06-26-2013 01:00 AM
I found a solution today that I would like to share. My problem was that my print spooler stopped every time I tried to open printer properties or tried to print, and if I was not trying to do either of these, it would only stay on for 20 seconds, regardless. I tried all of the widely published solutions, no joy, and then spent three and a half hours on line with tech support, with the "final resolution" being that I had to reinstall Windows 8. I did so, and it took 13 hours to back up and restore all my data files, but as soon as my printers were installed again, the problem began anew.
What I finally worked out was that it was a driver conflict. There is a folder in the system directory, C:\Windows\System32\spool\drivers\x64, which contains driver files for all of your printers for the 64-bit system.
I renamed this folder, restarted the computer, and my spooler immediately stopped crashing. Now that the spooler was running, I still could not print as I had no drivers. The machine, in the meantime, had created a new x64 folder and put one basic set of drivers in it.
I then re-added one driver folder at a time back from the re-named folder to the x64 folder, and after each re-add attempted to print (using file/print - not a one-click shortcut, so that I could watch the printer dialogue). I kept the task manager/services window open while doing this, watching to ensure the spooler remained running. If it STOPPED, that meant I had re-added the problem driver or driver folder. Hence, I would know that this is where the problem was. Put that folder back in the renamed file, and boom - restart the spooler and it stays running again. If the printer I was trying to print to would not show an image of the document I was printing in the print dialogue, or let me set properties, select page(s) to print, etc., then its X64 driver was not in the x64 folder yet.
I continued this until all of my essential printer drivers were in the x64 folder, and only the problem driver(s) remained in the renamed folder.
The hardware in question was:
HP H8-1414 Envy with Win 8 X64 Home Premium
HP Business Inkjet 3000 - using the generic PCL5 driver
HP Officejet 6500 wireless AIO (installed wireless)
HP Laserjet 2300 PCL5 installed on network on another machine
By the time all was said and done, I spent 20 hours troubleshooting this. The actual fix took about 15 minutes.
I hope to save other users some time, if they should run into this same type of driver conflict.
06-27-2013 02:28 PM
Thank you for participating in the HP Consumer Support Forums. Your response is very detailed and I appreciate your sharing this experience for others to try using to fix this type of issue if it comes up.
I have provided a KUDOS on your post as a way of saying THANKS for your participation and great detail.
Have a wonderful day,