The Samsung Universal Print Driver causes the printer to print documents without white space, including paragraph whitespace, breaks, page margins and header footer margins

System Requirements:

  • Samsung CLP-300N
  • Samsung Universal Print Driver

The Problem:

It’s a Samsung printer driver problem reprise! For those not familiar with the self evident truth that Samsung have never quite managed to develop a competency in writing printer drivers, you may with to familiarise yourself with the last inexplicable printer driver problem that I found and just how unhelpful Samsung themselves were about my trying to report it to them.

The latest native driver for the CLP-300N is a release from the 20th October 2009. It is also possible to get it working via Windows Update using this driver under Windows 7. However, for the last year I have been experiencing a problem: Microsoft Word will not print unless it is in greyscale.

I’ve tried uninstalling the print drivers, altering the default and enforced printer settings – all of which are set to colour – and the instant you leave the printer configuration dialogue in Word 2010, the driver resets back to greyscale. Inexplicable and a problem that is not present in other applications; including other parts of Office 2010, Adobe reader etc.

My short-term fix was to print to PDF and then print from Adobe Reader directly to the CLP-300N. However this afternoon I was annoyed enough by it to fix it.

It’s obviously the driver. So I took it off again and ever hopeful attempted to see if there was a new Samsung driver – there wasn’t. Yet I did notice that like most printer manufacturers, the vogue at present is to offer universal PCL print drivers, for which the CLP-300N downloads page on Samsung.com did offer a 2013-03-09 (2013-03-15 signed) driver reportedly of version 2.50.02.00.03.

Fantastic! It fixed the problem and Word 2010 now printed in colour for the first time in a year without even a reboot. Except…

If we pretend that this was my document

<header>

Dear Sir,

Bla, bla, bla.

Bla, bla, bla.

Bla, bla, bla.

Bla, bla, bla.

Yours faithfully,

C:Amie

<footer>
<bottom of A4 page>

What I actually got was

<header>
Dear Sir,
Bla, bla, bla.
Bla, bla, bla.
Bla, bla, bla.
Bla, bla, bla.
Yours faithfully,
C:Amie
<footer><bottom of A4 page>

Oops.

 

The Fix

There isn’t any point in going into troubleshooting details on this, I spent about 20 minutes wasting paper on it and the driver doesn’t work. I’m not the only person to see this either.

View: Ubuntu Forums

The simple fix is to go back to the Samsung downloads page for printers and don’t select a model number. Head directly to the Samsung Universal Print driver page and download the latest release (2013-09-23 of version 2.50.04.00.08 as of writing).

This fixes the problem.

After last time, I’m not going to waste my phone bill or breath attempting to report it to Samsung.

If you want my advice, don’t buy their printers. If you don’t want my advice, don’t follow it.

Uninstalled WD SES Device USB Device appears in device manager with Western Digital Passport ‘Smartware’ enabled device

System Requirements:

  • Western Digital Smartware enabled USB device

The Problem:

When you install a Western Digital USB hard drive an uninstalled device appears in “other devices” in the Windows device manager.

More Info

The WD SES Device USB Device is a enclosure communication and feedback device which, when enabled allows the USB enclosure to communicate additional metrics about the state of the equipment. In this case, the USB enclosure is the USB Caddy containing the 2.5″ drive.

SES stands for SCSI Enclosure Services, which provide extensions to the SCSI command set to allow for reporting and querying of data such as power consumption and state and cooling performance and thermal state within the caddy. The commands are used for diagnostic purposes and are not required in the functionality of the drive or data I/O itself.

You can continue to use the drive without this driver installed. In the case of Western Digital, its main purpose is to facilitate value added features in the Smartware management software.

The Fix

You can find the driver on the 614MB UDF partition that appears with the data storage volume in My Computer. Point the driver installation Wizard at the UDF partition, or more specifically to X:\Extras\WD SES Device Driver where X: is the mounted driver letter for the UDF partition labeled “WD SmartWare”.

The WD SES Driver version shipping with drives containing WD Smartware 1.2.0.8 and with the update (3.1.0.13) available from wdc.com is version 1.0.7.2. It is available for both x86 and x64 systems.

Cannot install the integrated audio AC97′ hardware from a Asus P4S333 or P4S533 under Windows Vista

System Requirements:

  • Windows Vista SP1
  • Windows Server 2008

The Problem:

So, you get fed-up of trying to get PCI sound cards working under Vista and opted for the integrated sound CPU clogging solution?! I don’t blame you.

