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Windows 7 networked printers randomly go missing until computer rebooted.

Posted on 2014-03-07
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Last Modified: 2014-03-28
Hello,

I have 2 users who are running Windows 7, and several network printers.  On some mornings when they start the day, their printers will be missing entirely from the 'Device and Printers' menu, the menu doesn't say offline or anything, the printers are missing entirely until they reboot their computers.  Other users in their department are not having any issue with losing the printers.  The Event Viewer shows that the print spooler is terminating unexpectedly, but it does start up again by itself, and the print spooler doesn't crash in time with the printers going missing.  For example, this week one of them lost their printers on Monday morning (3/3), but the event viewer shows that the last time the print spooler stopped, was on 2/28 in the morning.  Their problems are also not in sync with each other, one may lose printers one day, and the other may lose them a few days later, sometime it doesn't happen for a few weeks at a time as well.
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Question by:gwmplum
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7 Comments
 
LVL 14

Expert Comment

by:Michael Dyer
ID: 39912791
It's possible the computers are trying to connect to the network printers before the networking is fully operational at boot up.  One thing you can try is to go into Services on the workstation (RUN services.msc) and find the Print Spooler Service and change it's startup type from Automatic to Automatic (Delayed Start).  This will make the spooler start after everything else and may help with your issue.
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LVL 8

Expert Comment

by:Lee Ingalls
ID: 39912843
Are your two users hard wired or wireless to the network?
Do the Network Printers have static or DHCP addresses?
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Author Comment

by:gwmplum
ID: 39912854
It doesn't appear to let me delay the start of the print spooler, its giving me Error 87: the parameter is incorrect.

The printers are hard wired and have a static IP Address.
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LVL 19

Expert Comment

by:Kash
ID: 39912897
it will definitely be the printer spooler service.i have seen that one before.

what happens when you log on with a different user on those affected computers. does it work.

if it does then i suspect it is something to do with their profiles. I would delete (if roaming) and let it sync back. See if it resolves the issue
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LVL 14

Expert Comment

by:Michael Dyer
ID: 39912902
sorry, my mistake.  I've used delayed start for other services but I did not realize you could not use it with print spooler because of the dependencies.

one other thought - you might check the print drivers on those machines and update them if necessary.  I have seen driver issues cause network printers to disappear.
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LVL 7

Accepted Solution

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Sivaraj E earned 500 total points
ID: 39912921
Can you remove the printer from those machines and clean you spooler and then again install them back ?

Stop you spooler (If it is running)
Remove the printers from the list,
Clear the spooler folder ("%WINDIR%\system32\spool\printers") delete all for this folder.
Try to start the printer spooler,
Now try install the printers again

http://social.technet.microsoft.com/Forums/en-US/3339d135-ecbf-46d9-9e4f-d1ec187baaa8/windows-7-printers-have-disappeared-printer-spooler-wont-stay-running

Regards, Shiva
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Author Comment

by:gwmplum
ID: 39913374
Thanks for the tips, i've cleaned out the spooler and made doubly sure that they have up to date drivers, the worst part is that I wont know if its working or not unless it goes 1-2 weeks without any reported problems and no print spooler problems in the event viewer.
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