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Windows Server 2008 Thread, Papercut Issue since Update in Technical; ...
  1. #1
    alan-d's Avatar
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    Papercut Issue since Update

    It seems that we have come across a little problem with Papercut NG which seems to have started after installing MS update (KB2117917). I've been in touch with support who it has to be said are very helpful, the first and latest emails are quoted below.

    If you think you have the same problem could you please let Support at Papercut know, it seems we are the first to report this issue.


    Initial email describing the problem

    We have an issue that may have been caused by a Microsoft Server 2008 Update (KB2117917)
    When we have the Watermarking feature turned on a user gets 2 copies of the document they print.

    The first copy usually prints the 1st page only and usually does not print all of a table or graphics that may be on the page. This copy does not show the watermark.
    The second copy prints in full and shows the watermark as it should.
    This happens when printing from MS Word, Excel or Internet explorer. It does not happen if printing a text file from MS Notepad. A print to file is attached just in case it may be of use.

    Papercut only shows a single print but the server shows 2 prints.
    This problem occurs with and without the client installed on PCs

    Printer = HP Laserjet 4250
    Driver = PCL5e
    Server = Windows Server 2008 Standard with SP2 (fully patched)
    Papercut version - Version: 11.0 (Build 12804)

    This printer was working, with the watermark feature turned on correctly until the server updated were applied on 15 Feb. The other updates installed at the time are;
    KB2117917 – Possible culprit!

    There were reports that this problem has also happened on a HP 2600N but I do not have the details. As a temporary measure I have turned watermarking off on all printers until this is resolved.

    After a few more emails and passage of information, this is the latest reply.

    testprint-2pages.prn printed correctly after watermarking on all our PCL5 printers here including our HP printer.

    After watermarking was applied testprint-22pages.prn printed with watermarks on pages 1-16 and without watermarks on pages 17-22.

    The reason for this is that the PCL in this file changes page orientation with a
    PCL Page Control command on page 17. You can see the change in orientation in the printed document content.

    PaperCut uses PCL overlay macros to perform watermarking on PCL5 documents and PCL Page Control commands in the middle of print files disable overlay macros. This is unusual.

    It appears that the Windows upgrades have caused MS-Office printing to change the way it handles changes in page orientation in the middle of a document for the PCL driver. It is now using a PCL Page Control command to change orientation which is causing the problem you are seeing.

    This surprised me because we had tested watermarking on mixed-orientaion MS-Office documents. Therefore I tested this again today. On the Windows systems in our offices, MS-Office handles changes in document page orientation printed through HP PCL5 printer drivers without using PCL Page Control commands so watermarks print on all pages of our MS-Office mixed orientation documents.

    Dealing with PCL Page Control commands in the middle of print files has been on our R&D todo list for a while because we knew it was theoretically possible. This support case is the first time we have seen it in the field so we will boost its priority. However one support case by itself will not be sufficient to bring the considerable R&D effort required for this far enough forward for this change to be made in any currently scheduled PaperCut releases.

    One thing that is keeping the priority low for now is that this problem seems to be limited mixed orientation documents for PCL5 only for some version of Windows only for watermarking only. We are also wondering if this change to Windows will break other applications that use PCL5 overlay macros which will lead to negative feedback to Microsoft which in turn will lead to Microsoft to revert to the behaviour we see on our Windows PCL5 printing here and that you saw on your Windows systems before the upgrades.

    Therefore I would like to suggest a workaround. PaperCut watermarking works for PostScript, PCL5 and PCL6. PaperCut only uses macros for PCL5 watermarking. Are you able to use PCL6 or PostScript drivers for your printing?

    None of our PCL5 printers printed incomplete documents for the print files you sent. I am wondering if this some special handling that the
    4260 does for print files with overlay macros and PCL Page Control in the middle of files.

    The log files you sent had messages like "Could not open e:\PrinterSpool\00024.SPL 2:No such file or directory" for user ###### This means that PaperCut could not read the files in the Windows spool directory which is indicates a problem with setup which prevented PaperCut from watermarking these files. Do you need me to investigate this?

    The log entries for user #####'s print jobs show PaperCut indicating that it watermarked them correctly. This leads me to think that problem is due the PCL5 overlay macro inserted by PaperCut watermarking combined with a PCL Page Control command in the middle of the print file causing problems for your printer.

    Does this explain what you seeing?

    Hopefully that will help someone until the issue can be resolved fully.

  2. #2
    alan-d's Avatar
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    I have the ticket on hold for the moment. Are we still the only ones that have come across this?

    Latest comment from Papercut for info

    The new Windows Server 2008 behavior for mixed orientation Office documents for PCL5 printing was an interesting find that we were not expecting. From what you are saying it sounds like the orientation behavior may not have been the only thing that changed in the latest upgrade to Windows Server 2008 PCL5 printing.

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