Solved view unsaved text file in printer queue

September 4, 2019 at 01:19:50
Specs: Windows 7, 8GB
Simple question; in Windows 7, can I view the content of an unsaved text file (written in Notepad) when it is still in the print queue ?

To be clear: there never was a file (explicitally made by me), the text is written in notepad, printed as is, then notepad is closed without saving it as a file.

Also note, I am the owner of the document in the print queue, I'm not asking how to steal information from other people that print to a device to which I can print as well. As you know, you can see all of the pending print documents from ANY user ... but of course limited to the name of the document, the size ... not the content. Only from my document, I would like to see the content. For the documents that I printed, and on the Windows device that I made that print call, there must be a file somewhere on my Windows device.

message edited by Looge


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#1
September 4, 2019 at 02:36:07
✔ Best Answer

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#2
September 4, 2019 at 02:54:04
You can not only view it, but you can get a hard copy for future reference. Let it print.

Otherwise just look at the file in the spool queue ( C:\Windows\System32\spool\PRINTERS\ ).


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#3
September 4, 2019 at 03:07:28
> You can not only view it, but you can get a hard
> copy for future reference. Let it print.
>

I will, but that is not the question :)

> Otherwise just look at the file in the spool
> queue ( C:\Windows\System32\spool\PRINTERS\ ).
>

Now, THAT is interesting ... Just one problem:
I am administrator, and directory "printers" has access denied for me.


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Related Solutions

#4
September 4, 2019 at 03:27:39

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#5
September 4, 2019 at 03:35:06
> https://www.eassos.com/how-to/how-t...
>

I'll have a look at those options but keep in mind: Limited access is part of the system's protection. If you could just bypass ANY limitations, there wouldn't be any need for protection. Stated differently : I expect this limitation to be "unfixable". As it seems to be, this is a system's directory, and I know why it is protected.
Also, I am administrator on my machine, but I am not the real owner of either the device, or Windows itself.

message edited by Looge


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#6
September 4, 2019 at 03:49:53
This begins to raise warning signals.

I think it best that I provide no further assistance.


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#7
September 4, 2019 at 04:14:53
It's just a corporate machine, what do you think, I stole it ?

I can reproduce this "issue"/feature on any Windows 7 device, I just need to unplug my printer.


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#8
September 4, 2019 at 07:02:48
This one is out of my range of know how; but possibly this link may offer a solution:

https://answers.microsoft.com/en-us...


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#9
September 4, 2019 at 12:53:05
When I try to go to C:\Windows\System32\spool\PRINTERS\
I also get the access denied warning, but then I click on the
warning and it lets me in.

-- Jeff, in Minneapolis


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#10
September 4, 2019 at 20:46:23
When I tried C:\Windows\System32\spool\PRINTERS\ from a browser it did not work.
When I clicked on Start and pasted it into the search field it came up with the warning about access denied but I clicked on continue and I saw the windows open up. I had no printing pending so it was empty.

In your case the computer is not personal but corporate and even for general administrators, the rules are different. If it was critical for the company your Tech department may have access but you would not. You do not have the highest level admin most likely but a typical admin level. The one you have prevents bosses from doing serious damage to the system ("a little knowledge is dangerous").

You have to be a little bit crazy to keep you from going insane.


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#11
September 4, 2019 at 23:51:59
Fingers may have hit on the reason for access denied message.

This is presumably a networked printer, and the user (Looge in this case) is part of a company network, albeit with admin privileges. But is therea higher level of admin which has given him limited access in that regard; local level as it were to workstations, but not across the entire system (which includes printers).

I had such admin. access which allowed access to local, individual workstations, but not to those outside the segment, nor to print spoolers etc. To deal with networked printers issues (whatever they might have been) I had to refer to higher admin., and similarly for one or two specific local workstations.


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#12
September 5, 2019 at 00:05:27
The answer is simple. Ask the System Administrator to do this.

