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Printer keeps printing a map from September?!

Posted on 2013-01-19
Last Modified: 2013-01-22
For a windows 7 desktop PC being used by an older woman who has limited computer experience (not to be mean. Just saying 'cause she might have done something to cause this, not realizing her mistake).

She has an HP Officejet 6000 printer connected wirelessly to her network of just 1 PC.

That PC prints to that printer and in the last month or so, has started to print a mapquest map page (with a date from September), MOST (but not all) times when she sends a print job.  Sometimes she'll get what she wanted printed also, sometimes just that page.

I've looked for that mapquest page / file, restarted the print que, checked for a seperator page, no jobs are in the print que waiting when she prints, etc.

any thoughts on where this page is coming from / how to kill that print job?

I am going there Monday (after being there several other times for this).  I would uninstall / reinstall the printer, but it's a multi function and HP and I dread that process - something won't work afterwards (scanner, etc.) or it won't uninstall completely or it just takes wayyyyy tooo long.  There's a folder in windows with the print jobs, right? I'llmake sure that's empty. Again, this map prints most but not all times.  Most times I am there it does not print the map : )

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LVL 19

Assisted Solution

helpfinder earned 125 total points
ID: 38796888
please check if print spooler serviceis set to start Automatic.
also check c:\windows\system32\spool\printers (you need to enable to show hidden files and folders) and check if there are some files (they should not be), especially files with .spl and .shd extenstion. If they are there delete them (or move to some other location if you are affraid to delete them), reboot the computer and wait if problem is solved or occurs again
LVL 14

Assisted Solution

frankhelk earned 125 total points
ID: 38797093
As a precaution I would recommend to temporarily stop the spooler service before killing files from the mentioned path (just to prevent the sopooler service from getting confused) and restart it afterwards.

Alternatively try the following ... not "fine art", but maybe the old lady won't bother:

Open the printer queue window (where the jobs are displayed), and from the menu there select [Printer] -> [Properties]. Select the "Advanced" tab (unsure of the title .. "Erweitert" in German). There you can select direct printing instead of spooling. That way the spoolre can't spit into the soup anymore, at least if you disable the spooler service entirely.

Author Comment

ID: 38797094
just checked - nothing at all in that spool\printers folder.  service is set to automatic.

interesting.  there's 2 files on MY machine in that folder.  with sept. date!  I know I've connected to that machine with logmein pro and that sets my machine as the default printer while connected.

I wonder if those are files sent from HER machine to mine during a print test or I had them and somehow it went to her machine?  The map is something she looked at / printed a while ago, so it's not a file that started on my machine / a map she doesn't recognize.

Now to google how to print / view shd and shl files
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LVL 16

Assisted Solution

DansDadUK earned 125 total points
ID: 38797984
I think that:

.SHD files are spool control files, which contains (encoded instructions to the spooler regarding how to print a particular job.
.SHL files are (usually) the set of data and printer language control sequences which will be sent to the target printer to perform the actual printing; the format will vary according to the Page Description Language (e.g. PCL5, PCL6, PostScript, ESC/P, etc., etc.) being generated by the printer driver.
LVL 16

Expert Comment

ID: 38797987
... and the Page Description Language used by most inkjet printers (like OfficeJet 6000) is probably a PCL3GUI based (proprietary) language, which is almost certainly raster-based.

i.e. the contents of the spool file will probably be a set of encapsulated, compressed, raster images (using proprietary encapsulation and compression algorithms); there are some viewers available, but most of these are not free.
LVL 11

Accepted Solution

speed_54 earned 125 total points
ID: 38798181
Although it's not a job you like, I'd download the latest driver install set from HP's site and reinstall after removing the old one to see if there's any improvement

Author Comment

ID: 38801483
CHECK IT OUT!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

I go there...  older widow / non-tech. person  I sit there and go over the situation - what apps cause the problem, any pattern to the problem, how do you print, etc....and she walks me through what she normally does and we get a bunch of pages with no problem.  this is an all in one printer with the little control panel on the front with icons for different tasks - fax, copy, settings, etc.  I start thinking about connecting via USB (it's wireless network connected, dreading the uninstall / reinstall.... then she says 'i press the copy button on the printer - it's set for fax right now. (actually, the dot for the 3 screens was under the fax / center icon).

kinda like:


but the first page is copy, fax, apps.  

so she presses copy and it spits out a mapquest map page that was on the glass.

So she'd hit copy (why, I don't know.. she's printing, but I guess she knew she didn't want to fax), that would start the copy on the glass (didn't she hear the scanner bar motor?!) and while it was scanning / copying the glass, she'd be sending a print job. so she gets the mapquest page only (the print job got lost?) or mapquest then the document she wanted.

 she likely was doing that same process of pressing the print button before putting the mapquest page on the glass, but just getting a blank seperator page (the scanned blank page) and didn't think much of it).

LVL 11

Expert Comment

ID: 38802783
Wow. I suppose it's a diagnosis that could only have been done on site. Well done.
LVL 14

Expert Comment

ID: 38804521
Elementary, dear Watson :-)

This is sometimes called "Error 50". The error sits in 50 cm distance of the monitor.

But a good lesson, anyhow !

Author Comment

ID: 38805345
error 50!  that's a good competitor to my favorite - picnic - problem in chair, not in computer.

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