asked Jan 29, 2004 at 1:41pm
Hp HP LaserJet 4

HP4 Error Message: PC Load Letter


I've got a great HP4 Laser Printer with minimal usage but started getting error message:
PC Load Letter. However, the printer has plent of paper in the drawer.
What can I do to make this message go away?
FYI, I did try a different paper drawer from a different printer (didn't help).
Thank you and any helpful hint would be greatly appreciated.
What size paper are you using. If it is not letter but A4 then you may have a driver issue. If it is a driver issue and you are using A4 paper and the printer knows you are using A4 paper, then you have to delete the printer and reinsall the driver, but first you have to go to regional settings in control panel and change your region to the UK. Just changing the regional settings will not change the driver since its defaults are established based on the computer setting when the driver is first loaded.
by dmzcompute on Feb 6, 2005 at 8:36am Add comment
I assume you are in the US. There are two things you have to be concerned with. First is the pc empty sensor ps2. You can check it. Power on the printer with tray 2 (PC tray) empty. After the printer warms up it cycles to with load letter or tray 2 empty. Add paper to the tray and you should get the message warminig up followed by ready. If the PC load or tray 2 empty message persists you will have to replace the sensor. The other item is the paper size switches located on the right side inside the drawer cavity. They are activated by a set of 3 leaf springs. Again this can be tested. With the paper tray out of the machine abd a print job for letter paper waiting, press in the top and botton leaf springs and at the same time raise the sensor flag in the middle (paper out sensor). If the machine roller starts to turn it means the paper size switches are working ok. If the roller does not turn it means one or both of the switches are bad and unfortunately the whole PIU unit needs to be replaced since it is part of the unit. I know of some people who mananged to short out the switches so the machine thinks there is always letter paper tray in the machine. If by chance you live in the UK and are using A4 paper, then there is another problem which can be solved. Just let us know. Good Luck.
by dmzcompute on Jan 29, 2004 at 4:14pm Add comment
I am experiencing this problems, but I only have ONE PC tray, I cannot get to the leaf springs because there is no access inside the tray installed. If I take it out, how does doing something on the tray do anything. I understand there is a bad "sensor" somewhere, but I can't find anywhere that a contact is made between the tray and tray slot in the printer. This is an old but perfectly functioning machine otherwise that is perfect for my now personal use. If I could figure out where the sensor is to replace or short it out, I would be happy to do that. Just haven't been able to figure it out yet. Most recent partial workaround is to put some paper stack under the tray to raise it up. This works sometimes.

Howard - unknown
Hi, I live in the U.K and am experiencing the same hP4 problem. The HP 4 shows it's ready, when I go to print it says "PC LOAD LETTER". Now I have "reset" it and "continued" it, this lets me print the job/s that I already commanded it to, however, everytime i want to print I have to go through this palava!

Any advice on how to stop this would be appreciated.

Kind regards
by unknown on Feb 6, 2005 at 7:21am Add comment
Great stuff, all is well!

Many thanks to you for a super swift reply!

Best wishes and good vibes from the U.K
by unknown on Feb 6, 2005 at 4:02pm Add comment
Howard I will post the same response I gave to you at the hp board.

The PC load letter message has nothing to do with the tray having or not having paper loaded. What the message is saying is a job was sent to the printer requesting letter paper and the printer thinks it has paper other than letter in the tray. If you remove the paper tray on the right side will be 3 metal bars which are like springs that are pushed in depending on the size the paper tray handles. For letter the top and the bottom bars are pushed in. If one of those switches goes bad then the printer thinks it has another size loaded. To test just load paper on the manual feeder (drop down tray) and print a self test page from the test menu. On that sheet it will tell you what paper the printer thinks is in the tray. It will never be the paper sensor because if the flag for that sensor is missing the only time you get a message is when the tray is empty you will get a jam message since without the flag it always thinks the tray has paper.
by dmzcompute on Apr 6, 2008 at 5:37pm Add comment
I have no idea why you even want to mess with the leaf springs, whatever they are. The probability of it being a bad sensor is .00001\%, and that might me a bit high. Thus you should totally put that out of your head as the problem. Putting something under the tray fixing it is misleading. You are somehow putting extra pressure on the paper size switches. If you take the tray out and look at the right side in the front, you'll see the 3 switches. That is where your problem is. If you look at the tray itself, you'll see an upper and a lower plastic protrusion sticking out. When you insert the tray, they push against the switches, telling the printer you have a letter tray installed. If you take the tray out and push up on the dangling OOPS flag in the center and push in on the top and bottom switches, the printer should go to READY.
by moe on Apr 6, 2008 at 5:45pm Add comment
This is third time I've gotten this same error. I stumbled upon a fix.

Shut off printer > find printer in control panel - right-click > properties > print test page > turn printer back on.

It prints test page and then works fine. This may not work for everyone, but it worked for me - twice.

I wish everything was this easy.


by slubo on Mar 23, 2009 at 7:42pm Add comment
This worked like a charm! Thanks for your post. - Anonymous
I can't believe it! This also worked for me on a HP LaserJet 5 printer. I was getting ready to start working on the sensor. THANKS!!! - MorrisWood
I, too can't believe it, but the test page trick worked on my ancient Laserjet 4 Plus. I don't know what kind of wizardry this is, but it saved my printer from the scrap heap (for a while at least).
by unknown on Mar 8, 2015 at 2:17pm Add comment