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Printing issues with Windows XP Professional and Novell printers.

Posted on 2006-06-29
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Last Modified: 2009-07-29
OK, first background:
Client Computer is the following:
Windows XP Pro SP2 and all updates have been applied.
H/W Irrelevent
Latest Novell Client has been installed

Novell Version: 4.1x

Printers and captured ports:
1 =
2 =
3 = OKI ML-520
4 = Gestetner 3222
5 = Alps DMX 800
6 = Okidata ML-320
7 =
8 =
9 =

Issue:
From this client computer if printing in the dos based accounting application that resides on one of the netware volumes, we get an extra page printed after whats supposed to be printed. in fact the ammount of text being printed varries depending on the number of pages. For example: if the report (and all reports from this program are raw/text only) is one page, it prints an additional 4 complete lines and an additional 8 or 9 characters from the next line. This text appears to be an echo of lines 38 through 42. 2 pages echos more. Any way, this specific activity is happening on 3 of the 4 novell attached printers. One is an Okidata ML-320 Turbo, another is a Gestetner 3222 (laser/copier) - this one does the same thing as the ml-320, and the last one is the Alps DMX 800 - this one prints (on an 17 page report) a single line on a seperate page with a date that is at least 8 months in the past. The wierd thing is that we currently have a mixed environment of Windows 98 SE and XP Pro SP 2 AND the only other printer that does not exibit this issue is the oki ml-520 Turbo (so to recap, the three of the for printers that are doing this is the Gestetner 3222, Okidata ML-320 Turbo, and the Alps DMX800), and this issue only appears on the 2 windows xp machines - different users and effective rights (one is a standard user and the other has supervisor rights).

Now if I attach to the printer in windows, it prints perfectively fine. I have also turned off the print spooler and tried the dos program again. I know some one may suggest to set the compatibility mode, unfortunately, this application resides on the network and I have not seen a way to set the mode for a network application, unless I have missed something.

Finally, at this time, we can not switch to an application that will not have this issue - believe me I have suggested it MANY times and have been told that the company is looking into it, but they do not know when it will happen.

In any event, this has been plaiging us for the better part of six months and since we are slowly migrating to Windows XP, need to get this issue resolved while we are still using the existing application until we do switch to a windows based accounting package.

So in any event, thank you for any possible help on this issue.
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Question by:swdtech
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by:ShineOn
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1)  Novell is a company.  They sell several products, including severa OSes.  One of those OSes is NetWare.  You have a NetWare 4.1x server (what that X is makes  a difference too.)  You don't say Microsoft XP Professional, do you?

2) You're connecting the current client OS release/version from  Microsoft to a version of  NetWare that was discontinued several years ago and is considered obsolete.

3) You're planning to run legacy DOS apps  on WinXP.  Not that great an idea, and although it can be made to work, it's not straightforward even if all other conditions are perfect.

4) When you say 'latest novell client' do you mean the Novell client32 appropriate to the client OS?  Did  you install it Custom, IPX only, and deselect all optional features you don't or can't use with your obsolete back-end, like NICI and NMAS and NDPS/iPrint?  Have you applied the SP's and post-SP patches for the clients?

5) Are you using NetWare login scripts for capturing the printer ports?  

6) Are the printers direct-attached to the Netware server or via Ethernet print servers, like JetDirect?

7) There are known problems with certain combinations of legacy print and Windows XP.  The answers  may indicate that's the issue, and there are fixes depending on the issue.
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by:ShineOn
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One thought - have you verified the printer object FQN is less than 31 characters long?  If it's not, the 16-bit mode in WinXP does goofy things.  See this TID: http://support.novell.com/cgi-bin/search/searchtid.cgi?10081145.htm

I know it's for NDPS and you're likely doing legacy queue printing, but it may apply since you're doing DOS apps on WinXP.

There are other things to look at with DOS apps on XP.  You mentioned compatibility mode - there isn't one any more for DOS apps, just for Win9x apps.  DOS apps are handled differently.

One big issue with DOS apps on WinXP is when there is kernel-mode access written into the app.  XP won't always handle its HAL protection process properly to allow the app to work right.  If you run into that kind of thing, you might need to consider using the Windoze virtual machine product to give the client DOS a "virtual" hardware environment it can work with.  It's not free, though.

If you have none of those issues with this DOS app, you're lucky, but still the way WinXP likes to intercept DOS app printer-port calls has to be worked around, so the DOS app doesn't end up having its print re-processed by the XP driver.
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by:pgm554
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So the Windows 98 boxes have the same issues?
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by:pgm554
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To run compatibility mode on XP,you create a shortcut to the .exe ,right click on the shortcut and go to properties,compatibility.

