The print spooler service terminated unexpectedly  Event codes:  7034 & 7031

leomkarl used Ask the Experts™

Administrative Tools> Services > Print Spooler   Status ("Started", or blank after failure)  Startup type (Automatic)
"Operation could not be completed.   Print spooler service is not running" after attempt to add a printer.  Status goes blank
The print spooler service terminated unexpectedly  Event codes:  7034 & 7031
Event Viewer > System Error  XError  event 7034 after attempt to add printer following a spooler restart.

-- cleanspl.exe  Ran to end but error remains.
-- tried other solutions recommended in IT solutions.
-- Cleaned registry using two different registry cleaners.
Watch Question

Do more with

Expert Office
EXPERT OFFICE® is a registered trademark of EXPERTS EXCHANGE®
I've read that this can sometimes be caused by corrupted printer drivers. Have you uninstalled, and then re-installed the printer with updated drivers?
Most Valuable Expert 2011
Top Expert 2011


Delete the printers

Pritners and Faxes>File Server Properties>Drivers>remove everything there.....May need to restart the PC.

Then get fresh reinstalls of the prionters, with fresh drivers. and test one by one, to see if it is a single printer causing havoc....

Also, I have read on this forum before about this utility, for various makes of printers...

Dont think this applies, but here goes....
Spooler Service Crashes When You Submit a Print Job and an Event ID 7031 Message Is Logged in the System Log

Also, check in the running process to see if anything is spiking when you try to start the spooler.....May give some clues....


Yes, David-Howard, I have tried to unistall printers and drivers, but whenever I go to view or display them in XP, I get the message: "Server properties cannot be viewed.  The print spooler is not running."   This happens whether the spooler is running or not.
C++ 11 Fundamentals

This course will introduce you to C++ 11 and teach you about syntax fundamentals.


Thanks for the comments John6767.  First, there are not printers shown under the XP add printer process.  Using the XP procedure that you describe, it fails with a:  "Server properties cannot be viewed.  The print spooler is not running."  message, not allowing me to do anything further.

The cyocera procedure that you mention appears to be only for removing a cyocera.

The IBM hotfix is designed for windows 2000 sp3;  I'm using XP.
Dale MaySecurity

Try this:

Click Start->Run->Services.msc
Locate the Printer Spooler service double-click it to get to the properties.
From the recovery tab, change all three options to "Restart the Service".
Leave the bottom two options set to "1"  Ok out of this dialogue.

Now go back and try to restart the service...

Are there any other errors in the events logs?



To: d_May
Thanks for taking a shot at this problem.

I did what you suggested.   I can start the print spooler OK, (no errors in log that is) but get the following error when clicking the add a printer icon:

Event viewer>System>Error
Event ID 1031  
The Print Spooler service terminated unexpectedly.  It has done this 43 time(s).  The following corrective action will be taken in 60000 milliseconds: Restart the service.

In summary, it seems to start and stop the print spooler OK, but when trying to add a printer, it fails with that error, then restarts the print spooler about a minute later.  No other error codes are shown in the event log.

Any other thoughts are suggestions? (Hope so!)


Oops!  Event ID above should have read 7031, NOT 1031.
Most Valuable Expert 2011
Top Expert 2011

" First, there are not printers shown under the XP add printer process.  Using the XP procedure that you describe, it fails with a:  "Server properties cannot be viewed.  The print spooler is not running."  message, not allowing me to do anything further"

Can you possibly do this after manually starting the spooler service as d_may suggested?
Dale MaySecurity

The troubleshooting approach here would be the one for any faulty application or driver:
1. Obtain the latest updates from the vendor
2. Make sure the hardware is functioning properly
3. Reinstall the latest Service Pack
4. Run scanddisk (to fix any problems with the file system).
5. If file corruption is suspected uninstall and install again the application in question  

Run SFC /SCANNOW this will check to see if all your OS files are good or not and replace any that have become corrupt.

Dale MaySecurity

Could it be posible that you have a print job in queary?
right click on the icon and end the proccess.




I tried many of your suggestions:

1.  I could not find any print jobs.   I think everything got cleaned out by cleanspl.exe.

2.  My attempt to run sfc /scannow causes an SFC.EXE error:  "The application failed to initialzie properly (0xc000007b)."

3.  Re-installing SP2 still in the works;  microsoft doesn't want to re-install on an existing sp2.  

4.  Scandisk did run uneventfully.

5.  Hardware appears to be functioning OK.

6.  I would like to try to uninstalling and re-installing the spooler.   Can you give me some guidance on how to go about that?

