A number of Acrobat users under Windows 2000 have reported a problem in which printing via the PostScript driver fails when printing "to file" instead of to a standard printer port (such an LPT, USB, TCP/IP port, or even Acrobat's internal port). Printing "to file" refers to the ability to check an option in programs such as FrameMaker or Microsoft Word that causes the PostScript that would have gone to a "real" printer port, to go to a specified file name, prompted for by the driver or application itself. The symptom of the failure may be either (1) no file produced and/or (2) a nondescript error message about "unable to print."
Although we have not yet heard of this problem occurring under Windows XP, we have no reason to believe it couldn't given the extreme similarity in architecture and software components. If you are seeing this with Windows XP, please advise me of this via email and simply substitute "Windows XP" for "Windows 2000" for your purposes in this posting.
The problem is caused by a missing printing port named "FILE:" used by the driver whenever it, guess what, prints "to file." This port is automatically created when Windows 2000 is installed and normally would never disappear. What seems to be happening, based upon reports that I have received from several end users, is that under some conditions yet unidentified, uninstalling one version of Acrobat in preparation for installation of another (newer) version of Acrobat causes the "FILE:" port to be deleted from the system. This printing port deletion does not appear to be caused by any end-user error.
Adobe's Acrobat Quality Assurance group has been alerted to the problem, but to date has been unable to internally reproduce the problem. We would appreciate any information from any user who encounters this problem in terms of exactly how the Acrobat Distiller printer instance was being used prior to an uninstall of Acrobat (for example, were you printing a FrameMaker book "to file" with the
Acrobat Distiller printer instance for purposes of subsequently distilling the whole book manually?)
Fortunately, it is very easy to add the "FILE:" port back into the operating system:
(1) Logon to Windows 2000 as a user with Administrator privileges.
(2) Go to Start=>Settings=>Printers.
(3) Select File=>Server Properties.
(4) Click the "Ports" tab.
(5) Click "Add Port".
(6) Select "Local Port" and click "New Port".
(7) In response to "Enter a port name:" respond "FILE:" (without the surrounding quote marks, of course) and click OK.
(8) The "FILE:" port should now be in the list of available ports. You may close the remaining dialogs.
At this point, printing "to file" should work correctly. Most likely, you will not see the problem reoccur unless you do another round of uninstalls of Acrobat.