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Author Topic: HELP!!! DEAD PRINTER CONNECTION!!!  (Read 7350 times)
toothandnail
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Posts: 2527


« Reply #15 on: January 25, 2008, 04:48:17 pm »

No one ever told me about this. My previous machine worked just fine with the long paralell cable (a PIII running first WIN98SE, then Ubuntu, then Debian).

Its probably not a very commonly known failure area, if only because most people don't use very long parallel cables. It will also vary depending on the way individual machines are designed. In general, modern machines with more components packed into a relatively small space will probably be more susceptible because there is less space for heat to escape, not to mention higher heat output from CPUs and other components.

Quote
What diagnostics are available to me under VL? If my parallel port is toasted, because of the cable or because of something else, is there a PCI card I can use to drive the printer? (I understand that Laserjet 4's can also run from Ethernet, though that takes extra hardware). I really don't want to replace the whole motherboard. I may as well just junk the computer.

Sorry, I have no idea what, if any diagnostics for this sort of problem would be available under Linux. I use an (expensive) commercial test suite, and would probably have to build a loopback plug to test for this sort of problem.

Finding a PCI card parallel card may be possible, but what may be a better (and cheaper) alternative might be to get a USB to parallel converter. I picked one up for a customer a short while ago - he has an oldish Epson, but his nice new Dell doesn't have any parallel ports. Cost about £5, and seems to work quite well.

Before you go and spend money, it would be useful to make sure that the problem is really hardware. Maybe a local computer shop that could test the port for you? Or maybe someone can suggest some hardware diagnostics that you can get to do the testing yourself?

Good luck...

paul.
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rbistolfi
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Posts: 2282


« Reply #16 on: January 25, 2008, 07:03:56 pm »

I think the only way is getting / building (must be some diagrams around) something like this: http://www.passmark.com/products/loopback.htm
And a software to use it, like this one: http://www.passmark.com/ftp/bitlinux_cmd_line.tar.gz (never used it by myself).
As Paul suggested, perhaps the best option is to find some technician who could do it for you.
« Last Edit: January 25, 2008, 07:09:01 pm by rbistolfi » Logged

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JohnB316
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Posts: 1346


Registered Linux User #386728


« Reply #17 on: January 27, 2008, 09:09:21 am »

---snip--

Quote
But that point's moot. Now every time I try to print something, I get no output at all, and an "error" message in the job viewer in the control center. And I'm pretty sure that's because I mis-adjusted something, I know not what, and I don't know how to put things right again.

Can you try some hardware diagnostics on the machine? From the errors you are seeing, I would be worried about a hardware failure.

paul.

What diagnostics are available to me under VL? If my parallel port is toasted, because of the cable or because of something else, is there a PCI card I can use to drive the printer? (I understand that Laserjet 4's can also run from Ethernet, though that takes extra hardware). I really don't want to replace the whole motherboard. I may as well just junk the computer.

You should be able to find so-called multifunction boards at a decent computer shop that have parallel ports on them. If you get one of these boards, you may want to disable the onboard parallel port via the BIOS.

Also, I noticed that when I tried to make a test print from the CUPS GUI, I got a message: "Permission denied". Obviously I need to reset a permission. How do I do that?


I just had a thought.
My old PIII had a nice, beefy 350-watt power supply. Most reeady-made PC's like Dells have fairly wimpy power supplies (150 watts or something equally absurd in my Optiplex). Dollars to doughnuts that's part of the problem.


You need to add yourself to the lp group so that you can access the printer, if you're not already in it. Open a terminal and type groups at the prompt. Here is a sample of the output for me on my box:

Code:
vl59final2:/~
john:$ groups
john sys adm lp wheel floppy audio video cdrom games scanner users

If you don't see lp in the output for you, then you'll need to add yourself via the usermod command as root.

