HP LaserJet 5

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The HP LaserJet 5 was a group of monochrome laser printers produced in the mid-1990s as part of the LaserJet series by Hewlett Packard (HP).[1] It was the successor to the HP LaserJet 4 series of printers. After the LaserJet 5 series, however, HP introduced a new naming convention for its LaserJet line. While the LaserJet 5L and 5P were replaced with the LaserJet 6L and 6P, there was never a LaserJet 6; the successor to the LaserJet 5/5M/5N/5se line was the LaserJet 4000 series, and the successor to the LaserJet 5si/5siMX/5siNX was the LaserJet 8000 series. In addition, the LaserJet 4V/4MV was not succeeded by a LaserJet 5 series printer, as its successor was the LaserJet 5000 series.

LaserJet 5 range[edit]

Comparison table of HP LaserJet 5 models[1]
Model Introduction Canon print engine Print resolution


Print speed


Standard memory

(RAM in MB)

Maximum memory

(RAM in MB)

5P/5MP [2] March 1995 VX 600 6 2/3 50/35
5L [3] September 1995 AX 600 4 1 9
5Si (5Si MX) November 1995 WX (24PPM) 600 24 4/12 132/76
5/5N/5M [4] April 1996 EX-II 600 12 2/4/6 66/66/52
5Si Mopier [5] November 1996 WX (24PPM) 600 24 12 76
5Si NX December 1996 WX (24PPM) 600 24 4 132

Tips And Tricks[edit]

5/5N/5M Unofficial memory capacity[edit]

The LaserJet 5/5N/5M can unofficially support 32MB 72pin SIMM modules (with presence detect), allowing a maximum 128MB of memory to be installed. This is twice the official capacity of 66MB. Use of the PostScript module will reduce the total maximum memory to 100MB due to the fact that the PostScript module takes up a memory slot and has only 4MB of RAM.

5P Unofficial memory capacity[edit]

The LaserJet 5P can unofficially support 32MB 72pin SIMM modules with parity (24 chip modules tested), allowing a maximum 98MB of memory to be installed. This is nearly twice the official capacity of 50MB. Powering up the machine with additional installed 96MB takes 59 seconds due to the extended memory test.

5Si Network Connection[edit]

The LaserJet 5Si comes without a network adaptor, but an expansion slot is provided, and the firmware supports network printing. If an added network card can not be enabled, reset the printer to default factory settings - to do this, power off the printer, press and hold the online button and switch on the printer. Allow the printer to fully boot, then release the button. The printer is now reset to factory defaults, and the network configuration should now work.

5L Printing Issues[edit]

  • The 5L model sometimes doesn't print portions of the page or prints blurred letters. This is because the page being printed is taking up more memory than the printer has available. The solution is to either lower the resolution from 600×600 dpi to 300×300 dpi, install and use the 4L driver to print to the 5L printer, or install more memory using the expansion slot.
  • If part of a page is replaced by lines (or, sometimes, a blank space like above), and then printed on another page, this is because of low memory. Typically, the 5L will give an error before this occurs (i.e. it will stop printing and turn on only the amber error light, but will continue if you hit the button). There are memory cards you can buy and install into the printer to solve this problem.
  • The 5L, 6L; and 3100 and 3150 all had an issue with multiple paper-feed jams which was resolved via class action lawsuit, the remedy of which was to freely supply an easily insertable replacement pad. The free supply of the Replaceable Separation Pad Kit has since expired but they can be found on eBay.

5/5N/5M/5Si Jetdirect cards[edit]

These printers have an expansion slot which can be used with a JetDirect card for I/O expansion. The most common cards in the surplus market are the J2550, J2552, J2556 and J4100. Unfortunately none of these support any form of USB.


  1. ^ a b Twenty Years of Innovation: HP LaserJet and Inkjet Printers 1984–2004 (PDF) (Accessed June 15, 2006)
  2. ^ Printer Works - 5P (Accessed June 15, 2006)
  3. ^ The 5L Extra, release in July 1996, was a standard 5L combined with a software bundle
  4. ^ Printer Works - LaserJet 5 (Accessed June 15, 2006)
  5. ^ Printer Works - 5Si Mopier (Accessed June 15, 2006)