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Printer has stopped working

Posted on 2014-01-08
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Last Modified: 2014-01-19
I have a 2009 desktop PC with Windows 7 OS and 2 printers (a photo printer and a laser printer - Brother HL-2270DW).

The Brother laser printer has stopped printing entirely today and I have no reason why. From the attached screen shots, you can see that the "Brother HL-2270DW Series" is showing as my default printer, even though the Brother HL-2270DW was originally set up as such.

I cannot either find or bring up the Print Manager to change the default printer printer back to the Brother HL-2270DW (non-"Series" one). What do you suggest?

Thanks for your help.
printer-problem.jpg
printers.jpg
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Question by:photoman11
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LVL 8

Expert Comment

by:Amit Khilnaney
ID: 39766049
You can go to control panel->printers and then right click on the printer which you want to select as default and choose default.
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Author Comment

by:photoman11
ID: 39766077
Please see attached screenshot for problem experienced following your idea. Any thoughts?
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Author Comment

by:photoman11
ID: 39766080
Here's attachment.
EE-printer-CP.jpg
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Expert Comment

by:Amit Khilnaney
ID: 39766162
are you able to find your printers and devices and printers ,

If you are , try following rest of steps as mentioned originally
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Author Comment

by:photoman11
ID: 39766170
I am not able to find printers.
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LVL 15

Expert Comment

by:Perarduaadastra
ID: 39766190
Is the computer part of a domain, or standalone? I ask because of the reference to AD in your first screenshot.

It sounds as though there's a problem with the print spooler service. If this isn't running, or isn't running properly, your printers aren't going to behave or even be accessible.

Right-click on My Computer, choose Manage, then click on th + next to Services and Applications (at the bottom of the left pane). Then click on Services and scroll down to Print Spooler and confirm that it's running. If it isn't, start it, and if it is try restarting it. Then check the event logs for any errors related to the spooler.
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Expert Comment

by:tmoore1962
ID: 39766193
Check your services and make sure print spooler is running.
Click on Start / Run type in :  Control Printers
This should open your devices and printers management console  printers should be listed there if the print spooler service is running, won't show up if its not.
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Author Comment

by:photoman11
ID: 39766295
Following Perarduaadastra's instructions, I found that the print spooler status was "started." I stopped it and restarted it. Tried printing document again without success. Checked the event logs and got the error message shown in attachment.
Event-Log.jpg
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Expert Comment

by:Perarduaadastra
ID: 39766457
Well, that's puzzling.

Try running this command from an elevated command prompt:

netsh winsock reset

... and reboot. I don't see the connection, but it has worked in the past...
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Author Comment

by:photoman11
ID: 39766669
What's an elevated command prompt?
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Expert Comment

by:Perarduaadastra
ID: 39769499
Go to Start  -> All Programs -> Accessories, right-click on the Command Prompt, and choose Run As Administrator. This allows commands to be run that would otherwise fail due to insufficient privileges.
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Author Comment

by:photoman11
ID: 39771370
Did the Command Prompt but printer isn't printing still. BTW, When I go to "Devices and Printers," the green bar in top row takes forever to fill in and never finishes - see attached.
devices-and-printers.jpg
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Expert Comment

by:Perarduaadastra
ID: 39771903
Is anything else not working properly on your computer, even if it seems to have nothing to do with printing?

What happens if you run   printmanagement.msc   from the Run dialogue box?

As I've been unable to come up with anything that helps, out of curiosity I googled the problem and came across this:

http://answers.microsoft.com/en-us/windows/forum/windows_7-hardware/printers-do-are-not-showing-up-in-devices-and/8544b881-6211-469a-9dd9-edef44dd5095

I don't see the connection between the problem and its solution in this article, but it seems to have worked for two people, at any rate!
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Author Comment

by:photoman11
ID: 39773735
The printer is working. It is too embarrassing (cord pulled out of PC by cleaning lady).

However, even though it's working, it is not showing up under the Device Manager. Also- under "Control Panel"/All CP Items/Devices and Printers, the green horizontal bar slowly fills in the title bar, but nothing displays!

Any idea why printers are not visible to the system?
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Expert Comment

by:Perarduaadastra
ID: 39773859
Does running    printmanager.msc   produce an error?
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Author Comment

by:photoman11
ID: 39777169
Yes, it produces an error.
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Expert Comment

by:Perarduaadastra
ID: 39777211
What does the error message say?
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Author Comment

by:photoman11
ID: 39777264
You mentioned 2 different phrases so I tried both.
printmanage-error.jpg
printmanager-error.jpg
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Expert Comment

by:Perarduaadastra
ID: 39777286
My mistake!

The command is:

printmanagement.msc


Of all the things I've lost over the years, I miss my mind the most...
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Author Comment

by:photoman11
ID: 39777610
I can empathize.

