Does my printer support Hardware Page Count with PaperCut?

PaperCut supports validation of page count analysis using the SNMP counters on a printer. More information about this can be found in the manual: Validating Page Counts.

In order to determine the number of pages printed, we look at the difference of the SNMP page counter before and after the job is printed. The SNMP standard for printers provides a standard page counter that we use as a fall back but it does not take into consideration such things as whether the page was color or not. In order to determine this, we need to look at the manufacturer’s custom metrics which is expressed in what is called an enterprise MIB. The custom metrics naturally vary per manufacturer and sometimes vary between the models of the manufacturer.

As there are a vast number of manufacturers and models of printers, we will need to continually build up our database of this information and may call upon the customer to help us gather this information if their printer is not supported.

If you are simply trying to trying to get Hardware Page Count to work, we recommend starting with our article on Troubleshooting Hardware Page Count for some basic checks. If you already know what you are doing, please read on…

Checking compatibility with Hardware Page Count

To determine if a specific printer is compatible with Hardware Page Count, we will ask you to run a command line executable called pc-print-monitor with certain parameters.

Windows: [app-path]\providers\print\win\pc-print-monitor.exe -p -h [printer-ip]

Mac/Linux/Novell: [app-path]/providers/print/[platform]/pc-print-monitor -p -h [printer-ip]

If the printer is a color printer, then it should, at least output the “color_count” for the printer in order to be able to retrieve how many color pages were printed in a document. If the only *_count metric is the marker_count, then only basic page counting is supported.

Getting the SNMP Output from a printer

Every printer model is a little bit different. To see how your printer reports changes in page counts, we have developed a command-line tool to interactively guide a user through the process of performing a sequence of tests which will collect SNMP data. It will require you to print out some provided sample documents in the directory [app-path]\providers\print\[platform]\testdocs\*.pdf while PaperCut tracks the job.

This process requires that you have exclusive use of the printer during this process which should only take about 5 to 10 minutes to complete. During this process you print some same documents that are provided to you. We will take before and after snapshots of the printer/copier information and also monitor the printer/copier as it prints.

Steps for Windows Systems

  1. Open a Command Prompt and “cd” to [app-path]\providers\print\win\
  2. Run pc-print-monitor.exe -t and follow the on screen instructions.
  3. When you have completed the test, zip up the snmp-results directory and send it to the PaperCut Support team.

Steps for Linux/Mac/Novell Systems

  1. Open a Terminal shell and “cd” to [app-path]/providers/print/[platform]/ (the platform folder will vary depending on your OS type)
  2. Run ./pc-print-monitor -t and follow the on screen instructions.
  3. When you have completed the test, zip up the snmp-results directory to send it to the PaperCut Support team.

PLEASE NOTE: Be sure to also make a copy of all the text produced within the Command Prompt throughout the testing process, and save it to a text file to additionally provide to the Support team. An example of this text can be seen below.

Example Output

C:\Program Files\PaperCut NG\providers\print\win>pc-print-monitor.exe -t

PRINTER SNMP TEST TOOL
======================
This tool is used to guide the user through a series of printer tests.
It will require the following:
* exclusive access to a network printer
* the printer turned on with SNMP enabled
* the printer having sufficient paper and toner
* access to the test pdf documents: mono-doc.pdf and color-doc.pdf
* a pdf reader such as Acrobat Reader for printing the documents

It will generate some results files in the directory: snmp-results

Enter the printer's ip address (or hostname): hp.papercutsoftware.com
Successfully retrieved data for printer, "HP Color LaserJet CM3530 MFP".