The P4S333 may be old kit, but it’s a solid motherboard, very much Vista capable with the right upper end P4 and enough RAM, particularly if you flashed the P4S333 with the P4S533’s BIOS to make use of the 533 MHz FSB. The difficulty we have is however in that the C-Media CMI8738 AC97′ chip that the board uses cannot be matched to any of Windows Updates hardware ID’s and Asus, naturally, do not offer a Vista driver.

More Information:

Thankfully, C-Media do provide generic drivers, and there is a January 2009 driver release for the CMI8738 as of writing. The driver does work once you get it out of the RAR file, however:

  1. The driver does not have the necessary hardware ID to install automatically against the customised chip on the P4S333 / P4S533
  2. The driver is not digitally signed

Despite that, I’ve not seen any problems with it, and despite the CPU connotations, it got rid of irritating buzzing that the Creative Labs Sound Blaster Live! 5.1 was causing with the useless Vista driver set.

The Fix

Very simply, you need to manually install the driver.

  1. Download the latest CMI8738 driver from C-Media (http://www.cmedia.com.tw/). As of writing the driver version was 8.17.33 and it worked a treat
  2. Deflate the RAR into the file system
  3. Open the Control Panel
  4. Open the Device Manager
  5. Find the uninstalled multimedia device in the Other Devices section, right click, Update Driver Software
  6. Click Browse my computer for driver software
  7. Click let me pick from a list of device drivers on my computer
  8. Hit the have disk button
  9. Browse to the path that you inflated the RAR file to, for example if you inflated the RAR file to c:\temp\ you want to browse to the following location:
    c:\temp\PCI-8738-090109-8.17.33(Vista3264-RC-01)\SoftwareDriver\driverNote that if the driver version you are using is newer, then the version in the file name will clearly be different. Ultimately however you are looking to point to the SoftwareDriver\driver folder (there are several INF’s and some CAT files in here)
  10. In the manufacturer list from the available select:
    C-Media
  11. From the Model list select:
    C-Media PCI Audio Device
  12. Click Next
  13. Windows will notify you that the driver has not been digitally signed. You’re going to have to tough this one out I’m afraid and install it.
  14. At that point the audio should just start working.

Error: “Can’t load SMART Utilities library (code 5) Access is denied” when printing to a Samsung Colour Laser Printer CLP-300N

System Requirements:

  • Windows 2000 Professional
  • Windows XP Home, Professional
  • Windows Server 2003
  • Windows Vista

The Problem:

When a user who is not a local/domain administrator prints to your print server you may receive the following error message on the local console account of the Print Server (Windows Server 2003).

SMART UI 32-bits Gateway error
Can’t load SMART Utilities library (code 5)
Access is denied.

SMART code 5 error message

Depending upon your situation, you may receive this error when:

  • Any user attempts to send any print job to the printer via the share
  • When a user attempts to print from Microsoft Internet Explorer and not from other applications

The error occurs using driver 1.63.11 on 2000/XP/2003 and 3.03 under Windows Vista when communicated with a printer server rather than the printer NIC directly.

If you are serving the share from 2000 or XP you shouldn’t see this issue.

More Information:

So you get a new laser printer, and the last thing that you expect is that every time someone tries to print you wind up with a support call to unblock the print queue! Yet this is exactly what Samsung seem to expect you to do.

I didn’t fiddle around when I heard about this, I checked the drivers were up to date and just logged a support call with Samsung who called back – be it 5 hours later than promised…

The support call in summary:

  1. Calls, registers
  2. Explanation of problem that printer needs unblocking every time someone sends a print job
  3. Gets put on call back queue
  4. Call back does happen, but 5 hours later than originally told
  5. Looks on expert system
  6. Expert system draws a blank
  7. Me: “Can I speak to a higher level 1 support agent?”
    Samsung: “No”
  8. Me: “Can I speak to a developer and fault report it?”
    Samsung: “No”
  9. Me: “Can you tell me when the next driver revision is due to be released?”
    Samsung: “No”
  10. Me: “Is there a new driver revision in the pipe-line?”
    Samsung: “I don’t know”
    Me: “Can you find out?”
    Samsung: “No”
  11. Me: “What are you going to do about it?”
    Samsung: “There is nothing that I can do?”
  12. The samsung guy now Google’s the problem and find exactly the same support material that I had already gone through to no avail from a user community web site Samsung guy starts reading it to me, and just to be annoying I interrupted him mid way through and continued to read the same paragraph to him from the same web page ending
    Me: “Yes I can Google too, this doesn’t work”
  13. Samsung guy now tells me to do one of the suggestions on the comments to the Google search result:
    Samsung: “If you format the server that will fix it”
    Me: “Are you out of your mind! I’m not formatting a domain controller to fix a printer problem, especially when the thing was only installed 2 months ago and there is no evidence that it would even fix the problem” (This article exists because it will not fix the problem)
    Samsung: “That is all I can suggest”
  14. Samsung guy now tells me that because there is something on Google he is sure that a developer must be aware of it and will be working on it
  15. Exasperated by this point
    Me: “OK, how about a past driver revision, perhaps if we go back to an older v1 it will sort itself out?”
    Samsung: “No, I can’t do that, I don’t have access to drivers, we can’t give them to you”
    Me: “Can you put me through to someone who can”
    Samsung: “No, there isn’t anyone”
    Me: “Can you escalate this request?”
    Samsung: “No”
  16. Me: “Can you escalate this request with a developer, supervisor or manager?”
    Samsung: “No”
  17. Me: “What do you expect us to do?”
    Samsung: “I don’t know”
  18. I summarised the situation to the monosyllabic individual on the other end of the phone
    Me: “So what you are saying is that as an organisation you find the fact that you’ve just sold us a brand new network laser printer that cannot accept a print job unless an administrator physically logs into the system console and clicks OK to an error message for each and every print job from a non-administrative user? The only advice you are willing to give me is to format an in-use domain controller to fix a printer driver problem and you find this an acceptable solution and are not willing to do anything about it?”
    … and this was the best bit:
    Samsung: “Yes”
  19. I have to say that at that point I pretty much put the phone down with a few monosyllabic intonations of my own, only realising as I did it that I didn’t tell them that they would be removed from the buying list for this.

 

The Moral of the Story

Don’t buy Samsung Printers and certainly don’t bother with their technical support in the UK.

I sincerely hope that someone in Samsung UK does read this page and does take on board the above, because quite frankly there are some serious issues in their support department.

… and yes, Samsung are no longer on any of my or my clients purchase lists.

The Fix

A couple of months went by between the support call and me actually getting around to looking at it properly – a couple of very, very aggravating months by all accounts.

In a nut shell and after some forensic analysis and some perplexing:

When your user sends off a print job to the print server, it trips off a user-level instance inside the spoolsv.exe, which determines ultimately the permissions that the user is going to have for their print job, sets up the print environment and negotiates with the driver to receive validated queue objects.

For some CONVLUTED reason, the Samsung driver is telling the spoolsv.exe process that it needs to make use of NTVDM.exe under the credentials of the user who transmitted the print job.

If you do not know, NTVDM is the NT Virtual Desktop Manager, it is the process wrapper service used to execute 16-bit (yes 16-bit) code under the 32-bit environment of Win32 (in this case).

One question: Why?
This is a printer designed exclusively for use against NT 5.0 and above (Windows 2000+), so why in blazes does it need access to a 16-bit host process to print something?!?!

This is where your having Windows Server 2003 comes into play, because there are security model changes between 2000, XP and 2003 that have caused this problem.

Windows 2000

Under Windows 2000 the default permissions for NTVDM.exe are…

  • Administrators (F)
  • Everyone (R & E)
  • Power Users (R & E)
  • SYSTEM (F)
  • Users (R & E)

Windows XP

Similarly under Windows XP…

  • Administrators (F)
  • Power Users (R & E) [Professional Only]
  • System (F)
  • Users (R & E)

Windows Server 2003

Lastly under Windows Server 2003…

  • Administrators (F)
  • Batch (R & E)
  • Interactive (R & E)
  • Service (R & E)
  • System (F)

The solution should now be self-explanatory, the user/domain user account has no access to NTVDM.exe under Windows Server 2003 by default, therefore you simply need to give the user groups Read & Execute access to the NTVDM.exe on the Widows 2003 Server that you are sharing the printer from and it will solve the access denied problem that plagues this particular driver.

This isn’t a particularly great solution as it means modifying default Microsoft file permissions, however, it will make the printer work without you having to live in front of a console session between 9am and 5pm.

… it just doesn’t explain why it needs access to NTVDM in the first place.