W7 x64 Ultimate SP1 Fax & Scan - prints only to PRN file

Discussion in 'Windows 7 Help and Support' started by pcmacd, Dec 21, 2011.

  1. pcmacd

    pcmacd New Member

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    My W7 integral fax & scan installation worked great for years. All of a sudden it would only print to a PRN file (print to file is NOT checked.)

    I removed fax & scan from the installed components, and after six or so hours of fooling around, finally deleted REG entire entries:

    • [HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Fax]
    • [HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Fax]
    Rebooted, renabled fax & scan, rebooted, and it worked ok after setting up a new fax account. For about 2 months.

    Then, out of the blue, it is broken again. Same problem. I tried the same treatment, but lo! It still does not work. I've not done any Windows updates for over a month.

    This is most frustrating. I really don't want to go to XP Mode to send a fax;

    • suggestions, please?

    tx

    pc
     
  2. Saltgrass

    Saltgrass Excellent Member
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    Could you explain exactly what you are printing and how you are printing? Fax or Scanner file inbound or outbound, etc... The exact steps will help us replicate your situation.

    Do your printers show up in the select printers dialog?
     
  3. pcmacd

    pcmacd New Member

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    Thanks for your reply.

    I am just trying to PRINT TO FAX rom Adobe Acrobat Pro -- I usually create a correspondence in office 2007, print to PDF for a permanent record, then print the PDF to fax. Note again, please that the "print to file" box was NOT checked in the windows fax app.

    I have just recalled last time that if I tried to send a simple fax from the fax and scan app, just text into the text area, that it would work. I have not verified it this time but will do on next reboot if it still does not work.

    tx

    pc
     
  4. Saltgrass

    Saltgrass Excellent Member
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    I don't have the Adobe Acrobat Pro, just the Reader. But it seems there may be some things you could test to see what might be going on.

    First, if you have a .pdf file, try right clicking and select send to Fax Recipient. When you do that does the new fax window open?

    If I open a .pdf in Adobe Reader and select print, I am presented with a list of printers, which includes the fax. Do you get that window and does fax show up.

    You also might try setting the fax printer to your default printer to test.

    Have you checked the entries in the registry for their values when the system was working and when it isn't and notice any differences?

    If you need to attach a picture of a dialog window, you can use the snipping tool to take the picture, then attach using the paperclip.

    Edit: I have not used internet faxing, but could it be involved?
     
    #4 Saltgrass, Dec 21, 2011
    Last edited: Dec 21, 2011
  5. pcmacd

    pcmacd New Member

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    Thanks for your continuing support... I have it working again.

    ~~~~~~~~~~~~
    Before I go further, let's make it clear that my objective now is to
    • Keep this nonsense from happening again.
      • This is an absolutely LUDICROUS situation
    I find it amazing that I cannot find any other references to this problem on the net.
    • It's a serious PITA.
    I mean, really!
    • Who in the blazes wants to spend an hour or so fooling with this stupid )(*%^%## Windows 7 "undocumented feature" every two months?
    It's totally unacceptable. If I knew what part of the REG to back up, I could easily do that, then restore just that part as required. That, sir, is and of itself a serious science project; it does not appear to be any of the entries I have noted below. Now that I have that off my chest...

    ~~~~~~~~~~~~
    I believe this answers most of your questions (thanks again for your interest!): To demonstrate the problem, in the open PDF document:
    • select FILE / PRINT
    • select FAX as printer
    • enter the appropriate information such as fax number, etc.
    • press SEND.
    • The app says something such as "select file name" with a *.PRN suffix.
    • ...
      • Pour another Martini...
    ~~~~~~~~~~~~
    The fix: in CONTROL PANEL / PROGRAMS AND FEATURES, in the left column,
    • select "TURN WINDOWS FEATURES ON OR OFF."
    12-21-2011 11-14-14 AM.

    Remove fax & scan from windows apps (un Czech it' see image above.)

    • Press OK;
    Remove modem from DEVICE MANAGER.

    BACK UP, then delete these REG keys:
    • [HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Fax]
    • [HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Fax] (the whole shebang! everything here and under!)
    • [HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\ Windows NT\CurrentVersion\Print\OfflinePrinters
    • Reboot
    • Enable fax and scan (can't configure fax account yet.)
    • Reboot
    • Configure fax account
    Voila!

    ~~~~~~~~~~~~
    I RE-ITERATE!

    I REALLY WOULD LIKE TO HAVE TO KEEP FROM REPEATING THIS NONSENSE EVERY TWO MONTHS.


    Suggestions, 'yall?

    TanksAgain....

    pc


    Grrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr.
     
