Posted by: evtechie | September 13, 2008

Network Printer “Spooler Issues”

I recently came upon a crazy issue with a client’s machine. She and her husband have 4 machines on their network, all of which print to an HP 7550. Nothing special, really, just a standard printer, hooked up to her main machine, and set up so that her main machine HAD to be on in order for the others to print. Things have been moving easily with the network for a good solid year (other than a lightning strike forcing them to purchase a new network router). Suddenly, one of the systems needed to do an update (unknown if it was antivirus, Windows XP update, or other software) and after it restarted they were unable to print. Over the phone we checked everything: Her setup, His setup, network connections, firewall, antivirus, printer drivers, everything. I was forced to make a run to their home as their business DEPENDED on printing. (I keep praying that 7550 will DIE so we get a REAL network printer…) I went through the usual. She continued to get a “There was an Error Printing. Print Spooler service is not running.” I dug a little deeper, logging into the “Services” componenet of Microsoft’s Management Console. In there it showed that the print spooler WAS running, and that it would start automagically as it should. I was stumped. As I danced through all the options for the Print Spoolers settings I happened to note the “Dependencies” tab – which indicates what OTHER services a specific service depends on, and what services depend on THIS service . There, sitting with a cheezy grin was the Remote Procedure Call (RPC). A clue…

What I found was that the RPC was not running and had not been started. What triggered this change I have no clue (actually, some antivirus/spam and firewalls can block use of the RPC) but I did manage to get things running perfectly once again. I am posting the directions (more for me than for you) so that should this funky quirk happen, I now can “look it up” on my personalize resource!

Printer Spooler Not Running Issue

  1. RUN –> Type services.msc /s
  2. Look for PRINTER SPOOLER –> check that it is “started” and set to Automatic
  3. Print spooler depends on the RPC Locator – Find “Remote Procedure Call (RPC) Locator” –> Check that it is “started” and set to Automatic

If the PRINT SPOOLER IS not STARTED then follow:

  1. Right Click the one that it is in “Stopped” phase
  2. Select Properties –> Change Startup Type to AUTOMATIC –> CLICK START –> OK

If Neither are working after being started then a system restore backwards in time will likely work. You may have to adjust back several weeks (rather than right before the problem started). Remember that with a system restore, anything that has been installed since the restore point will need to be reinstalled.

And there we have it… another hidden dilema within the complex and sometimes mysterious world of Microsoft’s Software.

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