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How do I stop a mixture of desktops and laptops from printing out garbage to HP printers on network?

Posted on 2014-09-29
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Last Modified: 2014-10-16
Every once in awhile there would be an instance of someone printing and it just keeps printing symbols and doesn't stop until  you shut off printer?  Also sets the printer to offline?
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Question by:Kim Levya
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Dr. Klahn earned 500 total points
ID: 40350371
There are several possibilities why this occurs.  The cause is sending the printer a file it can't deal with.  Some of these issues you can deal with ... but one, and unfortunately probably the most likely one, cannot be prevented.

1.  Someone is printing something to the HP printer using a driver for a different printer.

Solution:  If there are no other printers in the network than the HP, track down the system(s) which have non-HP printers installed and remove them.  Then set the Group Policy so that users cannot install printers.

2.  Someone is sending to the HP using a mode that it does not recognize.

Solution:  Check the printer drivers in each system and confirm that they are either all PCL or all Postscript.  Then set the Group Policy so that users cannot change printer settings.

3.  Someone is printing a binary file or a file with non-printing characters.

Solution:  Unfortunately, none; and this is the most likely culprit.  The best you can do is educate your users, but there will still be the occasional case where somebody clicks on the wrong file.
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Expert Comment

by:DansDadUK
ID: 40351859
To add to DrKlahn's comments:

If the faulty printed pages are repeatable (i.e. exactly the same when reprinting the same document, using the same driver, to the same device), then it is likely that they are caused by a driver (or driver settings) fault.
 
If the errors are random, they are much more likely to be the result of intermittent corruptions of the generated print stream between the workstation and the device (check cables, ports, switches, etc.).
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Expert Comment

by:hdhondt
ID: 40351890
As far as I know, the best way of avoiding garbage prints is to use a PostScript driver.

With PostScript, the printer's default is to completely ignore the rest of the print job, from the moment it sees any error, whatever it is. In practice this is usually overridden by the error-handler which is downloaded as part of the print job. This error handler tells the printer to print 1 page giving details of the error. This usually does not help in any way to fix the error, but at least it will stop after that single page.
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Author Closing Comment

by:Kim Levya
ID: 40384853
I also went into Printer Properties and Ports...find the correct port and click on Configure Port, make sure SNMP Status Enabled is unchecked.
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