Windows 2016 Print Server Needs to have the Print Spooler Stopped and Restarted for Printing to Occur

We are running a print server on Windows 2016 server. Our print server was running fine until about 2 weeks ago when we had a power outage. The servers are on a power backup, so they did not power off, but everyone's individual desktops did. Ever since then we are having issues with printing. We have about 7 HP printers installed on the server, along with a Samsung Copier.  All of our desktops are Windows 7. When this happens, no one can print until the spooler is stopped and restarted.
The printers will be working fine for a few hours, then they stop working. The user does not receive an error message, their print just doesn't come out of the printer. So, I have to stop the print spooler service on the print server and restart it. The odd thing is that the print spooler service still shows that it is running, so it just doesn't make sense what is going on. Some days we have to do this every few hours. Other days we can go most of the day and only have to do it one time. After the service is stopped and restarted, all of the jobs that were queued to print are printed out on the printer.
I've checked the resources on the server at the time and everything seems fine. I've also stopped the print spooler and cleared out the "C:\WINDOWS\system32\spool\PRINTERS" folder and that doesn't work either.
Does anyone have any idea what could be causing this?
Thank you very much.
nancycomcoAsked:
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N8iveITCommented:
First and foremost, this problem is a pain but I have found it is usually due to a single printer driver (and possibly type of job or specific user). If you can nail down which one is causing it to stop, the rest is usually fairly simple. Sounds like corruption of a driver. Is it possible to look at any Event Logs to see what happened last (with relation to the print spooler)?

Look at things like, any WSUS (or person) updating printer drivers on the server, any printer drivers updated on a terminal server, etcetera. On a Terminal Server, I have seen printer redirection cause issues but only on the TS.
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Wayne88Commented:
I agree that this sounds like the print driver crashing the spooler.  First thing I would do is to ensure the latest print driver available is used for each printer.

Second, in the print spooler properties go to the Recovery tab and set restart upon failure options.

Also have a look at Print Spooler spoolsv.exe Crashes With wsdapi.dll Fix
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N8iveITCommented:
Another thing is to make *sure* it is just a *basic* driver because some of the more "feature-rich" drivers cause issues like this as well.

Also, I have seen where all-in-one drivers cause MAJOR headaches. If you are sharing an all-in-one, do some research, find a *basic* substitute driver and go with it.
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nancycomcoAuthor Commented:
Thank you for the suggestions. I looked at the Event Log on the server when the printers went down yesterday and I don't see anything that is helpful. When you say to reinstall the drivers, do you mean on the server or each individual desktop, or both? And yes you are right this is a pain, to say the least.
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N8iveITCommented:
Does the printer spooler have a log you can view to see who and when?

Almost always, it is the first (or second) person who complains ..

I would check the server first because going to each user (if there are a lot) could be very time consuming.

If you have a way to query the workstations and get driver information, I would do that ... can your users run something and give you the output or do you have a management system in place?
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nancycomcoAuthor Commented:
Hello. So far I am not seeing any issues in the printer spooler event viewer. I will keep troubleshooting this. We have several HP LaseJet M506s that are network printers. I found a new driver for this printer, so I will update that and see if the problem still persists.

i don't have too many users, so it is not too difficult to just go to each workstation and reinstall the printer.

Thanks again.
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N8iveITCommented:
It may be the M506's; see https://support.hp.com/us-en/document/c04782354 because it doesn't show any compatibility with Windows Server 2016. However, it may require the newer Universal print driver.
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nancycomcoAuthor Commented:
The odd thing is these were working fine for at least 6 months. We just starting having issues when we had a power outage and the desktops powered off. When we first got these new printers I contacted HP and they told me to use the HP Universal Printing PCL6 driver.  Honestly, I am setting up a Linux Raspberry PI CUPS server to use as a print server. I am just now testing it out to see how it works. This troubleshooting has already taken up so much time and I talked to very experience Network person who suggested the Linux route.
Thanks,
Nancy
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N8iveITCommented:
I get it ... sometimes power failures don't create logical situations ... hope Pi works out well!
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nancycomcoAuthor Commented:
Thank you for the suggestions. I ended up getting rid of my Print Server altogether. We don't have that many printers so I am using the built-in printer server on each printer. This will work fine for us. So far we have not had any printer issues.

Thanks again!!
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