Thank you for your question.
Unfortunately, HP error codes do not go into great details in their
explanation, but usually you can get an idea of the problem from
documents available at the HP web site.
This page lists all error codes for Laserjet 4V and older printers:
HP LaserJet 4V Series Printers (and Older) - Printer Control Panel
Display Status and Error Messages
Error 52 states that it applies to all models of Laserjets and notes:
A temporary error has occurred.
Power cycle the printer. On some models pressing the Continue button
on the control panel will resume operation.
If the error persists, it could indicate an issue with the scanning
assembly. Contact a dealer or HP Service Technician."
So, if cycling power keeps you going, you can put off a potentially
expensive tech repair issue. If it persists, you will most likely need
to have it serviced.
At Learnthat we find exactly what a scanning assembly is:
"...The Laser Scanning Assembly holds the laser which shines its light
on certain parts of the printer drum. The electrical charge is reduced
and the toner attaches itself to the drum where the laser has
Although HP sells maintenance kits for Laser printers and usually
require parts replacements at 100,000 copies, the maintenance kit for
the IIIP is not user installable and most likely will have no effect
on the laser scanning assembly. But for your reference:
HP Monochrome LaserJet Printers - Maintenance Kit Quick Reference Guide
HP LaserJet IIIP series printer
(This maintenance kit is service installable only.)
Part #33481-69007 (110v)**
Input feed roller
MP pick up roller
Internal access door rollers
Input feed roller assembly
Maintenance you can perform yourself on laser printers can be found here:
"LaserJet printer maintenance
Preventative printer maintenance can often stop problems before they
start. Use these solutions periodically to keep your HP LaserJet
printer in tiptop shape. (Have a different type of printer? Check out
Inkjet printer maintenance and All-in-One (AIO) maintenance .) Be sure
to consult your printer's manual before you get started...
...To clean the interior of the printer, use a dry lint-free cloth,
such as a lens cloth. Using a computer vacuum to clean the cartridge
area can cause damage, so only use a cloth. Be careful not to touch
the transfer roller (the black spongy roller the sits below the
cartridge). Oils from your skin could cause print-quality problems.
If you remove the toner cartridge to clean the cartridge area, do not
leave the cartridge exposed to light or it will be damaged. If toner
gets on your clothing, wipe it off with a dry cloth and wash clothing
in cold water. Hot water can cause the toner to set.
You can use a transparency to clean the paper path. Follow these steps:
Load a transparency in the priority input tray.
Make sure that the printer is in the Ready state.
Press and hold the Go button for 10 seconds. The transparency feeds
slowly through the printer. Each of the three printer lights will
blink until the cleaning process is complete. Discard the
If transparency film is unavailable, use paper, but perform the
procedure two or three times to ensure proper cleaning...
You might wish to read the other tips on this page.
HP error 52
laser scanning assembly
I trust my research has provided you with the information you need to
understand this printer error. If a link above should fail to work or
anything require further explanation or research, please do post a
Request for Clarification prior to rating the answer and closing the
question and I will be pleased to assist further.
Clarification of Answer by
06 Jan 2004 12:17 PST
Hi again Jany678,
Actually, I didn't think my answer pointed to replacing the printer.
It seems, at worst, it is repairable by replacing the scanning
assembly. Though, you may decide if that does need to be done that the
repair cost is more than the value of the printer. That's a decision
you might have to make.You should call a local HP repair facility to
get a cost for this repair.
I checked the HP web site for current model printers and most do not
have drivers for any Windows Operating System pre: Windows 98. A few
do support Windows 95, but none currently Windows 3.1
The reality is that Microsoft no longer supports Windows 3.1 and, as a
matter of fact, no longer supports Windows 98 as of this month. I
would strongly suggest considering updating your computer if at all
Your other option is to keep an eye out at Ebay for used printers or
even NOS (new old stock). You should be able to find many printers
there that will work under Windows 3.1 if you need to continue in that
direction. I bought a used HP on Ebay 5 years ago and it is still like
new and cost me about 1/3rd of the best new discount price I could
find at the time.
Good luck getting this all functional again.