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Visual Studio Application Crashing on Crystal Report Load HP Print Driver CR Runtime v13.0.x

For about 8 years, we've had a C# app that would scan inventory serial numbers and then print a simple list report on a letter size paper. The printer has always been an HP4050 - we still have almost a dozen of these printers around. I built the app in VS2008 using Crystal Reports 2008 (v12.4.0.966). The .Net Framework was 3.5. Last year, we had to upgrade to VS2015 Framework 4.6.1 so that our new data collection tools would work. When I did that, I had to install the Crystal Reports for Visual Studio Runtime v13.0.22. And the client version was installed on the client PC (same version #).

The application collects a list of serial numbers and when the user clicks the "PRINT" button it sends the list of serial numbers to the Crystal Report via Selection Formula and then prints directly to the printer. No Viewer is involved. The report just prints on the laser printer. And then the user presents another table to the app and data collection (RFID), and another page is printed so that the table has a printed list of the serial numbers on the table. This is done repeatedly for hours with many tables.

I built and compile the apps on Windows 10 64bit and the client PC's are also all Win10-64bit. Every since we installed the update, the first table & report will print. And then after that when the next table comes and the PRINT button is clicked, the application will CRASH without any popup messages. Like an unhandled exception, except that I have TRY/CATCH on the app. Sometimes it crashes after 2 pages, other times it crashes after 10 pages or somewhere in between.

Troubleshooting, we replaced the memory on the PC. Then we put a brand new PC in, but the problem persisted. I even could get the app to crash on my development PC by running the EXE, but NOT in the Visual Studio debugger. I then put a different printer in place and tried it (we pass the printer sharename to Crystal in code). The app was able to print to a Xerox printer over 30 pages without a crash. So it seems to be something wrong with the new v13x drivers and the HP drivers. We even tried a new HP and it crashed. I also installed v13.0.24 runtimes with same problem.

I think it would be unfair to say that the solution is to replace all the HP printers... We still have the older v12.4.0.966 Crystal drivers running on several applications and they print to HP with no issues. We have tried everything to resolve this and we are now considering going to a different report writer because of this.

Do you have any ideas of what might be causing this? Or any other troubleshooting steps to try?

Regards,

Eric (Crystal Reports user since 1998)

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2 Answers

  • Mar 08 at 03:50 PM

    It's possible that the printer drivers are 32-bit if these are older printers. I would try compiling the app as 32-bit and install the 32-bit runtime (bit-ness is related to the application, NOT the computer where it's installed) and see whether that resolves the problem.

    -Dell

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  • Mar 15 at 07:02 PM

    Hi Dell,

    Thank you for the response. After 20+ Years with Crystal I am giving up and moving on to a new report writer. The last few years have been very difficult for a .Net developer in Visual Studio 2015 & 2017. Now that the Report Designer runtimes have been separated away from Visual Studio & Client runtimes, I can't keep track of the versions between reports and Visual Studio DLL's. I download CR for VS v13.0.24 and install. Then I open in Visual Studio and I see File Version 13.0.35 ( which is used for all v13x versions) Then I go back and look at apps I built years ago and the DLL's match the ole Crystal Reports 2008 v12.0.966. And everything is built on 64 bit platforms now, yet the CR v13 x64 runtimes are still installed in the 32 bit Program folders. So it's all confusion and I have wasted a lot of time over the last year trying to make it work. Developers don't always get paid to figure out how Crystal works. I've spent a few weeks of time without any billable time trying to find the magic formulas with little help from SAP. I brought a valid concern to this thread and gave pretty good detail. Everything we are doing is 64 bit, including the old printer that has a 64 bit driver. I "believe" that CR for VS v13.0.24 is x64 based on the installer filename (CRRuntime_64bit_13_0_24.msi). Funny, I just realized that the client is CRRuntime_64bit_13_0_24.msi, and the matching CR for VS is named CRforVS_13_0_24.exe, as an example. Do you see 64bit in the CRforVS name? By the way, the site to find & download these files is a confusing joke as well.

    For the record, I found that if I simply open the Crystal file and change the name of the printer that is saved in Page Setup, and then pass in the same name of the print share, the report will open and the app DOES NOT CRASH. But if I save a different printer share name in the file and try to pass in a printer share name that is not the same, then the APP crashes. This is new for CR for VS v13.0.x. It never happened to me before I started using CR for VS v13.0.x. It's normal for a person who writes a report to save printer X in the file, then when the report gets into production, all kinds of different share names are being sent to the report definition (via application code) . It's always been this way, but something is broken now and it has nothing to do with 64 bit vs 32 bit.

    Obviously, I'm frustrated now and this is not directed to you. I just feel that SAP has mismanaged the Crystal product to a point that I can no longer use it. People I talk with agree that the support and support website has really declined since SAP took over Crystal. I'm sad to see it happen and sad that I have to move on.

    Regards,

    Eric

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