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Print Dialog Box Slow to Appear

Posted on 2009-05-02
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Last Modified: 2012-05-06
We have a WinXP (SP3) machine (Gateway GT5028) with a printing issue. When I am in an app (Thunderbird) and I Ctrl-P or click the Print button, the Printing box comes up with Progress shown as Preparing.... (see image) This is on the screen for about 10-15 seconds before the Print dialog box appears. From that point on, printing is normal.

" When I attempt to print a second time immediately after the first, there is often no lag. However, if I do this three or four times in a row the lag returns.
" If I wait a short while (<1 minute) the lag returns, even on the same document.
" The default printer is an HP Laserjet 1020. However, the issue still exists when I switch to a different printer, like a Xerox 5500 on the network.
" I have rebooted several times.
" Other machines do not have this printing problem.
" Although this computer is three years old, it still runs fairly well overall.
" The issue exists in other apps as well, but Thunderbird is the main program used on this machine.
print-preparing-400.jpg
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Question by:TUMIhq
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8 Comments
 
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Expert Comment

by:Thomas4019
ID: 24287124
I think this lag has to do with communication between the computer and the networked printer. I have had a problem like this, but i had to fix it by reinstalling Windows, hopefully there should be an easier way though.
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Author Comment

by:TUMIhq
ID: 24287144
Thanks for the response. I'm sorry I wasn't clear: the HP 1020 is not on the network; it connects to the computer via USB.
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Expert Comment

by:Thomas4019
ID: 24287224
Oh in that case, try temporarily deleting your networked printer in Control Panel > Printers. Then try printing to your USB to see if we can isolate the problem.
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Author Comment

by:TUMIhq
ID: 24287319
I can do that, but I have many networked printers with custom settings. Whether networked or directly connected, they all exhibit the issue. Alternately, I unplugged the network cable from the computer and tried to print to the USB HP; still slow. I am all for troubleshooting by ruling out possibilities, but it doesn't seem like that would be fruitful. However, I am willing to defer to your expertise if you truly believe that would help.
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Author Comment

by:TUMIhq
ID: 24287326
One other note, I have stopped and restarted the Print Spooler in Services several times with no result.
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Thomas4019 earned 1500 total points
ID: 24287343
Yeah, it wouldnt be worth it if you have more than 1 networked printer deleting them all. I dont think its that likely it would help. I think it has something to do with one of the printers causing a long timeout or being improperly configured.

Maybe try changing you "default printer". Or have you recently installed any new networked printers around the time of this lag.

Similar Questionst that have been resolved

http://yedda.com/questions/Printer_Dialog_Box_Slow_Appear_5041926617339/
http://www.experts-exchange.com/OS/Microsoft_Operating_Systems/Windows/XP/Q_21162782.html
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Expert Comment

by:ganjagadget
ID: 24338208
Try going to printers and faxes>File>Server Properties> Drivers Tab, and remove any drivers that are no longer in use.
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Author Comment

by:TUMIhq
ID: 24340139
Thomas4019: You were correct that the problem had something to do with the network. Many of our users share their printers over the network so others can print straight to their desk. There were several shared printers in the printer list that were associated with computers that were no longer on the network. When I deleted these printers the issue went away. Thank you for your ideas.
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