scoop the ink that solidified out,but eventually it(spittoon)will need replacing.
Hope this helps