“Help! Our print jobs appear to be stuck the status ‘Sent to printer’ on our Windows print server! What should we do?”
Why does this happen?
Normally when a job is printed from the Windows, the status will briefly change to ‘Sent to printer’ until the printer itself notifies the server that the last page was printed successfully. When this signal is received, Windows will mark the job as printed and will remove the job from the queue. If the message gets lost or its timing isn’t appropriately precise, the job may end up stuck in the ‘Sent to printer’ state until manually deleted from the print queue by a sysadmin.
This can happen in a few situations, some of which may or may not involve PaperCut. We’ve tried to document each one of them below, along with the appropriate measures to take to get things working again.
Is Bidirectional Support enabled?
When Bidirectional Support is turned on, a driver component communicates directly with the printer hardware to find out ink/toner levels and the printer’s status. Unfortunately, if the printer can’t communicate with the server (maybe because of network issues or because the server is too busy) then the job status may fail to be updated and print jobs will end up stuck in this state.
Try disabling Bidirectional Support first to see if that gets things working.
- While logged into the print server, press Windows key + R, then type printmanagement.msc then hit Enter.
- Right click on the printer in question and choose choose Properties…
- Click on the Ports tab, and then uncheck “Enable bidirectional support”.
Is the PaperCut TCP/IP Port being used?
The PaperCut TCP/IP Port is needed to the Hardware Page Checks feature, but can sometimes adversely impact the timing of print jobs especially when used in tandem with other PaperCut features like Watermarking or Grayscale conversion. Fortunately, there are two easy ways to fix this.
Solution A: Switch to using a Standard TCP/IP Port
If you are not using the Hardware Page Checks feature, there no need to use the PaperCut TCP/IP Port, simply configure the print queue to use a Standard TCP/IP port instead as we recommend in our article on how to configure a Windows print queue.
Solution B: Change the way PaperCut performs Watermarks or Conversions
PaperCut’s Watermarking and Conversion features are intended to work as efficiently as possible by modifying the spool files of print jobs as they pass through the system. However in some situations this can still impact the timing of the print job.
If you are using these features (by adding watermarks, forcing duplex, or forcing grayscale with PaperCut) and you see the status of jobs stuck as “Sent to printer”, then try the following workaround to shift these processes out of the PaperCut TCP/IP Port monitor.
- On the print server open the PaperCut application directory and navigate to [Application-Directory]\provider\print\win\.
- Open the print-provider.conf file in a text editor.
- Add the line “DoForcedAttributesInPrinterPort=off” .
- Save the file.
- Lastly, restart the PaperCut Print Provider service for the changes to take effect.
This configuration lets PaperCut perform watermarking and forced print job attributes like duplex and grayscale as if the driver were using a Standard TCP/IP port.
Is the print server Windows Server 2008 R2?
There was a known issue affecting Server 2008R2 where jobs would appear stuck with a “Sent to printer” status. Microsoft released a patch for Windows 7 and Windows Server 2008R2. This change has been included in standard Windows Updates, so you should not see this error if your server is fully patched. For more information see: https://support.microsoft.com/en-us/kb/2906850.
Still have questions?
Let us know! Please leave a comment down below if you have any questions or feedback at all.
Keywords: Sent to printer