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Windows Thread, Print Spooler Nitemare Help Please!! in Technical; Hi, I am hoping someone out there can help me with a problem I am having with the print spooler ...
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    Print Spooler Nitemare Help Please!!

    Hi, I am hoping someone out there can help me with a problem I am having with the print spooler on a 2003 server.

    We have a 2003 server that along with other services is also a print server. I have just bought an HP Colour Laserjet CP3505n and installed the print driver direct from the HP supplied CD rom on the server. I had already set up static TCP/IP details on the printer NIC so I let the installation run through and pick the printer up on the network. The installation ran through all the way until the end when there was an error saying that a serious error had occured when trying to install the driver and the installation had failed.

    I checked Printers/Faxes to find that all the other installed print drivers had been deleted. I tried to restart, but the drivers were still missing. I cannot install any new printers because I get the message that the print spool service is not started. I keep restarting the service, but it just keeps stopping or not starting at all. I have cleaned everything out of $windir$system32\spool\printers and also all printer entries out of the registry. I still cannot get the service to restart.

    I have tried loads of fixes on the internet, but none of them seem to be working.

    I would appreciate lots of help please!! :?

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    mac_shinobi's Avatar
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    Re: Print Spooler Nitemare Help Please!!

    go to control panel --> admin tools --> event viewer and see what errors you are getting related to the print spooler and what event id it has along with the description and post back with that info.

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    Re: Print Spooler Nitemare Help Please!!

    The reason as far as I can see you're experiencing problems with existing printers and attempting to install the new printer is because of the Print Spooler service or the lack of.

    Printers of course use this service, both server and client side and without it, it creates problems like you're experiencing. As Gecko also mentioned, checking the Event Viewer is a good place to start.

    Have you tried restarting the server itself at a quiet time? The Print Spooler has one dependency which cannot be stopped and that's the RPC service, but please check if that is running. Start > Run > services.msc

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    Re: Print Spooler Nitemare Help Please!!

    Thanks for your replies!

    I had already tried all your suggestions I am afraid. I just went into work this morning and set up another print server so the school had printing on Monday morning.

    The only thing that I can think of that caused the initial problem was running the whole printer installation program from the HP disk, which includes a JetAdmin install by default. I should have just browsed to the plain driver through the Add Printer tool.

    cheers

    Eddie

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    Re: Print Spooler Nitemare Help Please!!

    Are you running 2003 SP2 on the server? At least you have a workaround for Monday, but what error(s) specifically do you get trying to start the Print Spooler service?

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    Re: Print Spooler Nitemare Help Please!!

    Yes it is 2003 server sp2. I am not getting any errors when trying to start the print spooler from Admin Tools>Services. The service starts and then just stops straight away. RPC service is still running.

    I didn't have time to get the data from the Event Viewer this morning, but I will post it here on Monday.

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    Re: Print Spooler Nitemare Help Please!!

    Hijack alert! Sorry.

    On a similar theme - we have a print server (2003 R2 SP2) on which the spooler randomly stops. No errors in the event log or anything untoward happening.

    All this machine does is printing and it has about a dozen printer on it - all HP.

    Once the spooler is restarted it's fine for a day or so, then it stops again.

    I can't get my head round it. Any ideas?

    HBJB

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    Re: Print Spooler Nitemare Help Please!!

    It's interesting you both have spooler problems on 2003 Server SP2, operating HP printers. The immediate thing that comes to mind are drivers. I would check HP's website for the latest version(s), as they do make a big difference.

    @Heebeejeebee - It sounds to me the symptoms of a memory leak. Within Task Manager, check a process called "spoolsv.exe" and monitor if it gets larger over a 24 hour period.

    @edsa and @Heebeejeebee - Try deleting your printers and completely uninstalling the HP drivers and software, then reboot. See if the spooler service now works. If it does, proceed to install the latest HP drivers. If it doesn't, then clearly something else is preventing the spooler service from running. Check the Event log.

    If you manage to get the spooler service working successfully, within the Properties of the service, set the First and Second Failures to automatically restart the service. Hope this helps.

