WordPerfect 11 intermittently deleting paper tray settings

Hi there,
This is similar to a previous question... difference is that I DO get the trays to work... for a short time, that is ;-)

I have a client of >30 systems that upgraded from WP8/Netware 4 to WP11/Win2003. All systems are either Win2000 or XP Pro and have all critical updates and WordPerfect SP2 applied. They have several printers, but the ones with the problems are the HP4000, 4100, and 4200's. Two of the printers are connected the PC they're next to and shared (seems to be less prone to my problems)... all other printers have JetDirect cards and are shared through the 2003 server.
I have given the users full control of the printers temporarily to help resolve this problem. All 'problem' printers have 3 trays which are configured in the HP driver. The HP driver is also set to autoselect. WP is configured with the proper page definitions and will print correctly when initially set up.

* Most of the computers in the office experience page definitions randomly resetting back to default <--- primary prob
* Also, on a few computers, no matter what you do, it will always print to manual feed. Reinstalling printer drivers does nothing, however a WP reinstall fixes this. <---secondary prob

I have tried so many different things, I'm not sure what's the best mixture anymore. Does anyone know of a solution, or the best way to configure this setup? For instance, what exact drivers would be the best bet for these printers? How about the configuration of the actual printer itself (via the menu)? And should I think about adding enough RAM to the printers so that I can have them print directly to the printer (tried it, but it's quite slow that way) and kill it off of the server?
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moorhouselondonConnect With a Mentor Commented:

Microsoft gives a reasonable list of PCL commands you can use to get started on writing a test file:


(there are loads of other sites.  MS explain it quite well though).

However, Escape characters are a pain to get into a text file.  You can't just put 27 into the file and expect the printer to accept this as escape.  Being a DOS person I would use a combination of EDIT and DEBUG to produce the text file (or Delphi if it was to be all singing all dancing).  Anyone know any easier ways of getting raw ASCII into a text file?

I can explain the EDIT/DEBUG method if all else fails.

The next stumbling block is Capturing printer ports in XP.  There are ways.
This is a multi-stage problem.  Here is how I would view stage 1:-

I would say that Autoselect should be disabled, both in the printer driver and on the front panel of the printer (where applicable).  You need to print to a specific tray and you mustn't give the printer driver, or the program within the printer intself the ability to override the instructions you have issued from the WordProcessor.

For stage 2:-

To save a lot of "try this, try that" with this question, the ultimate test would be to set up a small text file with Bin instructions in it.  This can be done using the PCL command language e.g.,

Reset printer
PCL codes to instruct printer to send to Bin 1
"This should print to Bin 1"
PCL codes to instruct printer to send to Bin 2
"This should print to Bin 2"
PCL codes to instruct printer to send to Bin 3
"This should print to Bin 3

(^L is the form feed character Ctrl L)

You should end up with 3 bits of paper - make sure you've loaded each bin with different types of paper to show that they've come from the correct place.

Let us know how you get on.  If writing PCL is a stumbling block, there will be lots of people willing to help with that, of that I am sure.

If you use a PCL file that is compatible with all the printers mentioned then you will just need to put it on the network and ask people to run the test for themselves.  Once you've sorted out this problem, you can use this as a kind of first aid kit for users to test things before knocking on your door in the future.
I forgot to mention what to do with the text file.  If you capture a port within Settings, Printers, printer properties, Details (capture say LPT3).

Do Start, Accessories, Command Prompt

copy /b path\nameoftextfile LPT3

It is no good printing from Notepad, as the printer driver will wrap further codes around your carefully crafted text file.

If things aren't clear, please let us know.  
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What is their version  of WP11 (from Help>About Should be something like 11.0.0.xxx)? If it is below, then you will need to go to www.corel.com and download Service Pack 2. If it is Then you will also need to download Service Pack 1. On the site you will also see Hot Patches 1 and 2. These can be ignored as they are incorporated in SP2.
mattchmAuthor Commented:
Thanks for the PCL tips... I'll give them a try and definitely use them to do driver tests. I can see that being very, very useful! In my case, if everything prints fine for a week (for ex.) then would PCL still be the factor? Everything seems to point to WP.

Thanks for the help, however I mentioned in my question above that they're using WP11 SP2... Any experience with WP 10-12 and this printing problem with HP >=4000 printers? Any thoughts are welcome!

Of course, Word just doesn't have these problems on the same network. WP's printing subsystem is known to give headaches with Windows (I'm sure M$ has a hand in this!). Anyone have a tested driver and driver version I should use? I've heard people saying that the problem is HP's drivers and to use the ones from XP (fine for 4000 and 4100, but XP doesn't have 4200 drivers... plus they have several Win2k systems which rules out 4100 and 4200 drivers).

This is a weird problem that I've seen other people comment about on the web, but no answers yet. Yikes!

Thanks again, guys!
I didn't really detail what to do with this text file did I?  Take a typical user who has a printing problem.  To simplify the explanation let us say that their printer is LPT1 on his/her pc.  Let's say you have a folder F:\SHARED with the test text file you created in it called TESTPRT

Type in the COPY command mentioned in my previous post on a dos prompt and see what happens.

COPY     /B      F:\SHARED\TESTPRT      LPT1

If everything happens correctly e.g., headed comes out of tray x, continuation comes out of tray y and plain comes out of tray z then there is a problem with the software on the pc (Windows XP, the printer driver, WordPerfect).  If this test fails, then there is a problem with the way the printer itself interprets the commands.  (I am assuming that the text file itself has been properly tested).  The result of this test will dictate what you do next.  Please let us know...
Whcih printer drivers are they using? You could try an uninstall-reinstall of these drivers, even if they are printing properly in other programs. WP is harder on the drivers (using some of the advanced features which other programs do not).
mattchmAuthor Commented:
I've already tried removing and reinstalling printer drivers...

I'm currently testing different driver versions throughout the business. Some work better with PCL5e instead of PCL6... but all printers are currently using their respective drivers (4000 using 4000 drivers, 4200 using 4200 drivers, etc). So if anyone has had better luck with a particular driver, please lemme know...

I do know the PCL5e is reccommended over the PCL6.

Upon rereading your problem, WP may not be set up properly. Do File>Page Setup. Add a definition for Tray 1. Say it is letterhead, label it "*letterhead." (The * only keeps it at the top of the listings) Do this for each respective tray. (And Printer). Now when they produce a document, they go to Page Setup and select the tray from there.

With over 30 machines, try it on one, then if it works, Do it on a second, recording a macro as you do it. Then all you have to do is run the macro on the remainder of the machines.
mattchm, Please respond to the comments from the Experts.
See:  http://www.experts-exchange.com/help.jsp#hi51 Thank you, turn123 (s)

As this post is not the answer to your question, PLEASE DON'T ACCEPT IT AS AN ANSWER.
mattchmAuthor Commented:
Since this seems to be something that cannot be fixed (working with some firms on this same problem) I'll reward the points to moorhouselondon. Excellent technical ideas to use in diagnosing problems such as this one. Clients are waiting for Corel to patch WP 10, 11, and 12 to fix this bug.

Thanks again for all the help!
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