Devices and Printers hangs when opened

If Devices and Printers is open, a green bar moves showing progress from the left and almost moved completely to the right and then stops. The devices and printers do not show.
techcodrAsked:
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JohnBusiness Consultant (Owner)Commented:
Try running System File Checker as the first suggestion. Open cmd.exe with Run as Administrator and run SFC /SCANNOW. Allow to complete, shut down, start back up and test.

Please let us know. The next thing (if this does not work) is a Windows Seven Repair install. For this, you need a working recovery partition or the Windows 7 DVD. Here is a Seven Forums Tutorial to assist.

http://www.sevenforums.com/tutorials/3413-repair-install.html
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Thomas StrussCommented:
There are several things that can cause this issue, I think.  

--This can be an issue related to a hanging device so try unplugging one device at a time and see if it comes up then.
--This can be an issue with the shortcut so try running this from a command prompt: control /name Microsoft.DevicesAndPrinters
--This can be an issue with your firewall or anti-virus so turn them off and then try again.
--Like John said, this can be related a corrupted file that the devices and printers applet needs so run system file checker.

I would start with those basically in that order and see what happens.
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nobusCommented:
any errors in device manager, or event viewer?
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techcodrAuthor Commented:
Tried SFC /SCANNOW and no errors found.
Would have to look for the Windows 7 DVD. Skip for now.
Only device attached is Wireless NIC WG111T.
Tried command prompt: control /name Microsoft.DevicesAndPrinters. Same results as opening Devices and Printers.
To disable Microsoft Security Essentials, I have to reboot the computer. Skip for now
Device manager show the following problems:
Officejet 6000 E609n
PCI Serial Port
PCI Simple Communications Controller.

Event Viewer does show Event 100 Bonjour Service Task Scheduling Error: m-> NextScheduledSPRetry 31247
Event 7011 A timeout (30000 milliseconds) was reached while waiting for the Spooler service.
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JohnBusiness Consultant (Owner)Commented:
Bonjour is Apple and (in a normal system) will not cause Devices and Printers to hang, You probably need to try Windows Repair install when you find the DVD
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Thomas StrussCommented:
Question: has the devices and printers applet EVER worked on this computer?
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JohnBusiness Consultant (Owner)Commented:
Devices and Printers are part of control panel and will work on every normal computer.
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Thomas StrussCommented:
I would say you should turn off your anti-virus and firewall and reboot the computer so the print spool service restarts, seeing as how there's an error mentioning it.  Then if the problem persists, reinstall your printers and the other devices that seem to be failing in device manager.  I would recommend just trying one solution after another because you can spend all year playing detective.  For complex problems that can be very important and basically invaluable, but for something like this it might just cause more frustration.
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techcodrAuthor Commented:
I did disable the Microsoft Security Essentials and that did not help.
I went to Action Center. The first complaint was Displaylink USB Graphics Software for Windows. Tried to update and was told that was incompatible. Uninstalled Displaylink USB Graphics Software.
The second complaint was that Netgear WG111T which is a device is not working. Tried to look for  a driver but there is only Windows XP and Vista. Will look up the manufacturer's media and see if I can get an older driver to run under Windows 7.
The Device Manager complaint about the HP Printer is suspect because the HP printer connection is over the network and there is no HP printer listed in Programs and Features.  Need to try simple uninstall.

I did look at a second computer with the same Devices and Printers hangs when opened but not so many additional errors. The first additional problem is that HP Officejet 6000 will not uninstall even using the utilities on the HP 6000 CD. Both of these computers had the same HP printer. I starting to think this is a HP printer driver issue. The second computer has a different behaving wireless.

I did see the Devices and Printers applet work on the first computer.
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Thomas StrussCommented:
Tech, is your print spool service running?  Try the following:

1) Go to run and type "services.msc" and press enter.
2) go to "print spooler" and see if it's running.  If not, press start and see if it runs.  You will need an account with admin rights to do this, which you probably have if it's your PC.  
3) Delete the contents in this folder if there are any: c:\windows\system32\spool\printers
4) Restart the computer.  

