SUMMARY: PC-NFS printing problem

From: Duncan Laidlaw (
Date: Thu Mar 02 1995 - 03:47:26 CST

The original question:

I am experiencing an intermittent problem printing from
Windows applications running on PC's connected to the
network with PC-NFS v5.1. The hosts to which the printers
are connected are running SunOS 4.1.3 and each is
also running pcnfsd. Files reach the PCNFS spool
directory /var/spool/pcnfs/pc_hostname and
remain there. These files appear to be complete and
correct for they can be manually printed with lpr.

The problem only appears to be with printing. All other
PCNFS features appear to work correctly.

Thanks to all who took the time to respond.
No one definitive suggestion. However, several suggested
turning off various Windows print options ie:

from <Rob@SGT.COM>
> In Windows:
> select print manager icon, and under options->network settings,
> deselect "Print Net Jobs Direct" (shouldn't have a X in the block).

In my case this had already been done

from: <>

 You must check off the box Use Print Manager in the Control Panel>Printers>

 You must uncheck 'Fast Printing Direct to Port' under
   Control Panel>Printers>Connect

 You must uncheck 'Send Documents Directly to Network' in
   Print Manager>Options>Background Printing checkbox.

 You must uncheck Word>Tools>Options>Print, Background Printing under
   Printing options

Amy Hollander <> pointed out that many
PC programs use sockets and do not free them. No free sockets
and you are stuck. In this instance it was pointed out that:

"we found that the actual transfer of the file to /var/spool/pcnfs
works fine. Then the pc sends two bytes thru sockets to tell it that it
is a complete file ready to go over to the lp or lpr daemon."

The only solution until the applications are corrected is a reboot.

While this appears a very likely cause, I would have expected to see the
problem much more frequently than I do given the large number of PC-NFS
connected PC's (sigh) that are on the network. indicated that a patch was available to bring PC-NFS
up to 5.1a and that this was one of the problems corrected. had found that defining the printer as Postscript printer
with the "send header" option corrected the same problem! concluding:

"I don't really understand Windows, so I'm not sure why this fixed it.
Basically, if a file ever hit the spool dir with a name like "nfs..."
it wouldn't print until I lpr'd the file. When it hit the directory
with a name like "ps...", it would always print."

I am continuing to experiment with the above suggestions. Given the intermittent
nature of the problem it will be some time before I can be confident that the
problem has/has not been corrected.

Thanks again to those who responded.

Duncan Laidlaw
Placer Dome Inc.

"It's in an advanced stage of development"

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