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Monday, April 9th, 2012

Time Event
9:38a
Windows 7 printing; acrobat reader; ReadyNAS
Over the weekend my computer spontaneously ceased to print PDFs. My configuration is: Lenovo X201 running Windows 7; Netgear ReadyNAS Ultra 4+, connected to; HP Desktop 5550; Acrobat reader X. I can print from, say Word just fine, but when printing from Acroread the program hangs for 30 seconds at each of these steps: select the deskjet; change any advanced settings; click print. The document I'm printing is very simple and very small -- it's not the doc's fault. I had connected the printer using Windows's wizard: it's a network printer on a print server (the ReadyNAS) and it all seemed to just work. But not.

According to many pages on the Web it seems that Windows Printing doesn't work well with older printer drivers and NAS devices. Or, something like that. The workaround is to use Internet Printing Protocol (IPP) rather than Windows Printing. These instructions are a good guide but not perfect. I first enabled IPP on my machine: Control Panel > Programs > Turn Windows features on or off > Print and Document Services > Internet Printing Client. Turns out it was already checked. Then, I added a new printer. Add a printer > Add a network, wireless or Bluetooth printer (I see my Mom wasn't there to add the missing series comma) > The printer I want isn't listed > Select a shared printer by name > paste in the name using the form http://[nas]:631/printers/[shared_printer_name]. You can visit such a URL in your browser to be sure it works; for me, I see a print queue page, served by the NAS. Click OK a few times, select the driver for the printer, and it's done. Back to Acroread and ... yes, it's much faster. I don't know the root cause of this issue, and I don't know why my computer chose this weekend to give up being awesome here, but I'm content that I can print PDFs again in well under 3 minutes. Maybe these instructions will help someone else, too.

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