Windows 7 laptop stops printing

I have a user that has a two year old Dell Inspiron laptop that is running Windows 7 32-bit.  I can get the detail on the hardware but I'm not sure it's a hardware issue.  This user has a local printer plugged into his docking station through USB.  He is also connected to two network printers through TCP/IP ports .  When he first starts up his laptop everything seems to be fine.  As the work week goes on his machine will just kind of hang up when he attempts to print to any of the printers just mentioned. He will have to force whatever program to close (adobe pdf, word, excel etc).  In my experience that would point to print spooling service.  However when going to his services print spooling is running.  Even if I stop and start or restart the print spooling service print jobs will not flow.  We have to reboot the machine to get the print jobs to start working again.  I have Kaspersky running on the machine with clean results and did an additional malwarebytes scan finding some typical hits like some added search engines which i cleaned off.  I do not believe these would affect print jobs.  Any ideas?
techitch2Network AdminAsked:
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SnibborgOwnerCommented:
This leads to a number of questions.  I am even more suspicious of that printer now.  My suspicion is that there is a fault on that USB printer that causes a fault during the driver install phase.  The fact that you swapped them over after the good printer had allowed the driver to successfully load supports that.

I would look closely at the printer and the USB lead as the problem.  It's up to you whether you return the printer as faulty or mark it as suspect so that if you ever have to load drivers in the future that you do not use that printer to do it.
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pjamCommented:
Not familiar with Dell Docks, but if it were an HP i would suspect the Dock.  Try his notebook off the dock to see if that clears it up.
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techitch2Network AdminAuthor Commented:
Good call.  You think it could be even affecting the TCP/IP based (network) printers.
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SnibborgOwnerCommented:
Best way to test the spooler service is to change the choice to print direct to printer in the properties of the printer in Devices and Printers.  If it still locks up then at least you will have eliminated the spooler as a source  of the problem.
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techitch2Network AdminAuthor Commented:
Snibborg,

When we were looking at the behavior this morning, if we were in a word doc (2013) and clicked on print -> printer properties.  It would hang when clicking on "Printer Properties."
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SnibborgOwnerCommented:
Do you get the same problem if all applications are closed and you check the properties from the Control Panel?
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techitch2Network AdminAuthor Commented:
I will attempt this the next time it starts this behavior.  We rebooted this morning after going through some initial troubleshooting and scanning the machine.
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pjamCommented:
Mouse and or keyboard normally go first on HP docks but Network has been known to fail also. Is the onboard jack available for direct connection to network or is it blocked by dock.
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techitch2Network AdminAuthor Commented:
pjam,

I just confirmed that the onboard nic is not blocked by the docking station, HOWEVER(it's a big one) the local printer that i thought was plugged into the docking station is actually plugged directly into the laptop via USB.  That kind of puts a damper on this solution although we will try to plug the network cable directly into the laptop to see if there is a difference.
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pjamCommented:
Try a different USB slot
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Spike99On-Site IT TechnicianCommented:
First, I would try running the Microsoft "FixIt" tool for printing.   See the links for the fixit tool on this page:
http://blogs.technet.com/b/askperf/archive/2012/02/24/microsoft-fixit-for-printing.aspx

I would run the "lite" one first.  The "full" one will reset the printing environment on the PC back to factory: it will delete printers, driver, ports, print monitors, etc.  So, be prepared to re-install the printers & drivers again if you try that.

That lite FixIt tool fixed some stubborn printing issues for me on several PCs here at my office (I was getting "access denied" errors trying to remove old printers & drivers).

If running that lite FixIt tool doesn't help:  are these brother or HP printers?  If they are, look in TaskMgr for processes beginning with either Br or HP.  If you see any of the processes listed below in bold, stop & disable the associated HP or Brother print services:

   BrSplService  - brother print spooler service (process name:  brsvc01a.exe)
   HP Port Resolver - hp printer port monitor service (process name: hpbpro.exe)
   HP Status Server - hp print status monitor service (process name: hpboid.exe)

These 2 services run under an instance of SVCHOST.exe, so you won't see them listed individually in TaskMgr. Look for them in the list of services on the machine:
   Net Driver HPZ12 - hp print monitor service
   Pml Driver HPZ12 - hp print monitor service

Run this at a command prompt to see which services are running under each instance of SVCHOST.exe, note the PID for the processes:
tasklist /FI "imagename eq svchost.exe" /svc

Then, you can kill the ones running the HPZ12 processes either by stopping the services or by running this command using the Process ID (PID) for the service in question:
taskkill /PID XXXX /F

(change XXXX to the PID listed for the process after running the first command)

Although, these services/processes don't usually run wild on a desktop PC, they will kill the performance on a terminal server.  The printers will still print without those services, but stopping them may impact the functionality of multi-function printers that scan or fax.

