No Printers found in Printers Folder

Would like advice:

Seems to happen on Win_9x systems. I don't think I've seen this happen on 2000 Pro or XP boxes (yet).

User goes to print a document, spreadsheet, email, whatever. Nothing comes out. No printer icon on bottom right.

Select print again, and again nothing happens. Check the printer status in Printers Folder. Instead of seeing local and network printers, only Icon is Add Printer!

Close all apps and reboot the system. Try same print request again...document prints with no problem!?

Has anyone come across this and if so, how did you resolve?
mperez1216Asked:
Who is Participating?
 
wyliecoyoteukCommented:
Windows 98 doesn`t let you easily change the paging file or spooler settings.
(sorry we got rid of all our  win98 PCs a long time ago)
In win 98 it is called virtual memory.

The reason that the printers disappear is because the spooler service has crashed.
This can be caused by fragmentation of the paging file, lack of disk space, large complicated print jobs, slow network, flaky drivers.

things to try:

Increase the virtual memoryn (what win95 and 98 called the paging file)
http://support.microsoft.com/kb/q128327/

make sure the client in question has lots of free disk space on C: (at least 200Mb, preferably more)
Set printer spool settings (in the print driver) to "start printing after the last page has spooled" (this avoids file fragmentation)

Buy new computers with big hard disks and XP on.:)

To test it, try sending a 20 page file with lotsa graphics from one of the affected workstations.
Then send it again, and again, bets are it will fail the 2nd or 3rd try.

Or, try switching off collate in word  (the first screen you see when printing is word`s print settings, not the printers) , if your printer supports collate.
If word is collating, it will send a 20 copy, 10 page  job as a 200 page prerendered job.
 If the printer supports collate, set it in the printer driver (properties button),
 that way word sends 10 pages, printer prints them 20 times


 
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mperez1216Author Commented:
Additional info:

Printers may be a local printer (such as a Canon, Epson, Hewlett Packard, Lexmark) but all network printers are all Hewlett Packard (such as 4100 or 2200).
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Asta CuTechnical consultant & graphic designCommented:
Does this apply to you?  
Problems Printing to PostScript Printers Over a
NetWare Network
-----------------------------------------------

If you have difficulties printing to a PostScript
printer over a NetWare network, banner pages may be
incorrectly configured on the NetWare server. Unless
banner pages are correctly configured on the NetWare
server, they cause errors and nothing prints. To solve
this problem, you can either disable banner pages by
clicking to clear the Banner Pages check box in the
Printer Properties dialog box, or you can ask your
network administrator to correctly configure banner
pages on the NetWare server for a PostScript printer.

More here for this and Windows 98 SE specific.
http://support.microsoft.com/default.aspx?scid=kb;en-us;234878&Product=w98

Many others found for W98 and printer setup and printing problems here
http://support.microsoft.com/search/default.aspx?InCC_hdn=true&Catalog=LCID%3D1033%26CDID%3DEN-US-KB%26PRODLISTSRC%3DON&withinResults=&QuerySource=gASr_Query&Product=w98&Queryc=PROBLEMS+PRINTING&Query=PROBLEMS+PRINTING&KeywordType=ALL&maxResults=25&Titles=false&numDays=&InCC=on
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Asta CuTechnical consultant & graphic designCommented:
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Asta CuTechnical consultant & graphic designCommented:
If you are on an unsupported network, and you have installed Windows for the network, you may need to disable the Print Network Jobs Directly and Update Network Display options:
http://support.microsoft.com/default.aspx?scid=kb;en-us;84491&Product=w98

Hope something here is a clue to help narrow the scope.