    #5 pcmacd, Dec 21, 2011
    Last edited: Dec 21, 2011
  6. Saltgrass

    Saltgrass Excellent Member
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    OK, you don't need to respond, but if anything makes sense, let us know.

    First, there have been occassions where a checked box, even though it was not checked was treated as if it was. The entry can get stuck or out of phase with the option. In such a case, putting the option to the same as the perceived behavior and setting it, then removing the entry and setting again might get it back in sync.

    It appears to me the information about Printing to a File is kept within the Registry settings for that program. So if you are using Adobe Acrobat, there should be a registry entry PRINTTOFILE somewhere for that program in the Registry. Searching for it may find one, although I did not find one when using the Fax Printer and Adobe Reader. I did find one when using Word and Print to File with it.

    I certainly cannot say that the steps you took are not the only way to solve your problem. But I would have a tendency to believe the problem is within Acrobat. Did you ever try and check the Print to file box and let it print to see what the differences were when it was not checked? Do all pdf files act the same way, or might there be some problem reproducing certain types of .pdfs in fax format..like images.

    Anyway, I hope you find an easier solution.
     
  7. pcmacd

    pcmacd New Member

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    Thanks for your continuing interest...

    I did, in fact, try checking the print to file box, doing so, then un-checking it. Nothing.

    And, I expect you are right about Acrobat being the culprit, especially based upon my recollection of being able to use the fax w/o Acrobat; I guess I was soooo frustrated that I did not consider that possibility. I'll poke around there in the reg next time.

    I am deeply disappointed with Adobe re: the quality of Acrobat X. I have it installed on two different computers; on one, it is only useless about 5% to 10% of the time (it LOCKS up both Acrobat & Firefox, which must be closed and re-opened to print again.)

    On the other machine, I have just given up using it, even after a brute force uninstall with Revo Uninstaller, followed by a reboot and reinstall, it routinely just locks up whatever app it is being called from. I now routinely use CutePDFWriter for that machine, even though the PDF files it generates are nearly 2x larger than Acrobat.

    This kind of nonsense (above) from Adobe should have hit me between the eyes re: the fax problem. Thanks for pointing it out: Duh.me!

    Adobe Systems should be embarrassed that they have put out such a shoddy product; I have used their tools professionally for years & years, and _never_ experienced a bug, much less the intolerable quality problems I have had with Acrobat X.

    pc

    ..
     
    #7 pcmacd, Dec 22, 2011
    Last edited: Dec 22, 2011
  8. helpifIcan

    helpifIcan Extraordinary Member

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    Not sure if this will help you but take a look at foxit reader, maybe that will work for you. I gave up using Adobe reader just because of all the strange problems.
     
  9. pcmacd

    pcmacd New Member

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    Well, it's done it again.

    This is ludicrous.

    And it appears to have nothing to do with Adobe, as I can't send even a text message as I previously thought I could.

    pc
     
  10. helpifIcan

    helpifIcan Extraordinary Member

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    The only other thing I can think of is to clone oyour drive and try an inplace reinstall of windows.
     
  11. Saltgrass

    Saltgrass Excellent Member
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    Did you notice or did you find anything in the Event Viewer that might be related to the change?

    Have you ever gotten a Firewall warning during Fax Account setup?

    Do you always use the same cover page?

    Are you printing to an internal fax modem or something else?

    Have you changed anything or have any programs that might change the .tif file associations, or anything else that might have any other effect on .tif operations?

    I just installed a fax modem so I could go through the entire process. Of course, for now mine works fine.

    If you wanted, you could export the parts of the registry you think are involved, then check them after the situation has changed. Maybe you could see some setting that had changed.

    Have you tried opening an administrative command prompt and typing sfc /scannow to check your system files?

    My only thoughts are that the utility for some reason has been set to Print to File. If not that, then possibly it tries to print to a fax, but for some reason it cannot and reverts back to a .PRN. Possibly modem access in involved, I can only guess.
     
  12. pcmacd

    pcmacd New Member

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    Thanks for your continuing help.

    pc
     
  13. pcmacd

    pcmacd New Member

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    Well, I gave up and found BVRP PhoneTools ver 9.03 ENU at the USR site:

    USRobotics Support BVRP PhoneTools

    It works great. For weeks now.

    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
    Just for laughs today I tried the "broken" Windows 7 fax and scan; it works. Geezuz.

    Let's all buy stock in Apple.

    :bat::bat::bat:
    pc
     
  14. LLM2

    LLM2 New Member

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    Help this is OLD thread but my windows fax and scan will only .prn file for me too!
     

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