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We have an HP5550 DN networked printer using Windows Vista systems to print, and for some reason (seems to be exclusively with large documents) the printer will decide to spit out a few hundred pages, about half of which are blank, and the other half contain a single line of random higher ASCII/wingdings looking characters, and then the rest of the page is blank.

The documents we are printing are basically just PowerPoint/Word docs printed from Office 2003/2007/2010.

Despite months of playing with it and having a number of network admins poking at it, no one can seem to figure out what the issue is...

What would cause something like this? I read once that the printer just needs more RAM, but I can't seem to find any justification for this claim.

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If you tried to print a non-text document as a text document. Printing a 300kb exe would get you up to 300,000 random characters coming out of a printer. I don't think its that though, as you have blank pages. – soandos Aug 22 '11 at 19:15
I have seen something like this before and it turned out to be a driver issue - have you tried updating the drivers? or if you have recently done that, try rolling it back. – MaQleod Aug 22 '11 at 19:57
up vote 1 down vote accepted

This is likely a driver issue as noted by @MaQleod. Depending on how it is installed, it could be a user that has selected a wrong driver. If drivers are on the server, check the drivers to assure they are correct for all OSs and there are no unnecessary drivers. If all drivers are OK, does the system have enough RAM for a complex, large document?

Does the event log on the printer show anything?

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RAM is a good point, it may be that the printer doesn't have enough memory to spool a really large document and is just freaking out because it doesn't know what to do. @Bob, how large are we talking about for these documents? – MaQleod Aug 22 '11 at 21:42
(sorry for the late reply) Docs are pretty big, usually 1-12mb. I'm going to look into purchasing more RAM, hopefully that can at least mitigate the issue – Bob Aug 31 '11 at 20:01

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