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  #1  
Old 07-23-2010, 09:16 AM
kittenblue kittenblue is offline
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Why does my computer keep deleting my printer?

I have enough printer issues without this new development. A few days ago, I went to print something and it said Printer Not Found. I opened the Control Panel, clicked on Printer, and there is no printer listed in the box...where I had had two listed just the day before. I click on Add Printer, and I get this message...."Windows cannot open Add Printer. The local print spooler service is not running. Please restart the spooler or restart the machine."

So since I know next to nothing about anything and couldn't find a spooler to restart if you paid me, I figure that "restart the machine" means reboot, so I do...and the printer reappears. Everything is hunky-dory, I print happily, and then about ten minutes after one printing job, I start another one...and it's gone. No printer. Reboot, and it appears again, print away. Sometimes it takes hours before the printer disappears, sometimes minutes. Once it stayed overnight, and then disappeared right after I printed a map.

This is getting beyond annoying, since I am printing wedding invitations and address lists and all the attendant folderol. I am running Vista on this computer, and have never had this issue before. The only thing I suspect is that, just before this all happened, I got a message about a corrupted file (which I can't remember what file it was) and was told to run Checkdisk, which I did, and the computer rebooted, and I saw no messages about any issues. But since then, this printer problem started. My friends who know more than me say that has nothing to do with this new problem, but I hate coincidences like that!

So, any ideas about why this is happening, and simple, basic directions on how to stop it? I'm tired of rebooting!

Last edited by kittenblue; 07-23-2010 at 09:18 AM..
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  #2  
Old 07-23-2010, 09:47 AM
LSLGuy LSLGuy is offline
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I can't offer you a permanent fix. But "restarting the spooler" is quick & easy.

I don't have a PC running Vista handy, so these may be almost the right steps.

1. First open the "Control Panel" from the start menu.

2. Somewhere in the list of choices is "Administrative Tools". Click that.
(if you have Control panel set for the easy-to-use UI, click the header of the "System and Security" section, then the header of the "Administrative Tools" section.)

3. In the list that pops up is an entry called "Services". Double-click that.

4. In the list which pops up find the the item labebeld "Print Spooler". Click it

5. Near the upper left of that window will appear a set of short cuts that either say "Stop the service" and "Restart the service" if it's running, or it'll say "Start the service" if the service is not runnning. Click either "Start" or "Restart", whichever is displayed.

A moment later the service will start, the UI will change to say "Stop the service" and "Restart the service" .

You're done. Close all the windows & go back to printing.

If this happens often you can make a shortcut to "services.msc" which will eliminate the first three steps. Just right-click the desktop, choose new shortcut, enter "services.msc" in the wizard & OK.

Last edited by LSLGuy; 07-23-2010 at 09:52 AM..
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  #3  
Old 07-23-2010, 01:22 PM
kittenblue kittenblue is offline
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Oh, it worked Thank you so much!!! So much better than rebooting! You are my new best friend!

Last edited by kittenblue; 07-23-2010 at 01:25 PM..
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  #4  
Old 07-23-2010, 08:39 PM
kittenblue kittenblue is offline
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I've had to use that shortcut to restart the spooler four times already today. I'd still like to know how to stop it from happening to begin with.
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  #5  
Old 07-23-2010, 08:52 PM
drachillix drachillix is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kittenblue View Post
I've had to use that shortcut to restart the spooler four times already today. I'd still like to know how to stop it from happening to begin with.
Navigate to

C:/windows/system32/spool/drivers

delete everything in that folder

try restarting the spooler service again.

For a decisive fix you are most likely going to need to update printer drivers.

This is unfortunately a VERY common issue with 64 bit vista and some older printers. I have a customer with an HP 1022 laser that keeps doing what you describe and so far even after 3 driver updates by HP it STILL does it.

Last edited by drachillix; 07-23-2010 at 08:54 PM..
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  #6  
Old 07-23-2010, 09:09 PM
kittenblue kittenblue is offline
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Any idea what causes it? Because I've had this computer and this printer for at least 6 years now and the only problem I've had before this point is having to reinstall my printer whenever I have a paper jam or forget and run out of paper.
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  #7  
Old 07-23-2010, 09:42 PM
Markxxx Markxxx is offline
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Kittenblue, you are running Vista right? SP2? 64 or 32 bit?

