Avatar of oldmuttonhead
oldmuttonheadFlag for United States of America asked on

I have to restart print spooler to print to shared printer

I'm printing to a shared HP color laser jet printer on SBS 2003 from a Vista SP1 client.  About once every 1-2 days the printer will stop printing.  If I restart print spooler, it prints whatever is in the queue and will work for another 1-2 days.  I'm sure there is something simple I'm probably overlooking but what have I configured incorrectly?  This is driving me nuts!

Other details:

doesn't matter what I'm printing from.. it could be word, IE, firefox, print test, Quickbooks, etc.

This is the only shared printer I have besides the shared fax (which isn't working for other issues).

SBSWindows Vista

Avatar of undefined
Last Comment
Jeffrey Kane - TechSoEasy

8/22/2022 - Mon
LeeTutor

To quote from the link given below:

If the Print Spooler service fails when printing, when Windows starts or it can not be restarted, the usual reason is that one or more printer drivers is defective.

This page has some very good advice on how to clean up installed printer drivers so that you can reinstall the printer and hopefully correct your problem:

http://members.shaw.ca/bsanders/CleanPrinterDrivers.htm

ASKER
oldmuttonhead

The spooler never actually "fails".  I can still print locally, it is only from clients that I cannot print.  I can be restarted easily.  (as a matter of fact I just leave the services snap-in up and running with "print spooler" highlighted and just click "restart" as needed.)

My gut feeling is that this is a permissions issue although I could be wrong.  :/
LegendZM

Can other clients print at all?

i've had this problem happen before. Upgrading the driver on the printer, and then specifying that as the default driver seemed to solve the problem.  Download the latest driver.  I usually go for the Post script but PCL 6 works well too.

Definitely download the driver for the printer, not a universal driver.
Experts Exchange has (a) saved my job multiple times, (b) saved me hours, days, and even weeks of work, and often (c) makes me look like a superhero! This place is MAGIC!
Walt Forbes
ASKER
oldmuttonhead

Tech:

Neither solution helped.  It is not a driver issue.  I suspect a Vista/SBS2003 issue, but I'm not 100% certain.  I have not closed this because I was hoping someone may stumble on this and have an answer for me.  
Jeffrey Kane - TechSoEasy

Since I am the one that did stumble upon it (albeit in a rather organized, reverse date order :-)  ), I will try to help you out here...

I do believe that it is the driver, which will behave differently when used from a Vista machine than it would from an XP machine.  But help me out here... why do you believe that it isn't the driver?

Jeff
TechSoEasy
ASKER
oldmuttonhead

Because I completely removed the drivers from each client, downloaded the latest ones from the HP website, installed them, and still have the same problem.  

This might be a bit naive on my part, because while I like to consider myself a very competent and knowledgeable troubleshooter I know I'm not an expert on the print spooler or printing system as a whole,  I can't see how a printer driver would cause this issue.  It is VERY intermittent.  Sometimes I have to restart the print spooler at least once a day.  However, this week I haven't had to do it once.  We've printed all week with no problems and nothing has changed as far as volume or the types of printing we are doing. I can't see how the driver could cause this.  Again, maybe I'm wrong, I'm always open minded about that possibility :), but if it is the drivers and the drivers from the CD didn't work and the drivers from the website didn't work then I'm pretty much stuck anyway, right?  

Get an unlimited membership to EE for less than $4 a week.
Unlimited question asking, solutions, articles and more.
Jeffrey Kane - TechSoEasy

What is the specific model of the printer and which specific driver did you install?

Jeff
TechSoEasy
ASKER
oldmuttonhead

Jeffrey Kane - TechSoEasy

Now I am absolutely certain that this is a driver issue.  The Host Based driver is one that doesn't work well in an SBS environment, and especially not with Vista.  You can generally work around the issue of the print spooler hanging by installing the driver manually on the Vista client, but since there are other issues that can be problematic for using a Host Based driver with SBS I'd suggest instead that you use the HP Universal Printer Driver (UPD) which has very few issues with SBS, and only minor ones with Vista.

There are plenty of forum threads which reference problems with Host Based drivers and Vista in an SBS environment.  For example:  http://forums.microsoft.com/TechNet/ShowPost.aspx?PostID=812642&SiteID=17

You'll find the download for the UPD here:
http://h20000.www2.hp.com/bizsupport/TechSupport/ProductList.jsp?locale=en_US&taskId=135&prodTypeId=18972&prodSeriesId=503548

The UPD will definitely work with the LaserJet 3600n, so there's no problem there.