Another thing to look for is BUD files. They are binary files that help the PC parse print jobs before they are sent to the printer (helps the jobs spool more quickly).  Outdated BUD files can cause issues if the print driver has been updated.  Search the "SPOOL" folder (c:\windows\system32\spool) for "*.BUD" and delete any BUD files dated before today's date.  You might have to enable searching for hidden or system files to get results.  You might also have to stop the spooler to remove the files.

Also, if there are no print jobs pending, there should be no print job files in the Printers folder on C:, C:\Windows\System32\spool\PRINTERS.  If you see any files in there, delete them (you may have to stop/restart the spooler to clear out the contents).
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techitch2Network AdminAuthor Commented:
Good info.  I will check these as soon as we see these symptoms again.
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techitch2Network AdminAuthor Commented:
OK so today I've gone in to the control panel while all programs are closed and attempted to go into the printer properties while the machine was in the state of refusing to print and i printer properties or printer preferences do nothing until rebooted.  

I've unplugged the local printer completely.

Attempted to plus the rj45 cable directly into the machine but it appears the nic does not work unless undocked.

I've run the lite fix it tool with no results.

I then ran the full version of the fix it which deleted all of the printers etc.  We install one network printer.  We got one test page and one word document and printing fail on the third print job we sent.  When i bring up the queue it shows as spooling.  I had to stop print spooling and start twice and cancel the job in the queue but then after the print job releases from the queue.  However word continues to hang and must also be forced to shut down.  Everything will work fine until you attempt to print again.  We again have to reboot to get it to print but that only lasts a handful of print jobs.  

I checked for bud files and open print jobs in the C:\Windows\System32\spool\PRINTERS directory.  That folder is empty.

These are mostly HP printers that were installed.  Only one HP is installed now.  I haven't attempted the the HP Port Resolver - hp printer port monitor service (process name: hpbpro.exe)
   HP Status Server - hp print status monitor service

I see both services but neither is running and when I attempt to start them i receive an error...this I'm guessing is because I've run the full fixit tool.  Lastly when i installed the one HP printer i just installed the driver....no additional software.
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Spike99On-Site IT TechnicianCommented:
The bud files wouldn't be in the PRINTERS directory: just the print job files.  BUD files are in this folder in my system (your mileage may vary if your system isn't 64 bit)):
C:\Windows\System32\spool\drivers\x64\3

I usually search the SPOOL folder for BUD files.
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techitch2Network AdminAuthor Commented:
OK I've just undocked and rebooted with the network cable plugged in only.  After two print jobs the laptop fails to print anymore.

Then we unplugged from the network, rebooted, turn the wireless nic on and ran print jobs.  Failed after two print jobs.

I will check for Bud files again.
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techitch2Network AdminAuthor Commented:
No .bud files in the spool directory.
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techitch2Network AdminAuthor Commented:
If i do end up finding these .bud files.  Other then deleting them what else can we do?  What I am getting at, is,  does this usually clear up the issue?  I will keep hunting for them.  It is a 32-bit machine.
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Spike99On-Site IT TechnicianCommented:
Since the BUD files are used for parsing the print jobs, an out of date file can cause issues when you try to print (I've seen it crash the spooler , cause print jobs to hang, etc.).  I think running that full fixit tool probably would have removed any that which were in the spool folder, so that's probably why you're not finding any now.

I would make sure the printer has the latest firmware.