Tried "printmanagement.msc" and received the same error message, this time for: printmanagement.msc
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Expert Comment

by:Perarduaadastra
ID: 39778080
If you run:

services.msc

... what happens? Does the Services applet open as expected, or do you get a similar error to the one above?

If services.msc runs OK then it's not a system-wide issue, but more likely a problem with the print spooler, which must be not only be running, but be running correctly to allow access to all the print services.

I would suggest uninstalling both printers completely from Programs and Features in the control panel, and if available use cleanup tools from the manufacturers subsequently to ensure that every trace of the software and the corresponding registry entries have been removed. It might be helpful to uninstall the CutePDF driver as well, just to be sure.
Next, stop the print spooler service if it's running.
Then go to the C:\Windows\system32\spool\PRINTERS folder and delete any files that are in there. If there are files that can't be deleted, open an elevated command prompt, navigate to the PRINTERS folder specified above, and type:

del /q *.*

Restart the computer and install the latest drivers for each printer, being careful to ensure that any anti-virus software is disabled before beginning the installation.

Hopefully, normal printer functionality will be restored.
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Author Comment

by:photoman11
ID: 39780276
The services.msc runs OK. Since the printer is printing, what is the benefit of going through all the steps of your suggestions, which would take me quite a while?
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Expert Comment

by:Perarduaadastra
ID: 39780581
As the Services applet runs normally that tends to rule out a problem that affects all the console applets.

As I understand your question, the issue was first that printing wasn't working at all, and second that you had little or no ability to access the printers to change the default device or to alter various settings for each one according to the need of the moment.
As problems with files in the PRINTERS folder are known to cause all kinds of print spooler errors it seems reasonable to follow the above steps to return the print subsystem to a clean state before re-installing the drivers for your printers.

You might get away with just clearing out the PRINTERS folder, but I suspect that it will take more than that to restore your printing to its former glory.
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Author Comment

by:photoman11
ID: 39780640
I think I understand. Where is the Printer folder usually located?
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Expert Comment

by:Perarduaadastra
ID: 39780690
I gave the path to it in my comment of yesterday. If you can't see the folder then open Windows Explorer, click on Organise on the left, choose Folder and Search options, click on the View tab, and put the dot in the Show hidden files, folders, and drives radio button.

You don't actually need to see the folder in Windows Explorer to carry out the procedure, as the command shell will find it anyway, but it does no harm to visually confirm the path to the folder. Deleting its contents should be done from the elevated command prompt, not through Windows Explorer. Remember that you're not deleting the PRINTERS folder, only its contents.
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Author Comment

by:photoman11
ID: 39791348
I found the PRINTERS folder and it was empty. What does that mean?
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Expert Comment

by:Perarduaadastra
ID: 39791384
It means that the cause of the trouble isn't to be found there...

You can try temporarily setting Windows Explorer to show protected system files (about three tickboxes below Show Hidden Files and Folders and Drives) and looking in the folder again to see if anything is now visible, but I doubt that you'll see anything new. Don't forget to hide the protected system files again!

It's the long and tedious procedure I outlined earlier, I'm afraid to say; it's what I would do if I was in your position.

When you come to re-install the drivers for your printers, be sure to disable your anti-virus software during the installation. It might also be prudent to add the \spool folder and its subfolders and files to your AV scanning engine's exclusions list, as AV scanners have been known to interfere with print processes.
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Author Comment

by:photoman11
ID: 39792261
Thank you for all your help.

I've spent so much of my day fixing problems that I think I'm going to opt for the non-thorough expedient pragmatic solution of: Everything is working now (as for printing) so I'm going to hold my breath and hope it continues without potentially opening up a can of worms and spending hours to get it back to printing, as it is now.

Is there truly a huge downside of going this way?
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Accepted Solution

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Perarduaadastra earned 500 total points
ID: 39792423
No, not as far as I can see. If I understand the situation correctly you're just not able to change printer settings because of this problem, so as long as the current settings work for you then there's no imperative to fix it.

The fact that the event log service isn't running does bother me somewhat, mainly because the event logs are a very useful tool when troubleshooting system problems.

There may be other problems on your system related to WMI, as suggested here:

http://www.experts-exchange.com/OS/Microsoft_Operating_Systems/Server/Windows_Server_2008/Q_27987354.html

... and with more detail here:

http://www.techsupportforum.com/forums/f217/solved-windows-eventlog-cannot-be-opened-652266.html

However, as you've indicated (not unreasonably) that you've had a basinful of the printing issues, it's very likely that you're in no hurry to become embroiled in other solving problems that aren't actually stopping you doing what you need to do. The links are for your interest, not necessarily for you to act upon!
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Author Comment

by:photoman11
ID: 39792525
Thank you for everything.
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