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  1. #1
    3 Star Lounger
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    Print Queue Purging (WinXP-HE)

    Why would the Control Panel/Printers and Faxes page not show the option to purge all unprinted files when there are unprinted files?

    My sister (70+) got herself a laptop and uses me as her guru (Poor thing, doesn't realize how much trouble she's in!). Yesterday she called me because she had somehow loaded up her print queue (re-initiating the same job because she wasn't seeing what she thought she should, I'm sure) and couldn't unload it - claims she printed over a ream of paper and couldn't solve the problem. She lives 1500 miles away; so I could only respond to what she told me. She swore that when she clicked through to Printers & Faxes on her CP she could see only one icon (for her installed printer) and that when she right-clicked she had no option to purge the queue. I made her read what she saw in the drop down list and the option was not in what she read but her printer was printing all the while.

    I had her create a dummy doc in Notepad and start to print it. When she clicked Print from the File menu and got the Select a Printer panel, I had her tell me what icons she saw. This time she had the Add a Printer icon and one for her installed HP 3900. I had her right-click the 3900 and there was the purge print jobs option. She choose it; the printer cleared, printed the dummy doc, and everything returned to normal. I had her go back to the CP and P&F and this time she told me that she had no (that is zero) icons in the panel after clicking on P&F and getting the window. I had her shut down and do a cold start then rechecked and the HP-3900 icon appeared in CP but not the Add a Printer icon.

    Although, we cleared her problem and got her documents printed, I'm puzzled as to 1) why her Control_Panel/Printers_and_Faxes window show no Add a Printer icon; and 2) why the purge print jobs option didn't appear while she had an active queue printing.

    Would appreciate any pointers. Got to maintain my guru status, eh?

  2. #2
    Plutonium Lounger
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    Re: Print Queue Purging (WinXP-HE)

    I've read your post a couple of times to make sure I see it correctly, so here goes. I think what she was seeing is more or less "normal" for I also don't have an ICON for adding a printer as you can see in the two-screenshot combo below. The add a printer selection appears in both the sidebar and under the File command. I also don't get a clear the queue if I right-click my chosen printer, which I believe is normal behaviour.

    But, if I double click the printer to "open" it, you should see the window as in the bottom part of my screenshot. This window DOES have a selection to clear the whole mess. Unfortunately, sometimes THAT doesn't work or XP struggles so much with it, that it appears not to work. I haven't had that problem for quite some time, so I "think" I remember having to go to the C:WINDOWSsystem32spoolPRINTERS directory to clear the print cache by brute force. I don't have anything in my print queue now, so I think this is the correct directory.

    By the way, it also happens that not all programs behave as Notepad does either. If I open up my word processor (Open Office) or my text editor (NoteTab Lite) I do not get an Add a Printer selection anywhere in the process.

    In conclusion, may I gently suggest you try thinking about the use of a remote control program if you're going to be helping her again in the future. I currently use the free TightVNC: VNC-Based Free Remote Control Solution and it's quite easy to setup. I use it to help my son and I DO NOT have him run the server program except when I'm going to help him. When we're done, I have him shut it down. She shouldn't have any trouble installing the software and setup of the "server" should require her to enter only a PASSWORD chosen by YOU (for your "memory's" sake).
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    Re: Print Queue Purging (WinXP-HE)

    Another way to cancel a print job in progress is to look for the printer icon in the System Tray (lower right corner) while the print job is in progress, right click on the icon and select Properties. In the resulting window click File>Cancel All Documents. Same result, different way to do it. HTH <img src=/S/smile.gif border=0 alt=smile width=15 height=15>
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  4. #4
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    Re: Print Queue Purging (WinXP-HE)

    Thank you for the information, bigaldoc and Doc Watson! It's always good to know more than one way to skin a cat. My CP presents information differently than the screenshots you attached, bigaldoc, on WinXP-Pro SP-2. I wasn't aware that there was a difference in the way printer info is presented.

    Thanks again!

  5. #5
    Plutonium Lounger Leif's Avatar
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    Re: Print Queue Purging (WinXP-HE)

    The 'different way' may be down to using the "Classic" Start menu.
    Note also that if you customise your Start menu to expand Printers, you get a view as below, including the Add Printer icon. Double clicking on the highlighted Printers and Faxes menu item will open up a full Explorer view, and within the expanded list of printers you can right-click each to Open, set Preferences etc.
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  6. #6
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    Re: Print Queue Purging (WinXP-HE)

    Add a check mark to the Printers and Faxes, in the Customize Start Menu, and the printers link will be added to the menu.
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    Now running HP Pavilion a6528p, with Win7 64 Bit OS.

  7. #7
    Plutonium Lounger Leif's Avatar
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    Re: Print Queue Purging (WinXP-HE)

    Umm, sorry - I don't understand what you are telling me...

  8. #8
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    Re: Print Queue Purging (WinXP-HE)

    That must be the difference, Leif. I've used XP long enough now that I'd forgotten many of the settings that allowed customizations. I'll have sis try setting the Start Menu option to remove the classic presentation next time I speak with her.

    I KNEW there'd be someone here who could explain this to me!

  9. #9
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    Re: Print Queue Purging (WinXP-HE)

    Your image is showing the "Classic" look and I am adding the entry to the start menu using the "Bubblegum" mode!

    Now running HP Pavilion a6528p, with Win7 64 Bit OS.

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