As for a free VM ,Vmware has a free VM download(though still in beta).that will be free once it is out of beta.
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by:swdtech
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>> You're connecting the current client OS release/version from  Microsoft to a version of  NetWare that was
>> discontinued several years ago and is considered obsolete.

Yes, I know this already. Remember in my original post, I stated that we were slowly migrating to Windows XP and needed to keep this in place until we do so.

>> Are you using NetWare login scripts for capturing the printer ports?  

No. we do not use login scripts. the capture settings are remembered, and here is a sample of the capture statements
capture l=3 s=swd q=Picking_que F=0 NFF AU NOTI NB

>> Are the printers direct-attached to the Netware server or via Ethernet print servers, like JetDirect?

No the printers are attached to other clients (windows 98 se) and they use the nprint command to attach the printer to the print queue.

>> There are known problems with certain combinations of legacy print and Windows XP.  The answers may indicate
>> that's the issue, and there are fixes depending on the issue.

I know there are issues with mixing legacy applications and printing from dos, let alone to a line printer not through windows spooler.

>> One thought - have you verified the printer object FQN is less than 31 characters long?  If it's not, the 16-bit mode in WinXP does
>> goofy things.  See this TID: http://support.novell.com/cgi-bin/search/searchtid.cgi?10081145.htm

As far as the Fully Qualified Name, all printers are way less then 31 chars. Unfortunately, I was not the individual that installed the Novell network and the 9X clients. If I had my druthers, I would go solely with Windows 2003 SBS as a domain controller and windows applications for the accounting and customer management rather that an application that the manufracturer no longer makes or even supports.

>> I know it's for NDPS and you're likely doing legacy queue printing, but it may apply since you're doing DOS apps on WinXP.

You keep mentioning ndps, how exactly is this configured? From my VERY limited background in Novell, I only know of the print console utility to manage the queues. How does one configure or even check the configuration of the NDPS?

>> There are other things to look at with DOS apps on XP.  You mentioned compatibility mode - there isn't one any more for
>> DOS apps, just for Win9x apps.  DOS apps are handled differently.

I know, I only mentioned this because since the application runs perfectly fine under windows 9X, I was hoping that if by setting compatibility mode for this application, that this issues would be resolved. It was just an idea.

>> One big issue with DOS apps on WinXP is when there is kernel-mode access written into the app.  XP won't always handle
>> its HAL protection process properly to allow the app to work right.  If you run into that kind of thing, you might need to
>> consider using the Windoze virtual machine product to give the client DOS a "virtual" hardware environment it can work
>> with.  It's not free, though.

Unfortunately, This will not actually work, since upper management is not wanting to spend any extra money for an issue that will resolve its self once we migrate away from Novell.

>> If you have none of those issues with this DOS app, you're lucky, but still the way WinXP likes to intercept DOS app
>> printer-port calls has to be worked around, so the DOS app doesn't end up having its print re-processed by the XP driver.

This brings some sort of light at the end of the tunnel. It DOES appear that XP may be reprocessing some of the output and resending it to the printer. Is there a way to have XP not do this and just process the output given to it rather then sending additional crap to the printer?
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by:swdtech
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---> pgm554
nope, this issue does not happen on the 9x Machines, only the XP machines
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by:swdtech
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---> pgm554
Unfortunatley, I didnt realize this when I posted the request for help, the so called application is a HUGE batch file that calls other applications, I will attempt to recreate it locally and see what happens then.

Thanks.
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by:ShineOn
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>>So the Windows 98 boxes have the same issues?
   "... and this issue only appears on the 2 windows xp machines ..."

re: compatibility mode - I misspoke, but stand by my statement.   I should have said there is no provision for MS/DOS executables within the Compatibility Wizard.  

You could, after creating a shortcut, do all sorts of things to it, including setting compatibility on the "compatibility" tab as pgm554 said.  But, if you'll notice, those compatibility settings only refer to other Windows versions, starting with Win95, not MS-DOS.

There are other PIF-type settings available, too, like config.sys and autoexec.bat for that DOS session, as can be expected from a DOS PIF file, which is what you create when you create a shortcut to a DOS program on the XP desktop.
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by:ShineOn
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Apparently, NetWare does  a lot of things you don't know about, but it is moot when the NetWare version is so old.  NDPS/iPrint does not exist for 4.x, or if it did, it was so crappy hardly anyone used it.  Its main purpose was to create a print services environment that works with pure-IP.

