PDA

View Full Version : 'Print Screen' issue



Billy T
24-11-2010, 11:05 AM
Hi Team

For years I have been using 'Print Screen' to capture the image from a DOS instrument program that can't export images in any usable form.

Today I tried for the first time on my new computer and it simply doesn't work with this program, yet the Print Screen key function works ok for any other data I put up on screen.

I have noticed that when I copy data out of Metapad (Notepad on steroids) it tells me that clipboard can't open, but it still actually works just the same. I figured that was just a glitch in Metapad, but maybe the cause of my current issue lis associated with this in some way?

Any ideas? If there is another program I can download to capture the screen instead I'll be keen to try it as I am on a very tight deadline to complete this job.

Cheers

Billy 8-{)

Chilling_Silence
24-11-2010, 11:22 AM
Alt + PrtScn captures the currently active (foreground) window

Or if you're using Win7, click start and type "snip" and you should get the Snipping Tool.

inphinity
24-11-2010, 11:23 AM
And if you still can't get it with the Win7 snipping tool, try FastStone Capture.

Snorkbox
24-11-2010, 11:24 AM
But are you trying to do this in a command window or what?

Billy T
24-11-2010, 11:45 AM
But are you trying to do this in a command window or what?

Yes, it is a DOS program so I am running in a command window under XP Pro, but it has worked for me for years under W2K and I just checked on my Libretto W95 mini notebook (only thing I have that I can use to download the instrument data ) and all is well there.

What is different about XP Pro? It is an interesting problem and I have a temporary work-around but I'd like to sort it as the w/a is slow and involves the use of floppy disks!

Cheers

Billy 8-{)

coldot
24-11-2010, 05:10 PM
Have you tried running it in a DOS Window?
(And assuming you have a shortcut to your DOS app....) If you set the properties / options in the shortcut to 'Window' instead of "Full Screen" then PrintScrn should work. It means you capture screen background as well but by adjusting the options for font and number of lines you can get a bigger window and less background.
I have used that to capture "DOS in a Window" screens to PaintShopPro where the surplus background can be trimmed away.

coldot
24-11-2010, 05:16 PM
Picture attached.

Billy T
24-11-2010, 10:18 PM
Okay. Here is a more complete explanation of the history and operating circumstances:

The program is associated with a rather expensive scientific instrument and is running in a DOS window in XP, under exactly the same conditions as it ran/runs in W95 W98 and W2K. The program was originally written for a pre-Windows DOS system, it is very simple, and it operates from a single exe file. There is a *.cus and *.met file as well, but all are original and haven't changed since I started in DOS mid '90s then progressively moved to WFWG 3.11, W95, W98, Wk2 and now XP Pro.

As I upgrade or add computers, I make a new folder, name it and copy the files across, set up a desktop shortcut to the EXE file, set the shortcut parameters for full screen and that's it.

Print-Screen became necessary after 2000 because the program was not Y2K or long file name compatible and the manufacturer has no plans to make it so, consequently it lives in a time-warp where it is always 1999 and among some other important presentation reasons, I also have to use print-screen so that I can make the date appear correct via some copy and paste chicanery.

I am assuming that any DOS program called from a Windows shortcut is actually running in a DOS Command Window opened via that shortcut, but if that is incorrect then in fact I have no idea how it opens in Windows, all I know is that the shortcut parameters I have used are identical for all my previous versions of Windows and it is only under XP that I cannot use print screen.

I am wondering if there is any link between this problem and the Clipboard issue I mentioned in my first post, but that only appears when using Metapad. The clipboard problem is a very recent development but does predate my awareness of the present problem. I'm not quite sure how to attack the clipboard issue though, as I have no idea where its roots lie in Windows. Metapad is another single exe program so it is easy to replace it with another copy but somehow I feel the problem is in Windows and despite the warning, the 'clipboard' still works normally for text files!

Cheers

Billy 8-{)

Chilling_Silence
24-11-2010, 10:46 PM
So what happens when you do Alt + PrtScn and then past it into Paint?
What about the Snipping tool?

SoniKalien
24-11-2010, 11:03 PM
no snipping tool for XP :p

Chilling_Silence
25-11-2010, 08:08 AM
Ah good point, for some reason I thought he was using Win7 + WinXP Mode...

In that case, use Jing!

coldot
25-11-2010, 08:48 AM
Billy,
Let's differentiate between:
(a) DOS command window - i.e. the screen is totally taken up by the 80 character x 50 line which was DOS standard, what you get, for example, when you enter CMD in the RUN box
(b) DOS in a box - i.e. a smaller version of the DOS standard that is shown within a reduced window sitting on the XP desktop. The size of this reduced windows can be increased by adjusting the parameters in the short cut properties.
In my experience (a) does not comply with PrintScreen but (b) works very well with PrintScreen.

So are you using (a) or (b) for your DOS app?

Snorkbox
25-11-2010, 09:11 AM
In Windows7 and XP there are two methods of a command prompt. There is cmd.exe and command.com.

Either could be opened full screen or in a window by default.

Billy T
25-11-2010, 09:11 PM
So what happens when you do Alt + PrtScn and then past it into Paint? What about the Snipping tool?

Alt-Print Screen does nothing. I use Irfanview not Paint, but regardless, I've previously tried Paint as well but there's nothing there to paste.

A quick check in Task Manager to see what apps are running showed that in XP and W2K cmd.exe is behind it, but in W95 the program name (FSGRP) appears instead. In XP I've also tried W95 compatibility mode but it made no difference.

There is a variation though, between the W2K laptop and my old W2K desktop. The (now dead) desktop maximised to full screen, but on the laptop it appears as a smaller window, which I think is something to do with the settings for the LCD screen, but I don't know what yet. The size settings in the shortcut change the image in the shortcut but it doesn't affect the on-screen display.

Cheers

Billy 8-{) :confused:

Cicero
26-11-2010, 08:07 AM
Update your kit, then Bobs your uncle.

I know you like to do things the hard way, but the time must come,so let it be now.

Put up boarding fees if there is a dosh shortage.

Chilling_Silence
26-11-2010, 10:00 AM
I'd use Jing then :)

Terry Porritt
26-11-2010, 11:05 AM
I fired up my XP Pro computer and ran an old 1984ish DOS game (Hitchhikers Guide) in both "DOS" windows from cmd.exe and command.com.

Print screen works saving to clipboard with both and then pasting into IrfanView, with either a full screen display or a small DOS window.

So rather than using another program it would be better to find out why clipboard appears to be not working.

Edit:http://www.google.co.nz/search?hl=en&source=hp&q=clipboard+not+working&aq=8&aqi=g10&aql=&oq=clipboard&gs_rfai=

Billy T
26-11-2010, 12:30 PM
Update your kit, then Bobs your uncle.

And what kit would that be Ciccy? I finally have a new computer, and it is right up to date hardware wise, though I do intend to stick to XP.

I can't update the instrument or its software, it is a specialised 3-axis electromagnetic field logger and there is nothing like it anywhere else in the world. Nor would I want to replace the thing, it is an amazing device and has earned me a great deal of income.

I can't update the DOS software and the manufacturer has no plans to rewrite it for W2K compliance either. They did make a Windows version several years ago, which had a number of flaws, but it is still at V 1.0!!

I just need to find out why print screen doesn't work on the new computer when the source is a dos file image because that is where the problem lies. I'm hoping it is associated with the clipboard error I get when copying out of metapad.

As an aside, does anybody know what operates the windows clipboard? Is it an exe or some other bit of fancy software?

Cheers

Billy 8-{) :annoyed:

Just opened a command prompt window, maximised it then did a print screen and it worked. I'm not sure what this means but I checked and it uses CMD.exe exactly the same as the program does in W2K and XP.

Snorkbox
26-11-2010, 12:38 PM
Have you tried this running in a DOS window as I suggested?

feersumendjinn
26-11-2010, 01:08 PM
Hows this (sorry not very clear, Image.F1 doesn't seem to be working), says clip.exe (this is Vista).

feersumendjinn
26-11-2010, 01:31 PM
This tip will enable use of clip.exe with XP Pro
http://blogs.techrepublic.com.com/window-on-windows/?p=521
Get clip.exe from here
http://www.petri.co.il/software/clip.zip

Billy T
26-11-2010, 03:25 PM
Have you tried this running in a DOS window as I suggested?

I'm not ignoring you Snorkbox, but I don't know any other way to start the program other than to execute the batchfile via the shortcut I have created.

Contents of the batch file are very simple:

cd\bfield\ut
D:\bfield\ut\fstar\drivers
D:\bfield\ut\fstar\fsprg
D:\bfield\ut\fstar\drivers/a

This is all I have ever used, though the shortcut that calls this batch file is intended to bring up the program in microtesla format and I have a second shortcut and batch file for milligauss. I have two separate folders, both containing the same program but one is preset for microtesla and the other for milligauss. Saves me having to reconfigure for different client preferences, I just choose the right screen shortcut for the job in hand.

