Printing on NT using a HP820Cxi

Posted on 1998-08-30
Last Modified: 2010-04-12
I have an NT 4.0 Workstation with an HP Deskject 820Cxi attached to it and
is not flagged shareable. Although Microsoft don't have a driver for this
on NT HP do and it is the HP driver that I have installed. The machine has
IE4 with SP1 installed. Problem: When printing documents of 5 or more pages
the printer will print until it gets part way through the 6th page and then
workstation just freezes. This is not isolated to one particular
application.  I have to reboot.

I have uninstalled the print driver and reinstalled it rerun SP3 and of
course still the problem remains.

I have considered that it may be a spool problem - I have approximately
110MB of free space on the partition it is residing on - I would have
assumed this was adequate as they are mostly text documents I am printing.
I could move the spool to my other partition of which has 700+MB on it. The
strange thing is that I was printing fine to it previously (although I have
installed a couple of apps to this partition since). I have one other
theory - could it be when I uninstall the printer that the spool is not
deleted and it is the spooler file or driver that is corrupt?

Anybody got any suggestions or ideas?
Question by:paddyq
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Expert Comment

ID: 2012384
This sounds like the question asked by Babydoll so this is the suggestion I gave her.

Yep, printer drivers can kill NT 4.0 because they run at kernel level or I/O priviledged mode.  This could also be a problem with your workstation rather than a faulty driver.  A couple of things to try: -

1) Modern workstation's parallel printer ports can often operate in a variety of modes.   In 'Compatible' mode, the port can only write data out of the port to the attached device.  This mode is compatible with the original IBM PC/AT.  In 'Bi-Directional' mode, data can be written out to the attached device and read in from the device.  This mode is compatible with the IBM PS/2 series. The ECP (Extended Capabilities Port) and EPP (Enhanced Parallel Port) are industry standard, high performance bi-drectional modes.  To use either ECP or EPP, ensure that the attached printer or device supported the advanced mode.  Check your workstation and printer owners manuals for supported modes.  You would typically configure the parallel port mode using the BIOS setup routine.  Set it to compatible mode and start from there.

2) Try to obtain and install an earlier version of the driver.  If you can't find one, install a similar driver from the NT CD, such as a Deskjet 600.  It may not contain all the features of the 820Cxi, however, as a temporary measure it should still print and may help
determine if the problem is your workstation or the driver.  If the problem goes away, the driver may be buggy.  If this is the case I would advise HP of your problem so they can rectify it.

3) Install the printer on another workstation and configure the same.  If the problem goes away, the workstation may have a faulty motherboard/printer port.  If different hardware then the original workstation may have a compatibility problem.

4) See if your workstation supports flash BIOS updates and if any are available from the manufacturer.

Good Luck !

Expert Comment

ID: 2012385
This sounds like a problem with your printer memory. Your PC may be locking up due to confussion caused from two way communications from your printer and your PC. When your printer memory fills it lets the PC know and pauses data transmission until its ready for more. This commuication may be the source of your problem. This obviously restricts you to small print jobs and is down to drivers. A printer with more memory or a HDD for spooling would resolve the problem.

Author Comment

ID: 2012386
Duckers thank you - I will award the points to you if I resolve my problem by moving the spool file to another partition.

Expert Comment

ID: 2012387
it's the printer that could do wit the HDD rather than your PC

Author Comment

ID: 2012388
Duckers I beg to differ. The printer worked fine under Win95 - I will keep you posted.

Author Comment

ID: 2012389

I have not forgotton you. I have quite simple not had a chance to test this out. I will in the next week or so. I just wish to grade you correctly, I know your answer will resolve the problem but to what extent I cannot be sure until tested.
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Author Comment

ID: 2012390
Sorry I have to reject this I have tested the offer and it does not work :( sorry.

Expert Comment

ID: 2012391
I have tried to get the 820 to work on a network MANY times.  The solution is to get a 870(I know it's not really the solution)

The 820 has no internal memory and uses the system memory, mucking everything when on a network.  The 870 has 512K? so it will run fine.

I called HP and they said it would work if you tried hard enough.  A 3 hour long distance call later, they said "Well, I guess it's not gonna work"

You might try running a file in the WINNT/SYSTEM directory called HP??cfg##.exe

it will allow you to turn off Cartridge query and bi-directional.

It should make it a little more stable.

Expert Comment

ID: 2012392
We've had the same problem here in our office, and there is no orthodox way to solve the problem. (Even HP has mailed that the problem is in the HP-software, but they can't find the bug). We installed a lower printer driver, and that onortodox  solution works fine for us,

My condolances,

Author Comment

ID: 2012393
I am sorry I have to reject this answer. Since your posting I have found the answer to the problem. The volume that the spool file resided was fat. I have converted it to NTFS. It now prints better than ever! So kikker if your volumes are fat maybe consider converting them to NTFS. Good Luck!

Expert Comment

ID: 2012394
thanks Paddy,
I'll keep it in mind

Accepted Solution

linda101698 earned 300 total points
ID: 2012395
I am posting the solution found by paddq so it can be saved in the previously asked questions.  Please see your customer service question for an explanation.

Linda Gardner
Customer Service @ Experts Exchange

Solution found by paddyq:
Since your posting I have found the
     answer to the problem. The volume that the spool file resided was fat. I have
     converted it to NTFS. It now prints better than ever! So kikker if your volumes
     are fat maybe consider converting them to NTFS. Good Luck!

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