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All printers gone and cannot install new

Posted on 2010-11-17
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Last Modified: 2012-05-10
Hi,

Suddenly all of my installed printers on my windows 7 laptop are gone, even the pdf printers.
And if I try to install a new printer I get this error message:
Operation could not be completed (error 0x000003fa).

I have tried deleting all drivers from the snap-in tool printer manager and try to install them again, but that didn't help.
I run windows 7 enterprise x64, and the printer drivers are also x64.

This is the info I found for the error code:
ERROR_KEY_DELETED

0x000003FA (Decimal: 1018)
      

An illegal operation was attempted on a registrykey that is pending delete.

If it's some key in the registry is pending can I somehow find out which one it is and stop it?
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Question by:dkpepsict
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15 Comments
 
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Accepted Solution

by:
Jsblanton earned 2000 total points
ID: 34154668
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Author Comment

by:dkpepsict
ID: 34154718
I have seen that, I have tried deleting and reinstalling the drivers, that didn't help.
I don't know where to restore it to as I don't know what time this error started happening as I don't use the printer that much.
And what should I check the disk with, just a chkdisk or what?
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LVL 98

Expert Comment

by:John Hurst
ID: 34154728
Go to Control Panel -> Devices and Printers and open that window. Can you get to Print Server Properties and the Drivers tab? Is this what you meant by snap-in tool printer manager? Are there no drivers in there?

Back to Devices and Printers: Can you Add a New Printer? That is, open the Add Wizard? If so, add a local printer and then at the window where you see Have Disk, you see the Windows Update button. Click on Windows Update and allow the updates to happen (takes a while).

Now can you add a printer?

If you are still having issues, can you sign on your Windows 7 machine with a different userid? Then, can you install a printer (still do the Windows Update)?

If it works in a new profile, you may have a profile error or corruption.  

... Thinkpads_User
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Author Comment

by:dkpepsict
ID: 34155092
Not that's not what I mean.
I started a MMC console, added the printer managment tool and uinstalled all drivers to make sure that it wasn't the drivers that were making the problem, as described on this website http://www.ehow.com/how_5576129_completely-windows-vistawindows-printer-drivers.html
All printers in Devices and Printers are gone.
I have tried installing printer threw, pointing to the driver, using windows update and using HP's 3rd party installer for the network printer, at some point all of those methods gives me that error as written in the first post.
I have now tested it with a new user on my laptop and I still get the same error message.
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LVL 98

Expert Comment

by:John Hurst
ID: 34155196
So if you cannot make printers install with Windows Update and also cannot make printers install in a new profile, then it appears somehow, the operating system has been corrupted.

Can you try system restore to a prior point, or try a repair install (back up first)? Otherwise, you may have to re-install Windows. I have not seen all printers vanish like this including PDF printers (different application).

... Thinkpads_User
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LVL 4

Expert Comment

by:Jsblanton
ID: 34157116
Thinkpads user: Are you trying to get my points with the same answer again in another thread??? =)
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LVL 98

Expert Comment

by:John Hurst
ID: 34157151
>>> Thinkpads user: Are you trying to get my points with the same answer again in another thread??? =)

No - I am offering up solutions and assistance that has worked for me. I have also followed my own practice of documenting my posts fully. ... Thinkpads_User
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Expert Comment

by:Jsblanton
ID: 34157237
Ah yes, and I am following my practice of making productive use of time. So, if there is a solution thath as worked for me in the past and is documented somewhere else (which it usually is in my experience) ...I link to it instead of wasting my time re-typing it. Regardless, usually I would say "Maybe try Jsblanton's suggestion if this didn't work" instead of just offering the same exact solution a second time. But that's just me.

If the users asking these questions would actually take the advice of experts in the first place, maybe they would have some success. It is perplexing to me why he passed right over my suggestion and has not yet tried system restore. If he had, his issue would most likely be fixed by now. That's the end of my rant,  I've had about all I can take of trying to help people who don't want to help themselves today.
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Author Comment

by:dkpepsict
ID: 34157604
Err... Jsblanton I wrote that I didn't know where to restore to as I don't know when the error started happening.
I will try to run the repair option from the windows 7 cd.
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LVL 4

Expert Comment

by:Jsblanton
ID: 34157786
The beautiful thing about system restore ...is that it's completely reversible. So, you can just keep moving it back a day or two and see when your printers show back up. I would definitely try system restore before a repair from the OS CD. Good luck.
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Author Comment

by:dkpepsict
ID: 34157896
okay I didn't know that I'll try that first then.
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LVL 4

Expert Comment

by:Jsblanton
ID: 34157954
Let me know how it goes. Sorry for my earlier rant, it really wasn't directed towards you. It's just been a long, frustrating morning already. Cheers.
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LVL 98

Expert Comment

by:John Hurst
ID: 34433056
If the asker has no futher comment, then the thread should probably be deleted. ... Thinkpads_User
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Author Comment

by:dkpepsict
ID: 34433771
Sorry for not answering earlier.

I'll accept the first answer as  this probably would have solved my problem if I had a restore point, I was a bit stupid before by deleting all of them before I noticed this issue, so I ended up reinstalling the whole OS.
As I said a system registry setting was pending to be deleted, so a restore before this pending delete would have solved the issue.
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