Solving Printing Problems in Windows XP & Windows 7
Several staff members this past fall have run into this scenario; they sign in to their Windows machines to find that the icons for all of their locally assigned/network printers have disappeared and they are unable to print any file of any sort. I have found that clearing the print spooler and re-enabling the print spooler service usually repairs this particular issue. It is an extremely handy set of instructions to have on hand in the event that you find yourself unable to print and you need your available printer icons restored.
Clear Printer Spooler Files & Enable the Printer Spooler Service
1.) Click Start, then type services.msc in the Search box and press Enter or select services.msc from the Results window.
2.) The Services window will appear. The services are listed in alphabetical order. Scroll down until you see Printer Spooler. Double-click it.
3.) The Printer Spooler Properties window will open. Click the Stop tab, then click OK.
4.) Click Start, then type %WINDIR%system32spoolprinters in the Search box and press Enter. This will take you to the Printers folder in the Windows Directory. Highlight all files within this folder, right-click them, and select Delete. Confirm that you want these files moved to the Recycle Bin.
5.) Click Start, then type services.msc in the Search box and press Enter or select services.msc from the Results window.
6.) The Services window will again appear. Again, the services are listed in Alphabetical order, so scroll down the list until you see Printer Spooler and double-click it.
7.) Click on the Start tab. Please ensure that in the Startup Type list, the option Automatic is selected.
Once these steps are complete, please restart the computer. You should find that your available printer icons have repopulated in the Devices and Printers option off of the Start Menu in Windows 7 or through Start > Control Panel > Printers in Windows XP. Please send a test print to your default printer and to any other printers on the network that you would like to test to ensure that they are functioning properly again.
– Devin Giroux, Technical Support Specialist, UMF ITS Help Desk