There is no way to bypass the winxp spooler AFAIK, but you may be  able to get around it somehow.  Don't recall offhand.
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by:ShineOn
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Here's a  PAQ about XP and nw4.11 and DOS app printing: http://www.experts-exchange.com/Networking/Netware/Q_21782970.html

You could try this tool: http://www.novell.com/coolsolutions/tools/14355.html

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by:ShineOn
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You still haven't answered my question about the novell client32 on XP and how it was installed...  Could be key.
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by:swdtech
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---> ShineOn
If your question is: "When you say 'latest novell client' do you mean the Novell client32 appropriate to the client OS?  Did  you install it Custom, IPX only, and deselect all optional features you don't or can't use with your obsolete back-end, like NICI and NMAS and NDPS/iPrint?  Have you applied the SP's and post-SP patches for the clients?"

The answers are as follows:
I Installed the client for XP that I downloaded from Novell in December last year. I did install it using the custom method to make sure that the client for printing was installed. so basically everything that came with the client was installed. And unfortunately, there was/were no mention of the other options. As far as Service Packs for the client are concernend, I was unaware of any.
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by:pgm554
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The client for printing thing is NDPS,which has no bearing upon your problem since you do not use it.

Here's the latest:

http://support.novell.com/produpdate/patchlist.html#client

Just for the heck of it,create a new printer and print que on the server ans see what happens.
I've seen corrupted print ques do funny things.
And if you have one handy,a hardware to test out the issue.
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by:ShineOn
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You should do the following:

1) Download the latest client from the link pgm554 provided
2) Completely uninstall the Novell client from your WinXP boxes
2a) Check add/remove programs for NICI and NMAS client.  If there, uninstall those, too.
3) Install the client Custom.  Choose IPX ONLY.  Choose NDS.  Deselect ALL optional components, *especially* NDPS (irrelevant to a 4.x system), NMAS and NICI.
4) In the client32 properties, Advanced tab, set "file caching" to "off"  and "file commit" to "on."
5) Just for kicks, go to the  Default Capture tab and uncheck "Notify"
6) Go into "My network places" properties  for the LAN connection, scroll to the "NWLink IPX/SPX/NetBIOS Compatible Transport Protocol" entry, click it, and click "Properties."  Leave the "internal network number" all zeroes, but change the "frame type" from "auto detect" to the actual IPX frame type bound to the NIC on the server (probably Ethernet_802.2) and set the "Network number" to match the NET= parameter on the IPX bind statement.  That info can be found using the "configure" command at the server console (colon) prompt or by looking at SYS:\SYSTEM\Autoexec.ncf, or if you're using inetcfg, by doing  a "LOAD INETCFG" and browsing through the settings.

After doing  that, if the  print still acts funky, try right-clicking the red "N" and selecting "Novell Capture Printer Port" and set up a capture through the Novell client to the appropriate print queue.  Don't know if  that'd  help, but it's worth a shot, hey?  Better than trying to redirect LPT3-9 using the  Windoze redirector.
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by:swdtech
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OK,... before I continue, My knowledge is 99% Microsoft networking and mayby 1% Novell. I did go through 2 classes for 3.1x but have never been formely trained on this version of Novell and those classes were about 9 years ago so I am pretty much SOL on this issue. So please bear this in mind when you all reply to my comments. I want to thank you all in advance for your patience with me on this issue and I appreciate it more then you possibly know.

ANY WAY...
--->pgm554, swdtech

Ok,... I would like to attach the IP printer we have in order to test the settings as suggested... if it possible to attach the printer (through IP) to the print server, or should I run the nprinter command from on of the clients that has the printer installed as an ip printer?

Also, is it possible to create a new queue to one of the existing attached printers?

--->pgm554
would you restate "And if you have one handy,a hardware to test out the issue.". Are you basically suggesting adding a new printer if one is available?

Here is what I do have available and currently in use:
as stated above:
OKI ML-520, Gestetner 3222, Alps DMX 800, Okidata ML-320

What we dont have connected to the Novell server is an HP1300n that is only connected by IP, and a USB printer/coppier/fax that is used for usp printer testing. ANY WAY,... I will add those on wednesday, however back to my question earlier, the HP1300n printer, do I connect the print queue to the ip address of the printer or run the nprinter utility from one of the machines on the network?

Thanks again guys, and I will post my results either on wednesday or thursday.
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pgm554 earned 168 total points
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If you can add a hardware print server(HP Jetdirect or whatever) and add it so that a Netware print queue services it.

