HP Color LaserJet 1600/2600n Toolbox: Needlessly Well Guarded Secret

From back to front: first cleaning effort, followed by a couple cleaning cycles before the second (ghosting) print, then I got HP Toolbox working. Corrected some settings (below) and subsequent test prints got better and better, with the final result looking like a brand new printer - JUST with some settings changes.

From back to front: first cleaning effort, followed by a couple cleaning cycles before the second (ghosting) print, then I got HP Toolbox working. Corrected some settings (below) and subsequent test prints got better and better, with the final result looking like a brand new printer – JUST with some settings changes.

Missing your shortcut for the LaserJet Toolbox? Yeah, we all are. HP apparently thought it would be a funny joke to just… you know, OMIT the desktop/Start Menu shortcut for the HP Color LaserJet 1600 Toolbox from all their driver distributions online now. So if you don’t have the original driver from the original CD, you’re screwed! And HP’s site will mock you as it walks you step-by-step through how to use the HP Toolbox, but yet the icon they’re referring to is LITERALLY FREAKING MISSING. Gone. Poof. It’s nowhere to be found. Uninstall? User’s guide? Got it. Toolbox? No.

OK, so a huge oversight on HP’s part. I want to smack ’em. Here’s how you get that back.

Create a new shortcut and paste this info:
(For Color LaserJet 1600 ONLY)
ZHHP1600.EXE 3911 AGI1600.DLL 1600 ZHP1600R.DLL

For Color LaserJet 2600 series, it’s a little more complicated since I have a 1600 – which is a 2600 without the networking/duplex capabilities – same logic board, same drivers, just different branding. The process may be identical but with the “1600” replaced with “2600” in the line above. Version 5.x of the drivers (the current one available from hp.com) has the HTTP server (zhhp*.exe) completely REMOVED from the distribution, so the toolbox is literally GONE. You’ll need an older version – and to write a much-needed hate mail to HP for removing it. The “full software solution” download does not seem to have the HP Toolbox files. Maybe the “PnP software” distribution will have it, but look for the “ZHHP*.exe” executable – the “H” is for “HTTP”, the “ZSHP*.exe” file is “S” for “Status (monitor)”.

Launched using the shortcut in this blog post. Up yours, HP!

Launched using the shortcut in this blog post. Up yours, HP!

If you get an HTTP 500 error when you try to access the site (localhost:3911), it means your command line wasn’t correct or it couldn’t find the file you referenced on the command line. It’s very, very ambiguous with the errors.

Also, if you have problems with mirroring/echoing down the page, turn down the fuser temperature under “print modes” for your paper type (almost always the first one, “plain paper”) – set it to Less Fusing. If you have trouble with dirty/messy grey background fuzz, turn on “Background Toner” under the print options menu, and turn “Transfer Current” to “Dry Paper”, turn “Toner” down to “Less Toner” for those print types.

Hope this helps someone out with an old 1600/2600. It sure cleaned mine up!

  • mozee

    Hey, would u please email me? I have some questions about toolbox for hp1600. It’s killing me, I really need ur help. plzzz.
    this is my email: mozeeonet@gmail.com

    • falconfour

      I hate it when people hide answers to questions by obscuring communications through email instead of posting here on the relevant thread. Can you just reply and ask here where the whole internet can benefit from the answers?

      • GG Park

        You say “Create a new shortcut and paste this info for my clj 1600:

        ZHHP1600.EXE 3911 AGI1600.DLL 1600 ZHP1600R.DLL

        Where and how are you talking about creating a shortcut?

        There’s space between various numbers and letters for one .exe and two .dll — Usually spaces without something like underscore don’t load

        Please be as specific as you can, step by step. Not having the Toolbox has been really frustrating


        • falconfour

          They’re called command line parameters. Spaces separate parameters. So, here, you’re running the program “ZHHP1600.EXE” and giving it the parameters “3911”, “AGI1600.DLL”, “1600”, and “ZHHP1600R.DLL” to fill into the information that ZHHP1600.EXE expects to find when it’s launched. That’s why you can’t just double click that ZHHP… program.

          Since the program is in the WindowsSystem32 folder, just invoking that command-line via a shortcut will produce the desired result of starting the Toolbox, anywhere you create a new shortcut. You can put it on your desktop, in your Documents, in your Start Menu… anywhere, and it’ll work exactly the same.

          So, just follow the directions without overthinking it and it’ll work fine, as long as the correct software is there!

  • Saffy

    Hmmm. I removed the existing drivers from my system, and reinstalled from the original CD and lo! the toolbox is back.
    Sadly though, it doesn’t work completely. The device status and supplies information pages don’t work – after a while they report “An error occurred” and in the printer queue I can see a failed job listed. So, so near and yet so far.
    Also, it looks as if you need to have Java installed to get anywhere. The HP documentation does mention this, but it’s not obvious.

    • Hi, I just have a similar Problem as the poster above.
      I created a shortcut (with a Little help of a friend). Now I have the Toolbox,but the device Status and the supplies Information pages don’t work. And I can not print any Service pages.
      I tried to make the shortcut like yours but, I have the original drives cd, I couldn’t find theAGI2600.dll, I took the agissi.dll instead, same with the zhp2600r.dll, I took the zhhp_res.dll.
      As a matter of fact, one or both of them are wrong. Unfortunately there a approx. 35 .dll files on the cd. I don’t feel like trying out about 1100 combinations to find the right one.
      So do you have and idea, which .dll I should take instead?
      Thank you for your reply, and excuse my English, learnt it at School lightyears ago.
      Grüße Gabi

  • Timothy Elve
  • BR

    On the 2600 series if you just open your web browser and type the printers ip address it will bring up the status console. Even works on a Mac with the apple drivers.

    • falconfour

      Of course, if the machine has an integrated web server, it’ll have the toolbox built in. USB-only devices don’t have an IP address, hence no web server, hence no toolbox. That’s the trouble. No drivers involved at all if there’s an ethernet port… but only the “N” models (2600DN, etc…) have that capability.

  • Timothy Elve

    Great article. I was looking for toolbox in my hp downloaded software package. You can search for hours if you don’t know it is missing. After some searching I found some places online to download the original cds which have toolbox. Better hurry though. I am not sure how long the links will stay good. I posted the link for 2605dn models above. Here is a link for 2600/2600n (scroll about half way down the page to hp_CLJ2600_Full_Solution.rar.


  • Martex

    Hi may you please can you send me download link for HP 2600n Toolbox. I want to Clean my Printer

    • falconfour

      You can do that from the printer menu, under “Print Quality”, I think.

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  • Help cant get the toolbox for the 1600 anywhere is there a link to download it?

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  • nope doesn’t work for me

    – tried copying the files needed from my original install CD, but that didn’t work

    – tried installing the xp version, from the cd and from HP directly, but that didn’t work either

    at this point my printer stopped working entirely and was no longer recognised by the pc so had to uninstall and reinstall using windows 7 software direct from hp (which was then further supplemeted by a windows update).

    i can double click on my shortcut and it does go to the toolbox screen but eventually times out with a no response error message – tried chrome and ie and ensured firewall wasn’t blocking anything, but still nothing; anything left I can do?

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