Windows 7 printer spooler stopped and can't print re-install drivers or add a printer

Original title: Windows 7: Print spooler fails, can't print with printers, can't re-install drivers for printers, can't add a printer. Basically everything for printers is no more.

This all started after the lates batch of May Windows 7 fixes were automatically installed.

Ran the MS 'Fix-it' but it was unsucessful; could do no more than stop and re-start the spooler service.

Tried using services to start, stop the spooler service without any luck. Shutdown the machine, rebooted numerous times, have gone back to previous restore point from a month ago.

Downloaded drivers to re-install but half way through the installation it barps - printer spooler stopped and so it aborts installing the driver.

 

Answer
Answer

I would check the status of the Print Spooler Service.

Click on the Start button and select Control Panel, Administrative Tools, Services. Locate Print Spooler in the list. Check that it has started and that the StartUp type is Automatic.

I suspect that it has stopped and that just starting it will not solve the problem.

You may need to show hidden files. Type Folder Options in the search box above the Start button and select View, Advanced Settings and verify that the box before "Show hidden files and folders" is checked and "Hide protected operating system files" is unchecked. You may need to scroll down to see the second item. You should also make certain that the box before "Hide extensions for known file types" is not checked.

Now access Windows Explorer and select c:\windows\system32\spool\printers. Normally this folder should be empty but there is a problem when files with “spl” and “shd” extensions stick there. Delete the files and restart your computer. This should resolve your problem.

Gerry
Stourport-on-Severn, Worcestershire, England
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Last updated November 28, 2019 Views 58,704 Applies to: