How can I figure out which driver is crashing print spooler?

Posted on 2014-08-28
Last Modified: 2014-09-08
I am getting the "print spooler service terminated unexpectedly" error on windows 2008 server. I am not sure how to determine which driver is causing this error but I need to as there are 15-20 different printers being used thru TS on this server.
Question by:mikesmithccs
    LVL 13

    Expert Comment

    by:Gabriel Clifton
    Usually you have to go through each one, Remove a driver and test. If is not the one that crashes spooler reinstall and move on to the next one. When you find the problem driver you can check for newer drivers on the manufacturers website. Sometimes older drivers are the ones that do not crash when the new drivers are the one causing the problem.
    LVL 4

    Expert Comment

    Check event log it should tell you what driver is causing the crash
    LVL 3

    Expert Comment


    You could also download Process Monitor by Microsoft at

    and then click filter Process Name and look for spoolsv.exe  

    good luck!
    LVL 16

    Expert Comment

    You might want to try removing .BUD files.

    .BUD files are binary printer description files that are associated with specific drivers & they help the OS spool print jobs to the printer.  As I understand it, they shouldn't hang around after print jobs are done, but they often do not go away.  If you update the driver on a PC, then any old .BUD files can cause issues.  I've seen them cause spooler crashes many times.  Deleting them will sometimes help.

    To find & delete those files:
    stop the print spooler service (you can use an elevated cmd prompt, run:  net stop spooler)
    browse to the System32\spool folder in your windows directory
    search for *.BUD
    delete all .BUD files you find older than today
    restart the spooler service (at an elevated cmd prompt, run:  net start spooler)

    Also, check out your running services, there are some HP services & a Brother service which can cause issues with the spooler.  In your services console, click the column heading for "Description" to re-sort the list of services by Description.  Of the services with an empty description, do you see any of these listed?

    BrSplService  - brother print spooler service
    HP Port Resolver - hp print monitor server
    HP Status Server - hp print monitor server
    Net Driver HPZ12 - hp print monitor server
    Pml Driver HPZ12 - hp print monitor server

    if you do, stop & disable them.  All of those services are known to cause issues with the spooler on terminal servers (they're usually fine on single-user workstations). Disabling the services will not prevent you from printing to the printers.

    I hope this helps.

    Accepted Solution

    I actually got this fixed. I found in another thread where it was the universal print driver from HP. Removed that and the issues have stopped. Thanks for the help.

    Author Closing Comment

    Found the solutions in another thread . None of the solutions in this thread were relative.

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