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Windows 2000 Terminal Services: Constantly Having to Restart the Print Spooler

Posted on 2009-04-08
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Last Modified: 2013-12-05
Hey guys.

For the last 3-4 months, we've had to restart the Print Spooler on our Windows 2000 Server, anywhere from 2-5 times a day!  Our remote offices will call in saying it won't print to their local printer, and a few seconds after restarting the Print Spooler, you will hear the page print out over the phone.

We've tried scheduling a batch file to restart the Print Spooler every so often, but it doesn't appear to be helping.

Today, a co-worker came up with an idea that's crossed my mind before, but never has it been so tempting to try: Gather a list of all remote printers used and their latest Win2k drivers, and then remove all printer drivers from the server and reinstall them all.  (I'm sure there's atleast 2 or 3 printer drivers no longer in use, as printers were swapped out over the years.)

This is driving me batty!

Thanks in advance,
Matt
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Question by:mattx86
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PeteJThomas earned 500 total points
ID: 24098052
These problems are nearly always caused by printer drivers. I would do exactly as you've suggested - Remove ALL print drivers first, then reinstall, using universal print drivers where possible...

You should hopefully find that the problem goes away after you've done that...

HTH

Pete

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by:PeteJThomas
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by:mattx86
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I've asked this question three times here on EE, but this particular entry is the only one that I awarded any points on, and because of that, I want to add some more information to help others that may be experiencing this issue.

First of all, when doing this type of network printing, you must not use any driver that's labeled as one of the following:
"Host-Based"
"Plug N' Play"
"Non-Network"

If you don't see a driver on the manufacturer's website for a particular printer model that DOES NOT say any of the above three phrases, then more than likely, that printer is NOT supported under a networking environment such as Remote Desktop / Terminal Services, and is only good as a local printer for printing things directly off of YOUR computer.

If however, in the case of HP, you see a PCL or "Universal PCL" driver for your printer, then you're in luck.  Chances are very good that it will work.

The most time consuming part at this point, is distributing these same up-to-date drivers to your remote offices, and getting *ALL* of their computers using the new driver.

Of course, if your organization is large enough to have remote and/or centralized management of your remote office PC's, then it should be a piece of cake, relatively speaking.

Also, they say a Universal (PCL) Driver is best, so try it first, if your printer model supports it.  Then if that doesn't work, try that printer model's PCL driver (on both client and server).

Regards,
Matt
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