Apple LaserWriter 12/640 PS Plus Printer Logo
Anonymous Posted on Aug 07, 2007

12/640 PS wont feed from tray

Hi, My old 12/640 PS Laserwriter won't feed from the lower tray anymore, but feeds from the upper "manual" tray. Bought the repair manual and it diagnoses the problem as a false paper jam. Must be a problem withe either paper level sensor, a solenoid or a paper feed electronic card or something, even a cable is suggested. I took the thing apart, cleaned it and got like half a ton of cat hair and other crap out of it. Switch on and it tries to print the test page, then shuts off. I do NOT have a lot to print, rarely even. So the bottom feed can kiss my **s, I am content with the manual feed. This worked well till I moved and now have to hook up my old printer to an old G4 AGP Graphics that I bought secondhand. Now, every time I start the, printer, it tries to print a test sheet and then locks up. Question: how do I prevent that test sheet print attempt and locking my printer up ? If I can get it to run without locking up on the test sheet, I will instruct it to print from the "hand" tray and all will be well. HEEEEELP !!!! Thanks, Takeo.

  • 2 more comments 
  • Anonymous Aug 13, 2007

    Thank you very much !!!! I mean this.
    There is NO roller prob, it is the phantom paper jam as descrined in the manual; i just wanted to know how to switch the test page ting off

    Thanx a zillion !


  • Anonymous Aug 14, 2007

    Dear Koakako,

    Thank you very much for your suggestions.

    My printer is 12/640 PS, NOT a PS Plus.

    System is os x 10.3.9

    First, there is NO roller problem.

    The whole thing is driving me stark raving crazy.

    I was trying to add a printer to the list, but that did not work since I could not find an address.

    So today I finalyy got my ethernet hub sortof working and i messed around, looking everywhere. In Network Utility I found an IP address
    Used that in the Printer Setup Utility, I suddenly could add a printer, which I did.
    I took a random webpage and clicked print in the file menu. In the dialog box, I chose multipurpose feed, just like I did when that printer was still hooked up in its previous location's network.

    The printer started up and... printed a Startup Test Page !!!!! But not the page I wanted.


    So I switched the printer on and off and repeated the procedure; Again, it just printed a Startup Test Page ! Still not the page i wanted.

    Then I read the test page (yes, I know, I am not the brightest light in the christmas tree). And found the following data:

    Ethernet (Address: 08:00:07:44:55:be)
    Netware Frame Type: Autodetect
    Ethertalk: PostScript
    Netware: AutoSelect
    PServername: APPLE_LW4455be
    TCP/IP: PostScript
    IP address:

    So I loaded that IP address int the printer utility, seleced it, chose a page, hit print and....absolutely nothing happens !

    BUT WAIT ! As I am typing this, just now, I had the idea let us try printing this page I am on now. File, print, paperfeed on multipurpose etc and hit print.

    Again, it printed an Startup Test Page from the cassette that did no work previously and ignores the Multipurpose tray now.

    When I open Printer Setp Utility, it has no such thing as a printer selector window, where I can click Open Printer or Startup Page category or options.

    But we already had the dam thing printig 3 Startup Test Pages; Better than nothing. But now i would like to find out how to make it do some useful print work.

    Thank you very much for your efforts. I leave you a 9/10 rating.
    get my printer working and you get an 11 !

    Thanx again,


  • Anonymous Aug 14, 2007

    Re-HI Koakako !

    Been like 3 hours trying everything that crosses my mind, except explosives.

    When I switch the printer off and back on, it tries but fals to print a Startup Test Page and indicates a paper jam.
    When, after this, I switch on and off again, WITHOUT opening the printer or chacking for a paper jam, it DOES print the Startup Test Page without any problem. Go figure;

    Then: I choose a random page to print and click the printer icon in the dock.
    First, I get "attempting to connect to host, thqt lasts for a minute or two and then I get the message "unable to connect to printer, operation timed out".

    Are the two phenomena related ? I have not the faintest idea of what is going on here. Voodoo ?

    Thanx again !


  • Anonymous Aug 18, 2007

    Dear Friend,

    Thank you for your comments. You have been guiding my mind in certain directions. Please keep in mind that I am an absolute dummy as to "modern" computers.

    Printer: prints a startup page every SECOND power-up. Dunno why. BUT that, at least, proves the machine CAN print.

    G4 under OS X 10.3.9 : looking tru whatever panel I could open on the machine, in Console Log I found this strange entry: FAILED adding _192.168.0.22-1 to classic failed (-43).
    The IP address of the LaserWriter 12/640 PS is

    I am getting the impression that the printer needs OS 9 - Classic to be seen by the 'puter. I do not have OS 9 on my machine.

    There is NO printer in the system profiler to be seen. Adding a printer does not work either, the little printer icon stays dulled out. Ping does also NOT work.

    Also, on my hub, whatever I do, there is no LED activity for the ethernet cable that goes to the printer. On the printer side, the ethernet cable converter's LEDs are ON, both for power and line.

    I think that, on the on the other G4 the printer was hooked up to and ran under OS X 10.4.2, System 9 was present. But I do not have access to that machine anymore. That printer was even used by a new G5 in the network.

