We help IT Professionals succeed at work.

We've partnered with Certified Experts, Carl Webster and Richard Faulkner, to bring you a podcast all about Citrix Workspace, moving to the cloud, and analytics & intelligence. Episode 2 coming soon!Listen Now


Our new compaq Deskpro can't print

st asked
Medium Priority
Last Modified: 2013-12-16
We bought a new Compaq Deskpro 2000 5/166 but can't print correct (only rubbish characters) while running in Win95.

Following are the status:

Printer is HP Laserjet IIIP and the print driver is also HP Laserjet IIIP.

All application print rubbish while running WIN95 via LPT1(ECP), but when print to file, I can copy the file to the printer in MS-DOS mode (not DOS prompt) and printed correctly, so the WIN95 print driver is correct and the physically printer port is no problem.

Also print correctly when in MS-DOS mode.

I think it should be the spooling problem or the printer port driver (in device manager) problem.

I had been tried/switch all spooling setting in the printer properties (including selected print directly) and printed, but still have same result.

There are no any error signal in the device manager.
In the device manager of ports, I only have the ECP printer port and COM1.

No any more device detected by Win95.

I tried to add printer port (not ECP) and removed the ECP one, but can't print (Also tried adjusted the address & IRQ).

I also tried to change the printer port Address/IRQ/DMA setting in the Compaq CMOS setup, but same result.

Expert, any IDEA?? Please try to comment. Thanks.
Watch Question



Edited text of question

It sounds as though there may be a problem with the default printer drive that windows installed, eg: it may be corrupted. Go to the HP internet site at www.hp.com and download an updated driver for your printer and save it to a floppy disk.

Next, go into My Computer, then into the printers folder and remove your printer. Windows will ask you if you want to delete the printer drivers files, click yes. Restart your system!

Go into My Computer/Printer folder again and add your printer, but this time use the driver from the floppy.

Post your results either way. If it still doesn't work properly, we will take it up to the next level.
Very often, similar effects are obtained when there's an emulation problem. Like when the printer is set as HP IIIP and Win 95 uses postcript. If that's it, check your printer and emulate postscript. or vice and versa.

ST: After trying the above, if there is a continued problem, go to the printers folder and right click on the printer, then click properties. Click on the details tab, click spool settings and change the spool data format to RAW then save everything and try the printer again.


I don't think the HP printer driver corrupted because I can use the installed driver to print correctly when I set it "print to file" and type to the print in "MS-DOS".
The problem only cause when I use the installed driver and print to local printer port.
* Maybe spooling or port problem etc.


Please note that I already tried this one as I said in the question.


HP IIIP may not a postscript printer, would you tell me how can I emulate postscript?

Sure, it's on theprinter's control panel. I can't remember exactly how it's laid out, but there's somthing there. I'll check at work tomorrow.
Your comment to Dew was not apropriate, by the way. By printing to a file, you don't need a working driver, and then, when you print from DOS, it's a whole different story. I've seen printer work in DOS and not in Windows.

Could you go to your printer folder, right click on the printer HpIIIp, select properties, then print a test page.  What happens?? does it print rubbish or correctly???

ST: JohnT is correct, printing to file and then printing from dos has no correlation to printing from within windows. Fixing these types of printer errors involves a series of steps to rule out various problems. If you don't try the fixes or do the checking, we have no idea what it or isn't working!
Looks like I was wrong about the postscript. The HP IIIP does't have that option. Sorry to have mislead you.
Check your Cables:
Well, that's what I found scouring the newsgroups. I have seen cables [all different types of I/O cables cause big problems] that went undetected because, well they just get over-looked:
"Have you ECP port enabled in BIOS? And ECP port for the printerport in Win95? If yes, and it doesn't work even with Win95 drivers installed, try use standard parallelport in BIOS and Win95. If you use ECP,  your printercable must be capable for that(not all printercables can handle ECP mode -best is to use a IEEE 1284 Compliant printercable if you have ECP mode enabled but a standard printer cable can work also)"

Not the solution you were looking for? Getting a personalized solution is easy.

Ask the Experts


dew_associates & johnt,

You also need the installed printer driver to generate the sequence code while using "print to file". Therefore, I can surely  that the print driver is no problem.
If you don't know what is it about, please check the "Supporting Microsoft Windows 95 Volume I module 13" or check the resource kit of chapter 23!!


Although I solved my problem myself before reading your answer, your answer is quite make sense and near then others. So, the points would may yours.

Thanks for the comment ST, however as an MS Certified Tech, I follow their protocols for handling printer related problems, beginning with the basics and moving on. I do not need "Supporting Windows" to resolve issues as I have the entire Knowledge Basis, TechNet, Tech Spt 97 and the Resource Kit on server. Have a nice day!

You say, "Although I solved my problem myself before reading your
I assume that means you can print and you problem is solved. Is that right. Because you didn't grade the answer I'm just guessing that you may still have problems, in which case take the following steps. DON'T DO THE FOLLOWING IF YOU'RE ALRIGHT:
Problems With Printers and Drivers.
1.On the Start menu, point to Settings, and then click Printers.
2.With the right mouse button, click the printer you are trying to print to, and then click Delete.
3.Double-click the Add Printer icon.
4.Click Next.
5.Click to select either Local Printer or Network Printer, and then click Next.
6.In the Manufacturers list, click Generic.
7.In the Printers list, click Generic/Text Only.
8.Click Next.
9.Follow the instructions in the Add Printer Wizard.
Due to the way video drivers and adapters interact with everything, next check your Video.
To determine whether the video driver is causing your problems, install the standard VGA driver:
1.On the Start menu, point to Settings, and click Control Panel.
2.Double-click the Display icon.
3.Click the Settings tab.
4.Click Change Display Type.
Make a note of the adapter type in case you need to reinstall the original video driver.
5.Click the Change button in the Adapter Type section.
6.Click the Show all Devices option. 7.In the Manufacturers list, click (Standard display types). 8.In
the Models list, click Standard Display Adapter (VGA). 9.Click OK. 10.Click Close. 11.Click
Close. 12.If you receive a message asking you to restart Windows, click Yes. To change the settings
for the current display driver: 1.On the Start menu, point to Settings, and click Control Panel.
2.Double-click the Display icon. 3.Click the Settings tab. 4.In the Color palette drop-down list, click
16 Color. Or, under Desktop Area, set the resolution to Less (640 by 480 pixels).
5.Click Apply.
6.Click OK.
7.If you receive a message asking you to restart Windows, click Yes.
For additional information about troubleshooting video problems in Windows 95, please see the
following article in the Microsoft Knowledge Base:
Q127139 Troubleshooting Video Problems in Windows 95



Yes, really already solved. I just wanted to let other body to see the comments and answer. I will grade the answer laster.

OK, hope all is well.
Access more of Experts Exchange with a free account
Thanks for using Experts Exchange.

Create a free account to continue.

Limited access with a free account allows you to:

  • View three pieces of content (articles, solutions, posts, and videos)
  • Ask the experts questions (counted toward content limit)
  • Customize your dashboard and profile

*This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Service apply.


Please enter a first name

Please enter a last name

8+ characters (letters, numbers, and a symbol)

By clicking, you agree to the Terms of Use and Privacy Policy.