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Thread: Printing from Alpha Four ver 7

  1. #1
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    Philip Ramstad
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    Default Printing from Alpha Four ver 7

    AlphaFOUR won't print anymore. I'm not sure when it stopped--I haven't had to print anything for a few months.

    I searched the board and could not find anything like my problem.

    I have Windows XP Home printing to a Multi Function Machine, Brother 9600. It has printed (though with only about 3 fonts avvailable) previously.

    I normally only print address labels and rolodex cards.

    The only thing that occurs to me is whether Service Pack 3 of Windows XP has changed things. I don't recall just when Service Pack 3 was installed and I can't find it in the list of programs to be deleted so that I could go backwards.

    I tried deleting Brother 9600 in the list of printers (the list includes some from PaperPort and Winfax which don't actually PRINT.

    I even uninstalled the program and re-installed AlphaFOUR.

    Any ideas?

    Phil Ramstad

  2. #2
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    TJ Baker
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    Default Re: Printing from Alpha Four ver 7

    I am assuming your are printing using Windows printers???

    What's the status of Winagent?

  3. #3
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    Default Re: Printing from Alpha Four ver 7

    Yes, I'm using Windows printer, incidentally on USB port.

    I'm sorry to report I don't know what Winagent is--or how to find out information from it. If you guide me, I'll quickly share!

    Phil Ramstad

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    Default Re: Printing from Alpha Four ver 7

    Philip,

    Winagent (winagent.exe) is a small executable that comes with A4V7 that allows printing to Windows-based printers. It loads automatically when A4V7 starts and is displayed in the system tray.

    I'm including a copy of winagent.exe. The messageboard does not allow a .exe file extension, so I simply changed the extension to .zip; save winagent.zip to your A4V7 folder, change the extension to .exe and when you next open A4V7, winagent.exe should load and display in the system tray as a stylized alpha symbol.

    Good luck

    Dave
    Dave Jampole
    www.customalpha.com

    Women and cats will do whatever they want. The sooner men and dogs realize that, the happier they will be.


  5. #5
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    Default Re: Printing from Alpha Four ver 7

    Thanks, Dave. Winagent is in the Alpha4v7 directory. I'll put yours there, though, and see if it loads.

    Phil

  6. #6
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    Default Re: Printing from Alpha Four ver 7

    Dave,

    I placed your copy of Winagent.exe in my Alpha4v7 directory and could see the icon in the system tray.

    Unfortunately, it still didn't print.

    Any other ideas?

    Thanks for your assistance!

    Phil

  7. #7
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    Default Re: Printing from Alpha Four ver 7

    Phil,

    Hummm. At least we know that winagent is loading, so that eliminates one possible cause.

    Have you installed ANY Windows updates? Not that I would ever accuse Microsoft of causing your problem (:o), but it is certainly possible. Have you installed any other updates? How about clicking (from the Main Menu), Other, Configuration, Printer Configuration, Create/edit printer configuration and make sure the correct printed is set as 'A'.

    Other than a Windows update or the printer configuration causing the problem, I'm at a loss.

    Dave
    Dave Jampole
    www.customalpha.com

    Women and cats will do whatever they want. The sooner men and dogs realize that, the happier they will be.


  8. #8
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    Default Re: Printing from Alpha Four ver 7

    Dave,

    Yes, I've kept "up to date" with MS updates for XP. That was my first suspicion.

    I can uninstall service pack 2 (according to Control Panel/Add-Remove), but there is nothing about service pack 3 in that listing. I suppose I could use (can't think of the proper name) the ability to go back to an earlier good version of windows and see if that works. I don't know what else to try.

    I had uninstalled my Brother MFC 9600 from printer configuration and re-installed it, but that didn't accomplish anything.

    I'm at my wits end and don't have any ideas, either.

    Phil

  9. #9
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    Default Re: Printing from Alpha Four ver 7

    Phil,

    I am running Win XP Pro SP2, so I can't directly address any issues with the Home edition. With XP Pro, SP2 fixed some problems I was having with A4 (various versions) not opening and/or not closing properly. None of the problems had to do with printing.

    I don't know about a SP3 with XP Pro, but there certainly could be one with XP Home. With XP Pro, I believe the system can be uninstalled and revert back to SP1.

    Since you uninstalled and reinstalled the printer, the only other possibility that I can think of (again, keep in I'm only talking about my experience with XP Pro) relates to XP Home, but again, I just can't address that.

