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Multiple Printer Network Woes

By bob ·
Environment:

Corporate print room with 22 networked printers. It is a mixture of HP 8000 series and 8100 series printers running nonstop, 24/7.

The jobs are one million plus pieces, broken into increments of 4000 with checkpoints.

The .dat file for each job is located on the server, for retrieval by each printer.

The Data file is located on a seperate machine with a drive shared to the network.

The printing portion of the network is split by three hubs, each supporting approximately 1/3 of the printers.

Problem:

During printing, machines (at random) stop with a 79E error, causing the correction of start point and restart of that machine. The printer will begin printing at the start of the spool job and reprint records which have already printed causing unwanted duplicates and spoilage.

This problem was discussed with the HP technician. Technician stated that it was a network issue, that the machine was losing data long enough for that particular machine to halt it process.

Question:

What can we do to prevent this loss of data, and what failsafes can be implemented to monitor and/or correct such errors as they occur?

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by Black Panther In reply to Multiple Printer Network ...

Does every printer at random stop at some-time or only some of the printers?

Do they stop only on large jobs or on small jobs?

Do they all have the same memory or different memory?

Do they stop printing when printing from another server other than the one where the .dat file is located?

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by bob In reply to

Any printer may stop at any time.

Only jobs of 250,000 or more are directed to these printers.

The memory varies, but all have more than 64 megs.

The machine that the .dat file is on varies. It is subject to which client and which data processor processed the file. All .dat locations create the same error situation.

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by CG IT In reply to Multiple Printer Network ...

I assume that the print devices in question are dedicated to this job alone and that no one else can sent print jobs to them.

why hubs? if they are network printers with an ip address and you round robin the print devices, go with a switched segment for them. hubs basically "broadcast" on all ports hoping to find the right host, in this case print devices. that brodcast might be causing the time delay. HUGE jobs can substantially slow down the network. you might want to create a print server/file server stricly for this job. the waste factor in paper prolly costs more than a new box.
failsafes to monitor print errors: you'ld have to talk to HP about what tools they got for their network printers. event log writes to application on the DC might show up provided this is an Active Directory environment.

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by bob In reply to

This answer made for an interesting chain of events.
All hubs were changed to switches.
This didn't solve the problem, but brought more questions about.
All the switches are on a single ethernet feed from the server.
Meaning; A single connection to the server is split by the first switch to its assigned printers, and the next switch. This switch enables its assigned printers as well as the last switch in the series.
Question:
If each switch had a dedicated ethernet connection from the server, would this assist in stopping the loss of data?
According to the HP Tech, it is the momentary loss of data that creates the printer errors and stops the printer.
The number of records spooled are what causes the reprint records, thus causing unwanted duplicates and spoilage.

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by pgm554 In reply to Multiple Printer Network ...

Which OS? If you are doing Windoze ,you may need to dedicate a box as a standalone printserver.
Remember, your printing is only as good as the OS. (Novell is the hands down the fastest and most stable) Windows and Unix are so-so at best.

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by bob In reply to

The server is server 2003 and the stations where the data files are created are XP Pro. There are a row of roll to roll laser printers each with a stand-alone machine running Win2KPro.
An attempt was made to use a dedicated machine as a print server, but the data was being mis-sent. It would miss or add data in a random manner. It ran on Win 2KPro. The print server was abandoned for the present method.
I am not apposed to a complete make-over of the printing scheme. At this point, I am more interested in finding that certain combination that works.

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by bob In reply to Multiple Printer Network ...

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