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Pcounter for Windows FAQ #1

Update to Pcounter Port 2.20 causes ports to disappear or printer status to go Offline

To repair:

  • Download 2.20a
  • See also: How to upgrade from previous versions
  • On the Services/Ports tab of the Pcounter server configuration, the Pcounter Port status will be "Not installed".
  • Press Install to install the Pcounter Port and answer "Yes" if Pcontrol asks if you want to fix printers.
  • The printers should then be ready to print using the updated Pcounter Port.

For load balanced printers which have gone Offline - the new Pcounter Ports have been renamed to PCOUNT_LoadBalxxx. In the printer properties, assign the new port to the load balance print queue and set the print queue status back to "Use Printer Online".

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Moving print jobs due to rules or load balancing fails

If Advanced printing features is selected in the printer properties of the source printer, then it must also be selected in the printer properties of the destination printer in order for jobs to be moved properly.

However, if Advanced printing features is selected on the destination printer, then jobs will be moved properly regardless of the setting on the source printer.

Turning off Advanced printing features sets the default spool datatype to RAW.

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How to lock down Pcounter Administrator to a specific Active Directory OU

  • Run Pcounter Administrator, and browse to the specific OU which should be locked down.
  • Quit Pcounter Administrator.
  • Run RegEdit and browse to the key: HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Pcounter\PAdmin
  • Double-click on the value ADSContainer, and copy the contents to the clipboard.  (Example: LDAP://CN=Users,DC=pcounter,DC=com)
  • Edit the shortcut used to launch Pcounter Administrator  (Example: C:\Documents and Settings\All Users\Start Menu\Programs\PCounter for Windows\Pcounter Administrator.lnk)
  • Edit target and add " LockOU=XXX" to the end of the target path, where XXX is the value pasted from the ADSContainer above.  (Example: C:\Program Files\PCounter for Windows\NT\PADMIN.EXE LockOU=LDAP://CN=Users,DC=pcounter,DC=com)
  • Run Pcounter Administrator again.

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Printing error: Pcounter service and port versions out of sync

This error typically occurs when updating the Pcounter server software to a later version - the Pcounter Printer Control service was updated, but not the Pcounter ports. Different versions of the Pcounter Printer Control service and ports will not work together and must be updated at the same time.

For more information regarding upgrades, please see:

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Broadcast messages are not being received

  • Windows NT4/2000/XP/2003 workstations and servers
    A recent Microsoft security bulletin was issued regarding vulnerabilities in the Messenger Service.  Applying this patch and/or other actions discussed in the bulletin, such as blocking NetBIOS ports or disabling the Messenger Service, will cause broadcast messages not to be received.  The Messenger Service is required to be running on workstations in order to receive broadcast messages, and is required to be running on servers in order to send broadcast messages.
  • Windows XP SP2
    SP2 disables the Messenger service during installation.
  • Windows 9x workstations
    Windows 9x workstations require WinPopup or equivalent to be running, such as Awesome Popup.
  • Testing
    Use the NET SEND command from the Pcounter server Command Prompt to test broadcast messages.
  • Pcounter Configuration
    In the Pcounter server: Messaging Configuration (Pcontrol, Configure Pcounter Server, Global Settings, Messaging Configuration), Pcounter can be configured to send messages to user names, workstation names, or both.

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Pcounter Data Server not detected by remote print servers after applying Win200 SP4

Apparently the Service Pack 4 installer has overwritten a Pcounter registry value.  This can be fixed by reinstalling the Pcounter Data Server service.

  • Open the Pcounter server configuration on the Windows 2000 data server.
  • On the Services/Ports tab, Remove, then Install the Pcounter Data Server service. Pcontrol will display the message about accepting data from remote machines.
  • On the Windows 2000 data server, either restart the Server service and dependent services, or easier, reboot it.

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Command line options for adding printers and other operations

Windows 2000 and later:

Type: rundll32 printui.dll,PrintUIEntry /? to see all of the options.
This works with both local and network printers.
Google search for printui.dll examples

Windows NT 4.0 and later:

Use CON2PRT from the Zero Administration Kit.
This works with network printers only.

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How to set default datatype to RAW

(Windows 2000/XP)

  • Open the Printer Properties.
  • Choose the Advanced tab.
  • Make sure that Enable advanced printing features is disabled.

