Celebrate National IT Professionals Day with 3 months of free Premium Membership. Use Code ITDAY17

x
?
Solved

Print Spooler causing a lot of hard drive activity

Posted on 2009-06-30
7
Medium Priority
?
1,073 Views
Last Modified: 2013-12-07
Some time in early June my computer started to slow down. The boot up would take a long time because of a lot of hard drive activity. While using the computer it would pause for more than 5 minutes because of a lot of hard drive activity. Also when I go in to Control Panel / Printers it took a long time to list the printers. I traced it to the Print Spooler. When it is disabled, Windows starts up normally and the computer doesn't pause.

I used Process Monitor, Autoruns and Process Explorer from Sysinternals.com to find out that SPOOLSV.EXE was the cause.

I uninstalled both my printers and deleted the drives from Server Properties in Control Panel / Printers. The only printers left are "Microsoft office Document Image Writer" and "Intuit Printer"

During the time that there is a lot of disk activity(computer is unresponsive) Process Monitor shows that SPOOLSV.EXE is accessing the following 2 folders A LOT:
c:\windows\system32\spool\printers
c:\$Directory.

I have Norton Internet Security 2009 installed and there are no threats detected. I used Autoruns to check for programs that should not be starting up.

On June 4 and 10 some Vista and MS Office patches were installed. I uninstalled the Vista patches.

Vista Home Premium
Pentium dual core
2gigs ram
88gigs free on HD
0
Comment
Question by:LeonGarfield
[X]
Welcome to Experts Exchange

Add your voice to the tech community where 5M+ people just like you are talking about what matters.

  • Help others & share knowledge
  • Earn cash & points
  • Learn & ask questions
  • 4
  • 3
7 Comments
 
LVL 5

Accepted Solution

by:
Ahmed Ezzat AbuRaya earned 2000 total points
ID: 24782600
Is it unresponsive due to disk activity or to cpu hog?
I would try disabling the spool service, then deleting all files in (C:\WINDOWS\system32\spool\PRINTERS) .. (should end with *.spl /*.shd) and rerun the service again. And see what happens.
0
 
LVL 5

Expert Comment

by:Ahmed Ezzat AbuRaya
ID: 24782637
Also I'd make sure there's no stuck printing job in the (Microsoft office Document Image Writer) ..

Tell me if there's a progress :)
0
 

Author Comment

by:LeonGarfield
ID: 24782728
Just a lot of disk activity. It is not a CPU hog.

I will check the C:\WINDOWS\system32\spool\PRINTERS folder and let you know what I find.
0
Does Your Cloud Backup Use Blockchain Technology?

Blockchain technology has already revolutionized finance thanks to Bitcoin. Now it's disrupting other areas, including the realm of data protection. Learn how blockchain is now being used to authenticate backup files and keep them safe from hackers.

 

Author Comment

by:LeonGarfield
ID: 24828497
hello Zo2FoL,

you are on the right track. The PRINTERS folder does contain files. It took me some time to figure out how to gain access to the folder. It seems that there are many hundred thousand files in there. Windows has been apply the modified security to the folder for the past day and it is still doing it. Once I gain access to all the files it will take some time to delete them. I will let you know how things are going.

The next question to this problem is why there are soooooooo many spool files in the PRINTERS folder? I didn't print that much. Also, the short directory listing I have seen shows that the file sizes are all ZERO.
0
 
LVL 5

Expert Comment

by:Ahmed Ezzat AbuRaya
ID: 24828798
well, files are created in this folder whenever there is a print job. They should be automatically deleted, but for some reason they are not in your case. (maybe there are open handles to these files.. e.g. Antivirus program? or something..)

As a workaround you can make a .bat file that is run at schedule, with these simple lines:

[@echo off
del C:\WINDOWS\system32\spool\PRINTERS\*.shd
del C:\WINDOWS\system32\spool\PRINTERS\*.spl]

This is exactly like manually deleting the files, but It saves you time and effort.

I assume you have no problem deleting the files :)

Let me know what happens :)
0
 

Author Comment

by:LeonGarfield
ID: 24833554
There were over 500,000 files in the folder. They were all dated July 16 or July 17. I tried to get a proper count on the number of files but the directory listing using the command prompt started to get corrupted well in to the listing. It will take some time to delete them. I will then run a chkdsk to correct any problems and return to the PRINTERS folder to see if I need to delete more.

I will keep you up-to-date.
0
 

Author Comment

by:LeonGarfield
ID: 24862325
Thank you for your solution Zo3FoL. I removed all the *.spl files from the PRINTERS folder and the problem is solved.

0

Featured Post

Complete VMware vSphere® ESX(i) & Hyper-V Backup

Capture your entire system, including the host, with patented disk imaging integrated with VMware VADP / Microsoft VSS and RCT. RTOs is as low as 15 seconds with Acronis Active Restore™. You can enjoy unlimited P2V/V2V migrations from any source (even from a different hypervisor)

Question has a verified solution.

If you are experiencing a similar issue, please ask a related question

The main issue when installing Vista and XP in dual boot is when you have to reinstall any of the two when something fails, let's say a hard disk failure, a lost partition, virus, etc. What commonly happens is that you lose all your hard work config…
I'm a big fan of Windows' offline folder caching and have used it on my laptops for over a decade.  One thing I don't like about it, however, is how difficult Microsoft has made it for the cache to be moved out of the Windows folder.  Here's how to …
Viewers will learn the basics of creating custom device Racks in Ableton Live. Place instrument(s) and effects onto a track, and select them all by holding the Shift key and clicking on the device title bars: Group them by typing Command-G (Ctrl-G…
Viewers will learn how to use LFOs to modulate the sound of their Sampler instruments. Click the Modulation tab in Sampler: Choose one (or more) of the three available LFOs, and click the respective button to turn it on: Select a waveform, an LF…

730 members asked questions and received personalized solutions in the past 7 days.

Join the community of 500,000 technology professionals and ask your questions.

Join & Ask a Question