Printing stops working for some reason

We have a Server 2008 R2 Standard (SP1) running as a Terminal server.
Every other day or every Sunday morning, users are unable to print for some reason.

When this happens:
- Print Spooler is still running, Restarting it crashes the service
- Devices and Printers list is empty,
- When trying to print something, print window just crashes
- Rebooting the server fixes it, but then the issue will happen again after a few days or on a Sunday.

Printers that are on the server:
HP Officejet Pro 8500
HP LaserJet 3055
HP Laserjet M1536dnf
HP Laserjet M1522nf
Zebra Designer TLP 2844

If you have any suggestions on what to check and might be causing this, let me know.

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andrew_transparentAuthor Commented:
Sorry for the delayed response,
We've been running a schedule to restart the Terminal every other day which seems to have a handle on things for now.

As this Terminal Server sessions have the printers shared from a print server on the SBS 2011 via group policy.

We are thinking of just adding 'local' printers to the Terminal Server...
Anything of interest in the Event Log?
andrew_transparentAuthor Commented:
oh yeah, forgot to add.. nothing in the event viewer. :(
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Steven CarnahanNetwork ManagerCommented:
Are you trying to restart the service or stop and start it?  I have seen that restarting sometimes does strange things.  I prefer to actually stop the service, count to 5 or 10 and the start the service. Then you need to wait for the printers to repopulate.
andrew_transparentAuthor Commented:
i've tried stopping, then starting the service, which then crashes the service completely.
also tried restarting it, but same thing happens.
Have you stopped the spooler service cleared out the print queue (c:\windows\system32\spool\PRINTERS\) then restarted the service?

This can also occur when a printer driver encounters a font or graphic it doesn't know how to handle.  I would double check all the drivers you are using and see if there's a newer version of any of them.  Also replacing them with the HP's universal drivers may help.  Ideally you should test these on a separate machine before putting them into production.
andrew_transparentAuthor Commented:
yes, we always clear those out (if any) when we stop the spooler service.

Drivers are the latest and we have a some printers using HP universal drivers, but I would like to pinpoint what's causing this problem.

If it was the drivers, then it would've crashed every single day. not intermittently.
Steven CarnahanNetwork ManagerCommented:
Here is a technet article on trouble shooting the print spooler crashes
Also, have you got the print drivers in Isolation mode?   We had huge issues with the HP Universal print drivers in our environment until we cleared everything out as per the article Pony linked above, and then re-added all the printers and set each driver into Isolation mode.

We still get the occasional spooler crash, but now it's once or twice a month instead of up to 10 a day.
Do you clean out your terminal server periodically?  I use a script on each of our servers in the TS farm that cleans up all the printer crap.  I've attached it to this post.  It should only be run when there are no users on the server.  The two areas of the registry it cleans up is;
HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Hardware Profiles\Current\System\CurrentControlSet\Control\Print\Printers

Browse there using regedit and see if you have a ton of printers located in those locations.

Alternatively it may be a specific print job that causes it to crash.  Are there any print jobs that run Saturday night or early Sunday morning?

Every other day or every Sunday morning
Is there a specific job that runs at those times (or last thing the evening before)? If it's a specific job/printer, that's where the problem is.

I'm guessing this is caused by a corrupt printer driver, which crashes the spooler. In that case, completely removing the driver (from Server Properties) and reinstalling should fix it.
andrew_transparentAuthor Commented:
rebooting the servers every night is a fix for now.
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