Special considerations with Windows Type 4 print drivers
Last modified on 18 September 2021 12:52 AM
What is a Type 4 Driver?
Type 4 drivers were introduced by Microsoft with Windows Server 2012 and were intended to replace the default drivers bundled with the Windows operating system. Unfortunately, there are a few issues customers have reported when using these drivers, and a couple problems when using these drivers in conjunction with specific PaperCut features. Each one of these situations is discussed below.
A simple way to check the driver type is to open the Print Management console, open Drivers, then look at the column named “Driver Type”. This will say whether a particular driver is a Type 3 or Type 4 driver. A Type 4 driver is usually bundled with the operating system or is downloaded from Windows update, whereas Type 3 drivers are often downloaded from the printer manufacturer’s website.
Below we’ve documented some of the shortcomings we’ve found with Type 4 drivers, some of which are completely unrelated to PaperCut. At the bottom of this article we explain what limitations PaperCut has with Type 4 drivers.
To make a long story short, we recommend using Type 3 drivers downloaded from a printer manufacturer’s website whenever possible.
Jobs from Linux and MacOS clients will fail to print
This issue will occur even without PaperCut, but printing from Mac and Linux clients will produce a rendering failure to printers using a Type 4 driver. From the user’s perspective it will seem as if their print jobs disappeared. When this occurs, Windows will capture this failure in the Windows Print Service event logs, which can be found in Event Viewer on the print server under “Applications and Services Logs” > “Microsoft” > “Windows” > “PrintService” > “Admin” log as event 372.
The document Print Document, owned by USER, failed to print on printer PRINTER. Try to print the document again, or restart the print spooler. Data type: RAW. Size of the spool file in bytes: 104. Number of bytes printed: 104. Total number of pages in the document: 1. Number of pages printed: 0. Client computer: \\machine. Win32 error code returned by the print processor: 2147500037. Unspecified error.
If you encounter this problem, simply switching to a Type 3 print driver will correct this issue.
“This operation is not supported” error when adding a printer or changing port settings
Windows Server 2012R2 will check the Port Monitor software associated with a printer which is configured to use a Type 4 print driver and generate this error.
A Port Monitor is software that moves print data from the print spooler service to the printer. Microsoft provides additional information on MSDN: https://msdn.microsoft.com/en-us/library/windows/desktop/dd162825
When the Port Monitor is not one supplied with the operating system, Windows will prevent changes from occurring and post the above message. This can happen also happen with the PaperCut TCP/IP Port, because this Port Monitor is installed during the Primary and Secondary server installations on Windows.
This means that Type 4 drivers cannot be used in tandem with PaperCut Hardware Page Checks because it this type of driver will not work with 3rd party Port Monitors. If you intend to use Hardware Page Checks, please use a Type 3 driver downloaded from the manufacturer’s web site.
“This operation is not supported” when changing the driver
This error will happen without PaperCut and can be seen when attempting to change a Type 4 to a Type 3 print driver on a shared printer.
Fortunately there is an easy workaround:
PaperCut Watermarking is not compatible with Type 4 Drivers
Watermarking with PaperCut is only supported with RAW or PostScript spool files, but Type 4 drivers will not render documents in this format, which means that PaperCut is not able to inject a Watermark into the document. If you intend to use the PaperCut Watermarking feature please make sure that you are using a Type 3 PostScript or PCL driver.
Find-Me Printing won’t work when Type 3 and Type 4 drivers are mixed
Only one driver type may be used in this configuration due to the different data output formats supported by the two driver types. When one Type 4 driver is used, then the Find Me and all real printers must use Type 4 drivers. For instance, redirecting PCL6 data to a print driver that only supports XPS data will result in output errors.
Requirements for Job Redirection is covered here.
PaperCut’s Change Print Job Settings is not compatible with Type 4 Drivers
In PaperCut MF 18.2, we introduced the ability for users to Change Print Job Settings at the device. As one example, this allows users of supported copier devices to change their color job to a grayscale one at the point of release. Changes to job settings via this feature which require the spool file to be modified will not work if a Type 4 print driver is in use. If you intend to enable the Change Print Job Settings feature, a Type 3 print driver should be used on all the relevant print queues.
Type 4 Drivers won’t work with PaperCut’s Hardware Page Check feature
Type 4 drivers cannot be used in tandem with Hardware Page Checks because it this type of driver will not work with 3rd party Port Monitors. If you intend to use Hardware Page Checks, please use a Type 3 driver downloaded from the manufacturer’s web site.