Also, be sure that your Vista clients have Service Pack 1 installed, which will also help.  Then, make sure you are registered with the HP site to be notified when the UPD v4.5 comes out because that will be the version that is truly designed to work the best with Vista.

Jeff
TechSoEasy

All of life is about relationships, and EE has made a viirtual community a real community. It lifts everyone's boat
William Peck
ASKER
oldmuttonhead

Well..then I probably stand corrected.  When I get back to the office tomorrow I'll try it out.  

Thanks, Jeff!

Rick
Jeffrey Kane - TechSoEasy

No problem.  I look forward to hearing how it works out for you.

Jeff
TechSoEasy

P.S.
I hope my comments didn't sound like I was trying to prove you wrong, because my question about why you thought it wasn't a driver issue was more to learn what you may have already attempted.  Since forum posts almost never convey what intonation or body language can in a personal conversation, I just wanted to be sure about this because I am often accused of being snippy when I just am trying to get to the point of the issue.  :-)

ASKER
oldmuttonhead

Jeff,

After installing the PCL 6 driver, when printing a test page I get:

PCL XL error
     Subsystem: KERNEL
     Error: IllegalAttributeValue
    Operator: VendorUnique
    Position: 5

The PCL 5 and PS drivers both cause the printer to display:

"Chosen personality not available"

when printing the test page.

Get an unlimited membership to EE for less than $4 a week.
Unlimited question asking, solutions, articles and more.
ASKER
oldmuttonhead

Also, I didn't take your comments that way at all.  I've searched all over EE for solutions to different problems and your name consistently pops up.  Your comments tend to have a heavier weight to me than most.  :)
Jeffrey Kane - TechSoEasy

Well, unfortunately I have to retract one of my weighty comments... :-(
I don't know what I was thinking when I said that the 3600n would be able to use the UPD.  Because it won't.  
As a feeble defense, knowing that Host Based Devices aren't the ideal printer for SBS-based networks, I just avoid them overall so I don't ever work with them.  So I did a bit of digging and this is what I found:  http://snipr.com/3stan  
Not the best news I'm afraid.
So I think you have a couple of options...
1.  Since the printer itself isn't that expensive (the 3600n is one of those that HP pretty much gives away because they will make so much on toner), you might want to just get another printer that is more compatible to run off of SBS.  Sell the 3600n on www.craigslist.org or use it at home.
2.  Move the printer to a dedicated computer that will act as it's workstation.  If you did this, and then installed the Vista driver manually on any Vista machines, it should work just fine.  But the cost of providing it a computer to run off of is probably more than the cost of getting a different printer.
Let me know if you have any other questions about this.
Jeff
TechSoEasy
 
ASKER
oldmuttonhead

Jeff,

After reading those posts, I agree that I probably purchased the wrong printer.  It's interesting in that when purchasing this printer I had actually chosen a Xerox that no one had in stock and "settled" for this one.  I had no idea what a "host based" printer was.  Back in the day I was HP certified on LJ 2, 3, and 4, but this is what I get for not keeping up with the times.  In my current position, I rarely, if ever, work on printers anymore.  

Anyway, I don't have it in my budget to purchase a new printer right now so I'll probably go back to using it the way I had it and deal with restarting the spooler every now and then.  

I probably could figure this out, but since I have your attention <grin> can I script restarting the spooler from a workstation?   When I'm here, I have access to the server and can do it myself, but my employees do not.  So if I'm out in the field and it stops, they are stuck until I get back.  

Thanks a ton for all of your help!

Rick
Experts Exchange is like having an extremely knowledgeable team sitting and waiting for your call. Couldn't do my job half as well as I do without it!
James Murphy
ASKER CERTIFIED SOLUTION
Jeffrey Kane - TechSoEasy

Log in or sign up to see answer
Become an EE member today7-DAY FREE TRIAL
Members can start a 7-Day Free trial then enjoy unlimited access to the platform
Sign up - Free for 7 days
or
Learn why we charge membership fees
We get it - no one likes a content blocker. Take one extra minute and find out why we block content.
See how we're fighting big data
Not exactly the question you had in mind?
Sign up for an EE membership and get your own personalized solution. With an EE membership, you can ask unlimited troubleshooting, research, or opinion questions.
ask a question
ASKER
oldmuttonhead

Thanks, Jeff.  I really appreciate it.
ASKER
oldmuttonhead

Thanks again, Jeff.  You rock.  :)
Jeffrey Kane - TechSoEasy

No problem.  Glad we at least found a reason why you were having the problem.  :-)
Get an unlimited membership to EE for less than $4 a week.
Unlimited question asking, solutions, articles and more.