I have to be out of town for all of next week, and will have to put this on hold for that time.   Hope you will be able to resume with me when I return.   Thanks for everything you've done so far.
Dale MaySecurity


Hope your trip out of town went well.

What I would do to "uninstall" the spooler service.

Stop the spooler service
and remove the SPL & SHD files (shodow files)

It's called "Print Spooler". If that is missing, you can restore it using the REG fix here:

Download the file and save to desktop. Right-click the file and choose Merge.
Restart Windows and then set the service to Automatic.

hope this works,  It concerns me that the sfc /scannow in the run menu did not work.  (get your windows XP disc handy)!



I think you're on to something d_may!   My trip begins today, however, and I won't be able to try this for another week when I return.   Thank you very much for hanging-in with me --- hang on one more week, please,  and I think we may have it under control.  

Dale MaySecurity

Read a past post of which I accepted the points offered!

Dale MaySecurity

welcome back from your trip Leo, welcome back to your question on Expert-Exchange.



Thanks for getting back to me Dale.

I have been able, sometimes, to force event failures which I hope will give you more insight into what is going on.

Here are two, both of which suggest some problem with file sharing of files that the spooler needs, and won't start without.

Windows Operating System
Event ID:
The share configuration was invalid. The share was not re-created and is not unavailable.
This rule generates an alert when a file share experiences a configuration issue that prevents it from being made available on the network.
This alert will occur when a file share points to a folder that has been deleted.
User Action
To resolve this alert, do the following:
Open the Computer Management MMC.
Click System Tools, click Shared Folders, and then click Shares.
In the details pane, right-click the share you want to remove and click Stop Sharing.

Event Type: Warning
Event Source: Server
Event Category: None
Event ID: 2511
Date: 12/12/2006
Time: 3:16:43 PM
User: N/A
Computer: NEW-DELL
The server service was unable to recreate the share print$ because the directory C:\WINDOWS\System32\spool\drivers no longer exists.  Please run "net share print$ /delete" to delete the share, or recreate the directory C:\WINDOWS\System32\spool\drivers.

For more information, see Help and Support Center at

I did try to re-create the drivers file that it seems to want, and I did try to make it a share.   But, I don't understand it well enough to feel that I did it properly.  That is, it still fails as it has been.

I hope you might give me some further guidance on what I might do, but I suspect that I'm going to have to use the slip stream procedure that you sent me the info on if this fails.   I note that that problem, and its symptoms, was very similar to mine, including the failure of scannow.


Dale MaySecurity

In my opion a reinstallations of your windows xp is in order.  Yes Slipstream is the way to go, as tif you do not a pop up will come back and say that the operating system that is installed on your computer (SP-2) is newer than the sp-1 disc that you are attempting to install.
I went to this site and printed instructions.

If you don't have this handy, you should download the full version of SP2 and burn it to CD, then use it to do the upgrade.   You can get it at:  http: / / www. microsoft. com/ downloads/ details. aspx? FamilyId= 049C9DBE- 3B8E- 4F30- 8245- 9E368D3CDB5A& displaylang= en

A clean reinstall will remove EVERYTHING from the computer . .

These are good guides to reinstalling XP . . you might want to print one for reference during the install.

http: / / www. winsupersite. com/ showcase/ windowsxp_ sg_ clean. asp
http: / / www. socrtwo. info/ cleanxpinstall. htm
http: / / www. theeldergeek. com/ xp_ home_ install_ - _ graphic. htm

Follow these directions for adding a printer in windows-xp
Adding a printer in Windows XP is a relatively simple process but before you begin, you should have the following information on hand:

The make and model of the print device you are adding
The port which the print device is connections
Print drivers
The name you will assign to the logical printer
After you have physically attached the print device to your computer and turn it on, you can complete the steps listed below.

Click Start and click Printers and Faxes.
Under the list of Printer Tasks, click Add a printer. This launches the Add Printer Wizard.
Click Next.
Verify that Local printer attached to this computer is selected. Click Next.
Use the drop down arrow to select the port. Click Next.
Select the Manufacturer of your printer and the model. Click Next. If your printer is not listed, click the Have Disk button. You'll need to locate the manufacturer-supplied drivers on your computer or disk.
Type in a name for the printer. This is the name that will appear under the printer icon in the Printers and Faxes folder. Click Next.
If you want to share the printer, click Share name. Type in the share name for the printer. Click Next.
If you share the printer, type in the location and comment. Click Next.
Click Yes if you want to print a test page. Click Next.
Click Finish at the Summary window.
Windows XP supports plug and play technology. This means that if your printer is connected using USB or IEEE 1394 compatible port, it is automatically detected. Windows XP will automatically install the printer drivers and configure the printer for you. The logical printer will appear within the Printers and Faxes folder where you can make any changes to its configurable properties.

hopfully this links will help.  