What is the make and model of your printer. I assume it's not wireless?

Are you running anti-virus? If so which ones?

My first thought is drivers. I have had similar issues and updating the drivers worked. Sometimes the drivers get corrupt as well.
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  #8  
Old 07-23-2010, 10:23 PM
njtt njtt is offline
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Your computer is of a jealous disposition, and does not want you communicating outside the sphere of digital electronic media, where it is unable to participate.
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  #9  
Old 07-23-2010, 10:39 PM
Sunspace Sunspace is offline
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Is this the sort of issue that could be cured by updating to Windows 7? Because I have an acquaintance who is having colour issues in Vista when exporting from CorelDraw X4. Colours do not remain constant between the original and the exported files, and between exported files She has similar but fewer issues when exporting from Illustrator or Photoshop. I think it's a system-wide issue.
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  #10  
Old 07-24-2010, 09:39 AM
BigT BigT is offline
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If you've reinstalled the driver a few times, just for a paper jam, that could be a problem. You shouldn't have to do that. It should just take removing the paper jam, and then pushing a button on the printer

Try uninstalling and reinstalling the printer. Do both as an Administrator.

Still, it is the spooler, not the driver that is quitting, so this may not help. (The spooler is what lets any printer work. The driver is how Windows talks to the spooler.)
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  #11  
Old 07-24-2010, 11:10 AM
kittenblue kittenblue is offline
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Well, it IS a $39 HP printer/scanner/copier I bought at Walmart on a Black Friday sale years ago. The 1100psc.

I apparently DON'T have virus protection, though I have a firewall and malware guard and windows Defender? My son was in charge of all that, and he really didn't tell me what was installed.

So I got a new message today.....apparently my Data Execution Prevention closed the spooler program. I'm going to pick a free virus-protection program (How's Avast?) and see what I can do.

Oh, and I'm pretty sure it's Vista 64.

Last edited by kittenblue; 07-24-2010 at 11:10 AM..
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  #12  
Old 07-24-2010, 11:14 AM
Sunspace Sunspace is offline
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Avast is a good program. I use it instead of AVG these days.
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  #13  
Old 07-24-2010, 11:41 AM
johnpost johnpost is offline
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Satisfied reports about Avast from people that I know.
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  #14  
Old 07-24-2010, 04:07 PM
Quartz Quartz is offline
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To find out what's actually going wrong, you need to start by looking in the Event Viewer. Look at the System Log and the Application log. You're looking for entries marked in red and entries from 'Spooler'.
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  #15  
Old 07-24-2010, 08:58 PM
drachillix drachillix is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sunspace View Post
Is this the sort of issue that could be cured by updating to Windows 7?
Not really, it is often an issue with 64 bit environment and poorly written drivers. Unlikely to be much better in 7 unless they wrote 7 drivers from the ground up.
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  #16  
Old 07-24-2010, 09:06 PM
Markxxx Markxxx is offline
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Click on Start -> Computer -> System Properties (at top) this will tell you what you're running

Either AVAST or AVG are good. One thing you might want to do. I installed both and both slowed my computer to a crawl. It turned out to be the link checker and email checker. I disabled the link checker in AVG and it speeds along normally now. And if you think about it, it makes sense as AVG was checking every link on every page before it let me see it.

So if you install AVG and the computer slows try this.

I used to be a system admin for a hotel and one thing we had that caused the printer to disappear was conflicting devices. Have you added anything new to your computer?

Installed new software? Sometimes software will conflict and cause printer disconnects, because for some reason the software is incorrectly trying to access the printer.

The thing is if it worked fine before, and doesn't work now, and it's not a driver or malware it could be software.

Check your drivers.

Go to Start -> Type the words "Device Manager" (without quotes) -> Double click on it

Look on the left side, find your printer. It may be +Printer (hit the plus sign)

Then RIGHT CLICK on the printer name

Then it will stay properties, click that

Then you should select "Search automatically" (make sure you're connected to the internet)

This will tell you if you have the latest and correct driver. If not install it. If not let us know so we know you're drivers are fine
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