[Samba] pdfs cause laserjet 4000s to hang - any workaround?

Steve Kersley steve.kersley at keb.ox.ac.uk
Fri Oct 31 15:03:10 GMT 2003

Before I start, I know this isn't a Samba-related issue but it seems to be a
widespread enough problem that someone else may have figured out a
Samba-oriented workaround, or any other solution for that matter.

There seems to be a problem with certain models of HP Laserjet (including,
but not limited, to the 4000 series and other models from the same era - it
is apparently fixed in the 4100).  Certain PDF files, when printed, cause
the printer to crash - although outwardly it appears to be processing the
job (data light flashing and so on), nothing ever happens until you reset
the printer and delete the job.  Resending it will cause it to crash again.

I've asked around and it's not just us who suffer - I know of several other
people with exactly the same problem, and all use different systems - we use
Samba, another uses Windows Server and yet another just uses peer-to-peer
with no server at all.  The best help I've found on HP's support site is an
article saying it happens on Apple Macs and is related to a certain font.
No mention of it happening on Windows, but it does and is clearly a cross
platform problem.  The workarounds suggested are to either edit the PDF file
and remove the offending font, or to print as an image.  The latter works,
but is incredibly slow (a couple of minutes per page) for even the simplest
of documents.

The printer I have most problems with is in a student computer room, and at
times I have to go back and forth to power cycle the printer several times
an hour.  I also can't rely on the students following fairly complicated
instructions to get round it - experience shows they just click print half a
dozen times before giving up, leaving the print queue clogged up with
corrupt jobs.

So, does anyone have any suggested workarounds?  Has anyone else actually
seen this problem?
I'm using Samba under Gentoo Linux on the server, LPRNG as my printing
system and Windows 2000 on the workstations.

Thanks in advance.


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