Dale MaySecurity

If you are not wanting to do a complete reinstallation if Windows XP (what a job) you may want to try this first!

 Reinstall XP Without Losing Any Software Or Settings
This technique lets you completely and nondestructively rebuild, repair or refresh an existing XP installation while leaving already-installed software alone (no reinstallation needed!). It leaves user accounts, names, and passwords untouched; and also takes only a fraction of the time a full, from-scratch reinstall does. And unlike a traditional full reinstall, this option doesn't leave you with two
copies of XP on your hard drive; or delete an exiting copy. Instead, you end up with just your original installation, but repaired, refreshed, and ready to go.

It's XP's most powerful rebuild/repair option; and yet Microsoft chose to hide it behind seeming dead ends, red herrings, and a recycled interface that makes it hard to find and (at first) somewhat confusing to use. Go figure.

We've saved this technique for last in our discussion of the various XP repair/rebuild options because the fixes we've previously discussed are like first aid--- the things you try first. For instance, see this discussion on removing limitations on XP's Recovery Console ( ), turning it into a more complete repair tool; or this discussion on the Recovery Console's little known boot data "Rebuild" command ( ) that can cure many boot-related problems. (There's also lots more on the Recovery Console here: )

But when the Recovery Console techniques don't work and you're facing the prospect of a total reformat/reinstall, STOP! Try this no-reformat reinstall technique, and you just may get your XP setup running in a fraction of the time and with a fraction of the hassle of a grand mal wipe-and-restore.

You'll find complete, step-by-step instructions with abundant screen shots
waiting for you here:

With this information, you should almost never have to face a dreaded start-
over, from-scratch reformat/reinstall of XP!



Thank you so much for what appears to be an excellent technique.   My boot disk is still in Colorado (and I'm in Iowa just now) but I'll be going to visit it over the Christmas holidays and will take my computer to work on it there. will probably be a few days before I get back to you, but, get back to you I definitely will --- I appreciate your patience.


I had exactly the same problemn reinstalling just the Windows XP SP2 resolved the issue I did not have to reinstall entire Windows XP




Very interesting suggestion, Ravi!

I'm still working on this problem and am preparing to follow suggestions made by d_may (Dale) shown above.

How do you go about reinstalling ONLY XP SP2 without re-installing Windows XP?

Not familiar with what procedures may be necessary since downloading only SP2 from Microsoft appears to cause some grief when current installation already contains the SP2 upgrade.

Dale MaySecurity

If you don't have this handy, you should download the full version of SP2 and burn it to CD, then use it to do the upgrade.   You can get it at:  http: / / www. microsoft. com/ downloads/ details. aspx? FamilyId= 049C9DBE- 3B8E- 4F30- 8245- 9E368D3CDB5A& displaylang= en

Dale MaySecurity


here is a help site that I like
You could book mark it for later.
Dale MaySecurity


I will briefly walk you through the steps needed to set up Windows XP in a fashion that will provide continuous, reliable uptime. This assumes that you already have some knowledge of the Windows XP installation process and the operating system.

Before starting, you will need the following:

Windows XP Product Disk
Windows XP Product Key

Step 1. Formatting your computer and installing Windows XP
This step is the most crucial. Instead of upgrading from a previous Windows release, or installing Windows XP on top of itself ("in-place" upgrade), we will want to do a clean installation. This will ensure that Windows runs correctly.

Back up any data you wish to keep (important documents, pictures, etc.)

Unplug your network connection.

Place the Windows XP CD-ROM in the CD/DVD drive. Restart your computer. Go into your system BIOS (the key to press varies on each system; it is usually DEL or F1.) Set the boot order to look something like this:

CD Drive
Floppy Drive (If Available)
Hard Disk
Once you have done this, save your changes and restart again. You should see a prompt that looks like this:

Press any key to boot from CD.

When you see this prompt, press any key within five seconds to launch the Windows XP installation program. Follow through the questions setup asks you; partition your hard drive (if you don't know what this is, then you don't need to do this,) and format the drive as NTFS (this is VERY important, and should only be skipped if dual booting with a Windows 9x OS and you'd like to read/write to the Windows XP drive.)

