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Strange mass printer failure- software issue

Posted on 2007-10-19
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Last Modified: 2009-12-16
I have a strange issue coming up at our school. We have about 60 HP Deskjet 6940 printers on Windows XP Pro. In the last week 9 teacher computers stopped being able to print to this model printer. When I delete the printer and plug it back in it does recognize the printer and installs the drivers for it fine. These computers can still print to networked printers fine. We have not made any changes to these systems which would cause this.

The error messages I get when trying to print:
-Notepad: "The handle is invalid"
-Test page:  "Test page failed to print. Would like like to view the printer troubleshooter for assistance? Operation could not be completed."
-Word: "Windows cannot print due to a problem with the current printer setup"

 I have done the following to try and diagnose the problem:
-Uninstalled/reinstalled drivers
-Run antivirus check on the computer as well as on the drive itself from another computer
-Swapped with a known good printer of the same model(does not work)
-Swapped all cables with known good ones
-Run system file check
-Restarted spooler service
-Called HP level 2 support (they could not figure out the problem either,  just had me repeat what I've already tried)

If anyone could shed light on this I would immensely appreciate it as I have lost sleep over it for the past week. Thanks!
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Question by:msdtech
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Accepted Solution

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Kenneniah earned 2000 total points
ID: 20110467
After deleting the printer, try completely removing the driver to fully reinstall it.
Control Panel -> Printers
Hit File -> Server Properties
Then on the Drivers tab select the printer driver and hit Remove.
Just deleting the printer does not actually remove the driver.
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LVL 24

Expert Comment

by:Kenneniah
ID: 20110484
You also might try stopping the spooler service, then deleting everything in C:\WINDOWS\system32\spool.
Restart the spooler service, then if necessary reinstall drivers.
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LVL 63

Expert Comment

by:SysExpert
ID: 20112204
Lastly, check for malware on the computers.

Maybe something is messing them up, so local drivers are not working.

Use Hijackthis.

I hope this helps !
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Author Comment

by:msdtech
ID: 20112936
Thanks Kenneniah, been using Windows my whole life and never knew about the File->Server menu! Did the trick, and I will finally sleep easy again.
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