How to Fix
"Spooler Subsystem App has encountered a problem and needs to close"
Error

If you are using Windows XP, you may unfortunately encounter the following error when trying to use or add a printer.
"Spooler Subsystem App has encountered
a problem and needs to close."

I encountered the error when trying to install an HP Laserjet 1015 printer on a customer's computer. The HP installation CD would install to the point of plugging in the USB cable for the printer into the computer and then invariably the message shown above would pop onto the screen. When I would click OK, the printer installer would proceed to uninstall everything it just loaded and no printer would show up in the Printers Control Panel.

Since this was the customer's only printer, it needed to be installed no matter what. So I proceeded to try Microsoft's solution to the problem (shown below), however 3 hours later I still was no closer to installing the printer.

I also tried running the System File Checker by following the instructions below:

1) Click on Start, Run
2) Type in the following command and press Enter

SFC /SCANNOW

3) The System File Checker will run and check your system for missing or corrupted files, if it finds a corrupted file, it will ask for your Windows CD-ROM to install a new copy of the file to your hard drive.

Unfortunately, it my case, this didnt solve the problem either.

The key to the whole problem was the fact the customer had just upgraded from Windows 98 to Windows XP. The printer worked fine under Windows 98, but would not install under Windows XP.

Simple Solution for HP Laserjet 1010/1012/1015 printer

Ultimately, because the system was recently upgraded to Windows XP, the problem was older HP .dll files still on the system causing the spooler problem.

1) Open My Computer, Tools, Folder Options, View and click on the option for

Show hidden files and folders

2) Now, uncheck the option for "hide extensions for known file types" and click OK

3) Click on Start, Search and in the left column choose All Files and Folders

4) In the "all or part of the filename" box type the following

hpzimn12.dll

5) Make sure the "look in" box has Drive C selected (or whichever drive windows is installed on)

6) Click on Search

7) If the "hpzimn12.dll" file is found, right-click on it and Delete it.

8) Reboot your computer and run the installation CD that came with your printer.

Hopefully this will solve your problem, if it doesnt proceed with the following instructions from Microsoft's Knowledge Base about resolving this issue.

Whenever a computer system is upgraded from one OS to another, older driver files for devices may still be active in the system and cause problems. This was the case in this instance.


Microsoft's Solution from KB article 324757

To resolve this issue, follow these steps:

1. If the Lexmark print service is installed on your computer, turn off the LexBce Server service. To do this, follow these steps:

a. Click Start, right-click My Computer, and then click Manage.
b. Expand Services and Applications, and then click Services.
c. In the right pane, right-click LexBce Server, and then click Properties.
d. On the General tab, in the Startup type list, click Disabled.
e. Under Service status, click Stop, and then click OK.
f. Right-click the Print Spooler service, and then click Start (if it is stopped).
g. Quit Computer Management.

2. Test whether the issue is resolved. If the issue is resolved, you do not have to follow the remaining steps. If the issue is not resolved, go to step 3, and then follow the remaining steps.

3. Start the computer in Safe Mode

4. Start Microsoft Windows Explorer, and then delete all the files and the folders in the following two folders (where C: is the drive where you have Windows XP installed):

  • C:\Windows\System32\Spool\Printers
  • C:\Windows\System32\Spool\Drivers\w32x86

5. Start Registry Editor. To do this, click Start, click Run, type regedit in the Open box, and then click OK.

6. Locate and expand the following registry key:

HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Control\Print\Environments\Windows NT x86

View the list of subkeys. There should only be the following subkeys:

  • Drivers
  • Print Processors

7. If there are any subkeys other than the subkeys that are listed in step 6, follow these steps

a. On the File menu, click Export.

b. In the File Name box, type a descriptive name for this key, and then click Save--for example, type WindowsNTx86regkey.

You can use this backup of the HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Control\Print\Environments\Windows NT x86 registry key to restore the key if you experience any issues after you complete this procedure.

c. Delete all the subkeys other than the subkeys that are listed in step 6. To do this, right-click each subkey that is not on the list, and then click Delete. Click Yes when you are prompted to confirm the deletion.

8. Locate and then expand the following registry key:

HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Control\Print\Environments\Windows NT x86\Drivers

The registry entries for the printer drivers that are installed on the computer are stored in the Version-x subkey or subkeys, where x is a number (typically 2 or 3).

9. Expand the Version-x subkey or subkeys, and then delete the printer driver entries. To do this, right-click each printer driver subkey, and then click Delete. Click Yes when you are prompted to confirm the deletion.

10. Locate and then expand the following registry key:
HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Control\Print\Monitors

View the list of subkeys. There should only be the following subkeys for the default print monitors:

  • BJ Language Monitor
  • Local Port
  • PJL Language Monitor
  • Standard TCP/IP Port
  • USB Monitor

11. If there are any subkeys other than the subkeys that are listed in step 10, follow these steps:

a. On the File menu, click Export.

b. In the File Name box, type a descriptive name for this key -- for example, type MonitorsRegkey, and then click Save.

You can use this backup of the HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Control\Print\Monitors registry key to restore the key if you experience any issues after you complete this procedure.

c. Delete all the subkeys other than the subkeys that are listed in step 10. To do this, right-click each subkey that is not on the list, and then click Delete. Click Yes when you are prompted to confirm the deletion.

12. If you have a local printer attached, disconnect the printer cable from the computer, and then restart the computer.

13. Verify that the Print Spooler service is running. To do this, follow these steps:

a. Click Start, right-click My Computer, and then click Manage.
b. Expand Services and Applications, and then click Services.
c. In the right pane, right-click the Print Spooler service, and then click Start (if it is stopped).
d. Quit Computer Management.

14. If you have a local printer attached, reconnect the printer cable to the computer, add the printer that you want, and then try to print a test page. To add your printer, follow these steps:

a. Click Start, and then click Printers and Faxes.
b. Click Add a printer.
The Add Printer Wizard starts.
c. Follow the instructions in the Add Printer Wizard to install the printer that you want.

Written by Mark Hasting


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