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Network printer error

Q: When I try to print to a network printer, I get the message Printer error and when I click OK, RTG Bills (or RTG Timer) exits.

A: First check that you have set up your PC to communicate with the network printer. You should have an icon in the Printers folder for the printer. Make sure this printer is the default printer, because RTG Bills and RTG Timer always print to the default printer when they start up.  You can select another printer with the command Setup > Printer.

In Windows 95, you should see a checkmark next to Set as Default if you right-click the printer icon.  In later versions of Windows, there is a black circle with a white checkmark next to the icon for the default printer.

The following additional instructions apply to older versions of Windows (95/98/Me).

Follow these steps:

  1. Right-click the printer icon and choose Properties.
  2. Click the Details tab.
  3. Under Print to the following port:, select LPT1:.
  4. Click the Capture Printer Port button.
    1. Set Device to LPT1 and enter the Path to the printer. Typically this is something like \\serverpc\hp4 where serverpc is the name of the computer which is directly connected to the printer and hp4 is the name of the printer.
    2. Check the box for Reconnect at logon.
    3. Click OK in the Capture Printer Port window.
  5. Click OK to save these settings.

This should fix the problem. If it doesn't, please check each of the above steps to be certain that you did it correctly.

If you still cannot print, test the printer using Windows Notepad. Choose Start > Programs > Accessories > Notepad. Type a sentence or two. Then choose File > Print from the Notepad menu. Notice that you don't need to choose a printer. Notepad uses the default printer, just like RTG Bills and RTG Timer. If the text you typed prints on the printer, then it is set up correctly.

If the Notepad text does not print, obviously there is something wrong which is not related to RTG Bills and RTG Timer. Perhaps you entered the printer path incorrectly.

If Notepad works but RTG Bills and RTG Timer still do not, try creating a new printer icon:

  1. Click Start and choose Settings > Printers to open the printers folder.
  2. Delete the printer icon from the Printers folder.
  3. Double-click Add Printer to start the Printer Wizard. Choose "Network printer."
  4. On the next screen, put in the "Network path or queue name."
  5. Important: For the question Do you print from MS-DOS-based programs? choose Yes instead of No. Answer Yes even though RTG Bills is a Windows program!
  6. Choose your printer from the list of manufacturers and printers.
  7. Choose a name for the printer.
  8. Be sure to choose Yes to answer the question Do you want your Windows-based programs to use this printer as the default printer?

Run RTG Bills and it should print correctly.

If you still have the same problem, we have one more suggestion. There may be a problem with the "printer driver" software that you are using for your printer. Create a new printer icon, as described above, but choose an older printer that is compatible with your actual printer. For example, for HP printers, choose the HP LaserJet 4 (which is known to work), even though you have a newer model.

For further help diagnosing network printing problems, visit Microsoft's support site and read the article How To Troubleshoot Network Printing Problems.