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  1. Member
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    Hello, I'm having a rather annoying problem and I simply cannot figure out what is causing it. It happens randomly, cannot find any pattern at all. When I print from a certain application, sometimes, the computer locks up completely (mouse, keyboard, nothing works) I have to press the reset button to reboot. But now I'm not so sure it's the program causing the problem because after I rebooted one of these last times, I went into the print queue to try and restart the print job and it locked up (without any other programs open) I've updated windows xp through windows update. I've updated my video driver and reinstalled the printer driver. And as mentioned before, this happens randomly, sometimes it locks, sometimes it's fine.

    What I'm looking for is some sort of utility that I can install which will tell me why, or the cause of the lockup when it happens, or after I've rebooted. Does any such thing exist?
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  2. Member Soopafresh's Avatar
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    It could be the port you're trying to print out of - USB or parallel. You might want to check the settings in your BIOS setup (Del key usually, when the system starts up). Could also be the cable between PC and printer.
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  3. I would go to the control panel and adminstrative tools and look at the eventviewer. A lot of the times you can get a decent idea of what the problem is right from here.
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    Thank you so much, I will do that!
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  5. Member Faustus's Avatar
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    hrm.. is there by change an update to the printer driver beyond just reinstalling git?
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    Nopes, I'm using the latest version. I'm able to print via the wireless network to this printer from a laptop running the same application (Endicia's Dazzle) and it never locks up so it's something central to this one machine. I updated the .NET framework thing because I read on another forum that someone was having a printing lockup issue with another piece of software and that was the cause so we'll see......
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    This is usually due to a device conflict. I have a USB card that can NOT reside with my wireless card. System lockups and BSODs all over the place.

    Start removing things one-by-one. You might get lucky and find the problem.
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  8. Member Faustus's Avatar
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    This isn't by change an HP is it? I had a friend who had driver issues with an HP about 3 months ago so bad that he had to format to get the problem to go away.
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    Darn it! I installed the absolute latest version of this .net thing, as well as installed IE7, ran spyware checks and the whole nine yards. Reboot the computer, open dazzle, print and it locked up. The printer in question is the Samsung ML-2010. This is so frustrating. The event viewer didn't log any events whatsoever related to the lockup. After I rebooted, the only stuff it showed was information messages that happened after the reboot.
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    You might try uninstalling your USB ports and then reboot. Windows will automatically reinstall the ports. If you have a corrupted USB port driver, this may take care if it.
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  11. Print from this program to another printer, if necessary print to a file or maybe a PDF converter.

    Print from a different program to this printer.

    Need a rough frequency of ocurrence to perform these tests. For example, if it locks once in 5 to 10 times, then print each test 20 times or until error.

    You say it only happens when printing from one program. What type of file are you printing, particularly sizewise?
    How often do you print from other programs? Specifically relate this to the frequency of occurrence.

    Has it EVER locked up outside of a print operation?

    Have you completely uninstalled and re-installed this printer? Have you used a different driver version, newer or older doesn't matter, just different?

    The print queue issue - A print job that locks the printer, locks the printer a second time. Same file, same result. A non-random event within a series of random events. You already have in your hands the most improtant tool for analyzing such problems.

    The events are most likely not random at all, indeed they are clearly related ONLY to printing. Print the same file which has locked up twice and report results. Find another file which will print successfully. Analyze the difference. This is the tool you are seeking.

    A wild guess might be that these are graphics files which occassionally exceed printer memory. or perhaps a corrupted font or clipart file. The occurrence would seem to be too rare for a driver or port issue, unless this is combined with some characteristic of the print jobs which fail.

    Never heard of the prog you are using, describing its filetypes and printer output might be helpful. Type of printer connection cable might be useful, as well.

    This will be simple to solve, piece of cake.
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    The program is called Dazzle. It is a piece of software by Endicia. You use it to print USPS shipping labels for your business. These are not heavy graphics at all (just think of a shipping label). I installed Dazzle on my laptop and can print the shipping labels to th same printer via WiFi and the laptop has yet to lock up.

    I'm going to try hooking my Epson R220 up (physically) to this problem computer and see if the different printer (and driver of course) make any difference.

    You're right there's still various troubleshooting avenues to pursue.
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  13. OK, some useful information, need more.

