Windows cannot open Add Printers ... and all printers show errors

This morning the customer came in to find that he could not print on any of his printers, on his Win 7 64-bit PC.  Both printers show a ! , and the troubleshooter provides no info.

One printer is a simple HP 4250, so I had him disconnect it, and it's icon disappeared from the 'Devices and Printers' screen.  I then downloaded the PCL6 driver from HP, but when I go to install it, I get this error:

'Windows cannot open Add Printers.  The local print spooler service is not running.'  But if I go to services.msc, it shows that the print spooler IS running.

Initially I tried to restore a restore point, but it only shows one restore point available, and it is from earlier this morning (i.e. of no value).  Why THAT is happening is a subject for an additional post, I suppose.

Any ideas where to begin with this printer situation?  TIA
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sasllcAsked:
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KashConnect With a Mentor 2nd Line EngineerCommented:
have you tried booting into safe mode and see what happens there. thats where I would start
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sasllcAuthor Commented:
What would I be looking for in safe mode?

Since safe mode doesn't bring up all the usual stuff, I wondered if it even would install printer drivers.  So, I rebooted MY Win7 PC, and found that I had the same "!" showing on my printer in the Devices and Printers screen--presumably becuase it does not load printer drivers in safe mode--but I don't know that for sure.

In any case, what would I do, or look for, in safe mode?
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m3mph1s1Connect With a Mentor Commented:
I would reboot, it sounds like something has conflicted with the print spooler.  If a reboot doesn't restart it successfully then you will need to follow documentation similar to this but particular to OS: http://social.technet.microsoft.com/Forums/en-US/winserverfiles/thread/6de177db-df34-4801-be93-1a8e4231f183
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sasllcAuthor Commented:
I could not get anything to work, and ended up having to reformat his system and reload.
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