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HP LaserJet Series Printers - HP Print Processor
What is it?
The HP print processor provides additional functionality for numerous page manipulation features when compared to the standard print processor (WinPrint) available with Windows. The HP print processor is used in the newer HP Unidrive-based 2000 and XP drivers, and is one of the essential components in HP driver architecture. The HP print processor provides functionality such as collation, booklet making, scaling, watermarks, and N-up ordering of pages.
Why would Microsoft tell customers to change the print processor?
This is a standard troubleshooting procedure by Microsoft. Microsoft recommends removing all third-party print processors from the system as a basic troubleshooting step. Per Microsoft documentation, third-party print processors are supported in Cluster. All released HP LaserJet print drivers (including the HP print processor component) have gone through Microsoft WHQL certification and are signed by Microsoft. All current released HP LaserJet drivers are cluster aware, and Cluster is part of the HP internal driver qualification suite. There is no separate "cluster certification" available from Microsoft at this time.
Known issues with the print processor
This has been fixed (then broken) and then fixed again in 2003 Cluster. If the customer does not have SP1 installed they, can get around the print processor issue using the following hotfix: http://support.microsoft.com/default.aspx?scid=kb;en-us;835609 .
If the customer then installs SP1, the above hotfix is broken, and they need to install another hotfix: http://support.microsoft.com/kb/906752/en-us .
In Windows 2000 Cluster you have to add the printer (only once for each unique print processor) locally on each of the physical nodes of the cluster; then you can add it to the virtual node.
Why does HP have so many print processors?
A single print processor across all products is more difficult to maintain. Therefore, HP has different print processors for each printer. Using one print processor across all products in the qualification process requires all printers to be qualified. However, using a separate print processor for each printer allows qualification to occur on an individual basis, and rolls and fixes occur faster.
How do you temporarily change the print processor?
What happens after changing the print processor?
Certain driver functionality is lost after changing from the HP print processor to WinPrint. However, some items may still be available, such as duplex, job storage, and output options (stapling, bin selection) even if advanced features are no longer available for that product. The following is a list of possible missing or different functionalities if the HP print processor is not used.
The following image shows a print properties screen for the HP Color LaserJet 9500mfp using the HP print processor:
The following image shows a print properties screen for the HP Color LaserJet 9500mfp using WinPrint:
When using WinPrint, the Effects tab and all its options do not exist. The Effects tab includes resizing and watermark options.
The following image shows the Finishing tab for the HP Color LaserJet 9500mfp when using the HP print processor:
The following screen shows the Finishing tab for the HP Color LaserJet 9500mfp when using WinPrint: