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Windows cannot connect to the printer operation failed with error 0x000003ab

Posted on 2013-05-13
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Windows 7 x64. When trying to add a printer I receive error 0x000003ab. Please advise
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Question by:SJATechsupport
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Expert Comment

by:AdrienneSperber
ID: 39161949
Go to the printer manufacturers website, find your printer, and download the printer driver for Windows 7 64 bit
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Author Comment

by:SJATechsupport
ID: 39161999
It's not a driver issue - it happens with any printer I try to add. They're all networked printers attached to a Windows Server 2008 Print server
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Expert Comment

by:sfields11
ID: 39162181
The server most likely has 2 different types of print drivers associated witht the print queues you are trying to access - one for x64 and oen for x86. From the server, go to Print manager and check to make sure that both the x64 and x86 driver types are the EXACT same version level. If they do not match up, bring the lower version up to match the higher installed version. Restart print spooler service on the server, and attempt to connect again.
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Author Comment

by:SJATechsupport
ID: 39162217
The printer drivers are the same version on the print server - nothing has changed on the back end. One day the user was able to print, the next day she wasn't
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Expert Comment

by:sfields11
ID: 39162241
Check the same thing on the user's PC - make sure she has the same version of the driver that the server has, and that she didnt get a different copy from another source. 9 times out of 10 that is the issue when we see this problem. If they match up there also, try completely deleting all printers and drivers from problemPC, give it a reboot, and try reconnecting one or 2 printers and see if the problem remains.
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Author Comment

by:SJATechsupport
ID: 39162411
Removed all printers and drivers, restarted the print spooler, restarted the computer, tried to reinstall the printer and it failed. I downloaded the driver from the manuf (xerox, in this case) website and tried to install it that way and it still failed, doesn't work with my HP printers either.. :(
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sfields11 earned 2000 total points
ID: 39162647
Is this a networked printer shared through the print server? if so, get its IP address. then from the problem PC, set up a manual printer connection directly to this printer, and use the "Generic/Text only" driver that comes with Windows. Can you print to the device now? If you're still getting the problem, then you have a problem with the target Pc, and not the actual printer setup.
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Author Comment

by:SJATechsupport
ID: 39162795
Still unable to install the printer, I keep getting error 0x000003eb. Doesn't matter what printer or driver I use. Other computers can connect to the print server, download the driver, and print fine so it's something wrong with the client computer but I can't figure out what.
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Author Comment

by:SJATechsupport
ID: 39162806
Erm.. it appears that even through deleting the drive in the registry and the print server settings didn't help, going into the windows/system32/spool/drivers folder and deleting the driver files there DID do the trick. thanks!
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Expert Comment

by:sfields11
ID: 39162817
You can try running cleanspl.exe (part of Windows server resource kit) to wipe everything clean, then try again. That would be my next move.
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Expert Comment

by:sfields11
ID: 39162820
Awesome, glad to hear! In the future, that Cleanspl.exe utility will do that for you though, just FYI.
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Author Comment

by:SJATechsupport
ID: 39162852
Good to know! Will definitely add that to my toolkit. Cheers!
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