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Print Server w/bonus

CharlesBLee asked
Medium Priority
Last Modified: 2010-04-12
I have listed this question for 200 points.

If I can get a good answer that helps me soon I will add an additional 300 points.

Here is the problem.

I have a network that utilizes one HP PhotoSmart 1215 printer. This printer has 16MB of internal memory. The business requires that we print up to four photos, approximately 3"x4" on a page.

I have a Windows NT4 Server and Win98 Clients. The Photo software is Olympus' Camedia 2.0 Which came with our digital cameras. The digital size of the photos we print is about 80K.

For some reason, when the photos are sent to the printer they become 2-4MB, at least that is what the Windows Printer Status Box reports, the time it takes to move the files to the printer also suggests that that is the "new" size of the files. Can Anyone explain that? If I can prevent that from happening my problem would probably be solved.

If not, here is the crux of the problem. Printers and print servers seem to be more geared to small text documents, rather than larger photo files. Originally, I had the printer attached to a workstation(all workstations are PIII866/128RAM). Frequently print jobs would get lost or hang on or more systems. I installed a Linksys Switched PrintServer. This made the system much more stable in that all jobs seem to get printed, however, the speed of the printing has dropped dramatically, by a factor of about 3. The slowness is almost unbearable.

What should I do to create a fast, stable environment?
Price is an issue, I cannot afford to spend thousands of dollars.

Thanks in advance for any help.
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Can you put more memory in the print server?  That would probably solve quite a few problems.


The Print Server is not a computer, it is a Linksys external Print Server. Can you recommend another model that I would be able to add memory to?


If you don't mind spending almost $600, her is a 20G model - http://www.speedguide.net/reviews/linksys_gigadrive/index.shtml


I looked at the specs on that item. I'm not sure that would do anything different then the printserver I have now. It has 20GB of storage space, but doesn't mention anything about memory. The printserver component seems to be the same.


20G is memory.  If you have a laserjet printer with 2 megs of memory and you are having printing problems then those problems should be remedied by adding 4 megs more.  (This is what we did for our Laserjet printer and it solved many printer/print server lockups).  You have an inkjet printer but I believe it is the same principle.  You have a slow printer server with low memory for job storage/handling.  Up the memory and speed and you should get faster throughput.  Have you thought about printing at a lower resolution to see if you get a faster print job with acceptable quality?

Photosmart is like DeskJet printers. It normally renders the whole page band by band, convert to either CMYK or RGBK data, before sending down to printer. So the size of data sent down to printer depends very much on area covered and printer resolution selected.

Different media and halftone mode could generate different size data too.

But 20 MB for a page seems high, unless it's full page photos. New HP printer can send down RGBK data to printer to be halftoned on printer. Check printers with automatical media sensing, which could be faster unless it sense the wrong media type.

The job ends up being 2-4 meg.  The 20G is the memory size of the suggested print server.


I understand, but what I'm saying is that 20G is not memory, it is not RAM, it is 20G of storage on a hard disk. Memory would definitely help, but I don't know what the effect of storage would be since it is much slower than RAM.
Can you increase the memory on the printer itself?  I know you can't on the cheaper models.
Do you have an older machine with a large amount of memory that you can dedicate as a print server?  We have four older machines used this way.  One is as low as a 486 with 16 meg of memory and win95.

Just an Idea

Could You please check on the clients (and on the server)
if the spooled data is sent in RAW on EMF ?

If it's RAW, try changing it to EMF, to do this just
right click on the desired printer into the printers
folder, next select "Properties", now on the "General"
tab click the "Print Processor" button and select the
EMF format

Next select the spooling properties and ensure to select
"Use Spooler..." and  "Begin printing after last page..."
to allow the spooler to create it's file on disk BEFORE
sending it to the printer

As a last measure on Win9x clients set the spooler to be
"conservative" and not "aggressive"



I have played with the RAW/EMF and spool settings already without much luck. I'll give it another shot and get back to you, thanks.

The file grows as the image is translated in a language that the printer understands.  There is not much help with eliminating the growth of the file.

Since you are printing over the network cable you are limited by bandwidth of the cable.  Is your cabling CAT5 spec?  Are you using 10 or 100MB NICs and hubs?

Based on my earlier response, here is a link for 10/100 Linksys print server that cost about $130.
I am sorry it would have been helpful if I would have included the link:



My network is a switched 100Mbps system. The speed of the network is not the issue. I have already tried the Linksys 2-port version of that print server, it works great with regular text print jobs, but these large-size photo files overwhelm it.

cross off CharlesBLee in the list of people to help.  All of that work and got a C.  Adios!!


Slink9 -

If you look closely, you'll see that nobody really helped me any. My knowledge about printers and computers started off being more than all of those responding combined.

Nobody taught me anything here. I had all the right equipment to start with. I also had a budget for new equipment. Nobody, including you, pointed out any shortcuts or anything that helped me move from the point at which I started.

After this experience, I'll be alot better at printer/printing problems. But not because of you. It was MY hard work. You responded with some suggestions.


If you look at my grading history I am more than generous.
In this particular case. I was extremely interactive with those attempting to help me.

I awarded points because I had to. I decided on you because of your responses and the fact that responded first or maybe second and continued to respond.

It is interesting that you are the only one to complain.
YOU GOT THE POINTS! Nobody that didn't get points has complained. Would you rather have not gotten the points and gotten an A ? If we can arrange that, I would gladly oblige. I'm sure one of the other respondants would like the points!

Thanks for the effort.


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