FM 15 crashes when PrinterSwitch 3.0 switches printers

Tommy Andersen's Avatar

Tommy Andersen

12 Mar, 2017 05:14 PM

We have been using PrinterSwitch v2 for several years in a solution we made for a client.
After having converted the FM11 solution to FM15, and installed PrinterSwitch 3.0, FileMaker crashes when switching layouts and printer via PrinterSwitch. It is not 100% consistent, but I would say it crashes 9 out of 10 times. The crash is actually not visible on screen, but the result is that nothing happens on the printer. A new printout results in nothing just as if the printer had been disconnected. Restarting FileMaker clears the problem until next printout that involves a printer switching. This is HUGE problem, so any tips on this matter would be appreciated. (The layouts have the Minimalist theme. They originally had the Classic theme. Clients are running Win7 and Win10.)

  1. Support Staff 1 Posted by Support on 13 Mar, 2017 10:03 AM

    Support's Avatar

    Hi Tommy,

    Did you also recapture the saved setups? The existing setups will not work with the new version of PrinterSwitch.
    Corrupted setups make the system crash.

    If the capture - restore example file works correctly on the machine, I suspect that capturing a new setup in the solution will solve the issue.

    Please let me know if this solved the issue.

    Kind regards,
    Jasper

  2. 2 Posted by Tommy Andersen on 13 Mar, 2017 10:37 AM

    Tommy Andersen's Avatar

    Hello Jasper,
    Yes, I am quite sure about that, but I will double check it, and let you know the result.

  3. 3 Posted by Tommy Andersen on 13 Mar, 2017 11:47 AM

    Tommy Andersen's Avatar

    Hello again,
    I can confirm that all the settings have been recaptured (up to several times). The print processes that involves printer switching are extremely unstable as I described above. I am really puzzled since this worked like a charm in FM11?!

  4. Support Staff 4 Posted by Support on 13 Mar, 2017 12:16 PM

    Support's Avatar

    Hi Tommy,

    Can you try the capture-restore example file? Does it also crash with the example file?

    Kind regards,
    Jasper

  5. 5 Posted by Tommy Andersen on 13 Mar, 2017 12:22 PM

    Tommy Andersen's Avatar

    Hello Jasper,
    I will ask our client to test that.
    (I am in another part of the country, so I cannot test it on site.)

  6. 6 Posted by Tommy Andersen on 15 Mar, 2017 09:00 AM

    Tommy Andersen's Avatar

    Hello again,
    (Remember this worked like a charm for several years. FM 15/PrinteSwitch v3 broke it big time.)

    We have done some more testing now...
    We tried the Capture-restore example file on one of the machines. I crashed on the second printer in the list (regardless of printer type). Just as if the printer switching makes FM printing to crash. When it crashes during printer switching, it is not possible to print from the FM menu manually either.
    However, after a restart we could switch printeres via the Capture-restore file successfully.

    In our main solution, FM/PrinterSwitch crash as soon as the scripts involves a bit more complex printer switching via scripts. It is especially error prone when a script calls a script in another file to switch printer and then print.

    A typical scenario is this:
    1) Print order confirmation on laser writer, then switch to label printer and print label layout
    (At this point everything is usually OK), and it can be repeated without problems
    2) Perform a new script via Invoice button that executes a subscript in another database to print Invoice on the same printer as in step 1. CRASH! Nothing is printed. FM still seems to work, but printing is not possible. Restart FM required.

    We have also noticed some other strange printing oddities like Order form prints on correct printer, but the printout is cut off just as if it uses a label set up. This happened on a user machine with only one printer and printer setup in PrinterSwitch. (The user had a label set up as well earlier, but it was removed before this problem. Restarting FM clears the problem.

    I have a feeling that there is something that is not correctly reset or cleared after switching printers in some situations in our converted FM15 solution.
    Think we need some input here, Jasper!

