20 Replies Latest reply on May 16, 2014 5:04 PM by John Siegel

    Jobs do not print

    Scott Perkins Wayfarer

      Greetings,

       

      We are running Pharos Uniprint 8.3.  We have over 70 printers with 3 print servers, an app server and a database server.  All servers are VM's.  Printer brands are mostly Xerox 5550's, 7400 and 7500's.  We also have Kodak 9110's, Dell 5110's and a Xerox 7760.

       

      Ever since the method of printing to a device was changed to LPR from port 9100 we have jobs that don't print.  They show up as printed and they charge the customer like it was printed but the file does not print.  This isn't just a job or two, it's a regular thing where at any given time there is usually at least one or two jobs that haven't printed.  The only way we as administrators know that a job didn't print is by looking in the printed jobs (prior to aging off in 90 minutes) and the status says "PageCounted, Held".  A job that actually printed says "PageCounted, Released, Recorded, Held".  If the job is aged off, we have to look at printer logs to see if it printed which in come cases get erased if the machine is rebooted.

       

      Support has fingered the device but we have multiple device brands and it has happened on all.  We are thinking it has to do with network or performance issues with our VM's or NAS storage. 

       

      Has anyone else experienced this issue?  If so, did you determine a cause?  Anyone have any suggestions?

       

      Thanks,

       

      Scott

      Georgia Tech

        • Re: Jobs do not print
          Steven English Guide

          Scott,

           

          The instability in the LPD servers/services on various devices is something that we worked with Pharos on and resulted in multiple hotfixes being released.  Unfortunately, the hotfixes were only released in 8.4, but they include attempts to reprint the job as well as reinstating the ability to choose between RAW 9100 printing and LPD 515 printing.  Please note that you will also need the Administrator hotfix in order to configure the RAW 9100 ability.  After you upgrade to 8.4 and apply the hotfixes, you can multi-select your devices and change the printing protocol.  After the to change control, you should be all set.  We have seen positive results from switching back to RAW especially with specific devices that apparently had a less than stable implementation of LPD support as compared to RAW 9100.  Take a look at the links below for more details.

           

          All 8.4 Hotfixes

          ReadMe (Secure Release/Print Server Hotfix Rev. 94)

           

          Regards,

          Steven

            • Re: Jobs do not print
              John Siegel Guide

              Hi Scott

              We have 5550's at the University of Colorado and have had similar issues. We use LPR exclusively and actually disable port 9100. The most frequent issue was printing via a web interface. If the user printed directly from the web, the job showed up in the queue but failed to print when released. If the user downloaded the job to the desktop, then printed it, it worked as expected. Our problem is usually PDF related. There is no standardization at all. We have PDF's created using Acrobat 2 that are still in wide use (old syllabi used by faculty is the most common) and cause all kinds of problems. Workarounds included converting to word, print to image, and converting the PDF to the current version of Acrobat . Have you investigated whether or not it's a certain format that causes the problem?

               

              What makes support think it is the device (other than they always think it's the device, unless they own the device, then it's the software  )? I would suggest that if the printer usually works as expected, it's most likely the document/environment. Any luck capturing a job to test that consistently reproduces the error state?

               

              Regards,

               

                            John

               

              FYI - We also run Pharos 8.3, have 4 print servers, 2 mobileprint servers, 1 Pharos Admin server. None are VM. We have 105 devices. They are a mix of Xerox Phaser 3610's, 5550's, 8570's, 7500's, and Xerox Workcentre 5135's, 5335's, 7535's, and 7835's.

                • Re: Re: Jobs do not print
                  Steven English Guide

                  John,

                   

                  I had multiple customers that experienced the problem.  The devices ranged across at least 4 or 5 manufacturers if I recall correctly (Xerox being one of them), some sites were using PostScript drivers and others PCL, and the document types failing were not limited to PDF.  It has been about six months since we turned the results over to Pharos, and they started rolling out code for the 8.4 hotfixes, so I apologize that I do not remember with a higher degree of specificity.  The wide range of source programs, drivers, and devices, combined with the RAW 9100 printing protocol being restored resulting in multiple sites confirming that the number of failed print jobs dropped tremendously, cause to me to concur at this time with Pharos' official explanation (they were looking at more sites than just the handful I was specifically working with on the problem).

