Spooler service not running

Posted on 2012-08-20
Last Modified: 2012-08-21
I'm using XP SP3.

I've had a Samsung laser printer with this computer for a couple of years, never had a problem before. However today it won't print, the printer is not installed and won't install, and I get the message "Spooler service not running".

I've recently (probably since the last printout) been doing some cleanouts using software called System Mechanic and maybe I was a bit too enthusiastic about getting some of the computer's lost speed back and turned off something I shouldn't have.

I can't do a system restore - it fails (another question has been asked about this)

I've looked at web solutions and they seem to point to the printer. Samsung's Doctor Printer fails to solve it - says it can't communicate with the printer. (Yes the cable is in!)

Any other ideas welcome!
Question by:StuartOrd
    LVL 13

    Expert Comment

    can you click start -> Run -> Type "Cmd" without the quotes.

    At the command prompt type:

    net start spooler

    If there aren't any errors, try printing again.
    LVL 24

    Expert Comment

    delete all the printers installed first then
    install only the printer required and restart print spoiler.

    Author Comment

    Thanks, I tried that but got "System error 1068 has occurred. The dependency service or group failed to start". I don't know what this means.

    There are no printers installed (I'm sure I had a couple of others as well as my Samsung, but there are none there now). I tried to install the Samsung again but got the message that this wasn't possible because the spooler was not running.
    LVL 37

    Expert Comment

    As spooler problems are usually caused by a faulty driver, you need to completely remove the driver before reinstalling. Just deleting the printer and re-adding it will leave some of the old files. Try this:

    Go to Printers & Faxes. First delete the printer(s). Then, from the File menu select Server Properties. Click the Drivers tab and remove any instances of the printer(s) from the list.

    Then reinstall from the CD or from a downloaded driver.
    LVL 12

    Accepted Solution

    As advised in last comment, i would also suggest to reinstall the driver from scratch. Many times the driver cause issue with the Print Spooler service to stop. Once you have correct set of drivers (32 bit or 64 bit) there should not be a problem with spooler service.

    When ever you try to start the service manually or after driver installation please make a note for any event (error/warning) in the System Logs. This could give you some idea or way towards resolution as few dependency services are also need to be running for this service to kick off.

    is one of the example of such service failure.

    Author Comment

    OK, thanks.
    hdhondt: there was no printer in the list to delete, so I went to File / Server properties and got the error box "Server properties cannot be viewed. The print spoooler service is not running".
    This stopped spooler seems to be a catch 22. If I try to instal a driver, it says it can't because the spooler isn't running.
    reach2sandeep: this seems encouraging. Your link led me to find that my print spooler depends on a lexmark service; I've no idea why, I've never used a Lexmark printer in my life, but maybe it is used by Samsung or some other printer I've used. It wasn't working. I seem to need to reboot so I'll do that now....

    Author Comment

    ....and indeed it worked! I had set these back to automatic, and they now seem to be running OK. On reboot, I find a list of printers (including pdf "printers") all registered and working.

    Apart from the nuisance, it was an interesting problem, as I've not seen these services and dependencies before. I'm starting to learn why so many services run in the background when I open Task Manager. I'll be less gung-ho closing things down in future!
    Many thanks.

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