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  1. #1
    Uranium Lounger
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    A Print and a Reboot!

    Wow, this one really has me stumped.

    I updated my sister/brother-in-law's computer with the security patches available on Windows Update and also installed IE 6. So far so good. This was a base Windows 98 install, not a single update had ever been applied. Swiss cheese. Ugly.

    Maybe not. When you attempt to print - any application, any time - the system hard-boots. No warning, nothing, just a flicker and a flash and there you are waiting while the Microsoft logo wags at you in a taunting manner.

    The printer is physically connected to the PC via parallel (LPT1). Oh, and this thing is old - it's a LaserJet IIP+. You can't even find mention of this on HP's website although Win98 has a driver for it.

    I have removed the printer, and physically deleted the drivers from a DOS prompt. Reinstalled the printer using the drivers from the CD.....no joy. I then booted into safe mode after this failed attempt, and removed all the files related to the Windows spooler. I got a lot of haughty complaints from Windows, and I restored fresh copies of the spooler files from the CD. Reinstalled the old boy again, and whammo! Same problem. Went to DriverGuide.com and found a whole lotta nothing. <img src=/S/sigh.gif border=0 alt=sigh width=15 height=15>

    Alright, what in the world is causing the system to hard boot any time a print job is sent? Rolling back to an unsecured OS is not an option, so the recent updates have to stay. Telling my sister and her husband that it's a lost cause probably isn't a great choice either, because it worked before I got my hands on it. And by all rights, it still should. I'd love to see them get a decent printer to replace it but my brother-in-law's creed, and not altogether bad, is that if it works you don't need a new one. Not my style but I see his point. I should note that there is a certain lack of disk space but enough to allow for what I consider normal operation - there's about 800MB on a 13GB drive.

    Ideas, anyone? I'm out of them at this point and I've been looking at it too long.
    -Mark

  2. #2
    Plutonium Lounger Leif's Avatar
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    Re: A Print and a Reboot!

    Can you print from DOS?
    Can you print direct to the printer without spooling?
    Any odd setting in the BIOS? - set up for a 2-way chat when it's not expecting it, or something?
    Have you tried using the LJ4 printer driver? (Stranger things have happened <img src=/S/grin.gif border=0 alt=grin width=15 height=15> )

  3. #3
    Uranium Lounger
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    Re: A Print and a Reboot!

    <hr>Can you print from DOS?<hr>
    I haven't attempted to do so - but only because they don't know what DOS is, let alone print from it. Worth a shot.
    <hr>Can you print direct to the printer without spooling?<hr>
    Haven't tested this yet. Good idea to try.
    <hr>Any odd setting in the BIOS? - set up for a 2-way chat when it's not expecting it, or something?<hr>
    Nothing that I can see, BIOS settings seem to make no difference (I've tried them all)
    <hr>Have you tried using the LJ4 printer driver?<hr>
    No, but I did consider the LJIII driver, which is the "generic" driver. Also worth looking into.

    Thank you for the suggestions....and of course I have high hopes... <img src=/S/liar.gif border=0 alt=liar width=25 height=22>
    -Mark

  4. #4
    Plutonium Lounger Leif's Avatar
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    Re: A Print and a Reboot!

    Something that occurred to me:

    What if either the cable or one of the connectors it plugs into was damaged causing a short circuit as soon as data was attempted to be transmitted to the printer?
    You could check for this simply by unplugging and attempting a print.

  5. #5
    Uranium Lounger
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    Re: A Print and a Reboot!

    Actually, I had considered the cable - but ruled it out because the problem is consistent, reproduceable, and most important of all - it didn't happen until I made software changes. Grrrr. Logic forces me to conclude that if the printer cable was faulty, I would have seen aberrant behavior before upgrading.

    On the flip side, how difficult is it, really, to change a parallel cable and rule it out for good? <img src=/S/grin.gif border=0 alt=grin width=15 height=15>
    -Mark

  6. #6
    2 Star Lounger
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    Re: A Print and a Reboot!

    Is this problem being caused by the PC or by the printer? We need to isolate the problem. To find out, follow Lief's suggestion and try to print with the printer data cable unplugged at the PC.
    If the problem seems to be caused by the printer, 1) Possible bad data cable as mentioned, 2)Maybe the printer is going bad and creating a momentary electrical power problem causing the PC to lose power and reboot. Can the printer electrical cord be plugged in elsewhere to see if the problem persists? 3)Can printer vibration be causing a bad connection, data or electrical?
    If the problem is being caused by the PC, could any printer ports have been changed or activated by the recent software changes?
    This is a tough problem. Good luck. .....J.Till

  7. #7
    Uranium Lounger
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    Re: A Print and a Reboot!

    Definitely the computer, as a brand new photo printer that connects via USB has done the same thing. I managed to get a test page printed after which nothing at all would print. A step up from rebooting but still, not nearly good enough.

    Interestingly, when I disconnected the parallel printer cable and allowed only the USB connection, the reboots ceased - but without printing and two printers, my intrigue lasted a very short term indeed.

    I'm in the process of rebuilding Windows from scratch (long overdue). The machine is a bit flakey, IMHO, and has done nothing but give me fits even at the hardwarelevel with Windows 2000. Windows 98 will install fine but not 2000 - whoa no, forget it it seems to be saying to me.

    I suppose the bottom line is that it was a tough enough problem that I opted for a complete format and reinstall, something I hate to resort to but is sometimes a necessary evil.
    -Mark

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