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Unable to select printer in Word 2007

Posted on 2010-08-26
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Last Modified: 2012-05-10
Hi all, I've done some research and I've not been able to find anything relevant, although I have tried some of the similar solutions around about.
I have a client on a Windows 2003 domain, running an XP workstation, with Office 2007 small business installed. Recently they found that they were unable to select the usual network printer in Word. Several other users in the building have identical setups and can print fine. Also the user can print to that printer from all other applications, including the rest of the Office suite.

I struggled with all the usual things like updating printer drivers etc. and still nothing would allow the printer (or any printer) to be selected in Word. Sometimes it would crash the application completely.

I've run diagnostics. Eventually we hit such a brick wall with this I took the PC and rebuilt it: Windows OS complete reinstall.

I found the problem recurred on the rebuilt machine so in desperation I created a new user, shifting the user's existing exchange mailbox to the new account and making the documents available.

The. Same. Thing. Happened. Word and Word alone, when you go to print has nothing selected in the printer dialog. Click the drop down, select the required printer and again: nothing.

Rolling the computer back to an early restore point (i.e. before they logged in) fixes the problem for about two minutes, then the issue crops up again. The user has done nothing more provacative than start a new document and attempt to print.

Any ideas? I've tried registry cleaners, malware scans etc. but nothing has come up.
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Question by:GreenDuck
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goyal_251 earned 167 total points
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it could be corruption of the print drivers. for this download the basic host based drivers (minimal install)
also try with completely uninstalled then reinstalled (minimal install) Office,this might correct the issues.

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by:GrahamSkan
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I think that most of the steps in this list would already be covered by what you've done, but you might like to try them anyway.

http://support.microsoft.com/default.aspx/kb/921541
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by:ola_erik
ola_erik earned 167 total points
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I assume the network printer is installed on the server or on some other machine and then shared to the network.

This causes printer drivers to update themselves over the network which might be one cause of the 2 minutes behaviour you report.

I think you can make a separate installation of that particular network printer on that machine and then have local control over the printer drivers to see if different versions of drivers give u different results.

Of course there _has_ to be something unique with that machine and/or word config. Does that user have some central profile config for word that gets pushed? Can you reset/ default those? The most likely culprit in that case is of course corrupted word printer settings...



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by:GreenDuck
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These are all really good solutions, but sadly not the right path.
I've tried loads of things, even comparing snapshots of the registry to see what's changed (apparently nothing but I may not be doing it right)
I downloaded the install .exe and installed the printer as local with a TCP/IP port. Exactly the same problem, so I think print drivers are eliminated from the cause.

You're right about there being something unique about the machine or the user. I'd love to use some sort of audit tool to see every change made between it working and failing.

What's interesting is that the error occurs for subsequent user logons, so whatever the problem is, it isn't restricted to user profile.
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by:Spike99
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Did you try deleting the printer completely and re-installing it from scratch?

I've seen some funky behavior with printers that could only be resolved by removing the printer & the IP printer port and setting it up again from scratch.  My thinking is that somehow the registry entry for the printer has become corrupt so that's why creating a fresh instance of the printer will resolve the problem.

Alicia
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