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Windows 8 printers showing up as white pages with red cross

Posted on 2014-09-03
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Last Modified: 2016-11-23
Hi,
Strange problem that I've never seen before.  Have a Dell Tablet device running Windows 8 and all the printers show up in the 'Unspecified' device section as white pages with red crosses in the bottom left hand corner.
Any profile that logs into this device has the same issue.
Have reimaged with our standard Windows 8 build and has the same issue as soon as you log in.
Am using this same image on 50 other devices with no issues.

This thread has the exact issue, but there is no solution at the end of it (includes pics):
http://answers.microsoft.com/en-us/windows/forum/windows_8-hardware/printers-are-listed-as-unspecified/cc6c0405-3ac2-423f-bdf2-4c0f7000ce81

Has anyone else seen this before, and can suggest a resolution.  I'm suspecting it might be a hardware issue...but I've never seen one affect printers in this way before.
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Question by:iknowsfa
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by:John Hurst
ID: 40302477
Windows 8 generally requires newer printers, but I have been using Windows 8 /8.1 for over a year and a half and never seen that issue (I saw the picture in the Microsoft Answers link) on my computer.

Have reimaged with our standard Windows 8 build and has the same issue as soon as you log in.  Am using this same image on 50 other devices

So 50 tablets work and 1 tablet does not.

You think it might be hardware:  Are the printers connected by TCP/IP or by USB?  TCP/IP is likely OK if internet is working, but the USB controller could have failed.
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Author Comment

by:iknowsfa
ID: 40302577
Hi,
Printers are TCP/IP printers on a Print Server on the network.  And any new printer I add (that has correct drivers for windows 8/8.1), just gets the same white page with red cross.  Even though they all work fine on our other devices with Windows 8 and 8.1

I say it may be hardware related only because it doesn't make sense that I can load the exact same image onto the other 50 devices and it works fine.  And yet this one that has been re-imaged now 3 times has the exact same issue each time we do it.
But on the other hand I fail to see how a hardware issue could cause this type of behaviour?!
So I'm totally stumped.

I can even go into device managed (as mentioned in the link I provided), and I also get the printers listed in there correctly with their proper network share names...
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Author Comment

by:iknowsfa
ID: 40302580
And yes in answer to your question, we have around 50 of these devices all bought at the same time, and all imaged with the exact same Windows 8 image....and this is the only one with this problem.
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Expert Comment

by:John Hurst
ID: 40302585
Assuming the network card works (you have not said otherwise), there is no other hardware involved in a print driver because it is just software going out a TCP/IP port.

I wonder if the spooler subsystem has broken, but that is software as well.

I am now wondering if there is a drive error that is causing the image to load improperly every time. That is now about the only thing that makes sense.
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Author Comment

by:iknowsfa
ID: 40302708
Yep, all network functionality is working fine.  In fact all other functionality with the Tablet appears normal apart from the printers.
Even the standard "Send to OneNote 2013" printer installed with MSOffice is one of the blank page red cross printers.

I'm going to bring in an external USB DVD drive tomorrow and load a vanilla image of Windows 8 onto the device.  If that has the same issue then I'm going to log a call with Dell to get this resolved...
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Accepted Solution

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iknowsfa earned 0 total points
ID: 40310845
Ok, so it took me a while to find an external USB DVD drive.  But here's what I've found:

- Rebuilt device using standard Windows 8 32 bit build, and Printers showed up in Devices And Printers fine with no issues.
- Rebuilt again using our SOE image of Windows 8 (which again, has worked fine on 50 other devices), and the Printers show up as white pages with red crosses.
- So I'm now rebuilding for the last time with the standard Windows 8 install again, and will just manually set it up the way we need it.

I've got no idea what is causing this issue, but will just go with this workaround as no one seems to be able to suggest anything to try.
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Author Closing Comment

by:iknowsfa
ID: 40320633
No one could suggest anything to fix.  In the end had to just go with a workaround of installing a standard Windows 8 image.
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