                   

                  Regards,

                  Steven

                    • Re: Jobs do not print
                      Paul LaFollette Guide

                      Wow, this is all sounding oddly familiar.

                       

                      We just finished upgrading to Uniprint 8.4 (with full updates) just 3 days ago.   Today I got a report certain printers would not print and I found the issue usually happened with stuff printed directly off the web, but could happen with anything... and it is somewhat intermittent.  Ten prints of the same thing, and three times nothing printed, but another batch of the same thing may have no issues at all.  Had to release separately (not immediately after each other) to get it to repeat the problem.  If a job failed, telling it to reprint would still fail, but if I kept choosing a different printers, it may print when sent to a different model of printer.  Didn't see any difference between RAW and LPD, but didn't test that much.

                       

                      The really odd part was how the job would be released and the printer would start to 'wind up' and then nothing prints.  The next job might print just fine.

                • Re: Jobs do not print
                  Nic Meadows Ranger

                  Hi Scott,

                  I believe that I'm also seeing the same issue with HP devices using Pharos 8.4 with all the latest hotfixes applied and printing to 9100/RAW. I started a separate discussion regarding this (Didn't see yours). What I've ascertained so far is that the by just changing the ports on the queue to print directly to the device (IP printing using 9100/RAW) it works, but switching the ports back through Pharos the same jobs fail to print on the device, although the jobs are correctly charged, recorded and processed and passed to the printer without issue according to the Pharos logs and nothing else has changed.

                   

                  I'm currently looking at comparing the same file printed directly and through Pharos and comparing the spool files and the raw data (WireShark) sent over the network. My suspicion is that either

                  • When the jobs is spooled from the Pharos port to file some essential control characters are being missed or not saved correctly
                  • When printing directly the driver is sending additional data packets to the printer before the spool file which are not captured when printing through Pharos

                  I’ve also got an open support call with Pharos.

                   

                  Nic

                  • Re: Jobs do not print
                    Gene Mayro Tracker

                    Hi Scott,

                     

                    We have seen this too with Uniprint 8.3 printing to a variety of HP LaserJet printers and Epson Inkjet 4880s. It happens from our print servers which are VMs, and are one physical server. It doesn't matter if the job was sent from a Mac client or Windows client. We haven't been able to replicate it using the same file. We usually preprint the job for the user if we are notified about it. We haven't opened a ticket with Pharos support yet.

                     

                    Gene     

                    • Re: Jobs do not print
                      Scott Olswold Guide

                      There are a couple of different issues being reported here, so I'll try to summarize them as best possible:

                       

                      1. A job prints, but not all pages come along for the ride (usually the last page is the one not printed).
                      2. Nothing prints at all.

                       

                      The first symptom is one that I am actively working on, as it is affecting both Uniprint 8.3 and 8.4. It is particularly troubling because packet captures at both the Pharos server side and printer side (by using the SPAN port available with many Cisco switches) show that the all of the job data is getting through. But the device is unable to print the last page or so. In my many years of supporting print (both with and without meddling middleware like our Pharos products; I use "meddling" in only the kindest way), behavior like this normally points to something in the job file that the printer chokes upon, failing the job. However, initial investigation in the printer's onboard job log shows the job, the number of printed pages (which jibes with the actual number of printed pages), and an OK flag (reminds me of the wonderful early days of prepress when a PostScript %EOF was stuck in an embedded PostScript-derived graphic). However, if I manipulate the local package-installed queue to print directly to the device (presumably attempting to eliminate the driver), the job prints in its entirety. So this one is a mystery, but one we at Pharos aim to crack.

