Print Spooler corrupt

Posted on 2008-11-03
Last Modified: 2012-05-05
hi there,

having an issue with a W2k3 R2 Terminal Server. If the spooler service is running, the printers & faxes window from control panel hangs. if not, it works fine. (btw list of printers has disappeared)

I can stop and start the spooler service without a problem, but accessing printing options for any of the printers does not work.

I was also having 7022 errors, which were spooler related, but corrected them with:

Also, the fax service hangs if i try to stop it.

I've replaced the spoolsv.exe file from another server - no change.
I've run sfc /SCANNOW, rebooted - no changed.

let me know what you think.

Question by:Charlie8

    Author Comment


    This is very strage, but:

    1. If I reboot windows, with the spooler service set to automatically start (which it does successfully without complaining, i cannot RDP to the server remotely or locally (ie RDP from another box wont work and RDP to localhost/<servername> from the server itself also won't work). I have to restart the spooler service on it, after which i can RDP back and forth just fine, both remotely and locally.

    2. If I reboot windows, with the spooler service set to disabled, i can RDP to the server right away.

    3. If the spooler service is running, i can't open the "Manage Your Server" window (as well as the "printers & faxes" window form control panel). As soon as I stop the spooler service, this works. (though it could simply be that it's hanging trying to load the printer section)

    LVL 5

    Expert Comment

    we face  the  same problem  here  last  week but it was solved by setting printers to use different  drivers for the same printer in our  case we switched it from from ps drivers to pcl

    our case
    1.  they not publishing on AD
    2. spooler crashs very often
    3. on some printers the printers are not accesibled either gives an error or access denied

    the result of the change will be that
    all users will be getting drivers need to be updated when trying to printer as soon as policy is applied to their machine

    LVL 14

    Accepted Solution

    Sounds like a driver issue.  I had the same thing last year and discovered it was Dell's Network Monitor software for their printers.  Had to run cleanspl and re-install all the printers, this time only using StaNDARD tcp/ip Ports and not the printer manufacturers port software.

    You can download it here if you need to:
    LVL 38

    Expert Comment

    You probably ran a utility called CleanSpool. That will remove all of your printers.

    The spooler getting constipated is caused by 2003 server having problems with drivers. I was really dissapointed in HP, Lexmark and M$ for not paying more attention to detail.

    I found that if you disable bidirectional support and SNMP (Simple Network Management Protocol), usually this gives the spooler an exlax. Bidirectional support will be in the print driver settings, while SNMP will be on the port settings of the Mapped IP port.
    LVL 7

    Assisted Solution

    Sounds like a printer is corruptin the spooler. If you know which printer is causing the corruption - you can remove the printer via the registry:

    HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Control\Print\Environments\Windows NT x86\[Printer Name]

    HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Control\Print\Printers\[Printer Name]

    Reboot the machine, and you should be able to get into the control panel.


    Author Comment

    Will try all this and post an update.

    Keep in mind that I can't see the list of printers. When the spooler service is running, the menu hangs during launch and when it is stopped, the menu opens but is empty.
    LVL 5

    Expert Comment

    charlie8, the printer list will not  appear of course if the spooler  keeps crashing, anyways do the  printer driver change i mentioned eariler and ensure your  OS is also fully updated.

    Author Comment

    Thanks guys, eventually had no choice but to trash all printers and reinstall.

    I followed these steps:



          open regedit (e.g. click Start, key regedit and press Enter)

          navigate to HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Control\Print\Environments\Windows NT x86\Drivers

            under this key, there will be the keys Version-2 and Version-3 (one or the other of these may be absent - not a problem)

                the sub-keys under these contain the printer driver configuration information

            delete all the sub-keys inside Version-2 and Version-3, but not these keys themselves

        The Microsoft Knowledgebase article at;en-us;312052 lists some other registry entries to delete, but this is not usually necessary.


          open a Command Prompt window

          key the commands
                 net stop spooler
                 net start spooler

          open Windows Explorer

          navigate to %systemroot%\system32\spool\printers\ and delete any files there.  By default, this is where the print spooler stores print files.

          navigate to %systemroot%\system32\spool\drivers\w32x86 (%systemroot% is usually Windows, but it might be winnt or something else; this is set when the OS is installed).

          inside w32x86, there will be folders with the names 2 and 3 (one or more of these may be absent - not a problem)
                 delete all of the files and sub-folders in each of the 2 and 3 folders, but not the folders themselves
               inside w32x86, there may be other folders with names starting with "hewlett_packard", "hphp" or something else; delete these folders also

          restart the print spooler (see steps 8 and 9 above)

    At this point, the system should be pretty well back to the way it was before any printers were installed.

    Some would suggest restarting Windows at this point, but with Windows 2000 and later, this does not seem to be required.

    If you have a Lexmark printer, these additional steps may be necessary (thanks to Robert Orleth [MSFT] for providing this information).  The Lexmark printer installation process sometimes installs a service that makes the print spooler service dependent on itself.  If there is a problem with Lexmark service or a Lexmark printer driver (or you removed it using the steps above), the print spooler service may not start (see also;en-us;324757).  The steps below make the print spooler service only dependent on the Remote Procedure Call (RPC) service (RPCSS), which is normal.  The print spooler service dependencies are stored in the registry at


    The sc config command at step 16 resets the value of that entry.


          Open a Command Prompt window

          key the command
                 sc config spooler depend= RPCSS
              (note the space after the = but not before)

          restart the print spooler (see steps 8 and 9 above)
    LVL 14

    Expert Comment

    Glad to here you have it working!.....:)

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