This would tell us if it is NW or something in the print chain (nprinter,queues or NW printserver)

The 1300n should give you the option to set it up as an IPX NW printer through the Jetdirect wizard.
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by:ShineOn
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With NetWare 4.x, you cannot use an IP printer.  You CAN use a JetDirect, if you set it up for IPX, as pgm554 said.  Pure IP printing wasn't available until NetWare 5.0, with the first release of NDPS.  Although there is an IP stack for NetWare 4.x, it is intended for Unix compatibility and a couple of web technologies only, and unless you need to set up an FTP server on your NetWare box, you should completely forget about TCP/IP and focus everything toward IPX/SPX for all connectivity to the NetWare 4.x server.  It's kinda like old Windoze, before Bill decided to "embrace and extend" the Internet, where the only connectivity that mattered was NetBEUI/NetBIOS.  The difference is, when Novell gave up the fight for IPX and decided to switch to IP, they went all-the-way with *PURE* IP, 99.99% unadulterated standards-based IP and not an encapsulated IPX, while you can only do Windows' version of "pure" IP in a non-legacy AD environment - anything else still requires NetBIOS encapsulation.   Even in environments where the "traditional" NetBIOS ports (137-139) aren't  being used - they just changed the port on ya and called it something else, and "embraced and extended" DNS and Kerberos to make open standards proprietary...  Anyway...

To configure NetWare queue-server mode on a JetDirect you use the JetAdmin software.  Even with WebJetAdmin, it gives you the ability to name the printer, print server and queue from within the printer configuration dialogs.

With NetWare 4.x, you cannot use USB.  NetWare 4.x predates use of USB with servers, and definitely predates USB 2.0. You can, however, get an external JetDirect that has USB connectivity.  The multifunction features won't  be available, though - just printing.  The same would go for just-about any MFP device connected to a JetDirect, so it's not because of NetWare.   Again, you'd have to set up the JetDirect to use IPX.

I strongly recommend that, if you plan to upgrade the PC's that have printers attached and are runninig Nprinter, you don't mess with trying to get the NT version working on XP - that'd be an exercise in frustration for you.  Go out on eBay and buy a handful of external JetDirects to hook them up to.  If any of 'em are serial, make sure you get a version of JetDirect that has a serial port; otherwise look for an Intel NetPort that is NDS-compatible and can use the IPX frame type the server is usinng; they usually came with both serial and parallel.

Caveat: queue-server network devices each will take a NetWare 4.x user license, so if there aren't "spare" user licenses, don't do that.  Upgrade to Novell Small Business Suite first. ;)
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by:swdtech
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CRAP,...

Ok,... unfortunately the hp1300n will not work jetdirect wise - it apparently only has the web direct or what ever it is called. Here is an experts exchange article related to it:

http://www.experts-exchange.com/Hardware/Printers/HP_Printers/Q_20887703.html

ANY WAY,... I am about to ask a VERY STUPID question, but I want to cover all bases bevire I do it. Is it possible to assign the same printer several times? In another words, without removing an existing printer that already is configured and working.
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by:ShineOn
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I suppose...   depends on what you mean by "assign."  To what?  

Any printer in the  traditional queue-printer-server configuration can service  multiple queues.  Since you should be capturing a queue, you could have multiple queues that are serviced by the same printer.

Re: the hp1300n, it's a direct-only print server, meaning  it won't operate in queue-server mode.  If you had a supported version of NetWare, you could use NDPS/iPrint with that printer's JetDirect, 'cause you'd use the Novell LPR gateway to connect the printer agent.

WebJetAdmin won't  help you set up that print server as a legacy queue server, according to the info provided in that PAQ.


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by:swdtech
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ok,.. so the hp1300 is out.

I dont think its going to be possible to add a new printer (from the existing pool). lets table this idea for just a moment (need to get convincing points to take to upper management in order to remove existing configurations. Although, I might have a line printer I can steal from my home to try it, but not guranteed.

Any way,... Some one mentioned that it could be a header/footer issue with windows sp and how the information is sent to the printer. Is there a way to configure the way windows is handling the information being sent to lpt 3/4/5/6?

I may be completely off here, but would like to approach everything I can with out reconfiguring the printers/queues if i dont need to.

Thanks.
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by:ShineOn
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Have you tried reinstalling the client as I suggested in {http:#17027293}?

Since things work for your Win98 clients, you should focus on what you can do with the WinXP clients to make 'em work with the existing server setup, before experimenting with anything else.  Start fresh with an uninstall of all installed components of the client, followed by a "correct for NetWare 4.x" install of the client, exactly as I laid out for you.