                       

                      The second symptom is one of two (normally; there are perhaps edge cases, but the following accommodates all that we've seen in Support) causes:

                      • The device did not respond favorably to the SNMP state check in 8.3. There was an order of operations issue in how the Billing event was handled when the user said print (which fires Billing) and when the SNMP state check occurred (after Billing). So the user printed and was charged, but nothing came out. The Pharos Secure Release Here service replaced the job back into queue with the "PageCounted, Released, Recorded, Held" state. But then reprinting it in a normal workflow ended up charging again. The hotfixes that Steven mentioned for 8.4 resolve that behavior.
                      • The device couldn't print the job. If the "Data" or "Activity" or "<your device's label for it here>" light flashes, the device spins up (or not), and then ... nothing - you are a victim of a mangled print job. There have been a couple of problems with HP firmware that has caused this from web pages, and it is potentially related (my mind is fuzzy on this) to a character or pattern of characters in the URL of the web page. It sparked a '49' error code on the device. This can happen with other elements, too. I once had an issue where a specific file would not print, and it bore down to an image file that was originally a GIF file (a frame of an animated GIF no less) that was "Paste Special" into PowerPoint as a device independent bitmap (a simple "Paste" resulted in an image that did not look like the user had hoped; the conversion trick in the Microsoft app resolved appearances but did nothing for the print). The only recommendation I have here is to attempt a copy/paste into a fresh document, recompose (I know, but I have to include it), or attempt a conversion to PDF (I like CutePDF and PrimoPDF).

                       

                      I really do have great empathy for all of you good people in the Education/Library space because your files come in from who knows where, created by who knows what software, and the print system is assumed to be able to tackle it all (I was once in your shoes). Particularly because when there is a problem, your patrons typically don't have a whole lot of time (or willingness, desire, or concern) to help you (or us) troubleshoot.

                       

                      Another Scott,

                      Pharos Systems Technical Support

                        • Re: Jobs do not print
                          John Siegel Guide

                          Thanks Scott,

                           

                                             We've also seen PDF's that won't print unless they are unblocked at the desktop (see attached). We resolved about 90 % of the calls by having users download the job to the desktop, unblock and then print. We added a GPO that disabled the blocking and that helped as well; however, anything printed directly from a website via the pdf plugin had about a 50/50 chance of completing. This also didn't solve the peoblem for individual users printing via popup frorm private gear, i.e. laptops, etc.

                           

                                             Another favorite is converting CAD documents to PDF's and then printing them from another lab. Usually fails. Ironically one of the main workarounds we use to fix non cooperative PDF's is to convert them to another format.

                           

                                            My personal favorite was a PDF created using Acrobat 2 that was locked down and required 11 X 22 inch paper.  I believe that job resulted in Acrobat Reader 11 freezing and smoke coming out of the printer..... or was it the customers ears, I forget which.... : )

                           

                          John

                            • Re: Jobs do not print
                              Timothy Grzeczka Pioneer

                              What do you mean you have to "unblock" the pdf?

                               

                              Sent from my BlackBerry Z30

                              From: John Siegel

                              Sent: Thursday, April 24, 2014 12:43 PM

                              To: Grzeczka, Timothy J

                              Reply To: jive-432158437-1jw-2-2ca@community.pharos.com

                              Subject: Re:  - Jobs do not print

                               

                               

                              Pharos Community <http://community.pharos.com/?et=watches.email.thread>

                               

                              Jobs do not print

                               

                              reply from John Siegel<http://community.pharos.com/people/john.siegel%40xerox.com?et=watches.email.thread> in Uniprint (Customers and Partners Only) - View the full discussion<http://community.pharos.com/message/3034?et=watches.email.thread#3034>

                                • Re: Jobs do not print
                                  Scott Olswold Guide

                                  Timothy,

                                   

                                  A wonderful feature of the Windows operating system, in conjunction with Internet Explorer, Firefox, and Chrome (I have not tried Opera or Safari browsers) is to "block" files that are downloaded (even as "temp" files) from the "Internet" zone to the local computer. So if I go to a URL: http://www.theinternet.com/dailynews/20140424/solswold/TheBuzz.pdf and the browser says "Do you want to open in Acrobat or Save?" and I choose either of the options, the file itself may be blocked. There is absolutely no way to determine this without going to the file, choosing its Properties, and checking out if there's an "Unblock" button on the General tab. It happens most religiously on ZIP, EXE, MSI, and some other file formats like SWF, JRE, and others, like PDF (I've had one end up that way). Like John said, there's a way to junk this behavior via GPO to the desktop (reboot/refresh required).

