Solved

Print job keeps repeating - Help!

Posted on 2004-10-20
7
662 Views
Last Modified: 2013-12-23
We have a Unix print job that is a one page report, set to print automatically every night at 3 AM. The problem is sometimes there are 200 pages of this one page report sitting on the printer (An HP Laserjet 5si - default setting is double sided printouts). This is driving my boss crazy!
I am not a Unix programmer or system administrator. This program (To generate the print job automatically) was written years ago. Within the past three months, the problem has happened 5 or six times. The inconsistency makes troubleshooting difficult.

I dont know if the problem is the program, a faulty network, setting the default to double sided, or an aging printer.
0
Comment
Question by:lifetech
[X]
Welcome to Experts Exchange

Add your voice to the tech community where 5M+ people just like you are talking about what matters.

  • Help others & share knowledge
  • Earn cash & points
  • Learn & ask questions
  • 4
  • 3
7 Comments
 
LVL 21

Expert Comment

by:tfewster
ID: 12362984
Doncha just hate intermittent problems?

First, check /var/spool/lp/log for errors; If the print job is not completing properly, e.g. no EOF or no EOL on the last line, the Unix system may keep resending it (at the request of the printer).

Is there any possibility the program is generating a command line `lp -n200 ...`, i.e. _requesting_ 200 copies?

Which Unix do you use? And how is the printer set up on the Unix box? (Direct/networked/Via a remote printer server)?

One troubleshooting approach would be to:
1) disable the printer
2) generate & queue the print job
3) copy /var/spool/lp/requests/printername/* (job control file & print file) to somewhere safe
4) enable the printer so the job prints.

If it works as expected, delete the "saved" copies; If it goes mad, examine the job control file  (format may vary, but on my HP system, the "keyword" K denotes number of copies) and the print file for evidence.
0
 
LVL 3

Author Comment

by:lifetech
ID: 12363137
The printer is networked via an internal Jetdirect card. I will interface with the Unix Admin on the troubleshooting approaches. Any ideas on why the print job usually prints fine - and only occasionally prints multiple copies?
0
 
LVL 3

Author Comment

by:lifetech
ID: 12363218
One frustrating thing about troubleshooting the problem is that it is automatic - set to run overnight. So far every time the Sys Admin has done the report manually - it prints out fine. So he does not believe there is any programming errors with the job itself. Could it be something with the scheduling aspect of it? Anyway - this is my theory - but it may not be related to the problem at all...
0
Why Off-Site Backups Are The Only Way To Go

You are probably backing up your data—but how and where? Ransomware is on the rise and there are variants that specifically target backups. Read on to discover why off-site is the way to go.

 
LVL 21

Accepted Solution

by:
tfewster earned 500 total points
ID: 12363312
As I said, a malformed print job might cause the printer to report an error and request it to be resent; But thinking further, the printer would continue until it ran out of paper and the job would _still_ be queued until it was cancelled manually.

Otherwise, I'd suspect the program looping or requesting multiple copies.  I wouldn't suspect Unix/network/print spooler/printer until I'd "proved" that the print request & file were OK.
0
 
LVL 3

Author Comment

by:lifetech
ID: 12363460
I suspect it runs until the printer is out of paper, but I have not confirmed this. I know that the printer runs fine in the morning. I know that the job is not cancelled manually by the Unix Admin.
0
 
LVL 21

Expert Comment

by:tfewster
ID: 12460111
Hi lifetech - Did you track the problem down?
0
 
LVL 3

Author Comment

by:lifetech
ID: 12463038
We switched the printer with a different one. We believe at this point that it was hardware related, but because the problem is so inconsistent, I can't say for sure if thats it yet. Your suggestions did help us rule out some things - Thanks!
0

Featured Post

Create the perfect environment for any meeting

You might have a modern environment with all sorts of high-tech equipment, but what makes it worthwhile is how you seamlessly bring together the presentation with audio, video and lighting. The ATEN Control System provides integrated control and system automation.

Question has a verified solution.

If you are experiencing a similar issue, please ask a related question

#Citrix #Citrix Netscaler #HTTP Compression #Load Balance
This article is a collection of issues that people face from time to time and possible solutions to those issues. I hope you enjoy reading it.
Get a first impression of how PRTG looks and learn how it works.   This video is a short introduction to PRTG, as an initial overview or as a quick start for new PRTG users.
There's a multitude of different network monitoring solutions out there, and you're probably wondering what makes NetCrunch so special. It's completely agentless, but does let you create an agent, if you desire. It offers powerful scalability …
Suggested Courses

695 members asked questions and received personalized solutions in the past 7 days.

Join the community of 500,000 technology professionals and ask your questions.

Join & Ask a Question