I can't see (or don't know) any way to dictate how XP loads it, and as I've said, it uses cmd.exe the same as W2K did. I have a command line icon on my desktop as well, which I notice also calls cmd.exe. So far as I know, that is a dos window, but I'm sure as hell wide open to enlightenment.

Cheers

Billy 8-{) :confused:

Billy T
26-11-2010, 03:36 PM
Hows this (sorry not very clear, Image.F1 doesn't seem to be working), says clip.exe (this is Vista).

I'll take a look at that as soon as I get some spare time! I'm still working on the job for which I needed the clipboard to do its thing, but I got around it temporarily by using my Toshiba Libretto (and its pc card floppy drive) to transfer the copy & paste image via a floppy to the USB floppy drive from my W2K Toshiba Portege and thence into my new computer! What a rigmarole.........

Cheers

Billy 8-{) :dogeye:

Snorkbox
26-11-2010, 05:28 PM
Worth a shot maybe?

Right click the batch file. Does it allow open in a window?

or

In explorer go to the bfield folder. Right click the .exe file and run in a window.

Cicero
26-11-2010, 05:39 PM
Worth a shot maybe?

Right click the batch file. Does it allow open in a window?

or

In explorer go to the bfield folder. Right click the .exe file and run in a window.

Surely Snork,if he had the good kit he wouldn't being going through this?

Do correct me if I am wrong.

blanco
26-11-2010, 07:01 PM
You will find a list of free 3rd party snipping tools for XP here:

http://graphicssoft.about.com/od/screencapturefree/Free_Screen_Capture_Tools_for_Windows.htm

blanco
26-11-2010, 07:43 PM
Try MWsnap - lots of good features - works well for me on XP.

http://download.cnet.com/MWSnap/3000-2072_4-10524229.html

Billy T
27-11-2010, 01:05 PM
Surely Snork,if he had the good kit he wouldn't being going through this?

To which kit are you referring Ciccy?

My computer is new and no expense spared.

The instrument is the very best available on the market and despite its age, has no peers. There is nothing on the market that even comes close.

I also have two Swedish instruments that cost many times the price and also run a DOS based software program. That program will not run at all on XP without a software rewrite and the manufacturer tells me they will not be doing that.

My only option there will be to run the software in a virtual machine for DOS 6.11 or WFWG 3.11 but I can't get suitable drivers for modern printers, so print-screen remains the only way to print an image. Fortunately I very rarely use those two any more

The kit is good, the software works well in XP, it just isn't responding to Print Screen commands and I really don't think the issue lies in the instrument software at all because AFAIK, print screen does not use the program that created the image in any way, though I don't actually know how screen capture works.

Chers

Billy 8-{) :badpc:

Cicero
27-11-2010, 05:56 PM
To which kit are you referring Ciccy?

My computer is new and no expense spared.

The instrument is the very best available on the market and despite its age, has no peers. There is nothing on the market that even comes close.

I also have two Swedish instruments that cost many times the price and also run a DOS based software program. That program will not run at all on XP without a software rewrite and the manufacturer tells me they will not be doing that.

My only option there will be to run the software in a virtual machine for DOS 6.11 or WFWG 3.11 but I can't get suitable drivers for modern printers, so print-screen remains the only way to print an image. Fortunately I very rarely use those two any more

The kit is good, the software works well in XP, it just isn't responding to Print Screen commands and I really don't think the issue lies in the instrument software at all because AFAIK, print screen does not use the program that created the image in any way, though I don't actually know how screen capture works.

Chers

Billy 8-{) :badpc:

The kit that allows you to do a print screen, is what I am referring to.

Your other specialist kit I am sure is good.

I click print screen, go to Paint, click on home and I see paste, which transfers to Paint box?

Billy T
29-11-2010, 10:35 AM
The kit that allows you to do a print screen, is what I am referring to.

Ah, now I understand.

That is actually the root of the problem. I can print-screen from any other window without any difficulty, the only anomaly being this one DOS program. I can also print-screen from a command window (cmd.exe) but that may be a little different, being a program integrated with Windows.

My normal practice is to use Print Screen to copy and Ctrl-V to paste, usually into Irfanview but occasionally direct into a document.

I have just found one oddity though, in the shortcut for this one program, the minimised/maximised/normal window options do not work and it opens maximised every time. I haven't checked this against my other computers yet, but I'll do that later today. I can't see that this could have any effect on a copy and paste function but who knows with computers?

Cheers

Billy 8-{)

Cicero
29-11-2010, 11:42 AM
Ah, now I understand.

