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64 Bit Printer Driver works as a local printer but not as a network printer

Lou Kallas
Registered: Nov 18 2011
Posts: 2

I am accessing a document via the web. The details are
PDF Producer: itextSharp 4.1.2 (based on iText 2.1.2u)
PDF Version: 1.4 (Acrobat 5.x)
This is the format I have to work with – I have no chance to get it produced in a more current version.
When I print the PDF to a 64 bit network printer (a Xerox 5638 PCL6) the right hand side and bottom of the page run off the page and are truncated. This is our office copier/printer/scanner.
If I reinstall that printer as a local printer (printing via a TCP/IP port) the PDF prints fine.
When I look at the preview of the image it seems fine so I’m assuming the printer setup is fine and the problem is occurring later in the process.
The issue does not happen with the 32 bit version of that printer. I do have the latest printer drivers installed.
We run a Windows 2003 network with primarily 32 bit Win XP workstations. The first new workstation we added as a Windows 7 Machine surfaced this issue.
While we do have a workaround I’d like to get to the bottom of the issue as I anticipate adding more 64 bit workstations.

My Product Information:
Reader 10.0, Windows
Dov Isaacs
Registered: Nov 21 2005
Posts: 50
Accepted Answer
For printing, Adobe Reader does not know about and does not differentiate between a “local printer” (i.e., either directly connected to the Windows system or directly accessed via a TCP/IP or LPR port) and a “network printer” (i.e., queued to a server which then sends the print job to a printer either directly connected to the server or accessed via a TCP/IP or LPR port).

For non-PostScript printers, Adobe Reader (and Acrobat) simply sends GDI commands to the driver. For a “local printer,” the driver converts GDI to PCL6 (in this case) and then transmits the PCL6 to the printer. For a “network printer,” the driver transmits the GDI to the matching driver on the server which does the conversion of GDI to PCL6 and then transmits the PCL6 to the printer.

I suspect that the Windows 2003 Server-based driver for this printer is “out of sync” with the 64-bit Windows 7 version of the driver in terms of how GDI is being interpreted and/or how information about the printer is being communicated back from the server to the Windows 7 system.

Here are steps you might want to try to deal with the problem:

[1] Go to Xerox's support webpage for the Xerox WorkCentre 5638 and see if there are newer PCL6 drivers than what you are using either for your version of Windows 2003 server and/or Windows 7 (64-bit).

[2] If that doesn't resolve the problem, try using the PCL5e drivers instead of PCL6. PCL6 was somewhat of an abortion from HP that never was particularly well implemented either on printers (including HP's and especially the clone version on Xerox) or in drivers. PCL5e is much more of a reliable standard.

[3] Normally I would have recommended that instead of PCL6, you use PostScript. However, the old WorkCentre printers have CloneScript instead of Adobe PostScript 3 which in general is not particularly reliable. (The new lines of these printers are getting Adobe PostScript!) If neither of (1) or (2) above solve your problem, you might try downloading and using “PostScript 3 Emulation” drivers and see if that resolves the problem.

Generally, Windows Server 2003 is not an optimal print server for use with Windows 7 (either 32-bit and 64-bit). Generally speaking, if you are contemplating moving your desktop fleet of systems to Windows 7, you should migrate your servers to Windows Server 2008 R2.

Also, my personal experience with printing under Windows leads me to recommend direct network printing from desktop computers via TCP/IP rather than printing via a centralized server due to driver mismatches and other nasty problems which don't occur with direct network printing.

Good luck and let us know which if any of the above solutions fixes your problem.

- Dov

Dov Isaacs is a Principal Scientist at Adobe Systems Incorporated specializing in PDF publishing workflow, PDF print standards, prepress, and printing. He is also chair of the ISO TC130 WG2/TF2 group responsible for PDF/X standards.

Lou Kallas
Registered: Nov 18 2011
Posts: 2
I have been following Dov's advice and using the machine as direct network printer - all worked fine.

I was recently told an additional way to address this problem. On the properties for the 64 bit print driver, the advanced tab, the print processor section - change that from the default of XeroxV5Print to WinPrint.
Changing that setting also resolved the problem.