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#13
September 5, 2019 at 00:20:07
Not sure if you are a corporate user, but I'll tell you how that works: I can raise issues to the help desk ... But, this is not an issue, this is additional and custom feature.
But even that is not relevant, as I have many own computers, on which I have full access. So, I'll contact the System Admin, ... which is me. He's telling me that Access Denied in the Printer folder is expected. But, it also may not be an issue, and it probably is no issue in the case of this topic. Also, he (which is me) is telling me I have found a workaround to view content in those folders, because something is off with the protection of the folder. I'm actually working on what John has hinted, which is a different kind of solution.

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#14
September 5, 2019 at 00:34:08
> Fingers may have hit on the reason for access denied message.
>
> This is presumably a networked printer, and the user (Looge
> in this case) is part of a company network, albeit with
> admin privileges. But is therea higher level of admin which
> has given him limited access in that regard; local level
> as it were to workstations, but not across the entire
> system (which includes printers).

That is correct, apart from the fact the printer I want to print to, is a USB printer sitting at home.
This machine happens the one on which I am debugging this issue, I can do the same on any of my own computers.
As stated, John's solution is going into a different direction, I'll first debug that.


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#15
September 5, 2019 at 00:49:22
> When I try to go to C:\Windows\System32\spool\PRINTERS\
> I also get the access denied warning, but then I click on the
> warning and it lets me in.

I must recheck that because I think the error message didn't let me in. But, I launched a file search (using a 3rd party tool) and it just showed the content of the files in that folder. That is weird as well.

I have connected my printer to my Windows device, let it print, and now my Printers-folder has no limitation anymore ... and it also has no files anymore (since my print queue is empty now).


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#16
September 9, 2019 at 05:09:49
> HOW TO VIEW RECENT PRINT HISTORY IN
> YOUR COMPUTER
> https://kamembatechnologyblog.wordp...
> https://www.techwalla.com/articles/...
> https://smallbusiness.chron.com/che...
>

That last URL ( https://smallbusiness.chron.com/che... ) seems like the solution for the issue of this thread ... but,

... there's an issue (what else ?).

So, the statement is:
"Check the box next to 'Keep printed documents',
and then click “Apply” and “OK” to log all
future print jobs. Access them by right-clicking
on the printer and selecting
'See what’s printing.' "

The checkbox mentioned sounds like an ideal solution, as a copy of that what is being printed, is just what you need if the initial document has been lost.
Acknowledge the fact that what is being retrieved is not a file (there never was one), but a print job.
So I've checked that checkbox on my printer, OK.
But then there's the issue: where is my document now ?
It says to right-click on the printer, and select "see what's printing".
... and that option is not there.
But in addition to that, the description seems off, as I'm not looking for what is being printed, but what has been printed.
Or, another option; what will be printed.
Maybe the option only appears when documents are being printed, but that doesnt help in this case. I'm not sure what the purpose of that would be, as I then am standing next to the printer who is .. printing those same documents.

So there's something missing yet.

Note that the other URL's are handy in case you are printing from a (saved) document, as one of the options allows you to see which documents have been printed, BUT ONLY THE NAME of the document.
If the document is local, and if it wasn't changed, you can just go and look for that document on the filesystem.
To stress once more: this particular feature is handy, but it is not what I'm currently looking for.


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#17
September 9, 2019 at 05:39:15
So, the Windows solution doesn't seem to work (yet - see above), but let's go back to the other method: the spool directory.

When I use the CD command, it doesn't allow me to go to that directory, but you can using the Windows Explorer (as mentioned already). It also works to open up a command prompt, by navigating to the folder in Explorer, then typing "cmd" in the top bar. Anyway, you can see the print jobs in there, each job comes as an SPL and a SHD file.

These are unreadable, and I'm not sure which standard Windows software can view these, if any.
But, this one can:
http://www.lvbprint.de/html/splview...

It basically shows the content of the SPL files, as they would be printed. And that is what I was looking for. Since this is non-Microsoft software, you know the drill - use at your own discretion. If the MS ppl want to avoid this, let it work via Windows, and we don't have to. Maybe it works in Windows 10, but I doubt that actually.


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