But who knows with computers?

Cheers

Billy 8-{)

So true B.

Good luck.

Billy T
29-11-2010, 02:35 PM
OK, tried some options:

Clip.exe: No use as I am not working at the command prompt. There is no command line access when the instrument program is running.

Jing: 30 day trial, too invasive in terms of privacy for my liking and wouldn't let me use my own name or several variations in the signing on window. Said that they were already in use. That is bollocks and I've never met that problem before on any website. Moved on........

FastStone: I've just tried it, and it captures any windows screen, and the command prompt window as well, but when I have my instrument program on screen, FastStone opens when I hit PrintScreen but the image area is blank.

Somehow or other when that particular program information is on my screen it is not visible/accessible to any screen capture system yet it works fine in all preceding Windows operating systems.

Cheerws

Billy 8-{) :groan:

Terry Porritt
29-11-2010, 03:01 PM
There could be something useful in this Google search:
http://www.google.co.nz/search?hl=en&&sa=X&ei=3AbzTKqrCoGqvQOGl8DyDQ&ved=0CBMQBSgA&q=dos+window+does+not+save+to+print+screen&spell=1

SoniKalien
29-11-2010, 04:36 PM
Just on the off-chance... I wonder if FRAPS would help..?

Morgenmuffel
29-11-2010, 05:42 PM
actually

the shortcut icon for the program, when you right click it and select properties

Does the properties dialog have a Misc tab

If it does there should be options there to do with prt screen, or at least there used to be years ago

feersumendjinn
29-11-2010, 06:41 PM
Dosbox? (http://www.dosbox.com/download.php?main=1)
And windows graphical user interface frontend. (http://frontends.dosbox.com/wiki/Main_Page)
I know it's designed for games, worth a try though. :D
I use Ampshell, it works well in Vista (haven't tried in Win7 tho)

Vince
30-11-2010, 05:06 AM
I don't quite follow this talk of DOS.
There is a useful free-ware program called MW Snap that is quite versatile at screen capture.

blanco
30-11-2010, 11:35 AM
MWsnap is as good as if not better than MS "Snipping Tool" in my opinion.

Billy T
30-11-2010, 05:26 PM
Well, I've used Google fairly exhaustively, and read though a range of Forums, but nothing directly relevant or useful has come up. I've also tried a variety of hints, tips and techniques mentioned along the way but none seem to apply to this problem.

However!! I have noticed one interesting effect. It appears that the image data has in fact been captured, but for whatever reason it cannot be displayed. See the attached image (from print-screen :annoyed: of all things) which confirms that Print Screen does capture data and it is there on the clipboard, but Windows seems to be saying it "is not a file".

Cheers

Billy 8-{) :confused: :confused:

Billy T
01-12-2010, 09:56 AM
Bump! Anybody know what the cryptic message in the image might mean in tech terms?


Cheers

Billy 8-{) :confused: :confused:

gary67
01-12-2010, 10:00 AM
So if it says it's capturing have you tried pasting it into paint to see if it has actually captured it. If nothing else works try a digital camera on a short tripod with flash turned off for screen capturing can work very well. I know it's not as simple as just pressing a button on the keyboard but would give you a work around

Terry Porritt
01-12-2010, 10:28 AM
Bump! Anybody know what the cryptic message in the image might mean in tech terms?


Cheers

Billy 8-{) :confused: :confused:

That is a message that IrfanView gives when any clipboard file is pasted in. It does not appear to be specific to your problem, but just why it says that I'm not sure yet.

dugimodo
01-12-2010, 11:10 AM
What type of output does this program generate ? if it's simply text can you print to a file from the program or using dos commands ? I am very rusty on DOS but seem to remember using a DOS batch file to print a dir listing to a text file using redirect commands to set the output to a file rather than a printer. A bit late in the piece I know ,ut I don't see it suggested anywhere and if the program generates text it should be possible to create a text file from it.

Food for thought maybe

dugimodo
01-12-2010, 11:30 AM
Just a couple notes, I read on another forum that windows XP doesn't allow screen capture of dos windows in fullscreen mode and that it's a limitation of the OS that no program can work around. I note in one of your posts you say it's stuck in fullscreen so that is the problem, convince it to run in a window and all should be fixed.

Secondly regarding my earlier comment if you add ">>example.txt" without speech marks to the end of a dos command that normally outputs txt it will write it to the example.txt file instead, could be useful ?

Snorkbox
01-12-2010, 11:55 AM
As I have tried to mention before. Run the program in a Window rather than Full screen or have you tried this??

