Print Spooler constant failures

Posted on 2010-09-21
Last Modified: 2012-05-10

I've a problem with a Windows 7 Prof machine. This morning, it suddenly stopped being able to print to any printer. You could see the printers listed (local and network), but all of them were unavailable to print to. There are a couple of messages in the Event Viewer that suggest what is happening, but I've not been able to find a solution using them.

Firstly, I get an Information alert: ID 7036:
The Print Spooler service entered the running state.

This is followed after about 6 seconds with error ID 7032:
The Service Control Manager tried to take a corrective action (Restart the service) after the unexpected termination of the Print Spooler service, but this action failed with the following error:
An instance of the service is already running.

This is followed three seconds later with error ID 7031:
The Print Spooler service terminated unexpectedly.  It has done this 14 time(s).  The following corrective action will be taken in 60000 milliseconds: Restart the service.

From searching for solutions, I've seen this error linked to Windows XP or Server 2000/2003, but nothing yet about Windows 7. I've also seen talk about using the cleanspl, but apparently that's only available for those other OS's.

In the services gui, you can start the service manually, but it seems to stop after a few seconds. But when you are just looking at the full list of services, the spooler is shown as started and automatic, when it's not running.

Anyone come across this or have a possible solution?
Question by:crhita
LVL 38

Accepted Solution

Herman D'Hondt earned 125 total points
Comment Utility
Most spooler errors are caused by a corrupt driver. I would delete all printers and reinstall. To delete them, go to Printers & Faxes. First delete the printers. Then, from the File menu, select Server Properties. Click the Drivers tab and remove all printers from the list. Then reinstall the printers.

Expert Comment

Comment Utility
You may have a faulty driver who is causing all your problems, check out the steps given on the microsoft support website :

Yes this isn't exactly pertinent to Windows 7, however some steps (cleaning up the files, registry checking) may be worth checking out. Look especially in the registry, as if you have some ghost driver registration you won't see it listed in the hardware tab or the system's printer but will be listed there causing all theses crashes.

Expert Comment

Comment Utility
I would also like to point out that when you open services.msc, what you see is a "snapshot" of service status at that time. It's possible that the spooler service is either (a) running, or (b) restarted when you open the window, and that's why it shows as running.

I would also trim the amount of software down as well. I know that some printers have all sorts of "management" software or other programs that install with especially local printers, but since the only thing you really need is a driver, I would only install that which is absolutely mandatory to get the printer to work. If you have to select between an older WHQL driver and a newer driver that has not been approved yet, stick to the one that has passed WHQL testing.

Assisted Solution

xdomains earned 125 total points
Comment Utility
As everyone pointed out, the spooler crashes because of faulty driver. No other reason.
But you dont need to remove all the print drivers. The printer drivers get loaded only when you select them from an app or from control panel.

Now, the crash is due to the default printer, which gets loaded when any application is opened. So you are seeing frequent spooler crashes.

Change the default printer to another one (as metroacct says, a WHQL'ed print driver). All the inbox print drivers that come with the OS are WHQL certified. Also, the Microsoft signed, WHQL certified printers will not throw up an error message while installing.

Also, a MS signed driver doesnt mean that it will not crash, just that crashes will be lesser!!

Author Closing Comment

Comment Utility
It was the default printer. Although it had been working for a number of weeks/months, when we looked into it more, it wasn't compatible with Win7 apparently. Once we removed this from the equation, the issue disappeared.

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