Isolating General Printing Problems

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This article describes some common printing problems that you may experience when using Windows NT. These printing problems may appear in a variety of forms; for example, print jobs may show up in Print Manager but never make it to the printer, copying files to a printer with the command COPY <FILENAME.EXT> LPT1 may result in the message "File not found."

This describes possible causes of these problems, and provides some troubleshooting methods.


Common Problems and Causes

The following are some common causes of printer problems:

  • Incorrect settings. Make sure the printer is set up correctly in the Print Manager. Check that the correct properties, printer port, and so on, have been specified. You can also try deleting and reinstalling the printer driver.
  • Bad hardware. This is always a possibility, particularly if printing does not work correctly under MS-DOS either. Try plugging in another parallel or serial port.

Isolating a Problem

The following are recommendations for trying to isolate a printing problem:

  • If you have access to another printer, see if you can print to it.
  • Remove all extraneous hardware, video cards, and so on to see if there might be a hardware conflict.
  • Try printing from another application or from the command line (for example, try COPY <FILENAME.EXT> LPT1).
  • If you cannot print to a network printer, copy your print job and application to the print server and attempt to print from the print server. This may help determine whether the problem is with the network or the server.


Article ID: 93503 - Last Review: October 14, 2013 - Revision: 2.2
  • Microsoft Windows 2000 Server
  • Microsoft Windows 2000 Advanced Server
  • Microsoft Windows 2000 Professional Edition
  • Microsoft Windows NT Advanced Server 3.1
  • Microsoft Windows NT Workstation 3.1
  • Microsoft Windows NT Server 4.0 Standard Edition
  • Microsoft Windows NT Workstation 4.0 Developer Edition
kbnosurvey kbarchive kbprint KB93503

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