    Laptop, using same prog and same printer, does not lock up.

    There are two extremely important questions here.

    1. How many prints from the laptop have you made, and have you ever printed the SAME FILE which failed on the desktop, using the laptop.

    2. Second time I've asked this, and I won't bother again, HOW IS THIS PRINTER CONNECTED?

    If the printer is directly connected to the desktop and then shared to the laptop, then the desktop's driver, spooler, and physical connection ports and cables to the printer are ALL used by the laptop. IF (note the capitals) the laptop has printed sufficient number of files to the printer (the number depends on the UNKNOWN ESTIMATE of the frequency of ocurrence) and ESPECIALLY if the laptop has printed a file successfully which has locked up the desktop (this would be amplified if it was KNOWN that the same file had failed on the desktop more than once) THEN that would eliminate all these pieces as being the problem.

    If the printer is connected directly to the network, all that is still in play. Right off the top of my head, I don't think that unit has an ethernet port.

    Once we've eliminated all the physical and driver items, AND with the knowledge that this is a bar-code printing program, and assuming the REQUESTED BUT STILL UNKNOWN INFORMATION that the printer prints regularly and in significant quantity without problem in other apps, Then it is quite simply a problem in the bar-code program itself. Most likely a corrupted font.

    The one KNOWN item is that the bad print job is still bad coming out of the queue, most likely it is corrupted going IN to the queue. Generate the same print job, EXACTLY the same print job, 3 times, get 3 failures, it is a particular font or graphic. If no such pattern, then it is the generation of the file when the corruption occurs.

    Complete removal and un-install most likely the solution. Fonsts may need to be seperately removed. Additional low-probability possibilities exist, but very specific ANSWERS to troubleshooting steps would be required.
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    I've made several prints from the laptop. I can't really make the "same" print because these are shipping labels. They are all identical except for the shipping address that changes with each package of course. I've printed enough of them on the laptop to know it's not going to lock up or it already would have if it were a problem with the software.

    The printer is connected via USB to the problem system. The printer is shared on the network and I'm able to send print commands to that printer through the wireless ethernet (to the sharing computer which prints to the printer through the USB)

    Here's a scenario that has happend multiple times. I send the print command to print the label. The computer locks up. I press reset, boot up and go back into the program. The software allows a "reprint" option which allows me to make no changes, but to reprint the label exactly the same as it was. This feature is provided in the case of paper jams for instance, because each time you print, $$ is deducted from your balance. So there have been times that I tried to reprint and it locked again! After a 2nd reboot, I then have to file a request for a refund. It's quite a pain in the butt.

    I will try to completely uninstall the program and re-install it.
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  15. Has this repring function after a reboot ever worked, even once?

    Does this printer print anything at all other than shipping labels?

    How is this account balance updated? Internet connection, live for each transaction, or to an on-site balance file?

    Looks like this program, only on one PC, is fairly regularly generating a corrupt print job. Take extra card the bar codes are removed during the uninstall.

    You might also want to check and/or disable any printer monitoring toolbox software, and also try turning off bi-directional support. These would not be present on the laptop, and can interfere with print programs.
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    Yes, the reprint works after a reboot more often than it doesn't. But it does lock up too sometimes.

    Yes, the printer is used for printing everything (wordprocessing, spreadsheets, PDF files, etc)

    I don't know exactly how the account balance is updated. It just shows the balance on the bottom of the screen and after you print it decreases by the amount of the stamp you just printed. I'm sure the software just gets that info from my account on Endicia's site.

    I will see if the bi-directional support is enabled. I think it is...

    Thanks =)
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  17. aBigMeanie aedipuss's Avatar
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    sounds like the computer is waiting to get info from endicia. do you have different firewalls or settings on the computers?
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    nope no firewalls. I killed everything but the necessary running processes. And remember, that the computer locked up ONCE when Endicia wasn't even open. This was after a reboot and I went into the print queue to try to restart the print job.
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  19. I thought I explained that. Endicia was not open, but the corrupted print job created by it was.

    No indication of, or at least no information about any such indication, of ANY problem of ANY kind other than the printjob generated by this program. This may, or may not, be different on the two PC.

