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Vista x64 Premium: Windows can't open Add Printer. The local print spooler service is not running. Please restart the spooler or restart the machine.

Posted on 2009-04-11
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Last Modified: 2013-11-29
I am stumped. Have looked all over the internet for a solution.
I have Vista x64 Premium and all of a sudden, I noticed that I cannot print, I do not see a single printer icon and I cannot even add a new printer. When I go to add a printer, I get an error: Windows can't open Add Printer. The local print spooler service is not running. Please restart the spooler or restart the machine.

1. What happened to all my printer icons?
2. How do I fix this error? I have spent hours searching for a solution.

In a glimmer of hope, I removed FinePrint software and all the remaining printer icons appeared back. Once I rebooted the machine, all of them have disappeared again.

I have restored to 2 earlier restore points to no avail.

Help, please help. I need to print before the tax filing day and I am totally stuck. Desperation is setting in.
Thanks a lot in advance for all help.
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Question by:rahulpatel
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Accepted Solution

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johnb6767 earned 50 total points
ID: 24123786
start>run>services.msc

Is the Spooler Service Running, and set to Automatic? If not started, start it please, and see if your printer icons appear....

Prbably have a bad driver that caused the problem.....

Rt click an open area in teh Printers and Faxes Window (once the spooler service is started), and seelct Server Properties>Drivers... Any drivers present for printers that arent installed?
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by:johnb6767
ID: 24123790
Also......

start>run>cmd.exe

reg query "HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Services\Spooler" /v "DependOnService"

Post the results please....
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Expert Comment

by:John Hurst
ID: 24123805
What is FinePrint? and is it 64-bit compliant? The printer drivers I have on my Vista 64-bit laptop are 64-bit compliant, and in one case at a client, I had to find a 64-bit driver. So perhaps you have installed a piece of software that has damaged your printers.

One thing you might try is to delete all your printers, then open the Printers Folder. Click on File -> Server Properties -> Drivers Tab. Remove printers you can indentify, restart and re-add your known good printers. I don't know if this will work, because I have never lost all my icons.
... Thinkpads_User
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by:johnb6767
ID: 24123871
Icons are only gone because the spooler service isnt running.... It cannot display them if not running....
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Author Comment

by:rahulpatel
ID: 24124014
Thank you Mr. johnb6767. You are awesome.....
Yes, the print spooler service was mysteriously set to Manual.... I set it to automatic.

All the printer icons appeared right away. I then followed your instruction on right clicking and sure enough, there is a print driver which needs to be removed. Unfortunately, I am not able to remove the driver since the "Remove" button is grayed out. Any thoughts on how I can remove it?

I am not sure I was able to follow your query request. I did to a certain extent but could not figure out how to post the results. So I have attached a screen shot. Hope this is what you were looking for?

For Thinkpads User: Yes, my FinePrint print driver is x64 compliant. No sweat there.

Query1.png
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Author Closing Comment

by:rahulpatel
ID: 31569233
Excellent and very prompt solution by Mr. johnb6767. Saved the day as not I can print/file tax returns.
Waiting to see how I can remove a print driver which should not be there... Thanks again for all who assisted.
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Expert Comment

by:johnb6767
ID: 24124681
Sorry for the delay....

Screenshots fine. Reliazed I left off a part of the command, but thats ok, a little too much info, but its better than not enough....

As for the other driver.....

start>run>cmd.exe

net stop spooler
net start spooler

Then go back into the drivers tab, and see if once it is highlighted, if it can now be removed.....
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