How eliminate "you need to select printer" error?

Posted on 2009-04-27
Last Modified: 2012-05-06
I have a client (SBS 2003 server) with five Windows Vista Business clients. All has worked fine for 18 months. A few weeks ago, the client began complaining of inability to print to USB-connected printers from within Internet Explorer. Printer self-test pages print fine from within Control Panel | Printers applet, but trying to print from Internet Explorer generates this error message:

"Before you can print, you need top select a printer. If you need to install a printer, either double-click the Add Printer icon or click the Find Printer... button on the General tab of this dialog."

Then, the Spooler SubSystem generates an error:

"Spooler SubSystem App stopped working and was closed. A problem caused the application to stop working correctly. Windows will notify you if a solution is available."

The error does not occur, however, when I log in to the local client as administrator, I discovered by accident.

Incidentally, the printers are Dell laser printers connected by USB cable to Dell Dimension PCs.

How can I fix this error?
Question by:JayneCobb
    LVL 15

    Expert Comment

    You can try reinstalling the printer drivers and setting that printer as the default to see if it helps. Otherwise, see if the below links help:

    Link 1
    Link 2

    Author Comment


    The printers are LOCALLY attached, so the info in LInk 1 doesn't help.

    Roaming profiles are not in use, so Link 2 doesn't help, either.

    Any other ideas?
    LVL 15

    Expert Comment

    This error is generated from a print job causing the print spooler to crash, then Vista doesn't think you have a printer and gives you the line about can't find a default printer.  I've found that this only happens on some web sites with some printers.  If your client is using Vista 64bit then the lack of support for the print driver may be contributing to the failure.

    To isolate the issue have that user try printing from different websites.  If they do have an issue then clear out the print jobs by turning off the printer then restart the spooler and delete the print job then turn the printer back on.  Then try reprinting from the problem site to a different network printer.  

    Once you have confirmed that the issue is with that printer printing from that website delete the printer, redownload the driver for the printer and reinstall it using the downloaded driver, not the existing driver.

    Hopefully that will fix the issue.

    Author Comment

    Issue occurs when printing from any Web site. When printing from Word, Excel, or even Control Panel | Printers | Print Test Page there is no trouble.

    Vista version is 32-bit.

    Author Comment

    The answer to this problem was to install Mozilla Firefox.

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