Reinstall printer drivers in Windows NT

If a printer driver haven't been installed properly then it can keep the Printer Spooler from starting properly, or cause error messages like:

Spooler subsystem app has encountered a problem and needs to close

Operation could not be completed

Spoolsv.exe has generated errors and will be closed by Windows.

Printer operation cannot continue due to lack of resources.

Subsystem unavailable.

Normally one can repair this by clearing the spool directory or doing a reinstall of the printer-drivers, but it can also happen that the existing printer drivers will conflict with the new ones. To avoid the conflict one can try to uninstall all printer drivers:
  1. Start the computer in safemode, so the printer drivers are not loaded
  2. Delete the all files and sub-folders within these two folders:
    • C:\Windows\System32\Spool\Printers
    • C:\Windows\System32\Spool\Drivers\w32x86
  3. Navigate to this registry key:

    [HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE \SYSTEM \CurrentControlSet \Control \Print \Environment \Windows NT x86]

    Delete all subkeys except:

    • Drivers
    • Print Processors
  4. Navigate to this registry key:

    [HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE \SYSTEM \CurrentControlSet \Control \Print \Environment \Windows NT x86 \Drivers \Version-x]

    The registry entries for the installed printer drivers are stored in subkeys (Ex. Version-1). Delete the registry-entries below these sub-keys, but not the sub-keys themselves.

  5. Navigate to this registry key:

    [HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE \SYSTEM \CurrentControlSet \Control \Print \Monitors]

    Delete all subkeys except:

    • AppleTalk Printing Devices (Might not exist)
    • BJ Language Monitor
    • Local Port
    • PJL Language Monitor
    • Standard TCP/IP Port
    • USB Monitor
    • Windows NT Fax Monitor (Might not exist)
  6. Navigate to this registry key:

    [HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE \SYSTEM \CurrentControlSet \Control \Print \Providers]

    Delete all subkeys except:

    • Internet Print Provider
    • LanMan Print Provider
  7. Navigate to this registry key:

    [HKEY_LOCAL_MACINE\SYSTEM \CurrentControlSet \Services \Spooler]
    DependOnService = "RPCSS"
    Start = 2

    Make sure that DependOnService and Start are configured as shown above.

  8. Disconnect the printer-cable from the computer and do a normal restart
  9. When Windows have loaded verify that the Print Spooler has started
  10. Reconnect the printer-cable to the computer. Install the printer according to the instructions given by the manufacture.
More Info MS KB135406
More Info MS KB312052
More Info MS KB314073
More Info MS KB324757
More Info MS KB810894

Updated: 27 September 2007

Comments:

  1. alan1 says:

    Your article for the Print Spooler service referred to the error:

    "Subsystem app has encountered a problem and needs to close"

    This is invariably caused by using the "Setup a Home or Small Office Network" wizard. Articles 324757/810894 do not resolve the problem and send novice users into the registry.

    Instead download the utility posted by Brother Ltd which repairs the spooloer:

    BatchPatch.exe (faq000539_000)

  2. snakefoot says:

    alan1
    Instead download the utility posted by Brother Ltd which repairs the spooloer:

    BatchPatch.exe (faq000539_000)

    Would be nice with a description of what the utility actually changed, and whether it worked for other printers than those produced by Brother.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *