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Old 11-08-2005, 06:43 PM   #1
yukichigai
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Default *SOLVED* Driverless Network Printing (Virtual Printer/Translator)

Here at work there's an old MultiFunction printer hooked up to a machine running 98. (Gasp, the horror) This is due to the fact that there are no drivers made for the printer that work on anything after Win98. None at all. Now the printer works just fine aside from this minor problem, but due to the driver issue it's impossible to print to it over the network from any machine running, oh, say, an actual operating system. I've seen a few instances elsewhere -- particularly for Windows/Linux blended networks -- where some client computers print to a generic virtual printer on the host computer, which then prints locally to the printer. Only problem is that I have no clue what is required to do this, where to get the software, etc. Does anybody have any idea what I'm talking about, and maybe some handy links?

EDIT: To reiterate, there are no compatible drivers available for the printer for any operating system past Windows 98, period. This includes the ol' "use Deskjet 550 drivers" trick and variants. The printer uses a specific, proprietary print format. I just need something that establishes a virtual printer on the local computer.

* * SOLUTION * *

You'll need a few things to do this:

GhostScript (the most recent GPL version)
RedMon
Adobe PostScript Drivers

If you want, you can use the drivers for a known PostScript-enabled printer instead of the Adobe drivers, ideally one that closely matches your printer. (e.g. your printer is an inkjet, so you use a PostScript-enabled inkjet's drivers) Unfortunately I don't know of many PostScript-enabled printers out there, so you're just as well off using the Adobe drivers.

Anyway, the process:

1) Install GhostScript on the machine with the piece o' crap printer on it. We'll assume you wind up with ghostscript in cgs\8.50\ for the rest of the instructions.

2) Install RedMon on the machine with the aforementioned printer o' poopyness. While it's installing, try to figure out what the hell "PC Load Letter" means. Once it's done, make sure to open the readme file and leave it open; you'll need it later.

3) Right-click any printer you have currently installed and select Properties. Go to the Details tab and click "Add Port". Select "Local Port", then "Redirected Port". Hit okay a few times, then make sure to reset the printer port back to the original setting. Chances are good it's been set to the redirected port on accident.

4) Run the Adobe PostScript Driver program. When it prompts you, indicate that your printer is connected locally. On the next screen, select the newly-created redirect port (should be "RPT1:") as the port your printer is connected to. Don't set it as the default printer. Finally, when it asks you if you want to set printer options now, do so.

5) In the printer options there are a few things you need to do, all of which are covered in the RedMon help file. (Follow the link in the Installation instructions) There are only a few changes I recommend:

a) In the Port Settings page, remove "-sOutputFile="%1"" from the command line options.

b) Insert/replace the following lines in the .rsp file you've created per RedMon's instructions:
-sDevice=mswinpr2
-sOutputFile="%printer%My Printer Name With Spaces"
-dNoCancel

"My Printer Name With Spaces" should be replaced by the name of the crappy printer as it appears in the windows printers screen. The easiest way to get this is to right click the printer, select "rename" and then hit Ctrl+C, then paste into the .rsp file.

c) Under the PostScript tab select "Encapsulated PostScript" for the PostScript output format.

d) Make sure to share the printer!

6) Finally, install the Adobe PostScript Drivers on any client computers that want to print to the crappy printer o' doom. Select Network Printer, then find the Generic PostScript Printer on the machine in question. If you get a bunch of errors at the end of the install process and wind up with no new printer don't be alarmed; simply use the Windows Add Printer Wizard to add the Generic PostScript Printer. The drivers will be loaded automatically. Once you have a printer go to the printer properties, select Print Prefferences, Advanced, then under the PostScript Options tree set PostScript Output Option to Encapsulated PostScript. This ensures you can print in color.

And with that you should be done! Enjoy several more productive years out of your obsolete, piece o' crap printer!
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Old 11-09-2005, 04:35 PM   #2
nweaver
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Default Driverless Network Printing?

find a compatible driver, hp deskjet 550 is a good driver for HP's
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Old 11-10-2005, 04:46 PM   #3
yukichigai
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Default Driverless Network Printing?

Quote:
Originally posted by: nweaver
find a compatible driver, hp deskjet 550 is a good driver for HP's
There are no compatible drivers, period. It needs to be driverless.
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Old 11-11-2005, 02:36 PM   #4
Smilin
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Default Driverless Network Printing?

Uh. There is no such thing as "driverless" you must have a driver to print.

What he is saying is use the WRONG driver on purpose. Something generic like a text only printer, a deskjet 500, or a laserjet II. All clients should have these drivers built in. It should work for basic printing but obviously the multifunction components won't work unless the driver is correct.
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Old 11-11-2005, 02:37 PM   #5
Smilin
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Default Driverless Network Printing?

If all else fails I guarantee a text only printer driver will work. Guarantee.
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Old 11-22-2005, 06:32 PM   #6
yukichigai
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Default Driverless Network Printing?

Quote:
Originally posted by: Smilin
Uh. There is no such thing as "driverless" you must have a driver to print.

What he is saying is use the WRONG driver on purpose. Something generic like a text only printer, a deskjet 500, or a laserjet II. All clients should have these drivers built in. It should work for basic printing but obviously the multifunction components won't work unless the driver is correct.
I understand the concept, but it doesn't change anything: there are no compatible drivers available for the printer for any OS past 98, period. It's a Brother MFC-7050C, for the record. No other Brother drivers work, nor do any of the HP deskjet drivers I've tried.

And yes, the term "driverless" is a little misleading. What I'm basically looking for is a program that creates a virtual printer on the 98 machine, something infinitely compatible like the Deskjet 550. Other machines will print to that virtual printer, which turn around, take what it received and print it to the local printer. A translator, if you will. I know such things exist, I'm just not sure where to find 'em.
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Old 12-02-2005, 04:49 PM   #7
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Default Driverless Network Printing? (Virtual Printer/Translator)

*bump*
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Old 12-02-2005, 07:32 PM   #8
JackMDS
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Default Driverless Network Printing? (Virtual Printer/Translator)

I do not know what is in this particular printer that makes your business so attached to.

Brothers makes similar units that are Network capable (with as well XP) for less than $200.

:sun:
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Old 12-04-2005, 02:37 AM   #9
yukichigai
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Default Driverless Network Printing? (Virtual Printer/Translator)

Quote:
Originally posted by: JackMDS
I do not know what is in this particular printer that makes your business so attached to.

Brothers makes similar units that are Network capable (with as well XP) for less than $200.

:sun:
I don't either, but I don't get to ask those questions. If only it were as simple as upgrading the equipment.
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Old 12-04-2005, 01:04 PM   #10
cmetz
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Default Driverless Network Printing? (Virtual Printer/Translator)

http://www.linuxprinting.org/show_drive...r=epsonc&fromprinter=Brother-MFC_7150C

Try Linux and the CUPS/ghostscript epsonc driver. It supports the 7150C, maybe it'll work on the 7050C as well.

If that doesn't work, try Ghostscript back on your win98 box with the mswinpr2 (i.e., use the existing GDI driver) option.

If THAT doesn't work, I would suggest an open field and the song "Damn it Feels Good to be a Gangster"
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Old 01-27-2006, 05:24 PM   #11
yukichigai
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Default Driverless Network Printing? (Virtual Printer/Translator)

Well, I finally started playing around with GhostScript and got the damn thing working. GhostScript + RedMon + Adobe Generic PostScript Drivers. Beautiful. I'll update the first thread.
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