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It crashes within around 5 seconds of launching on a Windows Vista x64 box (patches current). No changes to the machine recently, just suddenly started happening in the middle of a bunch of prints. Obviously unable to print (or even see the printers in the control panel) once it's crashed. It just throws a generic error about needing to stop, nothing useful gets logged (at least not that I've found). Reboot doesn't change anything. Has anyone else run across this and found a way to fix it?

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up vote 3 down vote accepted

I've seen something similar happen when there's a corrupt print job in one of your queues have a look in C:\WINDOWS\System32\spool\PRINTERS and delete any files that are in there then try restarting the print server.

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It sound like a corrupt printer driver. I would suggest removing the printer completely, rebooting and then seeing if the spooler stays running. Then re-install the printer with a generic driver, not the original, and see if that works.

The spooler is fairly straight forward, and apart from drivers not much else can crash it.

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To add to Diago's suggestion, the drivers can be found here:

C:\windows\system32\spool\drivers

You will want to delete the ones in the x64 and w32x86 folders. Using a 32-bit driver on a 64-bit system can cause a lot of headaches but a 64-bit driver could easily be at fault for this. After rebooting, if the crashing stops, reinstall your printer drivers 1 at a time so you can pinpoint the problem if it happens again.

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