When printing to a print device using a Version-4 Class Driver the printed output may be unreadable on Windows 8

Article ID: 2777663 - View products that this article applies to.
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Consider the following scenario:
  • You have a system running Windows 8.
  • Connect a print device to the system.
  • The print device installs using a Version-4 Class printer driver.
  • Send a print job to the print device.
In this scenario, when you send a print job to the print device, the printed output is unreadable and the characters are square blocks. This occurs even if you print a test page to the device from the Printer Properties as seen in the below image.

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This issue occurs due to a possible incompatibility between the print device firmware and the V4 Class Driver command set.


For systems running Windows 8 (x86 or x64), the vendor provided version-3 compatible print driver should be used for the device. Check Windows Update and the device manufacturer for a v3 driver.

For systems running Windows RT (ARM), support is limited to version-4 drivers provided by Microsoft.  In this case you will need to check with the hardware vendor to see if a firmware update is available to correct the issue or use a print device that is capable of using a Version-4 Class printer driver.

Note This is a "FAST PUBLISH" article created directly from within the Microsoft support organization. The information contained herein is provided as-is in response to emerging issues. As a result of the speed in making it available, the materials may include typographical errors and may be revised at any time without notice. See Terms of Use for other considerations.


Article ID: 2777663 - Last Review: October 30, 2012 - Revision: 4.0
Applies to
  • Windows 8
  • Windows 8 Enterprise
  • Windows 8 Pro

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