Windows Explored

Everyday Windows Desktop Support, Advanced Troubleshooting & Other OS Tidbits

Posts Tagged ‘Printing’

Failure Connecting to Printer

Posted by William Diaz on July 9, 2013

I have only seen a handful of these previously and encountered another one recently, so with time permitting I decided to look at it more in-depth. The issue was that on one particular workstation, regardless of the account being used, we were unable to connect to a particular model of printer. Navigating to the printer server share, right-clicking the printer and selecting Connect resulted in the following error: “Connect to Printer. Windows cannot connect to the printer.


The details stated that the “Operation failed with error 0x00000057.” Looking up that status code was of no help, it simply states ERROR_INVALID_PARAMETER.

The error may also present itself as: “Printer driver was not installed. operation could not be completed (error 0x00000057).”


Initial troubleshooting involved deleting the printer and going into the Print Management console and selecting the related print drivers and deleting them. This requires admin permissions and you must stop and start the spooler to unhook any drivers hooked by the spooler process. This does two things, it purges the drivers from C:\Windows\System32\DriverStore\FileRepository and cleans the registry of the printer and print driver references. In this case, this failed to correct the problem.

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Posted in Troubleshooting, Troubleshooting Tools | Tagged: | 1 Comment »

A Failure To Print

Posted by William Diaz on April 16, 2013

We saw a rash of complaints in one of our offices where users were unable to print to any HP printers. They would contact the helpdesk, they would delete the printer and add it back again but the issue kept returning after the initial successful print. The was no error message but the print balloon in the notification area would not indicate a printed job was sent to the printer while at the same time the print icon appeared in the notification area showing 0 pending jobs in the print queue. In the past, I had seen this in isolated instances, and it can be resolved by

  • First removing the printer (or printers if they share the same print driver, .e.g. HP Universal Print Driver)
  • Stopping and restarting the print spooler (CMD > net stop spooler > net start spooler)
  • Opening the Print Management console (Control Panel > Administrative Tools)
  • Opening All Driver
  • Select the driver package for the problem printer > right-click Remove Driver Package. This has the effect of removing the print drivers from the Windows driver file repository (64 bit Windows – C:\Windows\System32\DriverStore\FileRepository) and deleting the registry key that’s holds the various values for the driver package (HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Control\Print\Environments\Windows x64\Drivers\Version-3\HP Universal Printing PCL 5 (v5.4))
  • Reconnecting to the printer. This would download the print drivers from the print server to the file repository and install them locally into C:\Windows\System32\spool\drivers\x64.

To try and determine what was causing this to occur, I asked the local office tech to contact me when he encountered another user with the same issue so I could compare the drivers in spool\driver and the file repository folders on the problem workstation with those on a behaving workstation for the HP universal print driver package but everything looked identical. Next, I compared the registry key of the two workstations and spotted the problem.

On the problem workstation:


On the working workstation:


As a proof of concept, I deleted the data for the Dependent Files value, rebooted the workstation and was able to reproduce the issue. Manually importing the missing registry data then corrected. The other two values affected are Help File and Monitor. The why of why this is happening is not fully known but there is some further discussion about the issue here:


After seeing another rash of this outbreak in another office, I encountered issues trying to remove the HP Universal Printing PCL 5 (v5.4) package from the Print Management console:


Not sure why, but the print spooler hooks one of the print driver files after it restarts. To remove the hook, got to HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Control\Print\Environments\Windows x64\Print Processors\ and delete the key that corresponds to the print driver you are trying to remove, .e.g hpcpp118, stop and restart the print spooler, then remove the driver package from the Print Management Console.



This should be resolved with KB3001232

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The Case of the Locked Domain Account

Posted by William Diaz on November 1, 2011

Account locks normally are not a big deal to troubleshoot. Often times it is a user typing in an incorrect password to the account they are trying to logon to too many times. Other times, it is being caused by expired or incorrect cached credentials being used to authenticate to some network resource. In the latter case, this is a simple matter of going onto the workstation that has been identified as one locking the account and removing the cached credentials.

In Windows XP, this can be done by going to Start > Settings > Control Panel > User Accounts > Advanced (or Manage Passwords for non-admins) > Advanced > Manage Passwords. Alternatively, you can just use the control userpasswords2 command.
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Printing Directory & File Lists In Windows 7

Posted by William Diaz on September 1, 2011

There is no native built-in way (still) in Windows to print a list of files displayed in Windows Explorer from Windows Explorer. For occasional use, though, there is a command line method which utilizes the DIR command and piping the results to a text file. To do this:

  • Open the command shell
  • Navigate to the directory you want to print a list of using the cd\ path command
  • Then use the Dir >listing.txt to pipe the results to a file
  • The file can be found in the directory you where the command was run
  • If access is denied, you will need to run the command shell with elevated rights, even if you are already an administrator

If you have user that is going to need to do this frequently, you can need to create a context menu option, which can be used for any folder, on the desktop or Explorer. If you had done this previously in Windows XP, the method is slightly different, since in Windows 7 you do not have the File Types tab available in the Folder Options menu of Explorer.

