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Windows 8 Thread, Windows 8.1 Network Printers show as Offline in Technical; Yay, there is a major bug in the print spooler of Windows8.1 that has not yet been fixed. It goes ...
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    SYNACK's Avatar
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    Exclamation Windows 8.1 Network Printers show as Offline

    Yay, there is a major bug in the print spooler of Windows8.1 that has not yet been fixed. It goes into an asynchronis wait loop while checking the status of the printers and never comes out of it seemingly.

    This has bitten me rather majorly at one particular site with a tree killing fetish and 8.1 laptops. Oddly 8.1 desktops seem fine.

    They have fixed it in Windows 7 with this hotfix even though it was not evident in any Windows 7 machines, probably as they took way longer to boot. A network printer is displayed incorrectly as offline on a computer that is running Windows 7 or Windows Server 2008 R2

    I am guessing that it is more difficult in Windows 8.1 because more things are done in parallel and also fast start-up does not actually terminate all the services but rather seems to suspend them making the problem persist across reboot.

    As a mitigation I have adjusted the GPO permissions on the print spooler service to allow teachers to restart it which solves the issue temporarily and have also added a GPO logon script that will restart the print spooler on logon to any Windows 8 or above machine.

    Hopefully this will surfice till various printer drivers make their drivers more thread safe and/or MS finds away around this particular squiffyness. Hopefully they fix it shortly, maybe even in 8.11 but I have not been able to get a hold of that yet to test.

    The problem has been hitting a few people for a while seemingly:
    Win 8 and 8.1 client showing shared printer server as offline
    Shared printer shows offline on a Windows 8 laptop although the - Microsoft Community
    Network printer shows offline on Windows 8 - Microsoft Community

    Oddly it does not seem to affect the other site I am using it on with Minolta and HP printers as opposed to the Ricoh ones at the problem site but there are probably other factors also.

    If anyone has any other suggestions short of going backwards to a slower OS please do share
    Last edited by SYNACK; 9th April 2014 at 12:43 PM.

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    We are having a similar issue at my work, i have applied a fix (Untested as of yet, only about 7 staff members are here during the holidays)
    It seems to be a random issue that some of our laptop users experience.

    If your using group policy to push out printers, use the FQDN of the print server
    Last edited by josiahe; 15th April 2014 at 06:05 AM.

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    speckytecky's Avatar
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    Probably unconnected but hopefully useful I found on my Windows 7 home network that my printers were showing up as offline after they had been switched off then on again. It wasn't until I rebooted the router that they were picked up as online again. I wonder if something similar is happening here?

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    Oddly this last week (tbh since the March Tuesday deployment) we've had printer offline problems.. Win 7, 2008r2 DCs, with a 2008 print server.

    God I miss proper service packs.

    Have you installed the April update for 8.1?

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