    My understanding is that, even if you upgraded from XP Home to XP Pro, that might not fix the problem because an upgrade is not the same as a completely install. What you could try, and I can't anticipate any issues that might pop up, is to completely wipe you system and install XP Pro with SP2. That is not a 10 minute exercise, but others have done it - I just don't have any firsthand experience on this that would shed any light on the problem.

    Dave
    Dave Jampole
    www.customalpha.com

    Women and cats will do whatever they want. The sooner men and dogs realize that, the happier they will be.


  10. #10
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    Default Re: Printing from Alpha Four ver 7

    Many thanks, Dave, for your ideas. I'm still thinking of taking it back before I loaded Service Pack 3 and see if that works.

    Phil

  11. #11
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    Default Re: Printing from Alpha Four ver 7

    Phil,

    Let me know if you solve the problem. I still have a few clients who run A4, so I'd like to have your solution in my kit, in case they have the same problem.

    Dave
    Dave Jampole
    www.customalpha.com

    Women and cats will do whatever they want. The sooner men and dogs realize that, the happier they will be.


  12. #12
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    Default Re: Printing from Alpha Four ver 7

    Phil,

    I see you keep mentioning service pack 3.

    Are you speaking of service pack 3 for XP OFFICE???

    As far as I know there has not been a service pack 3 for Windows XP released yet.

    I also have kept up to date with updates from microsoft and have Alpha printing merrily. Have you checked to see if the files are being written into the C:\Alpha4V8\Spool folder when you try to print? When you print from Alpha4 to a windows printer two files are written to a spool folder where the winagent software takes them, prints the report or whatever, and then deletes the two files. I'd check to see if the files are being written there when you try to print something. (There is also a file there created when Alpha4 starts that is a listing of windows printers for the winagent software to use, something like wptrinfo.a4)

    Also if you right-click the winagent icon in the system tray and select "about winagent" what does it tell you? Path = spool and status = idle??

    What method are you using to start Alpha?

  13. #13
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    Default Re: Printing from Alpha Four ver 7

    Phil,

    Something else for you to fool with. With winagent running (see the icon in the system tray?) unzip the attached file into the C:\alpha4v8\spool folder. If winagent is doing its' thing a single page should print to the default windows printer.

    If nothing happens either winagent is not working right, or winagent was started from a folder other than C:\Alpha4v8.

    TJ Baker

  14. #14
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    Default Re: Printing from Alpha Four ver 7

    TJ,

    Thanks to you for jumping in!

    When I right click Winagent icon in system tray I get nothing. When I go through Windows Explorer I see ptrinfo.a4, but no other information.

    I open the program by clicking an icon that I dragged to the desk top when I installed it and it works to open the program. Everything seems to work except printing.

    I tried opening the program by start, all programs, alphafour and got the same thing.

    I have been trying to open your zipped file and haven't got it unzipped yet, but I'll get that done. I use Zipgenius.

    Phil

  15. #15
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    Default Re: Printing from Alpha Four ver 7

    TJ,

    1) I keep referring to Service Pack 3 because I get confused (this old timer does that a lot!) between WordPerfect, my word processor of choice, and Windows XP Home.

    Perhaps I should try to uninstall the second upgrade for Windows XP and see if that makes a difference.

    I got your zip file, BUT as soon as I unzipped it the page printed, no matter where it was AND the unzipped files did not stay in the spool folder (they didn't seem to stay anywhere according to search). But if they printed they still might have been using spool because I did have that folder open when when I unzipped your file.

    When I right click the Winagent icon I get nothing.

    When I go to the spool folder I only see the printer file: ptrinfo.a4. I don't see any other files there. When I push print the print section closes almost immediately, so there is not time to get to the spool folder to see what's there. This may be an indication of the problem. I am using a Winagent.exe file sent to me by Dave Jampole in earlier email messages.

    I don't know if I've given you any thing to offer further guidance or not. I sure hope so!

    Phil

  16. #16
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    Default Re: Printing from Alpha Four ver 7

    I uninstalled the second service pack for Windows XP. I still couldn't print anything from Alpha4V7, so that wasn't the problem presumably. Re-installing took a while, but it's all done.

    I have kept up to date with Windows updates.

    Now I'm wondering if my copy of Winagent is messed up.

