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This topic contains 9 replies, has 0 voices, and was last updated by  JohnD 9 years, 9 months ago.

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  • #3960

    apb
    Member

    I have recently (past few weeks) started crashing my system when I try to print to the winfax photo quality printer. Interestingly, when I reboot and immediately try to print to the photo quality fax, it succeeds without problems.

    The blue screen message is an unhandled kernel exception from the winfax print driver dll. Occurs when printing from MS Word (XP), and 2 different versions of Acrobat (4, 6).

    I checked that the same thing happens from my laptop, which I have not used to send faxes in many years. The laptop is lean in software, and has minimal amounts of software installed, unlike the desktop machine where I first saw the problem.

    I suspect that this problem is related to a recent Microsoft Windows security update, since little else should have changed. Of course, it is also possible that the print driver because corrupted, but it seems highly unlikely that the same corruption should have happened on both the laptop and desktop.

    It is also somewhat mysterious why it occurs after the machine has been running for some time, but not when initially rebooted.
    I am thinking that maybe the print driver makes some assumptions that one of the recent MS fixes has made untrue, perhaps after longer running. (Longer running may provide the possibility say for some buffer assumed to be all zeroes to be overwritten, e.g. if the driver code forgot to initialize something.)

    Has anyone else seen this problem cropping up recently? Any ideas of the cause?

    My system:
    Winfax 10.02
    Windows 2000 sp4
    Dual intel xeon.
    1 GB memory.
    numerous disks (I have been adding disks, now at about 10 — may relate to some resource shortage)

    #8651

    JohnD
    Participant

    I suggest looking at the Event Viewer logs, noting the times & dates when the blue screen errors occur. Note any errors (Red X) in the Event log during those times. Do you have “SideBySide” errors listed here?

    For Windows 2000:
    http://support.microsoft.com/kb/302542

    #8652

    apb
    Member

    Thanks for the suggestion. One of the first things I did was to look at the event logs. Nothing of interest there. Although there are errors, they have been occurring for a long time, and pertain to irrelevant things, like an uninstalled VPN device not installing, or timeouts on some firewall software drivers, or performance counters not working. These have been occurring for a long time before this problem came up. These are generally errors that occur *after* the reboot from the blue screen. There are no errors in the event log before the blue screen, either system or application. (Not too surprising, since the blue screen occurs instantaneously as soon as the output is sent to the printer driver.)

    However, I don’t know what you mean by “SideBySide” errors?

    #8653

    JohnD
    Participant

    With no error message to go on, then delete the photo quality driver.
    Once deleted, reinstall the photo quality driver.

    This can be done in WinFax Tools, Install & Setup Tools, Install Printer Driver.

    or,

    Follow these steps:

    1. In the WinFax PRO Message Manager, click Tools, and click Maintenance Utility.
    2. Click Launch Application or Applet, select Printer Driver Installer, and click OK. The following message appears: “Printer driver was successfully installed!”
    3. Click OK, and click Yes when prompted to relaunch Message Manager.

    #8654

    apb
    Member

    Thanks for responding again. One of the first things I did was to try to reinstall the driver using the maintenance tool. However, the tool responded with “driver already installed”.

    It is not clear to me how to “delete” the driver. For example, I could simply discover where it is kept, and rename it. Or, can it be uninstalled from the windows device driver manager component of computer manager? I can’t recall if I investigated that before. However, that is risky, because installing might later fail and then I will have no faxing at all, as opposed to sometimes blue screens.

    However, I think it is very unlikely that the problem is due to corruption of the driver, because the identical symptoms exist on both my laptop and desktop machines, which have very different stuff installed, and are used for different purposes.

