print jobs hanging when sent to a networked HP Deskjet 9800

We have a HP 9800 A3 printer set up in one of our remote sites. Before i get into the problem i'll just fill you in on the setup first of all. The printer is connected to our site server via a parralel cable connecting to a HP JetDirect 300x. This is connected to the network via an ethernet cable into a 8 port switch that then feeds back to the server. The drivers on the server are the latest to be released by HP and freshly downloaded another copy today in case of a corrupt install. The server is running Windows Server 2003 and is acting as a file and print server for the site. We also have a Laserjet 4000 networked on site as well.

The problem we have been having is when users try to print off complex PDF files to the printer, they spool onto the server it says that it is printing but nothing is being produced from the printer apart from on occasion when a print job will appear but this can take anywhere from 20 to 50 minutes to be produced. I am able to print out test pages, e-mails and word documents without any problems but everything fails when it comes to these PDF's.

Now the PDF's are actually technical drawings, produced in autocad i believe, and are sent to the site to be used in our business. the PDF's are only 600k to 1Mb in size but when we are printing them out, they will expand in the spooler up to 15-20Mb. There is plenty of disk space available on the server's C: drive, about 28Gb at my last check so there is no problem there. While the print job is attempting to print, the user reports that she gets a windows pop up message stating that 'The document failed to print'. The documents will also print off onto the Laserjet without too many problems either. This problem has been on-going now for about two weeks but the site has been running now for about 6 months without any mention of this issue.

All users are working on Windows XP with SP2 and the server is also running the latest SP (Sevrice Pack 1?)

There have been no changes to the hardware or software set up in recent times that i know about so i am at a loss as to what has caused this issue to appear.

Some of the things i have checked/tried and some of the results...

Checked JetDirect box and all appears fine.
Tried printing small docs to the printer and working fine.
Deleted/updated drivers and printer share and still having same issue.
Checked disk space on spool disk and plenty of room.
Printed file in Head Office on a laser printer and worked fine (one thing i did notice though is that the print job only spooled up to 3Mb)
Problem is affecting all users on site whether on laptop or desktop so believe the issue is either Server/Printer based.

Now i think about it, this is similar to an issue we have been having on another site but it has not been as frequent or as widespread but the user on the other site who is having this issue is the only one working with these large/complex PDF files. That site is set up very similarly to the site i have mentioned above.

If you need any further information or would like me to try anything then please let me know as this is starting to drive me insane!
JSSLAsked:
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hladamjrConnect With a Mentor Commented:
I never turn down pints opps points :)

Make sure your issue actually is the drivers though. It sounds like that's the case.

Thanks
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hladamjrCommented:
What driver are you using? We had nothing but problems suing the PCL6 driver when printing PDF's. Same issue with jobs not printing and expanding to humongous sizes. We use the PCL5e drivers with no issues at all. You'll have to have the clients delete and and re-install the printer after you switch drivers.

Any questions just post em.
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JSSLAuthor Commented:
the driver i used was the one from the HP website, PCL3 i believe... i'll just go and check now.

After changing the driver i did delete and re add the printer but with the same issues.
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hladamjrCommented:
You may need to go to a postscript driver but try the PCL5e first.
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JSSLAuthor Commented:
Yes it is the PCL3 driver but that is the only one that is available to download from their support section.

Do you know where i could get hold of the PCL5e drivers to test this?
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JSSLAuthor Commented:
Think we may have cracked this...

Been checking out the HP Support forums about this printer and it seems that this is a big problem for a number of people using this model of HP printer. someone suggested to use a HP Deskjet 9600 driver instead of the 9800, not to sure of the tech reasons behind it but i would guess the 9800 driver is flawed somewhere. Anyway i have changed this driver on our server and been able to print off 2 of the problem documents in the space of 5 minutes!

Strange but true.

I'm going to roll this fix out now to the other users on site and see how we get on for the rest of the day and if this does cure it i will post back and let you know.

Thanks for the help though.
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hladamjrCommented:
Glad to hear it ..................if it weren't for forums the world would come to a screaching halt.
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JSSLAuthor Commented:
Too true!

God bless them all...

I'll post on Monday the final verdict and close this if i can.

Thanks again for the quick response on this though... mentioning the drivers is what sent me to the HP drivers in the first place! Can i give you the points for it?
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