    TJ, I think I wrote that as soon as your files were opened the item printed, but they didn't stick in the spool directly for some reason. When I did a search for them they were not to be found.

    Phil

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    Default Re: Printing from Alpha Four ver 7

    Phil,

    May I suggest two points? 1 - the copy of winagent is the one I sent you and it is good, at least it is on my computers. 2 - make sure that when you reference your version on Windows XP, you specify XP Home, since there are differences between the XP Pro and Home editions.

    You say that you uninstalled the 'second service pack for Windows XP' yet you continually refer to Service Pack 3. Are the updates to WordPerfect that you refer to called 'updates' or 'service packs'?

    The reason I'm asking is so that there is no unnecessary confusion when people offer suggestions to your printing problems.

    Dave
    Dave Jampole
    www.customalpha.com

    Women and cats will do whatever they want. The sooner men and dogs realize that, the happier they will be.


  18. #18
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    Default Re: Printing from Alpha Four ver 7

    Dave,

    You are right that I've been using confusing language! I guess WordPerfect does have upgrades and Windows has Service Packs. I uninstalled Windows Home Service Pack 2 to see if that would make a difference: it didn't, so I reinstalled Service Pack 2 and updates since then.

    I need to remove my Winagent.exe so that when I unzip yours it is in the right place. I suspect that already having a Winagent there keeps another one from replacing the original--if that is bad. I will try again with your Winagent.exe.

    You wouldn't think I've been using Personal Computers for 25 years--and, in fact, I started AlphaFOUR with Ver. 1!

    Phil

  19. #19
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    Default Re: Printing from Alpha Four ver 7

    Phil,

    Rather than removing your old copy of winagent.exe before installing the one I send, just rename it to something like winagent_old.exe. That way you will have your original copy plus the copy I sent - just in case.

    How about renaming the A4V7 folder to something like A4V7_old and then reinstalling A4V7. That should install your original copy of winagent.exe. Now, you can copy the application folder (called database in A4 speak) to the NEW A4V7 folder. A problem might have cropped in in your original copy of A4V7, and if that's true, this reinstall should fix it.

    Dave
    Dave Jampole
    www.customalpha.com

    Women and cats will do whatever they want. The sooner men and dogs realize that, the happier they will be.


  20. #20
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    Default Re: Printing from Alpha Four ver 7

    Phil,

    Lets slow down here a minute!!! Take one thing at a time.

    In your message of 4:00 PM Yesterday you stated that when you unzipped the files I sent you they printed out and could not be found afterwards, is that correct?? You do not SPECIFICALLY state that you unzipped them to the spool folder, but I suspect you did, as I instructed to do that when I sent them.

    If that is what happened then that is proof that there is nothing wrong with winagent because that is exactly what is supposed to happen!!

    So then, if when you unzip the file(s) I sent, placing them in the spool folder, and they immediately print out on paper, then winagent is OK and you must look elsewhere for the trouble.

    Check your printer configuration in Alpha4. Verify that the printer you are selecting is setup as a windows printer, NOT a DOS printer. If you try to print to a DOS printer and there is nothing connected to the port it is setup for then you will see precisely what you now seeing, that is the print job simply does nothing. I would try erasing the printer(s) setup IN ALPHA4 and re-creating a printer configuration IN ALPHA4, using the "Windows printer driver" selection for the printer you are currently using.

  21. #21
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    Default Re: Printing from Alpha Four ver 7

    Thank you TJ and Dave for your help.

    It is now working. Unfortunately, I can't tell you why!

    I called HP/Compaq tech support to deal with this and a couple of other issues. The second tech said there was nothing to do but a recovery which involves reinstalling Windows as it was originally. That became somewhat difficult, but then I got a loop where it would restart over and over without getting to the desktop. With their help that is now overcome and I'm back to functioning.

    This is little help to you, Dave, in advising your clients. Sorry.

    I'm glad to be up and running again! It has involved many hours of work including reinstalling programs that were wiped out, but NOT my data thank goodness.

    TJ, you were correct that I unzipped your file in the Spool directory. I did not realize that the files were supposed to be deleted--now I know.

    Phil

  22. #22
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    Default Re: Printing from Alpha Four ver 7

    Phil,

    The main thing is that you are up and running.

    Dave
    Dave Jampole
    www.customalpha.com

    Women and cats will do whatever they want. The sooner men and dogs realize that, the happier they will be.


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