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SCO OpenServer Printing System Trouble

Posted on 2006-05-11
Medium Priority
Last Modified: 2013-12-05
We have an SCO OpenServer 5.0.6 server whose printing system has begun to act strangely.  The software application creates several print jobs with special forms (statements, invoices, etc).  Using the lpadmin command to mount/unmount forms still works, but many of the affected users go into "scoadmin printer" so as not to use the user-unfriendly command syntax.

When entering scoadmin, the following message appears:

# scoadmin printer
scoadmin: Cannot activate object 'printer':
        Missing 'activate.scoadmin'.

If I go to the GUI console and go to the equivalent place, two "white ghost" icons appear where the administration for printers used to appear.  The two icons for the HP printing system in the same window appear normally.

It sounds like a crucial file has been lost or mangled somehow.  About two weeks ago, read errors on the hard drive started appearing.  I took the system to single user mode, ran the badtracks utility full scan.  It found the bad track and added it to the bad block pool.  The system came back up and has run OK since then.  I mention this only in case some of the OS files might have been located in those remapped bad blocks.

Any clues as to what files are missing and how to get them back?

Thanks in advance for all help!
Question by:tomwalker1949
  • 2
LVL 38

Accepted Solution

yuzh earned 2000 total points
ID: 16724657
Can you run scoadmin in text mode (inside a text terminal, not the GUI windows, need to use the <Tab> and arrow keys to move around the screen)?

Since your hard drive is failing, If it very hard to figure out what files are missing, if you have a reliable fully system backup, you can restore the backup to a
new drive.

also have a look at the following doc:

to see if you can get copy the files from the box runing the same version of SCO.

you can write a script for the user to use lpadmin (name it as fixprinter etc) as the work around. it should
be easy enough for the user to just type in the script name.

Please remember to replace your harddisk ASAP, badtrk can mark the bad track of the hard disk (but you still need to replace the hard drive in a month).

Good night and have a nice weekend!


Author Comment

ID: 16737337
The error message I showed above was running scoadmin in text mode.  If you specify "scoadmin print" to go directly to the printer manager, it gives you the "Cannot activate object 'printer': Missing 'activate.scoadmin'" error.  If I just type "scoadmin" with no argument I get the main menu -- when selecting "printers" it gives me just the HP printer options and the SCO printer options are missing, just as on the GUI screen.

I looked over the document about scoadmin, and I think the info in there, along with your suggestion about looking on a different SCO box and comparing directory contents will help me replace what's missing.  Thanks for the help --

By the way, how did you find that documet?

LVL 38

Expert Comment

ID: 16739170
Hi  tomwalker1949,

    Glad to kow to fixed the problem.

>>how did you find that documet?

    I used to play a lot with SCO (from v3.x to 5.x, worked for the biggest SCO
dealer in Australia). I remember the infor is in the SCO adminstrator's command reference (or adm manual).  I know there are SCO manuals online
(at least in the early 90's), I did a serach on the web and found it.


    PS: please remember to replace your HD.  If you don't have a full backup,
perform a fullbackup to tape, or HD now. (use "cpio" is perfect for system leve backup for SCO, don't use tar, tar can't handle the special device files).

   find / -print | cpio -oacv -O /dev/yourtapedevicename

   use relative path:
   cd /
   find . -print | cpio -oacv -O /dev/yourtapedevicename
   will backup everything on you hard drive.

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