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Windows 7: Acrobat PDF printer (v8) different output on 2 PCs


21 Oct 2011   #1

Windows 7 Home Premium
 
 
Acrobat PDF printer (v8) different output on 2 PCs

The subject of Acrobat PDF printer has come up before, here, and on other forums, but usually it's about installing the Acrobat PDF printer (or lack thereof after an install), this is not the case for this post.

This topic is about having different behavour on two nearly identical machines. One PC can print from IE9 to the Acrobat PDF printer, the other can't and I can't figure out why.
(the other one does create a PDF, but it's void of content except for the header/footer from IE)

Here's the paramaers:
Desktop PC running Windows 7 x64 (w/updates to 9-2011)
Laptop PC running Windows 7 x32 (w/updates to 9-2011)
Both loaded with Acrobat Pro v8.3.1
Both running IE9 (32bit) v9.0.8112.16421

When I print to the "Adobe PDF" printer (print dialog box, where you would normally select your printer), the "Adobe PDF" printer is indeed listed and selectable, but after selecting the "Adobe PDF" printer, the next dialog box that is presented it the standard Windows "Save As" dialog box and this is where the weirdness starts... and the Laptop never prints the content properly.

Desktop PC:



Laptop PC:



The two "issues" I'm posting for help here are these:

1.) the Desktop PC actually prints the webpages into a PDF, the Laptop will not
(on the Laptop, it does create a file, but always 1 page only, void of content except for the header/footer from IE)

2.) The Desktop install seems to know it's a webpage and uses some of the webpage URL/link as a suggested filename, the Laptop always inserts a random alpha-numeric filename as if it has no clue of the source.

I have spent hours looking at all available settings for both IE9 and Acrobat8 and they are both identical, I can't quite figure out why one prints the webpages into a PDF and the other won't.
(both Acroat installations and updates are from the same disc)

I've posted this on other forums before, usually all I get are the obligatory reply's like "oh you should try ***PDF instead" and "Acrobat 8 isn't supported in Windows 7"... etc. Well all that would be fine ...except... it does work on the Desktop PC so I can put to rest the "isn't supported" notion because it does work on my Desktop PC.

Anybody have any thoughts as to why the Laptop PC can't print the webpage content and the Desktop PC can?

BTW, here's the proof that Acrobat 8.3 does work on Windows 7: http://www.classicamplification.net/...tput-2-pcs.pdf


My System SpecsSystem Spec
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21 Oct 2011   #2

Windows 7 32 bit
 
 

Try BullZip PDF printer driver. If that works on the machine that's not working now, then it's the printer driver. If it doesn't you have another problem. Narrowing down the problem is most of diagnostics.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
21 Oct 2011   #3

Win7 H.Prem. 32bit+SP1
 
 

My fav. program for printing is:- Download PDFCreator from SourceForge.net
My System SpecsSystem Spec
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24 Oct 2011   #4

Windows 7 Home Premium
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by MilesAhead View Post
Try BullZip PDF printer driver. If that works on the machine that's not working now, then it's the printer driver. If it doesn't you have another problem. Narrowing down the problem is most of diagnostics.
No joy, exact same result, ...one blank page.

My gut feeling is that it's not the driver, but I cannot figure out what else it could be. It's almost as if the printer driver cannot access the IE temp folder or something, yet I get no UAC message so it's probably not that.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
24 Oct 2011   #5

Windows 7 32 bit
 
 

Does BullZip let you save a PDF to the desktop that actually has content? Only thing I can think of is narrow it down step by step.

At least something goes to the printer. Often that's one step away from normal function.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
24 Oct 2011   #6

Windows 7 Home Premium
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by MilesAhead View Post
Does BullZip let you save a PDF to the desktop that actually has content? Only thing I can think of is narrow it down step by step.

At least something goes to the printer. Often that's one step away from normal function.
No, exact same result as Acrobat is doing, saves a file with one (blank) page.
(no content)
My System SpecsSystem Spec
24 Oct 2011   #7

Windows 7 32 bit
 
 

Have you tried a different browser? I never use IE so I'm no help with security and other settings. I do chromium as main browser and FF5 as secondary.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
25 Oct 2011   #8

Windows 7 Home Premium
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by MilesAhead View Post
Have you tried a different browser? I never use IE so I'm no help with security and other settings. I do chromium as main browser and FF5 as secondary.
So I have 2 PC's, both with the same software and versions, one works the other doesn't, and you suggest I should try another browser. This helps me fix the second one how?
My System SpecsSystem Spec
25 Oct 2011   #9

Windows 7 Home Premium
 
 

Sorry 'bout the snarky reply Miles, I had hoped to avoid all the "try something else" (help?) when I typed up my OP.

Anyway, I've made some progress, but still not home yet.

I made drive images taken at several points since the original load of Windows 7, so I started back-pedaling though them last night to see if I could find out when/where things went wrong. Interesting (but not surprising) the defect seemed to come along with IE9, can't tell exactly if it was the original install of IE9 or the Windows security update for IE9, but everything worked well with IE8 as the browser.

So I did more Goog'lin about IE9 issues and came across a post somewhere that a guy said to try running IE9 "as administrator" which I had initially ignored before because my log-in is as an administrator, well guess what? yep it worked (kind'a, see below).

When I go through the Start Menu, right-click the IE icon and select "run as administrator" (pops up the UAC box and all that) but then when IE9 loads it can print the content of a page to the Acrobat PDFD printer.
(and the content can be seen in IE9's "Print Preview" dialog box)

Now it makes a PDF with all the webpage content (woohoo!) and correct amount of pages ...but... (and isn't there always a "but") the next problem is that much of the text is garbage. The text looking kind'a like when you try to print unicode from an ascii program, see below:



Goog'lin for garbled text, I find forum posts that suggest going into the Acrobat PDF Printer properties and de-selecting "rely on system fonts only", which I did



but that didn't fix it, so back to the grind trying to get this worked out.

I still can't figure out why one machine works flawlessly, and the other doesn't, that's the weird part, same everything but no joy on the laptop (yet!).
My System SpecsSystem Spec
25 Oct 2011   #10

Windows 7 32 bit
 
 

I doubt there are 2 machines set up "the same" unless you have a corporate network where the sys admin installs all the workers from a network install. Stuff you put on you may not think about such as fonts, fixes, any upgrades to programs.

My suggestion is still try a different browser. Branch and look. That's how you find differences. Different browsers often use different fonts by default. Hammering in the same nail often wastes time. If you find what works that's usually the clue what the factor is breaking the non-performing program/system.

On the "unicode" thing, If it looks like it could be the problem it might be. The font used may not support unicode. Or the style sheet(if IE has a custom style sheet, I don't know. Chromium uses Custom.css) may differ.

My M.O. when fixing something is not so much figure out why it's broken as get it working. Then it's usually easy to see what broke it.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
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 Acrobat PDF printer (v8) different output on 2 PCs




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