Additional Information ¶
Formatter board problems (and an explanation on why they fail so often) ¶
The HP P2015 series is prone to formatter board failures, and is a regular occurrence on this printer. The chances of the printer suffering from this problem increase as the printer ages and receives regular use.
How to identify a formatter board failure: ¶
Note: While these common failures are easily repeatable for testing, the printer may not always fail in this fashion every time. As such, this list does not cover all failure modes and some will be more obvious then others.
- Stuck on lights
- False jam errors
- NIC failure (if you have a network enabled model)
- Computer connection problems (this can also be caused by the cable or printer driver. Try to reinstall the printer driver and replace the offending cable before treating it as a bad formatter board).
Is it possible to repair this reliably? ¶
No. While the board can be reballed or replaced, the repaired/replacement boards fail the same way.
It is also very likely HP no longer makes formatter boards, so any left will be NOS, used or refurbished.
It is better to consider the printer a total loss if the formatter board fails. Since there is no economical permanent fix, the problem can never be fixed - just patched.
Why do these printers fail this way? ¶
The primary reasons for failure appear to be related to 3 problems:
- Lead free solder
These printers use first generation lead free solder, which has more reliability issues then modern lead free solder and 60/40. As the solder warms up and contracts, it can form cracks when it cools down. Over time, this can damage the solder under the BGA chips on the formatter board.
Because the problem is likely caused by a chip failure, the only permanent fix is replacing the chipsets. While this will likely repair these printers permanently, it is not cost effective. Since this fix is cost prohibitive, these printers will never be reliable once the formatter board fails.
- Lack of heatsinks
HP did not use heatsinks on the processor or NIC chip on the printers from the factory. This means the heat stays within the chips and continue to build up heat. This has essentially "doomed" these printers. If your printer works, it may be possible to prevent the problem by installing your own heatsinks with thermal Epoxy.
Newer models are okay with passive cooling because of cooler running chipsets. While newer models don't need heatsinks, these chipsets run hot enough they should have been installed from the beginning.