Document taking extremely long time to print on a Konica Minolta C203

Posted on 2012-09-14
Last Modified: 2012-10-10
We are having a problem printing a specific word document to our Konica Minolta bizhub C203 printer from only one of our machines.

The printer is setup as a network printer
The computer is a Windows 7 64 bit system
The file size of the word document is 808kb (4 pages)
The word document is a fairly complex document (It is a filled out insurance claim form)

When we print the file from the computer and watch the printer status queue, it shows the size of the file to be over 96MB as it slowly gets sent to the printer.
(For example, after 2 minutes it will show 1mb/96mb, 5 min later it might be at 5mb/96mb).  It seems to continue to grow, however we have to cancel it because we can't tie up the printer for hours at a time. (no one else can print while it is being sent)

All other documents, including word documents, print ok.

The printer vendor will not help because it prints fine from other systems and claim that it is an issue with the PC.

Things I have tried:
Power cycled everything - printer, computer, router

Removing and re-adding the printer

Uninstalling and re-installing the drivers

Tried PCL and PS drivers (all possible drivers available)

All spooling options (start printing after last page is spooled, start printing immediately, print directly to the printer)

Installing the printer on the server and sharing it out to this computer  (document prints fine when copied and printed from the server)

Verified that there weren't files in windows\system32\spool\printers folder
Question by:CanfieldComputers
    LVL 34

    Expert Comment

    To resolve this problem, bypass EMF spooling. To do this, follow these steps:

    1.Open the properties dialog box for the printer.
    2.Click the Advanced tab.
    3.Click the Print directly to the printer option.

    The size of the EMF spool file may become very large when you print a document that contains lots of raster data
    LVL 37

    Accepted Solution

    You seem to have 2 problems: the spool file gets very large, and it spools very slowly.

    The spool file can be much larger than the document size, especially if you are using a PCL driver and are using a high resolution setting on the printer. What happens is that images expand when they are sent to the printer. If the same image is present multiple times in the doc, the doc will only store 1 instance of it, but it needs to be sent to the printer for every instance. If you use the PostScript driver, the image still needs to be sent multiple times, but it is independent of printer resolution.

    I would do a couple of things:
    1. make sure you are using the PS driver
    2. check the resolution of the image(s) in the doc. They should not be more than 300dpi. In other words, if you have a 4" x 4" image on the page, it should be no more than 1200 x 1200 pixels. If it is much larger, change it in an application like PhotoShop or Irfanview. I have had cases where people use 1200 dpi images because "our printer prints at 1200 dpi". That is a fallacy. Only for the highest quality printing (on a printing press) do you need more than 300dpi.

    You could also try to convert it to PDF and print it that way.

    Author Comment

    Michael-Best:  I have already tried that option before posting the question with no success.  It still takes forever before it starts to print

    hdhondt:  I thought that your suggestion about the resolution would fix it, but it didn't seem to make a difference.  I have also tried converting to a PDF and printing that, however it does the same thing.

    (I used the compress picture feature from Word to compress the image down to 200 dpi)

    More Information:

    The word document I am trying to print is an insurance form.  All of the fields for the form  are part of an image that is in the background of the word document.  The fields are then filled in over top of this image (it looks like there are tabs setup to line up the text with the fields in the image).

    I've attached a blank form so you can see what I'm talking about.

    If I open up the printer queue and then push print, the file appears twice, one says the status is spooling and is only there for a few seconds and disappears, the other says the status is printing and shows the size of x/96MB where x grows very slowly.

    Author Comment

    To select the form itself (picture) you need to go Insert->Header->Edit Header
    LVL 37

    Expert Comment

    I printed it from Word 2003 to a Ricoh printer. The spool file was 20MB and the printer accepted it as fast as Word could generate it, in about 10 seconds. If I cut the doc down to 1 page the spool file is only about 5MB.

    That seems to point to a problem with your installation of either Word or the driver. As you have tried different drivers, and as only this doc is a problem, I would suspect the problem is in Word. Unfortunately I do not have access to Word 2007/2010 but maybe you can find a copy of Word 2000/2003 somewhere.

    Author Closing Comment

    The resolution of the image was originally 3400 x 4400.  I was able to use the compress picture feature in word to reduce the quality.  Even though I needed to print it, I selected the email setting(rather than print or email) in the compress pictures option.  This apparently reduced it to 96dpi.  After compressing, If I right clicked the picture and selected "Save as Picture" the resolution was now 816x1056 (much smaller but still legible when printed).  

    The image now prints at an acceptable pace (still a little slow, but I am going to put the blame on the file and how the driver is sending the file to the printer).

    Thanks for all of your help.

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