    Swapping the printer and the share to the laptop would be the definitive test. If the problem follows the printer, its a USB/program issue. If the problem stays on the PC, it's a corrupted install or possibly an incompatibility with some installed software.
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  20. aBigMeanie aedipuss's Avatar
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    have you gone into the control panel/printers and faxes and deleted all copies of the printer from there, and then reinstalled the printer driver from scratch?
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  21. aBigMeanie aedipuss's Avatar
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    there are also some settings you can change in the printers settings that you can try. right click on the printer in the device manager and select properties advanced. you can change the priority, and also change it to print directly to the printer and not spool it. then untick print spooled documents first.
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  22. A sure way to find out exactly what module/driver etc is causing the problem is to use the remote kernel debugger that you can get from MS as part of the debugging tools.

    You connect your problem PC to another one (usually by RS232) and when it hangs, the other one can talk to the hung PC on a very primitive level to get information about processes, drivers, stacks etc.

    It's rather last resort but it will get you right to the heart of the matter.
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    Thank you for all those informative posts. Regarding spooling, when I press the print button, on the screen it does show something about spooling for a split second, never knew what that was so I'll try to disable it. Haven't had to print a label for a few days here so I haven't had to mess with it. But when I do, I'll try all the suggestions =)
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    Well, back to square one, kind of:
    I had disabled print spooling and selected the option that says "print directly to printer" and had a few successful prints a few days ago. Went to print shipping label today and it locked but the lockup was slightly different this time. This time, the light on the printer was blinking as if it received the info to print. And on the screen, it used to lock up and not show anything, but this time it shows this dialog box and it said it was spooling it to the printer on "winspool" I don't know why it said spooling if spooling was turned off. But perhaps investigating this winspool might be helpful.

    In addition, after the reboot, the printer was still blinking, but I checked the queue and there was nothing in it. I had to turn off the power to the printer and turn it back on.

    Tried to do the reprint in endicia after the reboot and it locked solid again...
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  25. aBigMeanie aedipuss's Avatar
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    interesting. when i print through the spooler it's spoolsv.exe that handles the print job. i've never seen winspool in the task manager, but it's listed as a windows spooler component.

    but quite few virus/trojans use that name also.
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    Yes it is interesting because I looked in the running processes and did not see winspool either, but did see the one you mentioned. I'm just wondering why it is doing any spooling at all when the option is checked to print directly to the printer.
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  27. aBigMeanie aedipuss's Avatar
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    printers have little ram, so i assume it may spool on the computer even if not requested.
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  28. Ah, real progress.

    Best and easiest thing to do - uninstall ALL printers. Delete all contents of \windows\system32\spool. Disconnect printer, reboot. Reinstall drivers, connect printer when prompted.

    The spool or queue is periodically being filled with a corrupted file. This print job is capable of causing the lockup without running the program.

    We cannot change how the job is generated, but a seperate system generating the same type of job never fails.

    It has to be something unique that this PC and only this PC is doing to the print job, drivers and spooler about all thats left. Its possible the Internet billing is somehow embedded into the print job and is part of the problem. Is there anything you can do to introduce any delay into the process? The print from the laptop would be slightly delayed.

    Any control of fonts used in the printing program, and is the laptop different? If fonts can be changed, do so. The font on the Pc could be corrupt and the same font OK on the laptop.

    Biderectional support not there on the laptop. Any printer monitoring software not there on the laptop.
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    A new piece is added to the puzzle today. I hooked up the printer via USB to the laptop and shared it on the network. Attempted to print via the network and the system locked. So at least now I know that the issue is not related to any physical USB port or printer cable.

    I'm starting to believe that the issue that is causing the lockup has to be related to a windows update. I have heard of windows updates causing trouble so perhaps this has happened to me. Nothing else has changed. This only started happening a month or so ago. I'm going to try Nelson's suggestion next and delete the files in the spool folder, etc.

    If that doesn't work, does anyone here know about how to remove windows updates one by one? I've seen the hotfixes listed in the add/remove programs in other computers, but naturally, they don't show up in this one.
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  30. aBigMeanie aedipuss's Avatar
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    tick the box in the add/remove window that says "show updates"

    it might be time to update to a real network printer that doesn't have to go through windows "sharing". windows networking has never been all that good.
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