Does the laptop have the latest drivers (NIC & chipset drivers) as well as the latest BIOS?
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techitch2Network AdminAuthor Commented:
That is something I will have to check on Monday.  The user is not back in the office until then.  Please be patient with my response.  I'm almost looking to reformat the laptop, however i will try to update drivers.  The network printer is brand new and i have the latest driver s and firmware.  I have a hub of customer service people all printing to it along with some of the offices in the general vicinity.  No else is having issues.  

Also, this printer was not even an option until we started having a problem.  At first i though it was his local printer. so we unplugged the USB and installed this network printer.
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techitch2Network AdminAuthor Commented:
The user also told me the machine has also been making the noise windows 7 makes when you plug a device in or unplug a device randomly but he states that is a new thing.  He just made me aware of this.
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Spike99On-Site IT TechnicianCommented:
If no one else is having issues, then it's got to be an issue with that machine or that user's profile.   If someone else logs on to the machine & prints, do they have the same issue?
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SnibborgOwnerCommented:
Have you tried unplugging the local printer then trying to print to one of the network printers?  I'm wondering if the local printer has developed a fault and is locking up the spooler.
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techitch2Network AdminAuthor Commented:
Snibborg,

All printer have been uninstalled and only a network printer is hooked up now.  The local printer is not connected any longer.  

Alicia,

I will attempt this on Monday.  I will log in under my profile.
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techitch2Network AdminAuthor Commented:
Guys,

I feel like I'm spinning my wheels here.  I am just going to reformat the laptop and start a new.  I appreciate all the suggestions and typically I would troubleshoot this through but for times sake  I am cutting my losses.  No new drivers helped cure the issue.  Logged in as another user did not help either.  I'm at a loss for what is causing this issue with this particular laptop.
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SnibborgOwnerCommented:
Have you tested the USB printer on another machine?
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SnibborgOwnerCommented:
I presume that machine still doesn't print to the network printer even though it's the only one it recognises?
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techitch2Network AdminAuthor Commented:
You are correct.
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techitch2Network AdminAuthor Commented:
NO I have not tested the USB printer on another machine as of yet, but when i preform the reformat I will be setting him up with another laptop in the meantime and we will plug that printer into this "temp" laptop.
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techitch2Network AdminAuthor Commented:
Here is an update that is again, puzzling to me.  So i gave this user a different laptop as a temp machine and had both the local hp and the networked hp connected to it.  I took his laptop and reformatted it.  It took me a little over one work day to get everything installed and configured.  During this period the user reported no issues printing.  I gave him back his original laptop with the networked HP and a networked konika minolta copy machine. (I sent multiple print jobs to both without issue).  Once the machine was set up in his office we plugged in his local hp printer.  This printer always seems to fail on install.  You have to right click on it in the "printer and devices" area and "troubleshoot"  What fails is HP LEDM.  If you let windows fix it it seems to install the driver.......once that happened the laptop started behaving the same as it was before reformat.  One or two print jobs and then all print job fail to any printer until reboot.  I am so confused with this.  So what I have done is.....remove that local printer and the networked HP.  Replaced that printer itself with an identical model from another office.  Allowed the printer to run it's on-board install which was successful with this other printer.  Rebooted the laptop...now he's been able to print about 5 jobs in a row without issue.  We his printer and put it were we took this identical one from.  (following?)  Now both seem to be working at both locations.  I will keep you posted if we see the failure yet again.
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techitch2Network AdminAuthor Commented:
I've requested that this question be deleted for the following reason:

This ended up being just a bad HP printer.
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SnibborgOwnerCommented:
Yes it was a bad printer, which I diagnosed if you look through the posts above.
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SnibborgOwnerCommented:
First comment
http://www.experts-exchange.com/OS/Microsoft_Operating_Systems/Windows/Windows_7/Q_28652096.html#a40717262

Second comment

http://www.experts-exchange.com/OS/Microsoft_Operating_Systems/Windows/Windows_7/Q_28652096.html#a40727907

The first comment suggested that the questioner test the printer on another machine.  The second comment directly indicates that, in all likelihood, the printer was faulty.
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techitch2Network AdminAuthor Commented:
Yeah I see what you are saying and so I will award you the point since you are so adamant that you diagnosed this properly.  Even though I've taken the "bad printer" and placed it where the "good" identical printer was and taken the "good" identical printer and placed it where the "bad" printer was and now both are working just fine.  Thanks for the help?
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