Setup will the copy files to the hard disk and restart the computer. You should see the Windows XP Home Edition or Windows XP Professional boot screen. The rest of setup should be fairly easy; just follow the instructions and accept most of the defaults. If you need information on completing setup, please visit The Elder Geek.

Step 2. Configuring Windows
Now that you have completed the Windows XP setup program, you should be looking at a functional Windows XP default desktop. If you connect to the internet directly using a broadband modem, you may wish to turn on the Windows Firewall (or Internet Connection Firewall in pre-SP2 installations.) This will prevent hackers from being able to exploit an unpatched system.

If you are connected using a broadband modem (such as Linksys, NETGEAR, etc): you don't need to do anything at this point, the built in firewall on your router will be fine for now.

Step 2a. System Performance Options
Click Start, right click on My Computer, and click Properties.
Click the Advanced tab. Under Performance, click the Settings button.
Click the Advanced tab in the Performance Options window.
Under Virtual Memory, click the Change button.

If you have less than 512MB of physical memory, set both the min. and max. settings to 2.5x the amount of physical memory in your system.

Example: 128MB = 320MB min and max

If you have 512MB or more of physical memory, set both the min. and max. settings to the exact amount of physical memory in your system.

Example: 512MB = 512MB min and max

Click OK, and then click OK again. In the System Properties window, click on "Environment Variables."
Delete the two USER variables, TMP and TEMP. Click OK.

Now, click the System Restore tab. Turn System Restore off for all drives. Close the System Properties window. If asked to reboot, click No.

Once you have done this, right click on the Recycle Bin. Set the overhead for all drives to 1%. Click OK.

Next, go to Start, Run, and type "services.msc" (without the quotes). Follow the Services Configuration Guide at Black Viper.


Install applications, in this order:
Windows Media Player 10, DirectX 9.0c, Microsoft Office, Adobe Applications, Utilities, Antivirus, etc.


Run Disk Cleanup. You can do this by clicking Start, All Programs, Accessories, System Tools, Disk Cleanup.

Defragment your hard drive. Do this by clicking Start, All Programs, Accessories, System Tools, Disk Defragmenter.


Install the latest updates or service pack from the Windows Update Web site.


Run Disk Cleanup and Defragment your hard drive again.

Create your normal user accounts and configure them as needed.

Defragment the drive again.

You are now finished! Congratulations! Your Windows XP configuration should provide reliable, continuous uptime!

Dale MaySecurity

Here is a handy site to help with print drivers that were not removed before updateing to a new operating system:

Please update us or award points if desired.



Great help Dale!  

I was able to sucessfully use the Fred Langa method of re-loading the operating system, and I am pleased with the final results as well as the learning experience I gained along the way.

I'm sorry that it took me so long to complete.   My last difficulty lying in my need to purchase a new XP upgrade disk including SP2, and the problems I encountered in trying to download a new printer driver from HP due to the fact that the communication setup I was using prohibited HP's FTP transmission of new drivers without telling you the precise cause of the failure to download.

Finally figured that all out, and I seem to be back on line, with the printer problem gone, along with a number of other minor annoyances that seem to have been related to the same problem.

Much obliged for you help.


I have resolved this issue by modifying the permissions of the print spooler service:
Set to run as local system account

Prerequisites include: Remove any corrupted drivers manually from the registry:
HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Control\Print\Environments\Windows NT x86\Drivers
Good Luck!
Dale MaySecurity


I am so happy for you that your printer is back the way it should be.
I enjoy Expert-Exchange, but must admit, I have not participated as much as I would like to.
I used this technique for two computers that had this problem and it fix it:

1. Open Windows Explorer and browse to C:\Windows\System32\Spool\Printers, delete everything in this folder, do the same thing in here C:\Windows\System32\Spool\Printers
If it says file is in used that you can not delete, then you need to reboot your PC and go into safe mode by holding the F8 key.

From Start, right click "My Computer" and choose "Manage", click the "+" sign to expand the "Service and Applications" from the left panel. Then select "Services".

 Scroll down to "Printer Spool" on the right panel, highlight it and click on "Stop the service".

Click on "Restart the service". And close the Computer Management window. This method will work most of the time, otherwise, you need to uninstall the other printer drivers and re-install them.

Read more: How to Fix "Spooler subsystem app has encountered a problem and needs to close" |

Do more with

Expert Office
Submit tech questions to Ask the Experts™ at any time to receive solutions, advice, and new ideas from leading industry professionals.

Start 7-Day Free Trial