Win98 printers disappeared and printer folder won't open

Windows98 1st ed. Working fine. Suddenly Control Panel > Printers folder will not open. In Explorer you can open the printers folder - but it only has "Add Printer", I had several printers set up, all working fine, they are not there now.

Any way - reg key or system.ini or spools folder - to reset the printers? By deleting a key or a folder or system.ini setting?

No viruses or spyware on the pc.

Even if I have to re-install all the printers that's OK - I can't even do that now, the Add Printer wizard goes unresponsive and looks up the pc when I try.

George
George46227Asked:
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TechStudent2Commented:
Here is the link to the Microsoft website to resolve the issue.

Add Printer Wizard Does Not Work and Previously Installed Printers Are Not Displayed
http://support.microsoft.com/default.aspx?scid=kb;en-us;271248
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moorhouselondonCommented:
Try going into Safe Mode and seeing if they are there.  If so delete them, shut down and startup properly.  

Or, if the printer is one of these that likes to take control of your ports go into Add/Remove Programs and remove them from there.  Shut down and startup.
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TechStudent2Commented:
Disregard above post. Was for Windows 2000, sorry!
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gonzal13RetiredCommented:
To go back to a registry that work previously all you do is:
Open Windows Explorer
Go to windows/system
Copy scanreg.exe or scanregw.exe to a floppy
Take out the floppy
Reboot the PC
Now RAPIDLY PRESS {f8} button, do not just hold it down.
You will be presented with the option to go to dos mode.
Select dos mode which should be #5
You will be at th C:\ prompt
Insert the floppy
Type A:\ and enter
At A:\  type scanreg /restore
You will be presented with 4 previous registries, chose the date that the machine worked.
Reboot the machine


gonzal13(joe)
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George46227Author Commented:
11/23/04

So far none of the responses has provided a solution. I am looking for a solution such as deleting a reg key or a file or something - something not very radical, not restoring the whole registry, although that approach may well solve the problem ( and possibly create some new ones ).

If there are no further esponses in the next few days I will request the EE admins to close the question with no points awarded.

George
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moorhouselondonCommented:
I take it that the printers were not listed when you went into Safe Mode?

On my second para.  What printers do you have listed in there?  (Manufacturer and Model No. please).

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George46227Author Commented:
moorhouselondon

11/24/04
10:42am

Sorry I didn't respond sooner. I am remote from the problem pc - I access it via internet tcp using remote control software, thus I cannot boot into safe mode because it would not load network drivers and I would not be able to have remote access.

In Control Panel > AddRemove - I see "HP OfficeJet 600 (remove only)", "HP Printer Scanner Copier Enhancer", "Samsung SyncThru" (this is the TCP-IP port drivers).

Since I can't see the printers (that's the problem) I can only guess based on how i remember it, some documentation for the pc that i did in the past and how some other machines are set up- Canon BubbleJet BJC-600 (parallel), HP LaserJet 6L PCL (windows shared printer on the LAN), Samsung CLP-550 (TCP-IP port), Samsung ML-2150 PCL 6 (TCP-IP port), IBM 4019 LaserPrinter (windows shared printer on the LAN).

George
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moorhouselondonCommented:
The ones listed in Add/Remove Progs:-  These are all, I would say, printer software drivers that like to do funny things with the registry.  What happens if, (if you have the discs to reinstall them later), you remove all 3 of these by running their uninstalls?  Reboot the pc, then remove any associated directories.  Does this improve matters?
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George46227Author Commented:
moorhouselondon
11/26/04
1:52pm

I did the Add/Remove of the printer softwares. No solution.

It may be that one of the previous suggestions - boot to Safe Mode and check the printers; reg restore - could be a solution but I can't do either since I only have remote control access.

I am going to look in the registry for printers and save some keys, then delete the keys (assuming I find something in the reg), then reboot and re-check.

I have noticed [HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\System\CurrentControlSet\Control\Print\Printers] with some printers listed in the sub-keys.
also
[HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Explorer\PrnPortsMRU]
also
[HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\Config\0001\System\CurrentControlSet\Control\Print\Printers]

I wonder if it would help to disable Printer Sharing in the File and Print Sharing box in Network properties? Worth a try.

Thanks for your help. I'll let you know, any others ideas welcome.

George



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gonzal13RetiredCommented:
Do a reinstall from Windows Explorer. It will not change any settings.

Open widows 98,
Insert the Win 98 cd rom
The windows template will appear on the screen. Just click on the X
Go to the device through Windows Explorer
go to the win98 folder
click on setup.exe
If the program wants to install the windows in another directory like Windows000 SAY NO.


It should take about 45 minutes.

This normally works for strange problems

gonzal13(joe)
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moorhouselondonCommented:
The stumbling block is that George only has remote access which rules out most normal fault-findong operations.  I feel that the problem can not be resolved in a satisfactory manner without physical access to the pc in question.  Fiddling with registry settings, etc across a remote link is not something I would advocate.
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George46227Author Commented:
moorhouselondon
11/27/04

Here's the latest:
While looking at the reg I noticed a printer with a strange port - the printer was a tcp printer, shared and then mapped back to itself. Like \\MyComp1\MyPrinter1 where MyComp1 is the pc name and MyPrinter1 is the printer share name. I deleted this from the reg, also turned off Printer Sharing in Network Properties and re-booted. The Printers folder is back, the pc is not hanging and I can print to the other printers.

I think some of your responses might have also worked  (Safe Mode) if I had physical access. The reg restore might have worked also except only the most recent 5 reg's get saved, and re-saved on each good boot - so  it depends on how many re-boots were done since the problem first started. My experience is the W98 repair probably would not have fixed this since the reg gets merged - the new reg inherits many of the old reg's settings (probably including the weird printer) - similar to an "upgrade".

The responses could have been helpful except for the access problem. I will consult with EE admins on what to do about points. I would like to award some points for the responses.

George
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George46227Author Commented:
11/28/04

I am the author. I recommend a point split: moorhouselondon 300 points, gonzal13 200 points with agrade of C. The responses they made might have worked, but due to no fault of their own, the solutions could not be tested because they required physical access to the machine (Safe Mode boot, restore reg, repair OS), only remote control access was possible. Their efforts and interest are deserving of points, paticipation should be encouraged here.

George
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George46227Author Commented:
modulo
11/29/04

Do I need to wait the days until you "finalise" the closing of the question or can I post the "Points for <expertname>" questions now - in other words should i go ahead and do it or wait until the original question is a PAQ'd/closed? I have decided how I am going to handle the points award.

George
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George46227Author Commented:
modulo
11/30/04

I am a little mixed up here - "post two separate "Points for <expertname>" questions in this topic area" - do I post to the Community Support area or to the actual Windows98 topic area? If I post to the Win98 topic area - what do I do about assigning points to the post, since it really is not a real EE "question"?

Or would it make it simpler to just award the point split in the usual way - right here in the actual question itself?

George
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George46227Author Commented:
12/1/04
9:35am

I am awarding 300 points with a grade of "B" to moorhouselondon for his comments on "Win98 printers disappeared and printer folder won't open" http://www.experts-exchange.com/Operating_Systems/Win98/Q_21185391.html.

I am awarding 200 points with a grade of "B" to gonzal13 for his comments.

As I stated above"
"The responses they made might have worked, but due to no fault of their own, the solutions could not be tested because they required physical access to the machine (Safe Mode boot, restore reg, repair OS), only remote control access was possible. Their efforts and interest are deserving of points, paticipation should be encouraged here."

Their assistance is appreciated. Interest and effort should be rewarded at EE.

George
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