Windows 7 print spooler won't start at reboot

Posted on 2012-04-12
Last Modified: 2012-04-30
I've got one computer that just recently the print spooler won't start. It shows started in services.  I can stop it and restart it.

This is critical.  We print animal adoption contracts from it.
Question by:J.R. Sitman
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LVL 21

Expert Comment

ID: 37840755
Can you stop and start it from an elevated cmd prompt?

net stop spooler
net start spooler

Author Comment

by:J.R. Sitman
ID: 37840759
just tried and yes I can
LVL 28

Expert Comment

ID: 37840765
Try manually clearing out the print queue:

1. Open a command prompt with full admin privileges:  click on the Start button, enter cmd in the Search field, right-click on the command prompt icon and select Run as administrator

2. Within the command prompt enter net stop spooler

3. Use Windows Explorer to navigate to %systemdrive%\Windows\System32\spool\printers\ and delete all of the files within that folder

4. Return to your elevated command prompt and enter net start spooler
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LVL 21

Expert Comment

ID: 37840766
Are you good now or still having an issue?
LVL 28

Accepted Solution

Run5k earned 500 total points
ID: 37840770
If clearing out the print queue doesn't work, try this process authored by my old friend Johnb6767:

Remove all physical printers.

Once the printers are deleted, go to Start, type CMD, right-click and Run as administrator

net stop spooler

net start spooler

Click Start, and type "Print Management" -> Print Servers -> Local -> Drivers -> right-click a driver, select "Remove Driver Package" and remove them all.

Note: If this is anything lower than Windows 7 Professional, use the below command instead of Print Management (since that option is not included in lower versions):

Press Winkey+R on your keyboard and paste the following:

printui /s /t2

It will bring up the classic Drivers tab, familiar from the Windows XP era. You can remove Drivers from there after the printers are gone.

Finally, ensure that you have the latest drivers and reinstall the network/local printers.

Author Comment

by:J.R. Sitman
ID: 37840795
print que was empty

Author Comment

by:J.R. Sitman
ID: 37840804
I'm doing @Run5k suggestion.  I'll post soon

Author Comment

by:J.R. Sitman
ID: 37840819
I can remove all but one.  it states it is in use
LVL 17

Expert Comment

by:Kent Dyer
ID: 37840823


Check to make sure the service is set to Automatic (automatically start on system restart)


Be careful of deleting files in \Windows\System32\spool > You should be able to delete .spl files, but there are drivers here too


Remove old printers you are no longer using


Remove old Drivers you are no longer using - Printers, Server, drivers


Delete Temp/Temporary Internet Files


Run Chkdsk to be sure you don't have crosslinked files out there


Author Comment

by:J.R. Sitman
ID: 37840832
Just found something.  if I log on as the domain administrator, the spooler is running, if I switch to the other user it isn't.
LVL 44

Expert Comment

ID: 37840841
I don't quite understand... you say,

> It shows started in services.  I can stop it and restart it
So, what indication are you getting that it's not actually started?

In the Services snap-in, when you look at Print Spooler service's Properties, on the Dependencies tab, does it look like this?

Print Spooler Service Dependencies
I  mean, if you expand the branches.

Author Comment

by:J.R. Sitman
ID: 37840847
@darr247.  the service is not running when the user logs on

Author Closing Comment

by:J.R. Sitman
ID: 37842121
This worked as well as deleting the users profile.


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