BAck to work, good luck.
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wyliecoyoteukCommented:
Something I have found on w9X pcs, if the paging file and the spool file get too big, (or too fragmented), the spooler crashes, hence no printers in the printers folder.
Check the following:
space on the c: drive
fragmentation of  c: drive
size and location of paging file and spooler.

http://support.microsoft.com/?kbid=123747
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mperez1216Author Commented:
Have tried all solutions recommended, but since this happens so infrequently, it's hard to nail down.
wyliecoyoteuk - you mentioned the paging file. I don't think there exists such a thing on a win98 box.
As far as the Lexmark references, I only have 2 Lexmark printers and none of these are networked
for access by user community - only local computer that printer is directly attached to. Other references
point to a Netware environment. We are a NT shop, no Netware protocols being used here.
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Asta CuTechnical consultant & graphic designCommented:
The Paging File is Virtual Memory; used to also be referred to as the swapfile.  Very important.

Lexmark printers, frequently by default have a start-up that causes chaos; will look at my history and get back.
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Asta CuTechnical consultant & graphic designCommented:
Look for lexstart (exe) in the startup...  
Could it be a permissions issue?
Maybe if only printer problems, telling specific models, check for driver updates and telling how attached may help get a solution more quickly,.
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mperez1216Author Commented:
I definitely understand about the swapfile reference. I thing it is called win38swp or something like that.
I clearly am aware that you can set this file to a particular size or have windows manage the file size
automatically.

As far as the Lexmark issue, I am not having this problem on Lexmark printer that is directly attached
to a user. The problem is when printing to an HP network printer.
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Asta CuTechnical consultant & graphic designCommented:
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mperez1216Author Commented:
HP4100n
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Asta CuTechnical consultant & graphic designCommented:
http://h20000.www2.hp.com/bizsupport/TechSupport/Home.jsp?locale=en_US&prodTypeId=18972&prodSeriesId=83436&lang=en&cc=us&y=10&x=9
includes...
»  download drivers and software
 »  troubleshoot a problem
 »  setup, install, and configure
 »  discover and use a product
 »  perform regular maintenance
 »  upgrade and migrate
 »  recycle and dispose
   
  self-help resources
 
 »  automatic driver checker  
 »  diagnose problem (instant support)  
 »  frequently asked questions  
 »  manuals  
 »  parts information  
 »  warranty information  
 »  compatibility information  
 »  find support services  
 »  hp product bulletins (QuickSpecs)  
 »  register your product  
 »  signup: driver & support alerts/notifications  
 »  specifications and features  
 »  trade in program  
   

 collaborative resources
 
 »  chat with an hp support expert
 »  contact support
 »  support forums
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Asta CuTechnical consultant & graphic designCommented:
HP Jetadmin - Jetdirect Port Printing in a Windows NT 4.0 or Windows 2000 IPX/SPX Network
http://h20000.www2.hp.com/bizsupport/TechSupport/Document.jsp?locale=en_US&objectID=bpj05352&locale=en_US&taskId=101&prodSeriesId=83436&prodTypeId=18972

Wish I had more time to explore further, but don't.  Up to my eyeballs in work.

Hope this helps you.
Asta
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puneetminda1Commented:
I think there is no software problem the problem is with the Printer to the computer wire . You just change the wire
and all will be fine if the printer is directly attached with your computer. If it is network wire then try to connect to that PC and then
right click on the shared printer and click on connect and then take a test page print. I think it would work Fine :)
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hdhondtCommented:
No comment has been added to this question in more than 21 days, so it is now classified as abandoned..
I will leave a recommendation in the Cleanup topic area that this question is:
Delete/Refund
Any objections should be posted here in the next 4 days. After that time, the question will be closed.

PLEASE DO NOT ACCEPT THIS COMMENT AS AN ANSWER!

hdhondt
EE Cleanup Volunteer
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mperez1216Author Commented:
Sorry, been away from EE for a while (busy upgrading systems). Anyway, in reading the suggestions, let me make one thing clear.

We are an NT environment, no netware protocols in use or any Lexmark printers (at least not networked). ALLnetworked printers
are HP brand. The affected user does not have ANY local printers attached, only networked printers.

