Print spooler services keeps stopping

I am running SBS 2003 server standard with SP1 and am having a problem wth the print spooling service.  This service keeps stopping and will stop after restarted.  The service is set to automatic.  I have deleted the files under /spool/printers thinking it might be a bad file.  Then restarted the service with no improvement.  I have restarted the server and am still having the problem.

Any suggestions this is driving me crazy.

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There is also an utility to clean up the spooler Cleanspl.exe: Spooler Cleaner
Unfortunately I can only share with you my experience in the hope that it leads you to look in the right direction, I can't tell you the *exact* cause though as the variables are just too great.

I had this issue at a couple of clients of mine, one running SBS 2003, the other Win Server 2003.  In both cases we had beat our brains out trying to find the issue with the server that was causing it, however it ended up being issues with the *printers* and not the servers.  I would highly recommend spending some time trying to narrow down if it could be a printer error, and if so which one.

In our case we were able to resolve the issue at one client by updating the printer driver, and insuring that we had removed *all* of the extra crap that the printer manufacturer includes with their drivers (printer monitors, etc., etc.) including editing the registry to insure it was all gone.  In the other case we had to upgrade the printer firmware to the latest version.  I don't recall one of the printers (HP K550 I think? but I hate to blame them if that wasn't the case so take that with a grain of salt), but I know the other was a Dell 1600N multifunction laster printer.

Definitely a tricky problem to track down because it leaves almost no tracks behind.  The first thing you can do though is see if the print spooler is stopping primarily only during periods in which users are in the office (i.e. if it's stopping at 3am in the morning chances are no one was printing anything then so less likely it's a printer)

Hope any of this helps,

Matt Ridings
MSR Consulting

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ibesupportAuthor Commented:
Just to say thanks for the advice and report the solution.  It turned out that I had a bad drive on the server.  After a lot of testing ans etc, I replaced the drive and reinstalled the softwre.  All is working now.

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