HTH a bit,
John
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VL 6.0 SOHO latest alpha on one box, VL 5.9 Lite on the other.
youngtomedison
Member
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Posts: 52


« Reply #18 on: January 27, 2008, 04:46:40 pm »



You need to add yourself to the lp group so that you can access the printer, if you're not already in it. Open a terminal and type groups at the prompt. Here is a sample of the output for me on my box:

Code:
vl59final2:/~
john:$ groups
john sys adm lp wheel floppy audio video cdrom games scanner users

If you don't see lp in the output for you, then you'll need to add yourself via the usermod command as root.

HTH a bit,
John

I'm in the lp group, as far as I can see. Here's what I got:

username lp floppy audio video cdrom games scanner users

When logged in as root, the lp group does not appear in the output.

What should I do? And what is the proper syntax for the usermod command in this type of instance?

As for the USB to parallel interface, which brand do you recommend? Would something like this device work? I assume that for going over any real distance, I'd have to connect to the printer via a USB hub.


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JohnB316
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Vectorian
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Posts: 1346


Registered Linux User #386728


« Reply #19 on: January 28, 2008, 08:41:16 pm »

The device you linked to in your previous post should work just fine.

HTH,
John
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VL 6.0 SOHO latest alpha on one box, VL 5.9 Lite on the other.
youngtomedison
Member
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Posts: 52


« Reply #20 on: February 04, 2008, 03:28:36 pm »

The device you linked to in your previous post should work just fine.

HTH,
John

Thank you for the help you've given me thus far. Just a couple of questions:

Wouldn't the presence in the computer-printer connection chain of a USB interface confuse the driver or the printer (to say nothing of the user! Huh)? Have you or anyone else here had any experience using a legacy parallel-port printer like the Laserjet 4 with a USB-to-parallel adapter?


« Last Edit: February 04, 2008, 03:30:20 pm by youngtomedison » Logged
youngtomedison
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Posts: 52


« Reply #21 on: February 04, 2008, 04:05:35 pm »

MORE INFORMATION:

I tried printing a test page using the "localhost" method described here. When I did, I got the following error screen, even though there were no jobs in the queue:



When I tried performing a task which required a login, when I used the very same username and password which I use to log into my system every day, I got an authentication failure. (Logging in as root worked just fine, though I still couldn't fix things).

On other occasions, I got a "permission denied" screen. There's obviously something funny going on here with permissions or software or both.

I SO don't want to have to burn off all my data onto DVD's, wipe my hard drive clean and re-install VL from scratch. But it seems to me like something, SOMEWHERE, I know not what or where has become corrupt, which I'll NEVER be able to pin down otherwise.
« Last Edit: February 04, 2008, 04:07:42 pm by youngtomedison » Logged
lagagnon
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Posts: 1922



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« Reply #22 on: February 04, 2008, 04:53:47 pm »

I need some more data to help you out. Please post output from the following commands to this thread:

lpq (run as a normal user and as root)
tail -30 /var/log/cups/error_log
groups (run as your normal user and as root)
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"As people become more intelligent they care less for preachers and more for teachers". Robert G. Ingersoll
youngtomedison
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Posts: 52


« Reply #23 on: February 04, 2008, 07:51:07 pm »

I need some more data to help you out. Please post output from the following commands to this thread:

lpq (run as a normal user and as root)
tail -30 /var/log/cups/error_log
groups (run as your normal user and as root)

lpq (as normal user):

vector:/~
doctor-b:$ lpq
Laserjet_IV is ready
no entries
vector:/~


lpq (as root):
vector://home/doctor-b
root:# lpq
Laserjet_IV is ready
no entries
vector://home/doctor-b
root:#   


