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High CPU Utilization When You Print to a Hewlett-Packard Multifunction Printer (Q299956)

The information in this article applies to:

  • Microsoft Windows versions 2000 , 2000 SP1 , 2000 SP2 , Professional
  • Microsoft Windows versions 2000 , 2000 SP1 , 2000 SP2 , Server
  • Microsoft Windows versions 2000 , 2000 SP1 , 2000 SP2 , Advanced Server


When you are printing to a Hewlett-Packard (HP) multifunction printer (such as the HP OfficeJet series) that is attached to a parallel port, CPU utilization may rise to 50-100 percent and remain high. For computers with a single CPU, utilization may reach 100 percent.

NOTE : This problem does not relate to the HP single function line of printers.


A supported fix is now available from Microsoft, but it is only intended to correct the problem described in this article and should be applied only to systems experiencing this specific problem. This fix may receive additional testing at a later time, to further ensure product quality. Therefore, if you are not severely affected by this problem, Microsoft recommends that you wait for the next Windows 2000 service pack that contains this fix.

To resolve this problem immediately, contact Microsoft Product Support Services to obtain the fix. For a complete list of Microsoft Product Support Services phone numbers and information about support costs, please go to the following address on the World Wide Web:;EN-US;CNTACTMS
NOTE : In special cases, charges that are normally incurred for support calls may be canceled, if a Microsoft Support Professional determines that a specific update will resolve your problem. Normal support costs will apply to additional support questions and issues that do not qualify for the specific update in question.

The English version of this fix should have the following file attributes or later:
   Date         Time       Version         Size      File name
   6/20/2001    02:43p    5.0.2195.3760    60,176   Parallel.sys 


To work around this problem, change the port mode in the BIOS to ECP.


Microsoft has confirmed this to be a problem in the Microsoft products that are listed at the beginning of this article.


To further identify this problem, check the port mode settings in the BIOS. If the port mode setting for "ECP" is not selected (AT mode may be in use), this problem can occur. Port modes that support ECP may be listed as ECP, PS/2, EPP, or ECP/EPP. The preferred workaround to this problem is to change the port mode in the BIOS to ECP.

NOTE : Besides resolving this problem, changing to ECP mode may result in improved scanning and storage media access gains of up to 2-4 times or more.

If ECP (or some ECP combination) is selected and the high utilization occurs, this may indicate that ECP communications negotiation did not work. In this case, the computer and printer may attempt communication by using conflicting communications methods. The hotfix that is listed in the "Resolution" section of this article may be used to resolve the problem.

Additional Troubleshooting Steps

  • If you have not already done so, try to change the port mode in the BIOS to ECP.

  • Check the tasklist (or use the Qslice.exe tool) to identify the process that is causing the high CPU utilization.

  • If the high CPU utilization is against the system process, the problem that is described in this article may be occurring. If some other process shows high CPU utilization, that process should be investigated and stopped by using the tasklist (or the Kill.exe tool) to return the computer to normal CPU utilization levels.

For additional information about how to install Windows 2000 and Windows 2000 hotfixes at the same time, click the article number below to view the article in the Microsoft Knowledge Base:
Q249149 Installing Microsoft Windows 2000 and Windows 2000 Hotfixes

Published Jul 26 2001 12:29PM Issue Type kbbug
Last Modifed May 8 2002 3:46PM Additional Query Words dot3
Keywords kbenv kbprint kbWin2000PreSP3Fix


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