Take a screen shot of the printer's page counters if possible.
This can usually be done by entering http://hp.papercutsoftware.com into a web browser,
navigating to the counters page and then taking a screen image.
Please save this image into the directory: snmp-results
Were you able to take a screen shot of the counters page? (y or n): y

1. Does the printer support color print jobs (y or n): y
2. Does the printer support duplex print jobs (y or n): y
3. Does the printer support large paper sizes like A3/Ledger/Tabloid (y or n): n

Here is a list of printer tests to perform for this printer type:
[1] - mono test
[2] - color test
[3] - duplex test
Press enter to run ALL tests, select a test number, or press q to quit:
Performing ALL the tests

Performing mono test (1 of 3)
-----------------------------
Step 1 of 3 - collect initial printer information
Make sure the printer is powered on and idle.
It should not be used by others for the duration of this test.
Hit enter when ready:
Please be patient. This may take some time.
Saving printer state to "snmp-results/hp.papercutsoftware.com-snmp-mono.before": 4396
Printer results completed

Step 2 of 3 - print the test document
Print the document testdocs/mono-doc.pdf with duplex disabled.
Hit enter immediatly AFTER starting the print job:
Monitoring printer status. Please wait for this to complete...
Printer status changed from Idle to Printing
Page count changed from 44401 to 44402
Page count changed from 44402 to 44403
Page count changed from 44403 to 44404
Printer status changed from Printing to Idle

Has the job finished printing? (y or n): y

Please be patient. This may take some time.
Saving printer state to "snmp-results/hp.papercutsoftware.com-snmp-mono.after": 4395
Printer results completed

Step 3 of 3 - manual verification
Did the printer print out 3 black & white pages and 0 color pages
in simplex mode using standard paper size (y or n): y

Test Complete.


Performing color test (2 of 3)
------------------------------
Step 1 of 3 - collect initial printer information
Make sure the printer is powered on and idle.
It should not be used by others for the duration of this test.
Hit enter when ready:
Please be patient. This may take some time.
Saving printer state to "snmp-results/hp.papercutsoftware.com-snmp-color.before": 4395
Printer results completed

Step 2 of 3 - print the test document
Print the document testdocs/color-doc.pdf with duplex disabled and color enabled.
Hit enter immediatly AFTER starting the print job:
Monitoring printer status. Please wait for this to complete...
Printer status changed from Idle to Printing
Page count changed from 44404 to 44405
Page count changed from 44405 to 44406
Page count changed from 44406 to 44407
Page count changed from 44407 to 44408
Page count changed from 44408 to 44409
Printer status changed from Printing to Idle

Has the job finished printing? (y or n): y

Please be patient. This may take some time.
Saving printer state to "snmp-results/hp.papercutsoftware.com-snmp-color.after": 4388
Printer results completed

Step 3 of 3 - manual verification
Did the printer print out 2 black & white pages and 3 color pages
in simplex mode using standard paper size (y or n): y

Test Complete.


Performing duplex test (3 of 3)
-------------------------------
Step 1 of 3 - collect initial printer information
Make sure the printer is powered on and idle.
It should not be used by others for the duration of this test.
Hit enter when ready:
Please be patient. This may take some time.
Saving printer state to "snmp-results/hp.papercutsoftware.com-snmp-duplex.before": 4388
Printer results completed

Step 2 of 3 - print the test document
Print the document testdocs/mono-doc.pdf with duplex enabled.
Hit enter immediatly AFTER starting the print job:
Monitoring printer status. Please wait for this to complete...
Printer status changed from Idle to Printing
Page count changed from 44409 to 44410
Page count changed from 44410 to 44411
Page count changed from 44411 to 44412
Page count changed from 44412 to 44413
Printer status changed from Printing to Idle

Has the job finished printing? (y or n): y

Please be patient. This may take some time.
Saving printer state to "snmp-results/hp.papercutsoftware.com-snmp-duplex.after": 4388
Printer results completed

Step 3 of 3 - manual verification
Did the printer print out 3 black & white pages and 0 color pages
in duplex mode using standard paper size (y or n): y

Test Complete.

After you have finished testing on each printer,
please zip up the entire results directory, "snmp-results", and send it to PaperCut.
Thank you for your efforts.

C:\Program Files\PaperCut NG\providers\print\win>

Categories: How-to Articles, Print Queues


Keywords: validating validation page counts hardware checks snmp

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