    #8655

    JohnD
    Participant

    With WinFax PRO 10.0x You should have two WinFax printer drivers, the WinFax Photo Quality driver and the WinFax driver. Both should be listed in Control Panel>Printers. To delete the driver, you would need to remove it from there.
    Control Panel>Printers. (Select WinFax (Photo Quality) printer, Right-Click, Delete)

    If you only have the problem with the WinFax (Photo Quality) driver, then remove that one, reboot the computer, and then run the Tool to reinstall the WinFax printer drivers, it may report that the WinFax driver is already installed, but it should re-add the Photo Quality driver too. If it doesn’t, then yes, you could end up with no WinFax Photo Quality driver, but then it should give you an error message which could be used to solve the problem.

    Symantec has this document listing the specific driver files.
    http://service1.symantec.com/SUPPORT/faxprod.nsf/docid/2000052417453904

    However, I think it is very unlikely that the problem is due to corruption of the driver, because the identical symptoms exist on both my laptop and desktop machines, which have very different stuff installed, and are used for different purposes.

    Yes, unlikely, but possible. There is something that is the same on both machines that is causing this problem.

    Do you have any other printer drivers (actual printers, not virtual printers like Adobe PDF Writer, or similiar) installed on these computers? I suggest trying to add a local HP LaserJet printer using the Add A Printer Wizard in Control Panel, Printers (go through the process of the installation as if you had the printer connected), this forces windows to re-add specific printer related files that may be required for Windows. Of course the printer driver won’t work, but the goal here is to force windows to
    “refresh” printer related system files that may have been missing. You can then delete the printer once you’ve determined if this helped, or not. Surpising, but this has resolved some WinFax printer driver related issues before.

    #8656

    apb
    Member

    Thanks yet again. I have a few physical printers installed on both systems, though mainly different ones.

    I tried installing an HP Laserjet on the desktop machine. We shall see if that cures it. I don’t want to precipitate a crash right now, and I’m not sure if the crashes are guaranteed every time, so it may be some time before I update this thread with the results.

    As for why this might work, I seem to remember reading long ago that these kernel-mode printer drivers might have some daisy-chaining they do, and it’s possible, e.g., that uninstalling some driver had some unintended consequences. Or, impossible as it may seem, windows might have a bug :wink:. More likely, though, is my original theory — some recent security fix broke something that the driver was assuming.

    #8657

    JohnD
    Participant

    ok, try that, and if no change you might want to also try installing the following:

    Microsoft Visual C++ 2005 SP1 Redistributable Package (x86)
    http://www.microsoft.com/DOWNLOADS/details.aspx?familyid=200B2FD9-AE1A-4A14-984D-389C36F85647&displaylang=en

    #8658

    apb
    Member

    Thanks.

    I infer from your suggestion that:

    1. Winfax pro 10.x was written in c++.
    2. It uses side-by-side assembly. (Which, despite being a c++ programmer, I don’t know what that is.)
    3. It used runtimes that were older than this and therefore which might have bugs.

    I might add that in my experience as a c++ programmer, primarily under Linux, I found that the MS compiler very often produced incorrect code, especially when one used the more esoteric features of c++, so I’m encouraged that this may solve the problem. (But, on the pessimistic side, the problem looks more like a programmer error than a compiler or library bug. What’s worse, it could be a bug in a different driver — e.g., causing a buffer overrun into someplace that Winfax uses). But, without source code, it’s all a giant mystery.)

    In any case, I will first try renstalling the Winfax printer drivers when I either have time to or are forced to reboot.

    #8659

    JohnD
    Participant

    1. Yes, WinFax PRO 10 was written in C++
    2. I don’t know if actually uses SxS (Side By Side Assembly) I’d guess no, since development was done mostly in 1999,2000. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Side-by-side_assembly According to this document, this support is in Windows XP and above, and was added in MS Visual C++ 2005 Edition.

    I came across a similar error under Windows XP that was solved by downloading and installing the 2005 C++ Redistributable package. The “SideBySide” errors where being logged in the event viewer, and this update corrected that and the WinFax printer driver BSOD.

    If you do find that this solves the problem for you let me know.

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