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"Procedure number out of range" error when printing
"Array bounds are invalid" error when printing

This error can occur if the Pcounter ports and Printer Control Service versions are not the same version. Please make sure that all Pcounter service and port versions are the same.

  • Run Pcontrol, Network View.
  • Find your server in the domain/workgroup, right-click, and select Pcounter, Configuration.
  • On the Services/Ports page, press Update for each required component and restart the services.

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"User-mapped section open" error when updating Pcounter services

This error occurs if the Event Viewer is open and viewing the Application log. The Event Viewer reads event messages from service EXE files, preventing them from being deleted or replaced. Either close the Event Viewer or view the System or Security logs in order to update the Pcounter services.  Other monitoring software may also be using the event logs as well.

A workaround for this error is to install the services manually.  Please see: Upgrading from previous versions of Pcounter, look at the section named Manual upgrade instructions for server components.

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Print jobs are printing but not being recorded in Pcounter.log

  • Has the printer been configured with a Pcounter port? If not, configure the Pcounter port through the printer's properties or by using the Pcounter Port Wizard in the Pcounter server configuration.
  • Verify that the Pcounter Data Server service is running and that the Pcounter print server is referencing the correct data server in Global Settings. If the data server has been changed since the Pcounter Printer Control service was started then you will need to restart the printer control service.
  • If the PCOUNTER share was created manually, instead of in Pcontrol, then the \\DataServer\PCOUNTER\DATA subdirectory may also need to be created.
  • Make sure that Pcounter Administrator (PAdmin) is also referencing the correct data server in Utility, Preferences, Global Settings. Also check Utility, Preferences, Reports/Print Histories in order to make sure that it is reading from the preferred log file.
  • Has your 60 day trial period expired? If so, print job data will not be recorded. You can request a trial period extension.
  • Make sure that the SYSTEM account has full control permission to the PCOUNTER share and the DATA subdirectory on the data server.
  • Check the Application Event Log on the data server. If there are any Pcounter errors, they will be recorded here.

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Moving the Pcounter share

If the Pcounter data is to be moved to another location, then the Pcounter share on the data server will need to be moved.

  • In Windows Explorer, find the directory location for the Pcounter Share, right-click, select Sharing.
  • Click the Not Shared button.
  • Run Pcontrol on the Data server, locate the Data server in Network View, right-click, select Pcounter Configuration.
  • On the Global Settings page, create the Pcounter share again in the desired location.

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Printer features such as landscape or duplex are ignored

If the registration number or trial period permits, update Pcounter to version 2.05d or later.

For versions earlier than 2.05d, typically this can be fixed by forcing workstations to spool using the RAW datatype.

Windows NT

  • On the server where the printer is shared, Start, Settings, Printers. (Or Control Panel, Printers.)
  • Select the printer, right-click, choose Document Defaults.
  • On the Advanced page, under Document Options, set Metafile Spooling=Disabled.

Windows 2000 or later

  • On the server where the printer is shared, Start, Settings, Printers. (Or Control Panel, Printers.)
  • Select the printer, right-click, choose Printing Preferences.
  • Press the Advanced button.
  • Under Document Options, set Advanced Printing Features=Disabled.

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Virus checkers can cause unpredictable behavior

If a virus checker is running which is monitoring the spool folders and other system areas, it can cause conflicts with Pcounter (and other software). It is unnecessary to scan spool files for viruses - even if no conflicts occur, CPU cycles are being wasted. Please configure any virus scanning software to ignore the spool folders.

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"Network request is not supported" error when creating a Pcounter port

Typically this error occurs while trying to create a port inside a terminal session. This is not supported by the Windows spooler for Pcounter ports, and it will be necessary to create the port on the native server console.

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Jobs are allowed to print below a user's low balance limit

In the Pcounter printer configuration, make sure Action if below low balance limit = Delete job or Pause job.

If the above setting is already in effect, make sure that the printer's spool setting is set to Start printing after last page is spooled. If printing starts before the spool file is completely written, Pcounter will not be able to determine the number of pages in the job before printing begins.

For the most accurate "before job" counting results, it is recommended that the default datatype be set to RAW, if possible.  This can be set by making sure that Enable Advanced Printing Features is disabled.

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Spooler messages are filling up the Event Log

Pcounter activity may cause more spooler events than usual. To turn them off: Start, Settings, Printers, File, Server Properties. On the Advanced page, uncheck the logging options and restart the Spooler service.

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