"Printer properties cannot be displayed. The print spooler service is not running." (even when it is running)

When I right click on a particular printer and try to view the Properties of it, I get the following message:
Printer properties cannot be displayed.  The print spooler service is not running

Problem is, it is running, as going to Administrative Tools -> Services in the Control Panel verifies.

One of the "printers" I have installed is "Send To OneNote 2007".  I can right click on that just fine - just not this other printer. Would I be able to do that if the print spooler wasn't running?

Indeed, if I do disable the print spooler, *all* the printers in "Printers and Faxes" disappear.  So the fact that I'm even seeing them in the first place suggests to me that the printer spooler is running.

I posted this on microsoft.public.windowsxp.general a while ago and someone there suggested I visit this site .  Problem is, C:\WINDOWS\system32\spool\PRINTERS is empty.  It's empty when the Print Spooler is running and it's empty when it isn't.

Also, I was unable to install KB896423 since I'm running SP3.  Trying to install it got me the following:

Setup has detected that the Service Pack version of this system is newer than the updates you are applying.

There is no need to install this update.
The printer is a "Local printer attached to this computer" connected via a "Standard TCP/IP Port".  Personally, I think such a printer ought to be called "A network printer, or a printer attached to another computer", but that's the terminology the "Add Printer Wizard" uses.
 

Question Info


Last updated October 17, 2018 Views 74,360 Applies to:
Answer
Hello terrafrost,

Thank you for visiting the Microsoft Answers Community.

What is the model number of the printer you are using?

Printing to a "Standard TCP/IP Port, is used for a printer that is directly connected to a network, not your local system.

I would try to uninstall your printer, and reinstall your printer.

Hope this helps
Chris.H
Microsoft Answers Support Engineer
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