Postscript printer driver which can use a PPD?

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  1. Posts : 5
    Windows 10
       #1

    Postscript printer driver which can use a PPD?


    I have an old postscript3/PCL6 network printer which on Windows up to 7 was able to use the Adobe Universal Printer driver with a PPD file. (Some magic was involved for W7, as I recall, it had to be installed in some compatibility mode.) However, on Windows 10 that driver just does not work. Run winsteng.exe even in compatibility mode and it throws errors. Has anybody got a link for a W10 driver which can do more or less the same thing - that is accept a PPD file and use it to learn about the printer's capabilities while setting up the printer for use?

    I was able to get this printer on line, sort of, using the "Microsoft PS Class Driver" but that has no configuration options, so no way to tell it about the resolution or duplexing options. The "Xerox global print driver" was able to work with it too, and at least that has a way to turn on duplexing, but the Xerox driver still had no way to load a PPD file, at least that I could find.
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  2. Posts : 2,766
    Windows 10 Home x64
       #2

    Can you get a working driver from Windows Update? I am amazed how poor printer drivers have become as of late. In the WinXP days my Laserjet 1200 could print at 1200x1200dpi. Now there is no way of bypassing 600x600. And now drivers has less and less options to play.
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  3. Posts : 5
    Windows 10
    Thread Starter
       #3

    eLPuSHeR said:
    Can you get a working driver from Windows Update? .
    Sort of. The "Xerox global print driver v4" can be used to configure it so that duplex works but it does not use PPD files as far as I can tell. The "HP Laserjet 3050 PS" driver does use PPD files, those are in

    Code:
    C:\Windows\System32\spool\drivers\x64\3
    but they are hidden. I deleted the BPD version and overwrote the PPD version with the one for my printer, using the same name as the HP driver created. That was bizarre. The printer summary showed all the right features (26ppm, 1200bpi, duplex) but the duplex option wasn't shown under printer preferences or as an option when trying to print from a Wordpad document. I also messed up and deleted the Microsoft PS Class Driver BPD and PPD files in that directory. So far no success getting them back with:

    Code:
     DISM.exe /Online /Cleanup-image /Restorehealth
    Oddly the printer configured to use that driver will still successfully print a test page. Bizarre.
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  4. Posts : 8,692
    Mac OS Catalina
       #4

    Install it as a PCL6 Generic in Windows.
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  5. Posts : 5
    Windows 10
    Thread Starter
       #5

    bro67 said:
    Install it as a PCL6 Generic in Windows.
    That may bring the printer online, but how would it get the information from the PPD?
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  6. Posts : 8,692
    Mac OS Catalina
       #6

    mathog said:
    That may bring the printer online, but how would it get the information from the PPD?
    You do not need the ppd. It always helps to post the printer model and mfg info.
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  7. Posts : 5
    Windows 10
    Thread Starter
       #7

    bro67 said:
    You do not need the ppd. It always helps to post the printer model and mfg info.
    You do if you want the driver to automagically see the printer features and let you use them. Like duplex or higher resolution.

    I tried what you said and configured it using the "Microsoft PCL6 Class Driver". (There was no PCL6 device in the "Generic" folder.) This did not reveal the printer's duplex option nor the full resolution of the device.

    It is a Genicom ML260. Tally bought the company and then hid all information about the pre Tally-Genicom printers.
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  8. Posts : 8,692
    Mac OS Catalina
       #8

    No you do not need the PPD when using PCL6. See where the table for B&W Laser is. PCL6 is the go to and yea, there are a limitation in features with non-supported/dated hardware with modern Operating Systems.. It is called Planned Obsolescence.

    https://www.ibm.com/support/pages/information-printers-genicom-tally-and-tallygenicom
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  9. Posts : 5
    Windows 10
    Thread Starter
       #9

    mathog said:
    You do if you want the driver to automagically see the printer features and let you use them. Like duplex or higher resolution.
    Figured it out, or at least a close facsimile thereof. This worked for me:
    Code:
    Devices and Printers
    Add a Printer
    the device that I want is not listed
    add a local or network printer with manual settings
    Next
    create a new port
    standard TCP/IP port with DNS for the printer
    Windows Update
    #preceding supplies drivers.  On my machine it takes 5-10 minutes to complete
    Brother
    HL-5250DN BR-Script3
    Next
    my_printer
    #or whatever you want to name it
    Next
    Finish
    #do not print a test page yet.
    
    #in a File Explorer window navigate to:
    C:\Windows\System32\spool\drivers\x64\3\
    #set view to show invisible files
    rename BR5250_2.PPD SAVE_BR5250_2.PPD
    rename BR5250_2.BPD SAVE_BR5250_2.BPD
    copy your_printer.PPD BR5250_2.PPD
    reboot
    When the computer comes back up the BPD file should have been regenerated. Which is a good thing because half an hour of searching for a manual method to convert PPD to BPD came up empty!

    Code:
    Devices and Printers
    right click on "my_printer"
    printer properties
    #at this point it probably will not show the correct properties
    device settings
    #changed duplex
    apply
    OK
    close dialog
    right click on "my_printer"
    printer properties
    #at this point it showed the correct properties for:
    #   page speed, duplex and maximum resolution.  
    #   I think maybe the driver keeps these in the registry and they are not
    #   updated unless one or more settings is changed, as above.
    # Now set up the trays.   The names may not be 1:1 for the Brother
    #   printer and the physical printer.
    # For this Genicom ml260 I used:
    manual feed = not available
    multipurpose tray = not available #this is I think the front tray, but I never use it
    tray 1 = letter
    all other trays = not available
    And now it works: duplex is seen and usable, resolution can be set to 1200 dpi and it will stay there.

    Similar tricks did not work completely using the HP 3050 PS driver. It never saw the increased resolution for instance. I think this may be because the HP driver is quite complex (a dozen DLLs) whereas the Brother driver is just two: PSCRIPT.NTF and PS_SCHM_GDL. The former is binary and inscrutable, and the latter is text but seems to be completely generic, for instance, it does not have the 5250 string in it.
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  10. Posts : 2,766
    Windows 10 Home x64
       #10

    Lexmark Universal Print driver v2 allows to print at 600, 1200 and 4800dpi and it seems to work for other brand printers. Tested on my Ricoh printer. It comes in PCL5, PCL XL and PS flavours. Lots of options to tinker with too, although some of them aren't working (brightness, toner density). I have also tried Xerox global driver (which works with my Ricoh too but it's nothing special). Tested Brother universal PCL driver too but it seems to work with Brother printers only.

    I'd like MS to provide generic PCL and Postcript drivers with options to manually specify halftones and such. As of now, even with v4 drivers, printing under Windows seem quite lackluster as far as drivers is concerned.
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