On bootup I receive the following error: spoolsv.exe - Application Error

On bootup I receive the following error:
spoolsv.exe - Application Error
The instruction at "0x10002837" referenced memory at "0x00000000".  The memory could not be "written".

Then the print subsystem shuts down.  Windows update service just keeps checking and checking.  I let it go for 20 hours and it never resolved.  I cannot open some applications that need the printers.  Help please.


Hello DragonBill,

Thank you for visiting the Microsoft Windows Vista Community site.


In regards to your issue, the most common cause of the error is an abundance of .SHD and .SPL files in the spool directory.  These files are created by the spooler to save the spooled data of a print job.  The .SPL file comprises drawing commands and the .SHD file comprises job settings information of the print job.

To try to fix spoolsv.exe application error, you should remove these files from the system.  To do this, perform the following steps on your Windows Vista computer:

1.       Open Control Panel, select Classic View, select Administrative Tools, and then select the Services option.

2.       In the Services management console, locate the Spooler services, right-click on it and select Stop.

3.       Next, open the C:\Windows\System32\Spool\Printers folder.  (Here, we are assuming that your Windows is installed in the default C:\Windows folder)

4.       Delete all the .SHD and SPL files from this folder.

5.       Next, open the TMP folder and delete all old and unused files from this folder.

6.       Finally, restart the Spooler service from the Services management console.

Important Note: If you cannot delete the files in Normal Mode, then you may have to restart your computer in Safe Mode to delete the files.  To start your PC in Safe Mode, press F8 at system restart and then select the Safe Mode option from Windows Advanced Options Menu.

If deleting the files does not rectify the problem, you must perform a System Restore and rollback your system to the time prior to when the error started appearing on your computer.  To perform System Restore, open Start, All Programs, Accessories, System Tools, and then select the System Restore option.  On the Welcome to System Restore Screen, select the Restore my computer to an earlier time option, and select Next.  On the Select Restore Point screen, select the date that represents the restore point to which you want to roll back your computer and then select Next.  Finally, verify and then click Next again to confirm your restore point and proceed with the system restore.  Restart your PC when prompted and press OK to close the system restore completion screen.

It is important for you to know that application errors can also occur due to virus or spyware infections.  In fact, the Spoolsv.exe process is also a known backdoor vulnerability that can be planted on your computer for malicious purposes by a hacker.  Therefore, if you see any unknown processes running on your system, you should take appropriate actions to remove them.


Let us know if these steps resolve your problem.  I hope the information is useful.



Microsoft Answers Support Engineer
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Question Info

Last updated May 28, 2020 Views 74,153 Applies to: