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Printers Disappear

Posted on 1998-11-12
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Last Modified: 2013-12-29
Every so often, seemingly out of the blue, the printer (or printers) will "disappear" from the printers folder (usually I find out because the thing won't print, look in the folder and they are gone). I reboot and they come back. This is more a curiosity question than anything since it is so easily fixed, but does anyone know why that happens or is it just a Windows burp?
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Question by:Schandor
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17 Comments
 
LVL 96

Expert Comment

by:Lee W, MVP
ID: 1727573
Though NT and 95 are different, they do share some things in common.  Under NT, if that happens, the Spooler has crashed.  Rebooting 95 for you starts it again (assuming it uses a form of the spooler as NT does).  Hope this can give you a "lead" into what you're problem might be...
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LVL 5

Expert Comment

by:j_powers
ID: 1727574
Do you have profiles set up? Printers can be suppressed in different profiles.

There is no 'burp' on it.
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LVL 1

Author Comment

by:Schandor
ID: 1727575
No profiles. In fact, acouple of times I have printed and (without logging out) the next time I print they simply will not be there anymore (until I reboot)
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Expert Comment

by:jamalu
ID: 1727576
Try installing a second version of your printer driver and do test printing.
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LVL 5

Expert Comment

by:j_powers
ID: 1727577
When you print, you will get a little printer icon in the system tray. Does that icon dissapear when you are done printing?

Next question: What type of printer do you have? With some printers, you may have to do more to uninstall, to reinstall.
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LVL 1

Author Comment

by:Schandor
ID: 1727578
We are using the most recent drivers downloaded from the Web, like I said the problem is easily fixed by a simple reboot, not by reinstalling anything
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LVL 5

Expert Comment

by:j_powers
ID: 1727579
Rebooting is a workaround, not a fix.

I need to know the answer to the first question, that being, when you print, you will have a little printer icon on the bottom right corner by the clock. When you are done printing, does that icon dissapear? If not, you can right - click on it and choose properties. What is in there? Next, leave the window open and print another document. Does the printer disappear?

If you cannot print again, then hilight what is in the printer properties area, then cancel all prints. Hopefully the printer will come back.

Let me know what happens.
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LVL 1

Author Comment

by:Schandor
ID: 1727580
The little printer icon appears and stays there until a reboot then (usually) windows will say that I have unfinished print jobs and asks if I would like to finish them. It hasn't happend for a week or so (to my knowledge) ergo, I cannot remember what happens when I try going to the printer's properties (I have tried that in the past though). If I try printing another document nothing happens (ie the printer icon in the lower right stays there and the second document comes out with the first when I reboot)

Schandor
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LVL 5

Expert Comment

by:j_powers
ID: 1727581
The printer icon, once done printing the document, will go away. If it stays, then you have a problem with the spooling of the printer. There are several reasons why this happens.

Is this computer on a network? Is the printer physically hooked up to your computer, or hooked up to the network?

Let me know.
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LVL 1

Author Comment

by:Schandor
ID: 1727582
The machine is hooked up to a network, the printer is hooked up to the network. They are not directly connected to one another.

Thanx for you ideas by the way
Schandor
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LVL 5

Expert Comment

by:j_powers
ID: 1727583
You probobly had a spooling problem then, which either your network admin fixed, of it worked itself out.

If you see the problem again, check for that icon. List out what is in the properties, and talk to your admin. They may have to clear out the print queue.

Good Luck
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LVL 1

Author Comment

by:Schandor
ID: 1727584
I am in the IS dept and we haven't changed anything having to do with printers in recent weeks. The queue has been empty when it happens. This is why  it's confusing me, the drivers are local but for some reason they just disappear intermitently. The problem occurs on different machines, at different times, in different departments, using different printers that work off of different servers. There are really no common factors except that they are in the same building. Any other ideas.
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LVL 5

Expert Comment

by:j_powers
ID: 1727585
What is your server, NT, Unix, Netware, other?

It's not that the printers dissapear, it's that they are working in the background, therefore cannot be selected.
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LVL 1

Author Comment

by:Schandor
ID: 1727586
Some of the printers run of off an NT 3.x server while other run off of an older Novell server (can't remember the version). For further clarity, when I say they disappear, I mean that their respective icons do not show up in the "printers" folder. On machines with multiple printers, all of them are gone. Not greyed out nor said to be offline. They simply do not show up anywhere.

Thanx
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LVL 5

Expert Comment

by:j_powers
ID: 1727587
I still believe that there is software that is holding these printers back.

What type of printers do you have? Have you tried using a earlier version of drivers?


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LVL 2

Expert Comment

by:bushhead
ID: 1727588
i believe that it must be a bug with windows. if it is software or anything, they would not remove the drivers itself. if the printers were offline or something, windows would still grey out the icon of some kind. but if the icons just went missing and reappeared when the machine is rebooted, i assume that it is windows doing it somwhow..

bush
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Accepted Solution

by:
moron69 earned 10 total points
ID: 1727589
If w98 is running on one of the workstations (someone may have upgraded), you will get a spool32 error or crash resulting in printers disappering from the printers folder and/or the network printer hanging. Most printer mfg's are now aware of this problem and have made w98 patches available for d/l. This condition will worsen significantly if running tcp/ip protocol.Speak with your network admin and get the printers firmware upgraded.
I hope this helps
moron69
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