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My spooler isn't spooling

Question : I keep getting error messages about my "spooler" when I try to print documents from my Windows Vista-operated computer. What does this mean, and what can I do to fix it ?

Answer : Printers need time process the files you want to print, and if the machine isn't quite ready to deliver your document, t stores the data in a place on the hard disk or in its memory called print spooler.

But glitches in this process can cause slow printing times or even error messages about the print spooler.

Restarting the computer often clears things up, as this restarts the print spooler service as well.

You can also stop and restart the spooler without rebooting when you are logged on as the administrator for a Vista-operated PC.

Go to the Start menu to Control Panel and select System and Maintenance. Click on Administrative Tools and double-click on Services.

Because you are going into your system's settings, you may be prompted to type in your administrator password at one or more points along the way.

In the services area, right-click on Printer Spooler and select Properties.

Next, click the general tab and make sure that Automatic is selected next to Startup Type.

If the spooler isn't running, click Start in the Service Status area and click on the OK button.

If the spooler is running, you can stop and restart it here as well to see whether that clears up the problem.

If you have had Vista for a while and have not used the automatic update feature to keep it current with Microsoft's patches, you may want to update your system software by going to the Start menu to All Programs and choosing Windows Update.

An update from August was intended to deal with several Vista issues, including an erratic print spooler, as explained at http://support.microsoft.com/kb/938194.

Out-of-date printer drivers can also cause assorted printing problems, so check the support area of your printer manufacturer's website to make sure that you have the latest drivers for your model and that the driver software is compatible with Vista


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