See if this helps.
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techcodrAuthor Commented:
On second computer, print spooler is running.
In c:\windows\system32\spool\printers deleted SPLB1C1.tmp and SPLB46A.tmp.
Rebooted computer.
Opening Devices and Printers and trying to use the All Programs HP uninstall still hangs.
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nobusCommented:
i would uninstall the printer completely - then look if the printer applet works fine
then reinstall the printer

alternatively - try a system restore to a moment it was ok
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Thomas StrussCommented:
I agree with Nobus, tech.  It's probably the print driver....or the spool folder.    

Here is what I would try for those two possible issues:
1a) if you can, uninstall the printer from device manager.  If this fails try plan 1b.
1b) Backup your computer if you have a backup program or just backup your important files to an external drive.  It shouldn't be dangerous, but you never know.  Open the registry and by going to run and entering "regedit"; delete these files:  (NOTE: delete only what's IN these folders, not the folders)
--HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Control\Print\Providers\ LanMan Print Services\Servers\\Printers\
--HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Control\Print\Printers
If this fails try plan 1c.
1c) Go to control panel and make a new user account via the users applet.  Login to this user account and see if the devices and printers option works there.  This might work because certain settings in the registry regarding printers are user specific.

For the spool folder problem:
2a) If you have a drive with platters (non-ssd), which you can see with crystal disk info or by opening the case and looking at the physical drive and seeing if it's 2.5 (ssd) or 3.5 inches (non-ssd), downlload Defraggler and defragment the drive.  The spool folder might be too fragmented to work right so this might fix that.  If you have an ssd see plan 2b.
2b) Open the registry and go to this location again: \SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Control\Print\Printers.  Locate the "DefaultSpoolDirectory" key and double click on it.  Change the directory to a new folder you make somewhere and then reboot the PC.

If none of this works...it might be fooked...
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JohnBusiness Consultant (Owner)Commented:
Try Repair install if you can, or otherwise, back up, format and reinstall Windows. Control Panel errors can be hard to fix.
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techcodrAuthor Commented:
The uninstall the printer completely is what I can not do.

I do not know how to uninstall a printer using the device manager.

I can play with computer 2 since the user was given a replacement computer. Computer 1 still is online.

1b. Do not see HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Control\Print\Providers\ LanMan Print Services\Servers\\Printers\ only see HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Control\Print\Providers\ LanMan Print Services\Servers with default and addprinterdrivers.
Went to HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Control\Print\Printers and deleted  DefaultSpoolDirectory, LANGIDOfLastDefaultDevmode. Default would not delete.
Rebooted computer
TBC
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nobusCommented:
what printer is it?  many manufacturers have an uninstall tool  if you cannot uninstall from the applet, or add/ remove programs in control panel
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techcodrAuthor Commented:
The printer is Officejet 6000 E609n. As I said I tried Programs and Features, then All Programs, HP, Uninstall and the unistall utilities from the original CD although I noted the installed version is Windows 7.

Tried 1c A different user does not solve the problem.

The hard drive is plattered. Not sure what defrag was in mind.

In regards to the repair install, does it matter which version of Windows 7 is used. If the original installation was non SP1 and that is upgraded to Windows 7 SP1, then do I need Windows 7 SP1 disk to try a repair.

The problem with System restore I have to know when the problem occurred for me to select a restore to date.
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JohnBusiness Consultant (Owner)Commented:
You should use a Windows 7 disk of the same kind of system as you have (Home, Pro, Enterprise, 32-bit, 64-bit). I am not sure about SP1. I did a repair on my old Windows 7 machine from the recovery partition and only had to re-install a half dozen updates. It knows from Winsxs what should be there.
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techcodrAuthor Commented:
I am running the Piriform Defragger.  It says 6.5 hours to complete.
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nobusCommented:
i thought defragging was not needed on Win7 ?
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JohnBusiness Consultant (Owner)Commented:
It is worthwhile to defrag occasionally when things get slow, but I do not think fragmentation would prevent Devices and Printers working.
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nobusCommented:
i thought defragging was done by win 7 in the background  http://www.howtogeek.com/97723/htg-explains-do-you-really-need-to-defrag-your-pc/

and for ann SSD it should never be done
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JohnBusiness Consultant (Owner)Commented:
Certainly I would not defrag an SSD.
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techcodrAuthor Commented:
The defragger did find areas to defrag and said it would be busy for 6.5  hours. Will check later.