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    Re: Print Spooler Nitemare Help Please!!

    Once the spooler is restarted it's fine for a day or so, then it stops again.
    As a work around, just knock up a quick script which stops and starts the spooler service at a certain time.

    When I install drivers, I NEVER use the install prog, I just get the latest drivers from the net and dump then in a file - I then add the driver using the relevant .INF file. We have HP printers on site, on a 2003 SP2 server - never had a problem. All the printers are IP printers.

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    Re: Print Spooler Nitemare Help Please!!

    Quote Originally Posted by mattx
    When I install drivers, I NEVER use the install prog, I just get the latest drivers from the net and dump then in a file - I then add the driver using the relevant .INF file. We have HP printers on site, on a 2003 SP2 server - never had a problem. All the printers are IP printers.
    Same here, and it's most likely that is what messed it up, I had a bad experience with HP 3600 printers, the driver asked me if I wanted to update to the latest version once, I clicked yes, and it installed the whole HP software, which promtly buggered up my print server. Took me ages picking through the registry and file system to remove all traces of it,as even after removing the driver with the uninstall, it left bits everywhere.

    Mike.

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    Re: Print Spooler Nitemare Help Please!!

    Quote Originally Posted by mattx
    Once the spooler is restarted it's fine for a day or so, then it stops again.
    As a work around, just knock up a quick script which stops and starts the spooler service at a certain time.

    When I install drivers, I NEVER use the install prog, I just get the latest drivers from the net and dump then in a file - I then add the driver using the relevant .INF file. We have HP printers on site, on a 2003 SP2 server - never had a problem. All the printers are IP printers.
    I have knocked up a script and that's what I do - restart the spooler before school starts and again in the evening sometime but it still falls over sporadicly.

    All the drivers were installed from .inf files and all are the latest from the HP website.

    Our server is a recently purchased and installed one and is dedicated to the task. The funny thing is it used to happen on our old one as well. This does lead me to wonder if it's a driver issue and that should look in more depth in this area.

    Cheers

    HBJB

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    Re: Print Spooler Nitemare Help Please!!

    I think I will just have to learn the hard way with this one and just use the .ini file to install HP printers in the future (or any make of printer). I will just continue to use the new print server that I have set up. I actually wanted the printers off that server anyway. I have just inheritted the network and the server had far too many services running on it *including SIMS*, so I cannot mess around too much on it.

    I am hoping to get a dedicated SIMS box at the end of this month

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    Re: Print Spooler Nitemare Help Please!!

    Your not running netsupport school on the the print server are you? There is a file that netsupport uses for print capturing that also causes the print spooler service to stop. Renaming the file fixes the problem. More info here

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    Re: Print Spooler Nitemare Help Please!!

    Over many years (don't I sound old!) from NT3.51 onwards, every so often I have found an HP printer whose software screws up the print spooler. As a result, I only ever install the driver on the server unless absolutely necessary. As a result we rarely have problems with HP printers.

    However, I have just installed said HP3505N in a school replacing the HP3500 which had died. I thought I would be able to get away without changing the print driver - but no, I had to. Once upon a time you could print on any HP mono laser using the Lasejet 5 driver (or maybe even the 4), now every driver seems to be printer specific even if with printers in the same family. Mind you, if everything was standardised and worked out of the box we would probably be out of a job!

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    Re: Print Spooler Nitemare Help Please!!

    Quote Originally Posted by Osprey
    Once upon a time you could print on any HP mono laser using the Lasejet 5 driver (or maybe even the 4), now every driver seems to be printer specific even if with printers in the same family. Mind you, if everything was standardised and worked out of the box we would probably be out of a job!
    This is because practically all cheaper HP printers are now host based, which means the actual processing of the document for printing is done by software on the server/computer rather than by the printer its self. Only the high end HP printers now have the hardware solution. There's nothing really wrong with this, except your server will work harder, it requires a bit more network bandwidth to send print documents and as you say, you will require a different driver for each model of printer.

    Mike.

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