If you are unsure of any of those steps, or want further explanation, post back and I or someone like me will do our best to clear things up.
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by:swdtech
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I havent forgotten about this issue. Unfortunately, this issue is considered (by upper management) as not a priority. I will have to try the suggestions when the current fires have been put out (dont know when that is, will be in touch)

To the system admin,...
Any possibility of keeping this thread open past 21 days?
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by:swdtech
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I just realized this and havent had a chance to delve into it much (specifically with Windows XP, never had to worry about it too much), but what exactly is/are the printing differences between 98SE and XP Pro. I know from recent experience, that 98SE and XP handle printing differently. In fact it just dawned on me that this may be the problem. For instance, a customer of ours has a mixed environment (no novell, but basically the same issue we are having. He has an application for accounting that is running on XP (based off of 98) and he has to have a 98 SE print server. They have tried an XP box for printer sharing (i know this because I tried to implement it) and every time, it spits out an extra sheet of stuff or a page feed (blank page). Psooibly this issue is with xp printing to a 98 box (all of our remote printers are attached to 98 boxes). Is there a way to change the spooler on xp to handle all printing on specific ports or network attached printers, in a different environment rather then XP (say the way you set up compatibility mode for local applications)?

As stated, this may actually not be an issue with Novell, rather XP/98
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by:ShineOn
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What exactly is/are the differences between printing in XP and Win98?

1) Win98 has no HAL - hardware can be directly addressed by programs, since it sits straight on top of DOS.   WinXP is NT 5.1. It has a Hardware Abstraction Layer that sits in-between application programs and the hardware, so all hardware calls have to be done via the HAL's API set - there's no more direct hardware access.  Because of that, print redirection takes place at a higher level with NT/XP than with DOS/98.

2) Servicing NetWare printers with Win98 is done with the old DOS nprinter routine, which was updated specifically to work with Win98 before it was deprecated.  WinXP never had a Novell-approved Nprinter routine written for it; the Windows NT4 nprinter CAN be made to work with XP, but it was never supported, and again, as with the Win98 routine, it's also deprecated.

3)  If you want to, you can "share" WinXP printers using the built-in file-and-printer-sharing in WinXP, but I have no idea if you can set that up to service DOS client print requests, because the Microsoft DOS client has been deprecated by Microsoft, meaning if you can find all the pieces and get it to work, good for you, but don't expect any help or fixes from Microsoft.

4) Windows 98 printers can be directly addressed by DOS programs running on the Win98 box, because they're port-attached and not controlled by the HAL, so they'll behave appropriately when passed PJL or whatever other printer commands the DOS program passes them.  Windows XP printers have to be specially configured to allow DOS-emulation programs to even "see" the printer, and you have to try to find "pseudo-DOS" drivers for the DOS session that lets the DOS session pass stuff through the Windows XP driver assigned to the Windows XP printer object.

5)  Windows 98 printers can be called whatever you want to call them, even if it's a printer redirect to a NetWare queue.  Windows XP printer objects can only be named what the sharing PC or NetWare server has already established as a name.  Only locally-attached printer objects can be renamed in WinXP.
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by:nitadmin
nitadmin earned 166 total points
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I suggest that you change printer drivers that are installed for the effected printers. You mentioned that your printers are printing raw/text. Don't do this. Download and install the Windows XP printer driver from the printer manufacturer.

3 = OKI ML-520
4 = Gestetner 3222
5 = Alps DMX 800
6 = Okidata ML-320
 
I assume the Gestrner and Aps DMX are impact printers like the Okidata. Am I Correct?. Anyway, Windows XP comes with Okidata printer drivers and you will not be able to find and download Okidata printer drivers from Okidata website. But do check the Gestetner and Aps website for their print drivers.

After you donwload, and install the printer drivers in Windows XP. Go to Printer and Faxes and right click the printer and choose properties. Go to the Advance tab and change the printer driver to the manufacturer's printer driver for your make and model printer.

Or you can delete the Printer from Printer and Faxes windows and go through, Add Printer Wizard to add your network printer. But again, make sure you choose the manufacturer's print driver and not raw/text printer driver.

This hopefully will fix your problem.
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by:swdtech
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question not abandoned, just have not had any time to attempt a resolution at this point. if this question needs to be closed and then I will go ahead and close it.

Thanks,
J
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by:swdtech
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sorry guys, it seems like im not going to have any time to finish or attempt to resolve this issue, please close this question and split the points as recommended by Venabili. if time does permit me to work on this issue again, I will repost and reference this question.

Thanks,
J
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