AB's Useful Box - HP JetDirect EX Plus J2591A

A client wanted to solve a problem, that instead of having parallel printers connected to network PCs, have the printers connected to the network in their own right.

A second client was throwing out some old HP JetDirect EX Plus J2591A boxes, that had not been used for several years, because as older printers were replaced with new ones that came with ethernet cards, the JD were no longer needed.

Cut a long story short, client two was able to help client one, by donating a couple of obsolete JDs. All very good, until I tried to find manuals and howtos for the JDs.

Found a number of helps on resetting the JDs to factory defaults, but could not tell me why the IP address was not defaulting to that in the manual(s).

So, hopefully the following may help.


So if you have an unknown HP JetDirect EX Plus J2591A, first thing is change it from an unknown configuration to a factory default and then program it to suit your own network configuration.

Reset to Factory default, the easy part.

Remove power from the unit, hold the [Test] button down, then power the unit and hold down for 15 seconds and release the button. That is what the manual(s) say, and it should now have the IP address of

But there are a couple of traps here.

If there is no network cable attached, it will remain at

If a network cable is attached and the network has a DHCP Server, which automatically allocates IP address, it may pickup an IP address from the DHCP Server. The IP address in this case it not or, which can be a bit of a trap and frustrating, but can be solved.

There are two methods, connect directly to the JD from a PC using an ethernet crossover cable. Manually allocate your PC the IP address of say mask, reset the JD, then use telnet from your PC to the JD to perform the configuration.

Or, if it is connected to the same network as your PC, and the network has a DHCP Server, it will be a matter of going through the IP addresses, pinging each in turn to ascertain the JDs new IP address. Start by connecting your PC to the network, boot and logon to the PC. Use the command IPCONFIG at a DOS Command Prompt to find out the IP address of your PC. Now connect the JD to the network and perform the reset. After the reset is complete and assuming it is only a small local network, the IP address that has been allocated to the JD is likely to be in the range between x.x.x.1 and x.x.x.255, only 255 possible addresses. So if from the IPCONFIG of your PC it has returned some thing like with a Gateway of, they are two IP address you will not have to worry about. Now go through the IP addresses to, send a ping to each in turn. If you receive a reply, disconnect the ethernet cable from the JD, and try the ping again. When the ping fails you know you have finally found the IP address of the JD. Now reconnect the ethernet cable to the JD and use telnet from your PC to the JD to perform the configuration.

If you are configuring the JD via telnet from an WinXP machine, use HyperTerminal via TCP/IP Socket and also turn on Local Echo.

The main thing to do is change the IP address to a fixed number. A small office network, that uses an ADSL modem to perform the DHCP IP address allocations, will normally allocate itself, the gateway the IP address of and use the range through to for DHCP requests. A File Server on the network might have the IP address of, so I'd use the IP address of for the first JD box. Before using any new IP address, from your PC, do a ping to ensure it is not already used by another device.

The above may seem a long and complicated, but at the time I did not have access to a ethernet crossover cable, and was not able to have any unnecessary downtime of the clients printers.

A note for obtaining the IP address from Richard Piggin:

To make life far easier than ping various addresses to find the correct IP address. Attach a printer and press the test button! This prints two pages of config data, including the configured IP address. Then just use a cross over cable after changing the PC's IP address and subnet mask to match for the telnet session.

Ok, you have your JD configured with a sensible IP address, connected to the network and the old parallel printer connected to the JD all ready to receive the first print job, just need to add the printer to your PCs list of printers.

The following is adapted from the site http://sosnick.uchicago.edu/printersxp.html by Adarsh Pandit

How to add the JetDirect Printers to your WinXP machine:

1) Go to the Control Panel and select "printers and other hardware" and "add a printer"

2) At the below screen, click "next".

3) Here select "local printer" and unselect the "automatically detect" box.

4) Choose "Create a New Port" and "Standard TCP/IP" at this screen

5) Here just click "next"

6) At this screen, enter the IP address you have assigned the JD, and 3100 for port 1 (HP Laserjet). It might be wise to install the printer onto your computer using it's own installation CD, but this will suffice.

The Port Name: above is that used to identify the printer on your local machine. So if you have more than one JD on your network, each JD will require is own unique IP Address and its own Port Name. A simple method can be to use the following:

JetDirect Box/Printer IP Address Port Name
Laser Printer #1 3100
Colour Printer 3101
Old Mono Printer 3102

7) The parallel port referred to here is the same as which printer you chose above. Choose
Parallel 1 for HP. For the J2591A that only has one port, select Parallel 1.

8) Follow the remaining directions to indicated the make and model of the printer. Print a test page
to make sure everything is going well and you're ready to go.

Updated: 23-Dec-2015