                                   

                                  -Scott

                                  • Re: Jobs do not print
                                    John Siegel Guide

                                    Hi Tim,

                                     

                                               Scott covered it.  Microsoft along with several other software manufacturers employ a "blocking" system that treats any untrusted items as potential threats. If it's blocked, you can look under properties where It then warns you that the object may be a risk. You can click on properties and "unblock" the item prior to printing, saving, etc. Pharos updates etc. include the "unblocking" process as part of the installation notes.

                                     

                                              FYI - This also only applies to NTFS formatting. A linux, unix, or fat32 (such as a thumb drive) partition does not read the "blocking" data. We were having problems printing PDF's that were blocked and being sent to print via a website. We also had the Adobe PDF plugin  identifying PDF's as being potential viruses. Unblocking the PDF's prior to printing and an update to the plugin solved most of the problems. Eventually we developed a GPO that "turned off" the blocking at the desktop, but users still had to download to the desktop prior to printing. Direct printing from a website still causes issues.

                                     

                                    Regards,

                                     

                                                John

                                • Re: Jobs do not print
                                  Paul LaFollette Guide

                                  Thank you, Scott.  That is very good information for us to be aware of.

                                   

                                  What I'm seeing sounds most like what you described in the last section of #2 (printer winds up but nothing prints ... And no error at the printer).  Running 8.4 with all patches/hot fixes.  Since I'm 87% HP brand devices, I will examine firmware possibilities even though the devices haven't reported any error codes.

                                   

                                  Where we've been seeing the problem the most has been with our VMWare VDI users, so this morning we've reset their sessions to use an updated printer config that sports the same driver the server has and identical driver config.  Will see if that helps us.

                                   

                                  Thanks,

                                  - Paul L.

                                  • Re: Jobs do not print
                                    Nic Meadows Ranger

                                    Thanks for the info Scott. Ours is very like your first symptom. In our scenario the device is failing to print a windows test page queued for printing on the Uniprint server. All the lights flash, nothing comes out and no errors shown on the printer or in Pharos when printing through Uniprint. Exact same queue with the ports changed to print directly to the device rather than Pharos and it works without issue. Struggling to see this being a firmware issue as the device prints the job correctly when sent through the windows spooler, not least because the devices we are testing (same firmware/nothing changed) were previously used in a v8.1 install with the same driver and worked without issue. Also we are using the same driver and configuration (other than the port changes) on the server to send the test pages.

                                     

                                    Nic

                                    • Re: Jobs do not print
                                      Paul LaFollette Guide

                                      A little update on what we're seeing at our site...

                                       

                                      The tendency of jobs to not print (released and costed ok, printer winds up then returns to idle without printing anything) has substantially reduced after we went through and changed a large number of systems to be using the same printer driver the Uniprint server is using and print processor set (at both client and server) to Winprint.  This was done on our VDI devices.  Changing the driver on the full desktops will take more time.  We're still seeing occasional print jobs "drop off" the last page, and jobs that don't print anything, but not so often.  May continue to decrease as we change the driver on more systems.

                                       

                                      This suggests matching the print driver (and perhaps the Winprint processor setting) plays a big part in this.

                                       

                                      Cheers!

                                      - Paul L.

                                    • Re: Jobs do not print
                                      Warren Griffiths Wayfarer

                                      This might help as well - it's something I posted in  Jobs fail to release

                                       

                                       

                                      We had a vaguely similar issue on our Fuji Xerox printers. A customer would go to release a print job (usually something fairly large) and nothing would print out. We found that the cause of this issue lay in the memory settings of the actual physical printer. They had changed to "Spool to memory" when they should have been "Spool to hard disk". Fuji Xerox tell us that a power spike to the printer can result in these settings reverting back to "Spool to memory". I'm not 100% sure this would apply in your case but it might be worth investigating.