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DesignJet 500 partial printing poltergeist



Using Spotlight 12.0.1 on Win XP Pro SP2, and Mac OS 10.4.6.

AFAIK, all drivers are current, but me no speak much Windows.

I draw a plot for a client, on Mac OS. I email him the plot. His plotter, an HP DesignJet 500, is connected to his Dell machine via a network.

He attempts to print via the network. The document consistently spools. From ~30% spooled, the status window suddenly zips to 100% and vanishes. The plotter starts up, prints about a quarter of the document, rolls out the remainder of the page, blank, cuts it off and calls it good.

Connect his Dell to the plotter's usb port. Same song.

Connect my old Ti Book, 667/1Gb, 10.4.6 via usb, document prints properly.

If he prints across his network from WYSWYG (or however they spell it), the plot prints properly. This suggests to me a Spotlight issue.

I found the Knowledge Base entry regarding SpoolSmart on DesignJet. The issue sounds familiar. The 'here's how' to fix this section tells me to:

select file> Print. Click Properties. Click the Services tab, and then click Troubleshoot Software Problems. In the Troubleshoot Software Problems dialog box, remove the checkmark next to Enable SpoolSmart. Click OK when done.

There is no Services tab. It simply doesn't exist. This advice amounts to saying 'open the yellow door in the middle of the wall and throw the switch'. Trouble is, there's no door at all in my wall.

We have both searched high and low. While neither of us are programmers, we are both pretty experienced users, and we are not finding this SpoolSmart devil.

How do I really make this print, as I'd like to keep this client?

thanks for any help!

best regards


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The information in that Knowledge Base article is verbatim from the HP knowledge base on this very topic.

You won't have this option on your mac, it's only for PCs.

If the print bureau is having a hard time finding the setting, I recommend having them contact HP.

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Thank you, Katie.

I understand that this is not a Mac thing -the Mac side is working as expected.

you seem to be suggesting that the option indicated is NOT reached via the VW Print dialog, i.e., it is something buried in the HP driver?

While I am delighted to poke about in the HP support database, I don't suppose that you have any sort of link to this issue at HP's site?

thanks again for your help.



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i can't see any service tap on our hp print property tap as well as Katie suggested and we are also pc based.

We are having a similar problem but instead of printing blank page half way through, it prints black pages! in our case, which is worse...

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Thank you for clarifying, Katie.

As a Mac user, the phrase File>Print has always meant choosing Print from the File menu within the app.

FWIW, that tab also doesn't seem to exist in the Windows printer driver.

A search for 'SpoolSmart' and 'VectorWorks' at HP's website yields 5 hits that have nothing to do with the DesignJet 500. Which again makes me long for a link to your original source for this information.

However, one link does describe a method of reaching the Mystery Tab for the DesignJet 100 and 120. In the Basic Setup tab of the Printing Preferences, click the About button. Then, in the resulting About box, click OK, WHILE holding down the F8 key. A double-extra secret control panel appears, where Spoolsmart can be enabled or disabled.

I have forwarded that information to my client, in the hopes that something this silly doesn't change for other members of the product family, and he can use it.

Any more information would be a help, as this issue is serving to drive my client to WSYWIG for his light plots, and me to seriously wonder what I gained by upgrading to SL12 for this client.



Edited by ajs
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The best thing to do is to have the print bureau contact Hp and have them walk him through turning off spool smart since this is a setting for the printer itself.

Edited by Katie
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