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Whenever I try to print any document from Microsoft Office 2007 in Windows Vista 64-bit there is a great possibility that the print job will fail with the following error message:

Current printer is unavailable. Select another printer.

Only problem is no printer works, not even Bullzip PDF Printer.

The only way to resolve this that I have found so far is a reboot, but I don't want to do that all the time.

I am using Windows Vista 64-bit. I've had the problem using both SP1 and SP2. The problem occurs on both locally installed and network printers, as well as the virtual printer Bullzip PDF Printer. My primary source of the problem has been Excel, but the error has also occurred in Word.

Changing the default printer and restarting the Microsoft Office-application solves this temporarily, but not permanently. Google:ing the error message returns a lot of questions but no solutions, so seems like a frequent problem.

What could be a permanent solution for this problem?

UPDATE: It seems that my problem stems from me opening MS Office applications by opening a document from Total Commander with administrative rights. This somehow makes the applications not find the printers. Opening MS Office applications either from the Start menu or by opening a document in a non-administrator Explorer allows me to print.

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ARe you having this problem in a particular application within Office? Are you printing to local and network printers? Which Vista service pack are you running? Are you using Vista Compatible Drivers? –  Diago Aug 4 '09 at 14:06
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4 Answers 4

According to Microsoft's You receive an error message if you try to print a document:

This problem occurs because you do not have the permissions that are required to create or re-create a parsed binary printer description file (.bud).

Note The .bud file is a binary version of the generic printer description file (.gpd) that is included with many printer drivers. Additionally, the .bud file is located in the Windows\System32\Spooler\Drivers\W32x86\3 folder.

The problem that is described in this article does not occur if you have the correct permissions to the Windows\System32\Spooler\Drivers\W32x86\3 folder. The problem does not occur because the .bud file is successfully re-created the next time that the user uses the printer.

Please note that the above directory for the .bud file may be different on your x64 machine.

Evidently, Total Commander launches the document under a very restrained account. You may either give this account permission to modify the above directory, or do not launch documents from Total Commander, or use another explorer than Total Commander.

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Could be your printer spooler service is crashing.

I have seen this whenever a corrupt job was set to one psuedo-printer (not a pdf printer but something similar). Deleting this job meant that the spooler service stopped crashing.

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There are no crashing jobs etc. in a queue to delete, so no. Thanks anyway. –  cros Aug 4 '09 at 12:49
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Does it fail when using other applications?

If it is just office giving you trouble, wouldn't hurt to just uninstall and reinstall. Also, might be helpful if you delete all your printers and just reinstall all of those. There is a chance that might clear up the unknown issue.

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Next time you get the error message, see if you can immediately print a test page to the printer in question (Right click the printer, properties, print test page).

This will tell us immediately if it's an issue with the printer service, or with Office.

Also ensure you have the latest updates for Office (While you said you had SP2, it's possible this is a bug fix introduced later).

Are there any entries in the event viewer regarding this? They'd probably be under application for office, and system for the printers.

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