vector:/~
doctor-b:$ tail -30 /var/log/cups/error_log
I [04/Feb/2008:18:35:02 -0500] Configured for up to 100 clients.
I [04/Feb/2008:18:35:02 -0500] Allowing up to 100 client connections per host.
I [04/Feb/2008:18:35:02 -0500] Using policy "default" as the default!
I [04/Feb/2008:18:35:02 -0500] Partial reload complete.
I [04/Feb/2008:18:35:02 -0500] Listening to 127.0.0.1:631 on fd 0...
I [04/Feb/2008:18:35:02 -0500] Listening to /var/run/cups/cups.sock on fd 3...
I [04/Feb/2008:18:35:07 -0500] commptr="?OP=redirect"
I [04/Feb/2008:18:35:07 -0500] Started "/usr/lib/cups/cgi-bin/admin.cgi" (pid=3561)
I [04/Feb/2008:18:35:07 -0500] commptr=""
I [04/Feb/2008:18:35:07 -0500] Started "/usr/lib/cups/cgi-bin/admin.cgi" (pid=3562)
I [04/Feb/2008:18:35:08 -0500] commptr="1+0+4+requested-attributes=all"
I [04/Feb/2008:18:35:08 -0500] Started "/usr/lib/cups/daemon/cups-deviced" (pid=3563)
I [04/Feb/2008:18:37:21 -0500] commptr=""
I [04/Feb/2008:18:37:21 -0500] Started "/usr/lib/cups/cgi-bin/classes.cgi" (pid=3627)
I [04/Feb/2008:18:37:27 -0500] commptr=""
I [04/Feb/2008:18:37:27 -0500] Started "/usr/lib/cups/cgi-bin/jobs.cgi" (pid=3628)
I [04/Feb/2008:18:37:30 -0500] commptr="?which_jobs=all"
I [04/Feb/2008:18:37:30 -0500] Started "/usr/lib/cups/cgi-bin/jobs.cgi" (pid=3629)
I [04/Feb/2008:18:37:42 -0500] commptr=""
I [04/Feb/2008:18:37:42 -0500] Started "/usr/lib/cups/cgi-bin/jobs.cgi" (pid=3630)
I [04/Feb/2008:18:37:46 -0500] commptr="?which_jobs=completed"
I [04/Feb/2008:18:37:46 -0500] Started "/usr/lib/cups/cgi-bin/jobs.cgi" (pid=3633)
I [04/Feb/2008:18:37:53 -0500] commptr=""
I [04/Feb/2008:18:37:53 -0500] Started "/usr/lib/cups/cgi-bin/admin.cgi" (pid=3636)
I [04/Feb/2008:18:37:54 -0500] commptr="1+0+4+requested-attributes=all"
I [04/Feb/2008:18:37:54 -0500] Started "/usr/lib/cups/daemon/cups-deviced" (pid=3637)
I [04/Feb/2008:18:38:20 -0500] commptr=""
I [04/Feb/2008:18:38:20 -0500] Started "/usr/lib/cups/cgi-bin/admin.cgi" (pid=3656)
I [04/Feb/2008:18:38:35 -0500] commptr=""
I [04/Feb/2008:18:38:35 -0500] Started "/usr/lib/cups/cgi-bin/admin.cgi" (pid=3659)
vector:/~


Groups (as normal user)
vector:/~
doctor-b:$ groups
doctor-b lp floppy audio video cdrom games scanner users
vector:/~


Groups (as root)
vector://home/doctor-b
root:# groups
root bin daemon sys adm disk wheel floppy
vector://home/doctor-b
root:#         
                   

I should also tell you that before I tried printing tonight, I switched my Dell's parallel port mode from PS/2 to EPP. I did that after doing a little research on the web, thinking that it might solve my problem, but no such luck.
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lagagnon
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Posts: 1922



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« Reply #24 on: February 04, 2008, 10:34:15 pm »

Something is seriously wrong with your CUPS daemon. You should be getting messages like this:

I [04/Feb/2008:22:23:07 -0800] Listening to 127.0.0.1:631 on fd 3...
I [04/Feb/2008:22:23:07 -0800] Listening to /var/run/cups/cups.sock on fd 4...
I [04/Feb/2008:22:23:07 -0800] Resuming new connection processing...

which you are not...CUPS seem stuck in a loop trying to restart itself. Have you done any gslapt or slapt get system upgrades?