We have not made any changes to the user since my original posting and he has been able to print no problem. But the "condition"
will occur from time to time. As far as the spooler crashing (wileyecoyoteuk), I did come across a situation concerning the spoolss.exe
file being damaged (on another system). Replacing the file repaired that one, but doing the same on this system doesn't seem to help.
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mperez1216Author Commented:
Point value increased.
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Asta CuTechnical consultant & graphic designCommented:
Is the lpt port spooler configured to start printing when first page is spooled rather than waiting for the entire job to spool?  (Recommended).
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mperez1216Author Commented:
Advanced Settings for HP 4100n
-------------------------------------------------------------
(*) Always available

Priority [1  ]

Driver: HP Laserjet 4100 PS
-------------------------------------------------------------
(*) Spool print documents so program finishes printing faster
(*) Start printing immediately
-------------------------------------------------------------
[*] Enable advanced printing features
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hdhondtCommented:
Let's see if we can resolve this issue and keep the question open for now.
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wyliecoyoteukCommented:
actually, on slow networks, and with windows 98 in particular, settings for spooling are best :
spool files
start printing after the last page has spooled.

"start printing immediately "will cause problems on large jobs, and "start printing after the first page has spooled" will additionally cause problems on slow computers, in that the start of the job arrives, and the printer starts to print, but the PC is not sending the job fast enough.
 rest of the job does not arrive fast enough, Printer times out, job fails, spooler crashes.
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hdhondtCommented:
No comment has been added to this question in more than 21 days, so it is now classified as abandoned..
I will leave a recommendation in the Cleanup topic area that this question is:
Delete/Refund
Any objections should be posted here in the next 4 days. After that time, the question will be closed.

PLEASE DO NOT ACCEPT THIS COMMENT AS AN ANSWER!

hdhondt
EE Cleanup Volunteer
0
 
Asta CuTechnical consultant & graphic designCommented:
wyliecoyoteuk .... I missed your input here and appreciate the information.

I would not expect any points here.

Asta
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wyliecoyoteukCommented:
I would suggest deletion, but do not see why a refund is in order, as the author abandoned it, and repeatedly ignored advice on spooler setup.
If the spooler service terminates unexpectedly, you get exactly the symptoms described (and it is a resource problem usually, not a damaged fiel)
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mperez1216Author Commented:
sorry about the delay...have been totally bogged down with work. I have "given" the points away out of courtesy. None of the suggestions worked. I have been in the process of upgrading my old 98 pcs to Win2K or WinXP. I apologize for not getting back sooner, but some days, I don't even touch my own pc.
As a matter of fact, I am in the process of upgrading yet another system.

I appreciate all the suggestions, but as I said, none of them seem to correct the issue. It's just one of those 98 glitches (from what MS tells me). A suggestion was to reinstall the O/S,
at which point I checked to make sure that hardware can handle Win2K/XP.

Thanks again.
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Asta CuTechnical consultant & graphic designCommented:
Thank you.  Running the Upgrade Advisor prior to XP upgrades has been helpful here; and the old 98 OS had major shortfalls (as we all agree), which is why we also upgraded as quickly as we could.  At the MS recommendation to reinstall the OS, likely need to get back to WindowsUpdate if that's done to download all the service packs, etc.  What a fiasco.

Best wishes,
Asta
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wyliecoyoteukCommented:
Thanks for the points.
It could be that some of the later HP drivers are less than fully compatable with 98, sometimes they have problems with rundll32.

We are actually sidestepping XP altogether, we have just installed Suse Linux on 5 of our desktop systems in the customer services section (we already have 3 Linux servers).
and the result has been very rewarding.
The girls love the desktop, Openoffice is more than adequate for their needs, and the PCs are now much more stable (not to mention less vulnerable).
We had to run crossover office to get one suppliers website working (it only works with IE) but otherwise, it was surprisingly little trouble.

Now we are looking at setting up an OpenXchange server....:)
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