Windows 8 updates causes PCL XL error when printing to printer

We excountered problems with various brands of printers suddenly unable to print after march 2015 updates to Windows 8 and 8.1.

PCL XL error
subsystem: kernel
error: IllegalOperatorSequence


At first the workaround appeared to be simply to reinstall the driver or to use a PS driver instead of the PCL6 driver originally installed. To our surprise the issue came back shortly after.

Here’s a list of things we tried:

  • Reinstall driver
  • Reinstall using an alternate driver (PS vs PCL6)
  • Updated printer firmware
  • Uninstalled Microsoft Updates (and reinstalled the drivers when that failed to fix the problem)

In our case it appears there was a combination that affected the printing. The anti-virus is somehow causing the issue in combination with the update. So here are the steps to fix the problem:

  1. Disable the anti-virus
  2. Install/reinstall the print driver (PCL6 or PS)
  3. Test
  4. Reactivate your anti-virus
  5. Test (if the problem returns, turn the anti-virus off and test again.)

UPDATE: AVG kindly provided these instructions:

  • Go to advanced settings
  • Click Web Browsing Protection on the plus sign next to that
  • Online Shield plus sign
  • Directly click Expert settings
  • In the settings window on the right uncheck “Scan encrypted (TLS and SSL) network traffic.


-CTBOB team

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