    /tommy

  7. Support Staff 7 Posted by Support on 17 Mar, 2017 10:00 AM

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    Hi Tommy,

    Thank you for the additional explanation about the issue.

    The way PrinterSwitch works is by intercepting print jobs on a deep system level. If you try to restore a setup made on a different machine, PrinterSwitch will do that. But if the OS or the printer driver is different, there is a big chance it will crash because the printerdriver doesn't accept the configuration.

    That is why it is important to capture a setup for every machine. Especially if the OS or printerdriver is different.
    Also, when you selected a printer with PrinterSwitch, it is indeed impossible to print switch printers from the native filemaker print menu, because PrinterSwitch is ready to intercept all traffic that's going to the printer.
    PrSw_Configure ( "reset" ) clears all triggers set by PrinterSwitch. It is important to use this step after PrinterSwitch is finished printing. If you don't execute this step, it is impossible to switch printers with FileMaker Pro.
    This is also the explanation why you can't print anymore via the normal FileMaker Pro print menu when it crashes.

    You said that the first time you openend the capture-restore example it crashes, but after a restart it doesn't crash anymore.
    I suspect that it crashes the first time because an other solution was opened before that made use of PrinterSwitch and didn't release the printer correctly.

    Can you make it crash with the capture-restore example file crash without opening any other FileMaker files after a fresh reboot of the machine?
    Please let me know the outcome of this.

    Kind regards,
    Jasper

  8. 8 Posted by Tommy Andersen on 17 Mar, 2017 10:55 AM

    Tommy Andersen's Avatar

    hello Jasper,
    Thank you for clarifying.

    We always do the capturing on each and every machine, however looking into the PrSw_Configure ( "reset" ) step may be a good tip. It may be missing in one of the scripts. (The same scripts worked flawlessly in FM11, however, with the same machines/OS/printers.)
    We will check more on that, and report back the next week.

  9. 9 Posted by Tommy Andersen on 22 Mar, 2017 12:57 PM

    Tommy Andersen's Avatar

    Done a lot more testing now...
    (Win7/Win10 clients, all printing controlled via PrinterSwitch, total of 5 clients)
    One thing is clear: The upgrade to FM 15.03 and PrinterSwitch v3 has broken previous functionality resulting in frequent crashes and malfunctions. The crashes usually happens in the background after PrinterSwitch has switched printers and "printed". Actually it seems to print, but nothing comes out of the printer. When this happens, the only remedy is to restart FM and capture the setup and printers again.
    (When it first has crashed, the Capture-Restore sample file dos not work either.)

    If we first print letters to a laserprinter and then labels to a labelwriter, the proceeding letter printouts often come out in label format on the laserprinter (!) or FM crashes. Restarting FM is then required.
    I have tried both PrSw_Configure ( "reset" ) and PrSw_PrintSetup ( “reset”) at the end of the scripts. PrinterSwitch is living its own life just as if the "reset" command does not reset as it is supposed to do?!

    I am sorry to say, but we are very close to giving up on this plug-in now due to the prohibitive costs of testing.

  10. Support Staff 10 Posted by Support on 29 Mar, 2017 06:56 AM

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    Hi Tommy,

    I understand that.
    I suspect that this issue is introduced with FileMaker Pro 15.0.3.
    I'm going to setup a computer with same OS you're using and try to replicate your issue.

    I'll keep you updated on this.

    Kind regards,
    Jasper

  11. 11 Posted by Tommy Andersen on 29 Mar, 2017 06:59 AM

    Tommy Andersen's Avatar

    Hello again,
    We have downgraded to FM14 this weekend due to all sorts of problems. It is all 95% good now! :)

  12. Support Staff 12 Posted by Support on 29 Mar, 2017 07:06 AM

    Support's Avatar

    Hi Tommy,

    Thank you for the feedback. This is valueable information for us.

    I think that the problem only occurs in combination with FileMaker Pro 15.0.3. We're going to do some testing on this and see if we can fix it.

    Kind regards,
    Jasper

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