Terry Porritt
01-12-2010, 12:32 PM
Just a couple notes, I read on another forum that windows XP doesn't allow screen capture of dos windows in fullscreen mode and that it's a limitation of the OS that no program can work around. I note in one of your posts you say it's stuck in fullscreen so that is the problem, convince it to run in a window and all should be fixed.

Secondly regarding my earlier comment if you add ">>example.txt" without speech marks to the end of a dos command that normally outputs txt it will write it to the example.txt file instead, could be useful ?

I did mention earlier that I can capture a "DOS" full screen in XP and paste to Irfan view, with either the full screen from the command.com or cmd.exe commands. So I think the statement above that XP doesn't allow this is erroneous, or was due to finger trouble ?

Terry Porritt
01-12-2010, 01:18 PM
As a point of interest, when a captured DOS screen shot is pasted into Irfanview the black backgound becomes white, and the text becomes black:

dugimodo
01-12-2010, 02:29 PM
Finger trouble ? not sure what you mean by that.

Anyway the comment about fullscreen was something I read on another forum and not from my own experience, however I just opened a dos window on this machine and tried it, can copy & paste into paint from a window easily but if I alt - enter to fullscreen mode it no longer works, paint has the paste option greyed out. This laptop runs XP pro sp 2

Terry Porritt
01-12-2010, 03:23 PM
Finger trouble ? not sure what you mean by that.

Anyway the comment about fullscreen was something I read on another forum and not from my own experience, however I just opened a dos window on this machine and tried it, can copy & paste into paint from a window easily but if I alt - enter to fullscreen mode it no longer works, paint has the paste option greyed out. This laptop runs XP pro sp 2

Interesting. In Paint the paste option is indeed greyed out when trying to paste a full dos screen, but it isn't in IrfanView, which I mostly use.

So it isn't a question of not being able to capture a full DOS screen in XP, but rather a function of the graphics program used accepting it.

There is also no paste option in an old version of LviewPro, or with Jasc Paintshop Pro 8.

The full screen capture can be viewed in XP via ClipBook Viewer which proves that Print Screen does actually capture in full screen mode.

In Win 7 there is no ClipBook viewer, a third party program has to be used.

By 'finger trouble'. I meant perhaps the writer of the forum post you read had got things wrong.
It's an old saying of my generation, related to the phrase 'to pull your finger out'.:banana


Edit: I was using XP Pro SP3

Billy T
01-12-2010, 05:03 PM
So if it says it's capturing have you tried pasting it into paint to see if it has actually captured it. If nothing else works try a digital camera on a short tripod with flash turned off for screen capturing can work very well. I know it's not as simple as just pressing a button on the keyboard but would give you a work around

Jeez my friend, you really should read the thread before asking such a silly question. I know you are trying to help, but what kind of prat would do a print-screen then not try to dump it into Paint or some other program?? You have to have tried that first anyway to know that it wasn't working!!

For the record I've tried Irfanview, Paint and Photodraw. No point in trying any others, especially since I now have good reason to believe that Print Screen is grabbing the image but it is either mangling it or the next step in the process is corrupted. My bet is the mangling.

No need to photograph either, I can roll out my P75 W95 Libretto that I use to download the data on site and Print-Screen on that, then transfer to a floppy and dump it onto my new computer. But I'd rather do it all on the one computer, which is why I am looking for the cause of the problem, and/or a permanent solution. I might give DOS Box a go when I get some spare time, either that or load MS Virtual Machine and install WFWG3.11.

Cheers

Billy 8-{)

gary67
01-12-2010, 05:06 PM
Jeez my friend, you really should read the thread before asking such a silly question. I know you are trying to help, but what kind of prat would do a print-screen then not try to dump it into Paint or some other program?? You have to have tried that first anyway to know that it wasn't working!!

For the record I've tried Irfanview, Paint and Photodraw. No point in trying any others, especially since I now have good reason to believe that Print Screen is grabbing the image but it is either mangling it or the next step in the process is corrupted. My bet is the mangling.

No need to photograph either, I can roll out my P75 W95 Libretto that I use to download the data on site and Print-Screen on that, then transfer to a floppy and dump it onto my new computer. But I'd rather do it all on the one computer, which is why I am looking for the cause of the problem, and/or a permanent solution. I might give DOS Box a go when I get some spare time, either that or load MS Virtual Machine and install WFWG3.11.

Cheers

Billy 8-{)

People have been known to do all sorts of daft things when stressed, maybe I should have read the whole thread instead of just skimming it :devil