USB Printers may print garbage characters after hibernation.

Windows Vista EnterpriseWindows 7 EnterpriseWindows 8 Enterprise

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Symptoms


You are using USB Printing device with high speed PC such as slate PC using SSD storage.
You are printing a document on this PC.

You initiated hibernation. Or hibernation is initiated due to low battery or other reasons.
PC is turned off and printing device cancels ongoing print, ejects printing paper and the printer goes back to idle state to wait next print data.

After that, you plug in the USB printer.
When you get back from hibernation, USB printer may start printing garbage characters.

Cause


This is caused by I/O timing.
From Windows Vista, the user-initiated Hibernation or battery-low hibernation can not be controlled by application or drivers.
If the PC starts to hibernation during Print Spooler is sending data to USB printer, Windows printing system may not aware it is going to hibernation.

As a result, when the PC gets back from hibernation, USB printing system resumes print job as if it was not in hibernation.
But printing device already discarded the job, so printing device prints data from PC as plain text.
This text is partial data of original document. So the output become unreadable garbage characters.

This is due to high speed hibernation.
Windows on such high speed devices hibernate too fast to detect the USB print device channel down for Windows printing system.

If there is enough time from hibernation to actual power down, this problem may not occur. 

Workaround


This behavior is expected. To stop printing garbage characters, please do:

1. On printer device, cancel or stop current print job.
2. On Windows, open print job window and cancel the print job.

After these actions, open the document wiith your application and restart the printing.