Friday, March 12, 2010

Reset print spooler in Windows XP

If you were looking for a way to reset the print spooler on a Mac but ran across this article, check out this previous post. Otherwise, here was the situation. I had a user who was having issues printing on a Windows XP computer. The print spooler would crash, and even if the spooler was running the Printers folder would lock up if you tried to look at it. I did some digging and found an article that solved my problem, and also pointed to Microsoft KB 324757. I tweaked the steps a little to fit my situation, and didn't use safe mode, but it still worked. Here's what to do:

1. Stop the print spooler service if it's running, but leave the window open because you'll need to start it again at the end. If you don't know how to stop or restart the spooler, check out my previous post
2. Navigate to C:\Windows\system32\spool\printers\ and delete all the files you find there
3. Now go into C:\Windows\system32\spool\drivers\w32x86\ and delete all the files you find there
4. Open the registry editor. To do that, go to Start->Run, then type regedit and click Ok

At this point make sure you follow the directions exactly. Any changes to the registry are immediate, and have the potential to corrupt your Windows install if not done correctly.

5. In the registry editor, navigate to HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE->SYSTEM->CurrentControlSet->Control->Print->Environments->Windows NT x86
6. Expand the Windows NT x86 key. You should only see "Drivers" and "Print Processors". If there is anything else there delete it
7. Expand "Drivers", then expand the Version-x folder. I'm guessing it will be Version-3 for most of you, but the number may differ. Delete all the folders within the Version-x folder. These correspond to drivers installed on your system
8. Now go to HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE->SYSTEM->CurrentControlSet->Control->Print->Monitors
9. There should be 5 keys here: "BJ Language Monitor", "Local Port", "PJL Language Monitor", "Standard TCP/IP Port", and "USB Monitor". If you have any others, delete them.
10. Close the Registry Editor
11. Start the print spooler service
12. Restart the computer and reinstall your printer(s)

If your print spooler still doesn't want to run, then you likely have a much deeper issue. Otherwise this should solve the problem and you should be able to install your printers again at this point.

1 comment:

don_mecca said...

Very useful article.
Simple and to the point.