Installing PCL6 drivers seems to have screwed up my PCL5 drivers

I have a Windows 2000 Terminal Server that has been working fine for some time. It has printer drivers installed so that users can print to two servers that are installed as Network Printers on the Terminal Server and other drivers that are installed so they can use their local printers that get mapped. The majority of these drivers have been PCL5 drivers.

However, recently another Administrator installed a new network printer on the Terminal Server and he used the PCL6 driver for that printer. Everything seemed fine until we rebooted the server last night. Now, the printer with the PCL6 driver works fine however all of the other drivers fail to print. They don't give very detailed messages at all. For example, when I try to print a test page it just says there is a problem with the drivers. I have tried reinstalling the drivers for the printers that aren't functioning with no luck. I even tried removing the new printer and its drivers (through server properties -> drivers) and reinstalling the drivers for the old printers and that didn't work.

At this point I have no idea why the old printers won't print or where to look to find out more information.

Any suggestions?
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Dr. KlahnPrincipal Software EngineerCommented:
This is my take on getting rid of the PCL6 drivers, as I've no idea how to address the fundamental problem of getting the PCL5 and PCL6 drivers to coexist.

Getting completely rid of drivers can be difficult.  Simply uninstalling them generally does not remove the files that were installed; it just "disconnects" the driver.  It's somewhat tedious cleaning them up by hand, but here's how I've done it.

Look in the Windows /inf subdirectory, and search the files for the strings "HP" and "PCL" -- chances are, you will find that the install files are still there.  Pick out which .INF files relate to the PCL6 printer, and then look through those for the .INF files that the install process, erm, installed.  Search globally for the filenames, as they may have also been copied to backup locations.  Then delete the referenced files, reboot, and try to reinstall the PCL5 drivers for the other printers.
Dr. KlahnPrincipal Software EngineerCommented:
Correction to above:

"... and then look through those for the actual driver and driver-related files that the install process, erm, installed."
Get rid of PCL6, as DrKlahn suggests. However, it can be very hard to find the correct INF files, as they tend to have very cryptic names. Instead, do it this way:

On the server, go to Printers & Faxes. Delete the printer. Then, from the File menu, select Server Properties. Click the Drivers tab and delete any instances of the PCL6 printer.

Then install a PCL5 driver for the printer.
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mikedgibsonAuthor Commented:
hdhondt, I did exactly as you suggested. This was the first thing I tried but for some reason when I add the other printer back it still doesn't work. Perhaps it isn't the PCL6 driver at all that is causing the problem but that was the last thing to change on the server before these problems started happening. I wish there was a more detailed log when it came to printing errors that I could look at to identify the cause.
So we'll need to find where the real problem is. As it happens to many printers it's unlikely to be a printer problem.

Assuming the printers use network cards, try setting one up on a PC with a Standard TCP/IP port, instead of going through the server. If that prints, then we must assume the problem is on the server. If it doesn't print either, then the problem will most likely be in the printer connection (IP address settings, etc).

Just a thought: if the printers use DHCP, does the DHCP server use reserved addresses for the printers? If it doesn't, it could mean that all your old printers have just been handed a new address...
mikedgibsonAuthor Commented:
hdhondt, I tried adding the printer through a Standard TCP/IP port and got the same error. I have the same printer added on another machine and that prints fine so I doubt it is the printer. The printers use static IP addresses to avoice the problems with DHCP. It really points to a driver issue.
It could be that one or more of the PCL5 drivers (on the server) got corrupted somehow.

On the PC where you could not get the Standard TCP/IP port to work, try completely deleting all drivers, as follows. Go to Printers & Faxes. Delete all printers. Then, from the File menu, select Server Properties and click the Drivers tab. Delete all printers from the list.

Then reinstall a PCL5 driver for one printer either from the CD or from a newly downloaded copy. Do not install from the server.

If that works, you can try completely deleting that printer and reinstalling from the server - which in my hypothesis should fail again. If it does fail, reinstall the drivers on the server; if it doesn't, delete and reinstall on another PC.

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