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Print Spooler Service Not Running?

Posted by Jordan Pusey on January 27th, 2017

Having problems with your print spooler? If you get a dialog window that says it's no longer running, your print spooler has most likely crashed. Print spooler crashing is a common occurrence, and the root causes can be hard to pin down. But there are some general troubleshooting steps you can take to fix a print spooler to get it up and running again so printing can resume.

First off, were there any changes to the local network before the print spooler crashed? Sometimes introducing a new printer or updating a driver can cause unexpected issues, and print spooler crashing is one of the earliest symptoms. To fix the print spooler problems—at least temporarily—you can try taking the new printer offline or rolling back the driver to the previous version until you can determine how to re-implement the changes without the ill effects.

If no obvious changes come to mind, it's time to start digging into system logs to identify possible causes of the print spooler crashing. Provided you've already enabled diagnostic logging of print jobs, and depending on your version of Windows or Windows Server, you can examine the event log at the following path:

Applications and Services Logs\Microsoft\Windows\Kernel-PnP\Device Configuration

Examining those logs and Event Viewer entries at the time the print spooler crashed should provide you with some indication of what could have caused the problem. More often than not, these issues can be traced back to driver conflicts, so you'll want to keep an eye peeled for one or more rogue .DLL files that you can associate with a particular printer. Unfortunately, some of these driver files have cryptic names that only hint at the manufacturer or model, which means you'll have to conduct some Internet searches if it isn't immediately apparent. On the bright side, because print spooler crashing is so common, there's a good chance someone will have done the hard work of tracking down the driver for you.

Before restarting the spooler and resuming printing, some other precautions you'll want to take are flushing all print jobs from the queue and removing all stray or unnecessary printers from the pool. The steps for this can be long, detailed, and they vary from version to version of Windows, so after carrying out the basic troubleshooting above, it's a good idea to consult Microsoft's troubleshooting guides for your particular product. Trying to fix the print spooler incorrectly can actually result in even more print spooler crashing down the road.

That kind of long-term thinking is what has prompted many organizations to abandon temperamental print spoolers and migrate to PrinterLogic as their primary enterprise printing solution. With PrinterLogic, the kinds of driver conflicts that frequently cause print spooler crashing are virtually nonexistent on account of its stability and superior driver management. And unlike print servers, PrinterLogic is so robust that it enables your end users to continue printing as normal — even in the rare event of a server outage.

You also enjoy centralized management of printers across the enterprise, which means you can deploy, alter and remove printers anywhere in the organization from a single pane of glass. End users can identify and install nearby printers themselves with a single click and without having to call the service desk for assistance. Plus PrinterLogic gives you the opportunity to add next-gen Mobile Printing, Secure Printing and Print Auditing functionality quickly and seamlessly.

PrinterLogic isn't just a permanent fix for print spooler crashing, it's a fix for all the challenges of enterprise print management.

Jordan K. Pusey
Jordan K. Pusey
With more than 15 years of product marketing experience, Jordan has been been instrumental in helping IT software companies produce valuable software solutions and achieve growth. From IT desktop operations to infrastructure and security, Jordan has talked and written about sound IT best practices, amazing time and money saving products, and industry trends. At PrinterLogic, he leads the company's product marketing efforts and loves talking about how organizations of all sizes can eliminate the need for print servers.

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