Deskjet 640C issue under windows 98

Hi,
Someone i know is having trouble printing under windows 98 on their deskjet 640C with a parallel (serial) connection. The text is garbled, and usually the print manager thing says printing page 9 of 1 or something reallly stange like that. There is antivirus and spyware scanners on there. A full scan has be done recently.

I tried the printer on my pc running windows xp and it worked fine.
Went to the site here:
http://h10025.www1.hp.com/ewfrf/wc/document?dlc=en&lc=en&product=58713&os=20&lang=en&cc=us&docname=bpd09143#N10038
but it didn't really answer any questions.

Tried changing the bios settings for the parallel port  to ecp and epp, every time it does the same thing.

To fix it I have attempted installed the newest drivers for that printer on the hp website. Tried uninstalling, reinstalling, probably about 10 times. Tried it all. Removing drivers unplugging rebooting plugging back in when windows loads, and then reinstalling the drivers.

The only strange thing i've noticed is the printer never appears in the device manager, although it is in the printers control panel and appears to be working to an extent.

I've got no idea where to go from here.

Are there any suggestions about what could be the problem and how i make it work.

thanks

LVL 1
adam8Asked:
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nobusCommented:
With what application do you have the error? Word? try printing from  Notepad, if that is not ok, boot to dos and print from dos (prepare a txt file, say file.txt with a couple of lines in it, save it in the root under C:, and isssue the command :

print c:\file.txt /c /d:lpt1 - Prints the file file.txt to the parallel port lpt1.
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nobusCommented:
if the print from dos does not work, it is the printer cable or the printer port, as you tested the printer already.
If it is the printer port, you can try a PCI print controller card
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adam8Author Commented:
errors simply from printing a test page through the printer options. However the error occurs with any application you print from.

I will try printing from dos. I wasn't sure if you needed to load any drivers before you printed in dos mode

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nobusCommented:
well you could select restart to dos when you shut down win98
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adam8Author Commented:
if it works in dos should i reinstall win98?
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nobusCommented:
i do not understand you; if it works in dos, it means : printer ok, cable ok, port ok.
Problem has to be searched in software or drivers
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adam8Author Commented:
i've tried old hp drivers and the latest hp drivers. I've followed the instructions exactly, not once, but many times, with no result. What else do you suggest I can do?
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nobusCommented:
Did it print in dos ok?
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adam8Author Commented:
i'll have to wait until the person brings the computer up to test it. SHould be happening next week.
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adam8Author Commented:
Ok, i've got the computer here,
I tried it with my canon bjc-210 also which runs from the parallel port. This is what happened.

-At first it didn't work in windows, exited windows into dos mode, still didn't print.
-Rebooted and went into dos from boot up, didn't print.
-Loaded dos from the windows 98 boot disk, it printed successfully.
-Reinstalled windows 98. Got into windows 98, printed on first reboot successfully,
-Tried to print a couple of minutes later, from the same windows sesssion without any reboots and it no longer printed.
-Rebooted and tried printing under windows 98 - successful
-tried a few minutes later, unsuccessfull.
-Rebooted and tried printing in win98, unsuccessful. Any further attempts to print beyond this point were unsuccessful, unless I  tried printing after loading dos from the boot disk.
-I also tried removing all the startup processes from the start menu, registry and all, no luck from this either, as it still wouldn't print.
-Reinstalled windows 98. Printed successfully first time windows started
-After a couple of minutes i tried printing again with no luck, just like before.
-same patterns repeated.

Some times when i printed i got gibberish, other times there was gibberish, some times the paper would feed, but the pritner would sit there idle.

Please do remember this isn't the same printer as I had the problem with originally, however with a different printer and completely different drivers I still got the same error. Please take note that I removed the other printer, and uninstalled the drivers. I tried updating the antivirus and i have adaware on there also.

Please don't tell me silly things like it's the printer port or something, since i can boot from the win98 boot disk and print no problems.
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adam8Author Commented:
actually, there's one thing which i incorrectly wrote.

When i boot windows and then shut down to ms-dos mode it will not print in dos. However if I reset the computer, press F8 to get the windows 98 startup menu and enter dos mode from there, then it will print. If I use the windows 98 boot disk it will also print.
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nobusCommented:
If you did a Clean install of windows, we can rule out the software; since you have the problem with a different printer :
Rest is hardware.
So i suspect the motherboard printer port going out.
You can try an ISA or PCI printer board
 
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adam8Author Commented:
I didn't do a clean install. I did a reinstall. I can't do a clean install because it isn't my computer and they might not want everything formatted. Doesn't sound like a printer port problem to me since it consistenly works when i boot the computer into dos mode, or use a windows boot disk.

After reinstalling windows over the current installation a few times it seems to be consistently working now. Very strange that.
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adam8Author Commented:
not sure what i should do about the points. Any suggestions ???/
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nobusCommented:
if you do not want  a clean install, i would suggest trying  this :
- reinstall the motherboard drivers if applicable
- delete the printer port in device manager and reboot (maybe a good idea to check the settings, though i do not see what would stop it after some minutes)


>>  I can't do a clean install because it isn't my computer and they might not want everything formatted    <<
But if it comes to it, you'll have to do it anyway. Not all problems can be fixed like this to my knowledge
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adam8Author Commented:
i'm not going to play around with it since it's working now. I did however elete the printer port in the device manager prior to reinstalling windows 98.
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nobusCommented:
Ok, and have a nice day !
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