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Printing differences between Windows XP and Windows 98

Our accountant recently switched to a Windows XP machine from an old Windows 98SE machine, and he is not happy with how Windows XP seems to make everything print slightly lighter than in Windows 98. He is using an HP LaserJet 2200 printer, and we have tried using all sorts of different drivers (LaserJet 2200 PCL and PS, LaserJet 2100 PCL and PS, LaserJet 4, etc.). This problem is not program-specific.

I have heard from a software developer that Windows 98 defaults to the black cartridge of any printer, whereas Windows XP defaults to the color cartridge of any printer (regardless of whether it is a black/white laserjet or a color inkjet) making the printing slightly lighter.

Does anyone know of this phenomenon? If so, any way to make the printing darker for all print jobs, regardless of program?

Thanks!
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jbridgman-qds
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jbridgman-qds
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2 Solutions
 
michkoCommented:
About the only "fix" I can think of would be to set the printer to print from black cartridge only as a default.  I don't have that specific model, so don't have the interface in front of me, but you can set it to print from black cartridge only as the default setting.  If he wants to print color, he will then have to select color in the printer settings.

He could remove the color cartridge, thereby forcing the printer to print black only.

Or he could bold everything in his documents.  (that was kind of tongue in cheek, but hey, it's an idea.)

michko
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jbridgman-qdsAuthor Commented:
He doesn't have a color laser printer...that's the thing. A LaserJet 2200 is a black and white laser. But like I said, I heard from a developer that Windows 98 defaults to a certain type of printing based on what it goes to first for print cartridge, whereas Windows XP defaults to another type of printing. All this is regardless of what type of printer you have (whether it be a black and white laser or a color inkjet). It doesn't make sense to me, and I don't know if that is accurate, though.

Also, certain programs our accountant uses don't offer an option to make the font bold (such as his tax return preparation software). It's just that when he had Windows 98, the printing came out darker/bolder than with Windows XP.
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michkoCommented:
I haven't heard of that problem when switching to XP.  And, regardless of what cartridge XP goes to, since this is a b&w printer, it wouldn't make a difference since it has no color cartridge to print to.  

Here's link to HP's page on troubleshooting printing issues for this printer:
http://h20000.www2.hp.com/bizsupport/TechSupport/Document.jsp?lang=en&cc=us&taskId=110&prodSeriesId=28861&prodTypeId=18972&prodSeriesId=28861&objectID=bpl04071

About 2/3 of the way down the page is a section for "light or faded print".  See if any of their suggestions help.

michko
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hdhondtCommented:
Does the 2200 have a "toner save" mode? Perhaps that is not turned on in the driver (under printer Properties > Advanced tab > Printing Defaults)
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jbridgman-qdsAuthor Commented:
The 2200 does have a toner save mode, but it is not turned on. I'm assuming that if it were turned on, it would make the print even lighter than what it is.
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hdhondtCommented:
When you say everything is lighter, do you perhaps mean that text is printed with slightly thinner strokes? Or do images, etc, also print lighter?

If only text is affected, it may be a font issue, e.g. the XP driver handling fonts differently. Or maybe the fonts affected are different between XP and 98.
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jbridgman-qdsAuthor Commented:
It seems that the text is printed with slightly thinner strokes. It's still 100% black, just thinner.
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hdhondtCommented:
So it is a font difference. Is anything besides text affected? Are all fonts affected or just some? If the latter, which fonts, and are they installed on both systems (check the Fonts directory)?
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jbridgman-qdsAuthor Commented:
The new machine has all of the fonts that the old Windows 98 machine had (I made sure of that), plus about 100 more.

To me, it seems that both text (all fonts) and graphics are a bit thinner...but our accountant is mainly concerned about the text.

Who knows...this might just be unfixable, as it might have something to do with the internals of Windows 98 versus the internals of Windows XP that we can't mess with.
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hdhondtCommented:
Check the font settings in the drivers. One driver may be set to use printer fonts, the other to download the fonts as part of the job.

Not sure about the graphics though...
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jbridgman-qdsAuthor Commented:
Yeah, we've tried using both "printer fonts" and the "softfonts as a download" setting, and the print is the same.
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jbridgman-qdsAuthor Commented:
I'm just going to close this case and award 300 point to hdhondt and 200 points to michko for trying to help out.
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hdhondtCommented:
Thanks for the point, jbridgman-qds. Sorry I couldn't resolve it.
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