Another person at the organization looked at computer 1.
This was his fix which had steps already tried. However, the steps were in a certain sequence.

Researched solutions and found this one that worked.

 Clear Printer Spooler files and enable the spooler service
 ===================
 1. Stop the Spooler service first.
 2. Click Start, click Run, type "%WINDIR%\system32\spool\printers" in the open window, and delete all files in this folder.
 3. Start the Spooler service

No defragging was done.

I still have computer 2 to complete.
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Thomas StrussCommented:
Hey, tech.  Let me respond to you point by point.

--First off, removing a printer from device manager is easy...if it is there.  You need admin rights, which you should have, and you just need to right click on "My Computer" and pick manage.  Then pick "Device Manager" and go to "Printers".  Find the printer and right click and hit the uninstall option.  

"1b. Do not see HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Control\Print\Providers\ LanMan Print Services\Servers\\Printers\ only see HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Control\Print\Providers\ LanMan Print Services\Servers with default and addprinterdrivers."

--That's OK.  That just means there are no network printers in there right now.

"Went to HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Control\Print\Printers and deleted  DefaultSpoolDirectory, LANGIDOfLastDefaultDevmode. Default would not delete.
Rebooted computer"

--oh oh, no.  You misunderstood what I said there, or maybe I didn't make it clear.  That key "DefaultSpoolDirectory" key should have had the value changed, not been deleted.  Go back to "HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Control\Print\Printers " and add it back by right clicking in that folder and selecting "new string value".  Name it "DefaultSpoolDirectory".  Then double click the key you just made and enter a location like "C:\spool" (no quotations are added as those are just to make reading this clearer).  

--Also, are there any SUB-folders under HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Control\Print\Printers?  Any printers?  That's the main thing you should delete.  That might solve the problem right there.
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techcodrAuthor Commented:
If the printers come up correctly the Windows Server 2008 would load a couple network printers.

Right click on Computer, select Manage, select device manager. I do not see printers at the top level. I see Network Adapters, Processors.

Recheck HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Control\Print\Providers\ LanMan Print Services\Servers\ and see default and AddPrinterDrivers.  Just looked.

Went to HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Control\Print\Printers See the DefaultSpooldirectory set to C:\Windows\system32\spool\printers.

Lots of folders under under HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Control\Print\Printers.  First is CSR|1-SRVF (1-SRVF is name of Windows Server 2008. Started by deleting that folder. Then HP Officejet 6000 E609n, HP Officejet 6000 USB, Xerox 9301, Send to one note, Fax, Microsoft XPS Document Writer. Rebooted computer.
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techcodrAuthor Commented:
The problem reoccurred with first computer.
Eryk came up with the following:

I downloaded the Print Reset Full Mode from this website:
http://blogs.technet.com/b/askperf/archive/2012/02/24/microsoft-fixit-for-printing.aspx

 Downloaded and ran the program, after the program process is done. I tried to open devices and printers and it could now open without any issues.
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Thomas StrussCommented:
Very nice!  Thanks for following up, Tech.  I see SOME of the stuff I suggested in that fix, and it also shows me how much I still have to learn about that damn Windows lol.  I will have to save this info for my personal knowledge base.  Thanks again for following up.
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techcodrAuthor Commented:
The last fix did not last.
Finally, just use brute force and reformat and reinstall Window 7. Not an elegant solution.
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techcodrAuthor Commented:
I've requested that this question be closed as follows:

Accepted answer: 0 points for techcodr's comment #a40805313

for the following reason:

The solution was to reinstall Windows 7. This solution did not use a precise solution but rather set everything back to factory install.
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JohnBusiness Consultant (Owner)Commented:
I suggested in http:#a40772232 that you reinstall Windows after other approaches failed.
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techcodrAuthor Commented:
I did not remember your suggestion. Please grade.
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JohnBusiness Consultant (Owner)Commented:
@techcodr  - It is really up to you to accept and grade an answer. It is fairly straightforward to do, but if you need help, please let us know.
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JohnBusiness Consultant (Owner)Commented:
@techcodr  - Thanks for following up.
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techcodrAuthor Commented:
Experts Exchange apparently graded. No need for me to do anything.
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