There is a Microsoft KB article on how to perform this for both operating systems, but the Windows 7 method does not seem to work as advertised … for me at least. I have modified the bat file so that directory list remains open in Notepad so it can be quickly printed in addition to creating a listing.txt file in %temp%.

The steps for doing this involve: Read the rest of this entry »

Posted in Inside Windows | Tagged: | 1 Comment »

Printing A List Of Outlook Folders

Posted by William Diaz on September 1, 2011

Besides taking screen shots of the Outlook navigation pane, there is no built in way to print or output to a file a list of folders. However, you can work around this by creating a macro in Outlook using the Visual Basic editor.

In Outlook 2010:

  1. Enable the Developer tab by going to the File tab > Customize Ribbon.
  2. Check the Developer option under the right column and click OK.
  3. The Developer tab is now part of the Outlook Ribbon.
  4. Select the Visual Basic button (or ALT+F11).
  5. Right-click the Module folder, then Insert > Module and name it.
  6. Copy and paste the code at the bottom of this post into the VBA Project window
    Import the attached .bas file below by going to File > Import File
  7. Run the macro by clicking the Macro button. There are two options available, ExportFoldernames and ExportFolderNamesSelect:
    The first one exports the currently selected folder and the second one allows you to specify a folder (or the entire mailbox). You can choose to structure or not to structure the output and a text file will be written to the desktop named outlookfolders.txt.

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Posted in Office | Tagged: , | 2 Comments »

Unable to Print or Copy and Paste Web Pages

Posted by William Diaz on September 1, 2011

This issue recently came up after a user could no longer print web pages from a site that previously printed fine. The Print Preview and Print options in Internet Explorer rendered a blank page, except for the header and footer information:
When you encounter this, it is often by design. In IE 8 and IE 9 there is a simple way to check if a web page is has been set to restrict printing. Read the rest of this entry »

Posted in Troubleshooting Tools | Tagged: , | Leave a Comment »

Associating a Crashing Print Driver to a Printer

Posted by William Diaz on May 12, 2011

In Windows XP, if you have Dr Watson set as your post-mortem default debugger (by default it is) it usually does a good job at catching exceptions when the Windows print spooler, spoolersv.exe, crashes*. Most print spooler crashes are the result of a print driver. Finding the problem print driver is a simple matter of going into the drwtsn32.log and finding the thread that contains the FAULT, literally:
A user.dmp is also created in the DrWatson folder. This dump file offers more details and confirms it is a print driver but requires the Windows Debugging Tools to analyze. Resort to the user.dmp if the log is not revealing enough: Read the rest of this entry »

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Outlook, HTML Messages, and Internet Explorer

Posted by William Diaz on December 28, 2010




If you didn’t already know, Outlook 2003 and earlier use IE as its print engine when printing html formatted messages. This means you sometimes need to go to IE to correct problems with emails printing outside of the print margins. These settings are found under File > Page Setup. The defaults are 0.75 on all sides. When coming across issues like this, I often find the margins set to 0.25.

This behavior is not the same for all html formatted messages. Some emails have web content embedded or pasted into them and will have odd page characteristics that cause the message to print outside the margins and may be difficult to correct. Different versions of IE also handle html messages differently.

In Office 2007/2010, html messages in Outlook no longer rely on IE and now use a MS Office html as the printing engine.

Posted in Inside Windows, Troubleshooting | Tagged: , , | Leave a Comment »

The Case of the Failed PDF Print Jobs

Posted by William Diaz on October 11, 2010

I was asked to provide a second opinion to a case where a user was unable to print to PDF using the BullZip virtual printer. There were no errors of any sort but nothing happened anyway. The escalations team had already gone about deleting and reinstalling the software printer to no avail. The issue was also tested under different user accounts, where the printing also failed, which meant we were dealing with a system problem and not something isolated to the local user profile. i.e. the culprit likely resided in HKLM.

To start, our first clue revealed itself in the properties of the BullZip PDF printer:
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The Email That Refused to Print

Posted by William Diaz on September 17, 2010

From time to time we encounter requests where someone tries to print an email and encounters the following message prompt: Items in this are still loading. Please wait a moment and try again.

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Posted in Troubleshooting | Tagged: , | 1 Comment »