    Thank you for your kind advise,



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  • Posted on Aug 13, 2007
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Joined: Aug 02, 2007

I found the owners manual for your model, and it has detailed explanations of how to turn off the printing of the Startup page: This is where the owners manual is available online in .pdf format, at this URL: Startup Page Info From your Owners Manual: (Yes, I've been reading the Manual for your printer. I have no life. :P ) From page 25 of the manual: "The printer takes a minute or two to warm up, and then it automatically prints a startup page. It prints the startup page every time you restart unless you turn the startup page off using either the Apple Printer Utility for the Mac OS or the Apple LaserWriter Utility for Windows. See Appendix A for details on these utilities." From page 249 of the manual: "Appendix A - Setting the Printer Default Settings" "Though the printer itself has no control panel, you can configure it by using programs on computers connected to the printer: - On Mac OS?based computers, use the Apple Printer Utility and the desktop printer?s setup function." So the answer is YES, you CAN setup the printer to not print the test page, but you have to use the setup utility on your computer to do so. Opening the Apple Printer Utility (From page 251) "The Apple Printer Utility has two windows: the Printer Selector window, which is similar to the Chooser, and the printer features window, which you use to view or change the printer?s settings." 1. Double-click the Apple Printer Utility. - The Installer puts the Apple Printer Utility in the Apple LaserWriter Software folder. You can move it wherever you like. 2. In the Printer Selector window, select and open the printer you want. - If the network has zones, click the zone where the printer is located. - Click the name of the printer you want. 3. Click Open Printer. - The printer feature window appears with the Printer Information category displayed. 4. To view or change settings under a category, click the arrow beside the category name to open the category and display its information and options. - Additional options may appear that you can also open and work with. When you are finished changing options in a particular category, you can click the arrow again to collapse the options. (NOTE: The option you want is "Startup Page".) 5. After viewing the information and making changes, click the Send button to send your changes to the printer. 6. Click the Close box to close the window. Turning the startup page on or off (From page 257) "The LaserWriter 12/640 PS normally prints a sample page when you turn the printer on. This page shows the printer?s name, the total number of pages printed, the amount of memory, installed options, and communication settings. You can turn this feature off if you wish. 1. Open the Startup Page category. - The Startup Page panel appears. 2. Click the checkbox to turn the startup page on or off. - When an X appears in the checkbox, the printer is set to print the startup page. 3. Click Send to send the startup page setting to the printer. That should remove the default printing of your startup page. HOWEVER, there is another possibility to affect a repair to your problem... As the paper-feed rollers get older, the rubber on the rollers gets slick and won't grip the paper anymore. Try buffing the rubber rollers with some fine sandpaper and see if that allows the machine to pick the paper up once again. If this is your problem, then you might make the lower-feed paper tray work again. Hope this helps, but let us know if you need more information to solve this problem. ;)

  • Anonymous Aug 14, 2007

    If this advice was helpful to you, would you mind leaving me a good rating? Thank you. ;)

  • Anonymous Aug 18, 2007

    Well, when different things keep happening after reboots like that, it's often a hardware problem. Which means you should try removing and re-seating any memory cards or other accessory circuit boards on the printer and try using a new cable to make it work.

    If it still keeps make odd and different errors under the same conditions, then I would suspect some of the hardware is beginning to go bad, but I couldn't guess which pieces without more specific information on the testing and failure conditions.


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what software are you using, is driver correct, what operating system, what are you tring to feed from bypass just standard?

I have fixed hundreds of these and the parts you mention I doubt is the fix

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Adjust Upper Bin displays on my printer

How old is your machine? check if the printer supports that thickness. if so check the setting of the printer if it match with your actual paper. if your printer is older and your place is dusty try to clean the rollers under/inside the paper tray.

i hope this will help.

Laserwriter 12/640 PS

hello the printer paper pick-up rollers are bad. this why you caanotuse the pick tray. the solution now is to set the printer to default and clear allstuff off memory. read the instruction below: LaserWriter 12/640 PS: IBM PC or Compatible Troubleshooting This article explains IBM PC or Compatible Troubleshooting. A message on the screen says the printer can't print. If you get such a message, try the following steps. Make sure that the printer is turned on. Check the network or parallel cables. Make sure that the PostScript printer driver has been installed. Nothing is printed; no paper comes out of the printer. If you don't get any response from the printer when you try to print a document, try the following steps: Check the Installed Printers list to see that your printer is selected. Try printing the document again, but choose Download PostScript Error Handling in the Printer Setup PostScript Options dialog box. Check the Paper Out light. If it is on, add paper and replace the paper cassette. If it is blinking, make sure the paper cassette is securely in place. Check for a paper jam. Check the printer cables. Check the position of the port communication switch. The port may have been turned off or the Interpreter settings may not be correct. Reset the communications settings to their factory default values by setting the communication switch to the Reset (out) position. Turn the printer off and back on again. Set the communication switch to the Normal (in) position. Turn the printer off and back on. Check the startup page. Reinstall the printer driver. For Windows 95 users, check the following additional item: Open the Printer folder, select the printer, and click Properties. click the PostScript tab and click the Advanced button. Make sure that ASCII data and "Send CTRL+D after job" are selected. For Windows 3.1 users, check the following additional item: Open the Printer Control panel, select the printer, and choose Setup. Select the PostScript tab in the Properties dialog box. Make sure that Protocol Options is set to Default if using the parallel port, or None if printing via NetWare. Sometimes Printing the First Page Takes Longer than I Expect The LaserWriter 12/640 PS automatically goes into an energy-saving mode after it's been idle for a while. When you print while it's in this mode, the printer takes about a minute to warm up before it can print the first page. The printer is properly connected and configured, but printing is garbled or displays unwanted characters. Check the communication switch and make sure that the Interpreter is set to the correct value. If you are printing a PostScript document, the Interpreter mode should be PostScript or AutoSelect.
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