One of my coworkers has a Datamax Allegro 2 printer that he needs to print special adhesive labels. It's a super old printer, which actually uses RS-232 (serial). I think it can also use parallel but that's not important as both show up as COM ports.
I tried the 64-bit drivers we had initially, which were from 2013 and worked fine with Windows 8.1, which is what his computer had previously. I upgraded him to Windows 10 Enterprise (build 1611) last night. Anyway, the printer would install but then give an error any time I tried to do a test page. Eventually I got to the point where it would error when trying to re-add the printer too. I used the Seagull Driver Manager program to "remove all Seagull drivers" and after a few reboots, it complained about it being unable to delete some folder in C:/Windows/system32/spool/x64 (one that was last modified hours before I ever touched the printer!)
I went on Seagull's website and saw that there was a newer driver from September 2015. Still only mentions Windows 8 but I figured it was worth a try. Windows 8 stuff is supposed to work with 10! So I tried that, reinstalled the printer using their tool. Same thing - it was added but always errors when trying to print. I also notice that for some odd reason, it keeps setting itself as the default printer whenever I open printing properties. Probably unrelated but still weird.
So here's where I tried to do some digging. I noticed that in order to install the driver, I'd always have to put in the admin password (we are keeping UAC on and at defaults so employees have to ask one of us to install software for them). Usually you don't need admin permission to add or remove a printer...
So I logged into the actual computer as the administrator. Tried it again. Same error.
Went into event viewer. Enabled the print service logging (see here for what I did) and oddly, there were no errors! The only things I saw were "Spooling job #X" and then "Printing spooled job #X". That was it. Tried several times, and there were no errors in the log. The administrative event log would show the times I opened print properties where it would keep setting itself as default even though it was already default... still no errors. The only errors I encountered were when I'd try to delete the failed jobs too quickly and the spooler would log an error deleting file (since I beat the task to it)
So at this point I'm completely stuck. I can't print test pages and I can't use the BarTender application to print labels either (generally I've found that if you can't print test pages, NOTHING will work)
I've tried some suggestions - apparently build 1511 screwed something up with LPT ports and people reported having to modify a setting or two in device manager which made it work. Tried that, didn't work.
Literally the only thing it does is say "Error - printing" and I don't see it recorded anywhere. Is there something else in Event Viewer I'm missing? If I try another test page right after the first I'll get "Could not print because the device is in an error state" but I assume that only refers to the "error - printing" as if I clear the queue out it goes back to the original message.
I've tried using both the serial port on the back of the tower (it's a Dell Vostro 230 if that matters) and a serial-to-USB adapter which shows up as COM3. Both do the exact same thing. And I triple-checked that the settings match the printer (the baud rate etc)