Please show us the output of "slapt-get --show cups"
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Pita
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Posts: 1310


« Reply #25 on: February 04, 2008, 11:17:58 pm »

[ Have you or anyone else here had any experience using a legacy parallel-port printer like the Laserjet 4 with a USB-to-parallel adapter?


After my motherboard parallel printer port got bust I am using a parallel-usb adaptor cable for my Epson LQ-300 parallel printer w/o any problems at all.
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youngtomedison
Member
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Posts: 52


« Reply #26 on: February 07, 2008, 09:46:18 am »

Something is seriously wrong with your CUPS daemon. You should be getting messages like this:

I [04/Feb/2008:22:23:07 -0800] Listening to 127.0.0.1:631 on fd 3...
I [04/Feb/2008:22:23:07 -0800] Listening to /var/run/cups/cups.sock on fd 4...
I [04/Feb/2008:22:23:07 -0800] Resuming new connection processing...

which you are not...CUPS seem stuck in a loop trying to restart itself. Have you done any gslapt or slapt get system upgrades?

Please show us the output of "slapt-get --show cups"

Here's what I got (I ran the command as a super user):

vector://home/doctor-b
root:# slapt-get - -show cups
No such package: -
Package Name: cups
Package Mirror: http://ftp://ftp.osuosl.org/pub/vectorlinux/veclinux-5.8/patches/
Package Location: ./base
Package Version: 1.2.9-i586-2vl58
Package Size: 2655 K
Package Installed Size: 12920 K
Package Required:   bash >= 3.1.017,gnutls >= 1.6.0,libgcrypt >= 1.2.3,libgpg-error >= 1.3,zlib >= 1.2.3,libtiff >= 3.8.2,libpng >= 1.2.12,libjpeg >= 6b,cxxlibs >= 6.0.3,gcc >= 3.4.6,openslp >= 1.2.1,openldap-client >= 2.3.27,dbus >= 0.62,acl >= 2.2.39_1,openssl >= 0.9.8d,cyrus-sasl >= 2.1.22,attr >= 2.4.32_1
Package Conflicts:
Package Suggests:
Package MD5 Sum:  07ff95b7389570687141bd0cc090c37b
Package Description:
 The Common UNIX Printing System provides a portable printing layer for
 UNIX® operating systems. It has been developed by Easy Software Products
 to promote a standard printing solution for all UNIX vendors and users.
 CUPS provides the System V and Berkeley command-line interfaces.



 Packaged for VectorLinux by Vector 03/15/07



Package Installed: no
vector://home/doctor-b   


The machine apparently thinks that CUPS isn't installed, even though it seems to be, according to  GSLAPT. There are some unchecked entries in GSLAPT for CUPS. Right-clicking on them pulls up only a "downgrade" option. This whole thing just gets weirder and weirder!
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toothandnail
Tester
Vectorian
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Posts: 2527


« Reply #27 on: February 07, 2008, 10:27:16 am »

That is one of the reasons I really don't much like Gslapt. If it is offering you a downgrade, it means that there is a more recent version installed. It just doesn't make it very clear in its display, and shows all versions in the repos, which I find most confusing...

paul.
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lagagnon
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« Reply #28 on: February 07, 2008, 12:40:25 pm »

ok, try "slapt-get --install cups -s" - this command simulates a cups install -what does it tell you?
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"As people become more intelligent they care less for preachers and more for teachers". Robert G. Ingersoll
youngtomedison
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Posts: 52


« Reply #29 on: February 12, 2008, 11:50:20 am »

Again, as a super-user:

vector://home/doctor-b
root:# slapt-get --install cups -s
Reading Package Lists... Done
cups is up to date.
0 upgraded, 0 newly installed, 0 to remove and 0 not upgraded.
Done
vector://home/doctor-b
root:#       
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