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[Legacy] Working with popup messages


Watch out, legacy content ahead! PaperCut historically has been able to leverage Microsoft’s WinPopup feature to send messages to Windows clients over the network, which has worked for many customers as an alternative to running the PaperCut User Client, however you should know that WinPopup has been officially deprecated for some time so we do not recommend considering this option for any new installations.

Questions about messages sent to users

Q How does PaperCut notify users that they are out of credit/quota?

If the User Client Tool (client software) is installed on the workstation, the user’s credit status will be displayed on login. In addition users can view their account status in detail via the Summary page via the User web interface. The User Client Tool can optionally be configured to display a warning message on login if the user’s credit runs low.

Real-time notifications of denied print jobs (due to lack of quota/credit or printer filter restrictions):

PaperCut MF/NG: - Messages are delivered using a number of methods, including; via the user client software (recommended), by email or WinPopup .

Q Microsoft’s Popup Messages are not working. How do I fix this?

If running PaperCut MF/NG, please read this article:

[Legacy] Enabling user client notifications on Windows when balloon tips are disabled

If using Microsoft’s WinPopup or netsend service, the most common reasons for users not receiving the message are:

  • Windows 98 or ME:

    • The user is running Win 98 or Win ME. These systems need the “Winpopup” program running to receive messages. You will find this on the Microsoft Windows Install CD.
  • Windows NT, 2000 or XP:

    • On Windows NT, 2000 and XP. The “Messenger” service (under Start→Settings→Control Panel→Services) must be “running”. With default Windows XP installations, this service is usually disabled. Set the service to Automatic. Note: This service should be enabled on all workstations used by network users. (i.e. not just the server).
  • Windows XP (Pro or Home):

    • The “Messenger” service (under Start→Settings→Control Panel→Services) must be “running”. With default Windows XP installations, this service is usually disabled. Set the service to Automatic.
    • On Windows XP, the personal firewall can sometimes disable the windows networking ports preventing messages. You should make sure the firewall does not block local network traffic. Ensure the systems can accept incoming TCP messages on port 135.

Manual testing

You can manually test popup messages issued from your server by using the command prompt as follows:

  1. Start→Run, enter “cmd” and press OK
  2. Type at the prompt: net send <username> Testing123 where <username> is the name of a user currently logged onto the network.
  3. The message “Testing123” should appear on the user’s desktop.

Q Is there any other way to alert students to print rejections other than via Winpopup? The network administrator has disabled this feature due to the abuse of it by students.

PaperCut MF/NG uses its in-build protocol based on XML web services to send messages. This is a better alterative to Winpopup messages.

There are other approaches to stop student abuse of Winpopup message while still leaving the service available to PaperCut and other server applications. These include:

Option 1) Windows XP SP2 includes a new registry key that can be used to make it so that only administrators can send messages. This is explained in StoppingNetSendMessagesOnXP.

Option 2) Removing the ability to send messages on the workstations by removing or setting appropriate permissions on the “net.exe” application.

Option 3) If the workstations have “personal firewall” software or are running Windows XP, packet filter rules can be configured to block traffic on port 135 from all IP addresses except these of the server(s).

Categories: FAQ , Legacy Articles

Keywords: print job deny , net send , winpopup , win popup , user notification , messages , control


Last updated July 5, 2023