Pointer - Printer trouble. 80% convinced it's OS related, not hardware. Perhaps you OS experts can help. 500 points!

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eccs19Asked:
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jjk16Commented:
Ill attack the problem from a different point of view...

What ports are you using to print to:

i,e  usb0001, lpt1:

right click on printer, goto propteries, one of the tabs will have ports, find the ones your using and report them to me...    

also you said you had a few computers, are they networked? can you connect the printer to one of them, share it, and print to it from the troublesome computer from over the network?

and finally,   connect the printer using the parallel cable and do a

dir > lpt1

from the command prompt, let me know if that freezes your computer...

thanks
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nobusCommented:
did you try printing to another printer on that system? there can be an issue with the lpt or usb port, or software.
I would check the settings, and delete the lpt port and usb port from device manager and reboot.
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eccs19Author Commented:
nobus - I don't have any other printers on the network, so I can't test your idea.  But I can do as jjk16 suggested and put the printer on one of the other computers and see what happens.  That's a good idea.  

I will also try the dir > lpt1 once I get home tonight and report back.

I also suspect that deleting the ports won't work. (I have it in the back of my head that I tried that a few months ago when I first started troubleshooting, but I will try again, just to be sure)
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eccs19Author Commented:
jjk16 - dir > ltp1 didn't lock up computer, but then again, printer didn't react at all. (I guess it needs to go directly through the windows printer drivers..??
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jjk16Commented:
no, not at all, my guess is you had it hooked up through usb,  it needs to be hooked up to the lpt1 port as its being directed there.  

you can map a network printer to the lpt1 as well

net use lpt1: \\server\printerName

dir > lpt1

people were printing to printers long before windows :) or windows drivers...
make sure lpt1 is enabled in bios,

have you networked the printer yet?

also i need to know what ports you have on the PC...  let me know if you need info on how to find out which you are using...

Be carefull doing to many things at once, you need to isolate this problem and not try to many suggestions from others as you can be making things worse or changing the variables  



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eccs19Author Commented:
Actually the printer is hooked up through the LTP1 port.  That I know for sure, but I did notice that in the properties for the printer port (in Windows) there is an options for legacy support (use like an old LTP port) and it was NOT checked.  There are other updates as well.  If you check the main thread you will see.  I'm getting crashes more often, and I don't have the printer even installed right now, so I'm even more convinced it's OS related, not printer / printer port related.
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nobusCommented:
if you think it is OS related, try running sfc /scannow from the Run box; have your xp cd ready...
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eccs19Author Commented:
nobus - did that - no help.  Still no joy.  :(
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nobusCommented:
i can see 2 possible solutions :
1- reinstall windows (already suggested)
2- clean install.

One thing that is not correct :
>>>   jjk16 - dir > ltp1 didn't lock up computer, but then again, printer didn't react at all   <<<  it should print.
some questions :
is it connected to lpt1?
is lpt1 inabled in the BIOS?
did it print before ok?
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eccs19Author Commented:
One thing that is not correct :
>>>   jjk16 - dir > ltp1 didn't lock up computer, but then again, printer didn't react at all   <<<  it should print.
some questions :
is it connected to lpt1?
is lpt1 inabled in the BIOS?
did it print before ok?

Yes it did seem strange that I got no reaction, but I just assummed it must have been some Windows / HP setting.

It is definately connected to LTP1, and I have tried different settings for the port.  And just to re-confirm, I can get it to print to the printer, but it only works about 10-20% of the time, otherwise it locks up system.  :(
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eccs19Author Commented:
i can see 2 possible solutions :
1- reinstall windows (already suggested)
2- clean install.

I'm starting to lean toward the clean install idea.  I will just have to move all my important documents over to my other computer on the network, and hope I get all of them.  I just have to hope that the computer stays running long enough for me to pull this off. If I get everything moved over, I may just make the other computer my main one, and pull this older one apart for parts. (sell to friends, etc)

If you have any other suggestions for me to try before the big kill, I'm always listening.
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nobusCommented:
i'm thinking about a motherboard failure; but you could try a PCI printcontroller card to test
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