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alsina

What plotter realy works with VW10.5

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Since VW8.5 version we have been having plotting problems. Text blocks sometime plot out solid black or sometimes black background with white text. This happens sometime, but can't figure out what causes it. We bought a new computer with XP Pro, We have VW 10.5, and a brand new HP Designjet 500 with the latest driver. Still the same problem happens sometime. I've tried all of the different settings in the plotter prefs. The plotter is connected to the new computer with two other computers connecter to the new computer. A file in the new computer will plot black text, but same file in another computer plots ok, sometime. Can't VW work with HP to develope a drive like auto cad has? I feel going back to Win 98se & VW8.5 is my only solution. Any advise would be helpful.

I NEVER had these problems when I drew by hand.

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There's an updated driver for this problem Alsina.

It's been out for about 2 weeks under WinNT.

It should be available under Win 2k and XP now, but if not, you can download and install the WinNT driver. It will work the same wtih XP.

Latest HP drivers 4.6.5 (hp1050) and 5.3.5 (hp500, 800). They can be downlaoded from:

http://www.designjet.hp.com/support.html

[ 04-01-2004, 10:30 AM: Message edited by: Katie ]

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We are using the latest driver down loaded from HP web site, its V5.35, but it is HP copyright dated 1995. I am going to chech for a newer version.

Thanks very much for the advise.

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I've downloaded the latest designjet 500 24" driver dated Mar 5, 2004 rev. 5.35, size 1.8 mb, installed it & have the same problems if not more at this time. The only thing in any computer that I can do that sometimes corrects the problem it to check the print patterns at sreen size button before printing, but this does not work on all machines. I looked at downloading th NT driver version. The NT 4.0 driver has a older date than the XP version & is a little smaller file size. I did not download it yet. As for Ray Libby's suggestion, the XP version 500 driver prefs does not give me an option to select "in the computer".

So I'm still at square one. The weird this is I can plot all day with no problem, but just before a meeting or if a client is waiting on a drawing to plot, thats when it will print text & dimensions black to no end. I'm starting to believe the electricity is possesed.

Thanks again for the help.

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When you installed the new driver, in the printer set up wizard, did you select have disk and point it to the downloaded driver version?

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Yes, of course we selected the have disk. Also this weekend was very bad, at lease 70% of the plots came out black text blocks & dimensions the same. We even had two drawing come out half good & half black, go figure. We have tried every option & computer.

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When you get the problem, do you restart the computer.

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Yes Katie, we do that. Thanks for asking the questions, its like a second ckeck list for me. Just to let you know our story. Our office has been using VW since MiniCad 4, I started on the first PC version #7, wich locked up my system 10 to 20 times a day. I got to where I saved after every thing I did. Cause of this, I now save often with out thinking. Things got better with version #8, even with #8.5. After this is when more problems started. We had to get faster computers to work efficiently. Things got better with version 10, but with in this time frame we noticed the plotting problems to our HP designjet 330 & Win 98se. After a lot of research & asking questions I felt if we use a new computer with Win XP Pro, a new plotter with latest drive, & latest version of VW, we sould not have these problems. Well I was wrong. Its worst with this new set up. Thankfully we still have the old plotter connected to an older computer with Win 98se as a back up print station. Which still plots black sometimes, but was less that the new plotter. My boss is having me see what we need to do to return the new plotter, cause the only thing we gained was a auto paper cutter. I told him the only set up that I know works is Win98se, VW8.5, & the old plotter. Which we may be switching back to. We have wasted to much time & money on this. Its really sad, I use to brag about VW to auto cad users, but not anymore, it would really suck to have to learn autocad. With all this I have become the office tech support. The first thing I do when I get a black plot is to switch the patterns to on screen scale off or on which ever it was not on. This helps sometimes, sometimes not, if this does not work, I shut down all computers & plotters, let set, & restart, this helps sometimes & sometimes not. If this doesn't work I've reinstalled the driver I downloaded. I always download the latest driver available, I don't use what comes with the plotter, its usually older. If all this does not work, I put the file on a zip disk & go up stairs to the old backup system, it usually works. We are all very frustrated here, really wish somebody could do something. Thanks for any other suggestion or questions to make sure I've tried everything.

Is there a plotter that works all the time with VW10.5? That is the main question, I would buy it today!

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Follow up note, yesterday I had about 98% good plots out of my computer that is connected to the plotter computer with network cable. Others in the office where not so lucky. As of today, my boss had three straight black plots in a row & gave up. I, must have the lucky touch, so far all of mine today have been good, go figure. It seams the computer, the newest, connected directly to the plotter by parallel cable has the worst luck, we even tried disconnecting the network cable, but no difference.

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Open Printers and Faxes control panel. Right click on your printer and choose properties. Click the advanced tab, try some of the spooling options or print directly to the printer option.

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If the printer has spool smart, turn it off. (In reference to Ray's above post)

That may help fix the problem also.

Here's a link to it also

http://techboard.nemetschek.net/cgi/ubb/ultimatebb.cgi?ubb=get_topic;f=22;t=000314

This is outlined in an HP tech document in their online knowledge base too. It's a little difficult to find though.

You may also want to turn off the printer and turn it back on after you change some of these settings. Sometimes the memory isn't cleared up on the printers and weird things can happen.

[ 04-07-2004, 10:49 AM: Message edited by: Katie ]

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Yes we still are having the same problems as before but not as often, now we even have some plots comming out all line weight one. Its a shame Vectorworks can't work with HP to make a driver just for there software like autocad has. It seems like they are trying to make the software look like autocad. Its also amazing how much VW says its newest version is. I did not see anything about fixing the existing & known printing problems. We nor I will never upgrade again till this printing problems are fixed or till someone tells me which plotter really works with this software. Its a shame your software designers spend more time on putting shadows to the menu pullouts & multi colors to the tools. I feel they should be addressing the printing problems.

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Alsina,

Have you tried printing to a PDF file and then printing the PDF file to the 500? If I were having those problems that's the first thing I would try.

If you don't have a PDF writer, I would suggest PDF995. I've had very good results with it. You can download it and use it for free, and later if you want to avoid the advertising just pay $9.95 to buy it. Once you've got the PDF writer installed and configured, it only takes a few seconds to create a PDF file.

Another thing I would try is to export to a version 8 file and then print from VW 8.5.2, which has been totally bug-free for me on WinXP Pro since January. I bought versions 9 and 10 so I can do reduced size printing and import the latest DWG files, but I still use 8.5.2 for all drawing.

Or -- and this might be totally off the wall -- I might even try printing to the 500 using a different HP driver. I have no idea what that would do, but it might be fun to try. Better than beating your head against the wall with that defective HP 500 driver. I've heard of people using the HP 755CM driver to plot to other brands of plotters.

In answer to your original question:

Isn't it true that only the new 500/800/5000/8000 series has the problems you're talking about? So any other plotter should be fine. Say, an HP 430. I don't think anybody's reported any problems with that. If you have another model in mind, do a search of the VW Printing/Plotting forum for that model number and see what's been reported.

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