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  1. #1
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    Printer Queue Hangups (XP SP2)

    (Edited by HansV to provide link to post.)

    I've posted this one before (<post:=528,614>post 528,614</post:>), but it has cropped up again at our local senior center where we have a print server connected to several computers in our training lab. It also happens with local printers sometimes. The problem is that a print job hangs up for whatever reasion and, of course, that hangs up all successive print jobs, BUT when cancelling the hung job, it never really gets cleared out of the print queue. It just sits there with the status saying "Deleting", but it never finishes deleting. The only way I have found to clear the queue is to reboot the computer. Is there any command or procedure to use to clear the print queue without going through an entire reboot?

    I tried the MS knowledge base with no luck so far.

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    Re: Printer Queue Hangups (XP SP2)

    Does the method described in <post:=564,266>post 564,266</post:> work for you?

    StuartR

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    Re: Printer Queue Hangups (XP SP2)

    Hi Stuart,

    I'll give it a try at the next opportunity. Sounds like it should work.

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    Re: Printer Queue Hangups (XP SP2)

    I tried the following: Turn printer off, send a document to print. Go to services.msc and stop the spooler and then restart -- the print job was still in the queue!! This seems to be a VERY stubborn problem -- that old print queue doesn't want to give up the ghost under any circumstances short of rebooting!

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    Re: Printer Queue Hangups (XP SP2)

    Chuck,

    Did you attempt to CANCEL the print job, before you stopped and restarted the spooler. That is the problem you said you were trying to solve.

    StuartR

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    Re: Printer Queue Hangups (XP SP2)

    Without cancelling the job I used the services.msc route to empty the queue. Upon returning to look at the still open queue, the job was still there. What I forgot to do was refresh the queue window -- lo and behold the print job was no longer there!

    If I try cancelling the job first, is pauses a few seconds and then cancels the job like it is supposed to -- I don't need to resort to the alternate method.

    However, I have only simulated a hung print job by turning the printer off -- thus, for example, it's not the type of failure where the print job is already printing and it gets hung up for some unknown reason. The next time this happens in the computer lab at the senior center I'll try using services.msc and see what happens.

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    Re: Printer Queue Hangups (XP SP2)

    Since my last reply I've been testing out this whole procedure. From what I can tell, stopping and then restarting the print spooler does not empty out the printe queue! Here is what I found.

    If I print to a printer that's not on, the job sits in the print spooler with the status column saying "Printing", and in the Status Bar it says "1 document(s) in queue."

    Next, I stop the print spooler and then refresh the spooler window. The job disappears, BUT the Status Bar still says "1 document(s) in queue." Interesting, huh?

    Then I Start the spooler up again, refresh the spooler window, and the document returns just as before except the status changes from "Printing" to "Error" now and then. It's enough to drive you batty. I'm sitting here watching the spooler window and it changes to "Error" for about 5 seconds, then returns to "Printing" for about 40 seconds, and it keeps repeating this sequence.

    I wonder if anyone knows where the print spooler queue resides so perhaps one can go there and delete it?

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    Re: Printer Queue Hangups (XP SP2)

    The default locations is %SystemRoot%system32spoolPRINTERS. See sanx.org :: Tweaks for Windows XP, Windows Server 2003 and Windows Vista :: Windows the way you want it for details.

    Joe
    Joe

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    Re: Printer Queue Hangups (XP SP2)

    Here's what I've discovered so far.

    When a print job is sent to the spooler two files are created in C:WINDOWSSYSTEM32SPOOLPRINTERS,
    They are FP000000.SHV and FP00000.SPL. The first is a very small file (o to 2 KB) and the second must be the print image, as it is a much larger fle. If another job is spooled it becomes FP000001... etc.

    Turning the print spooler program off does not empty the print spooler. Those files remain there and they will show up again if the spooler is restarted. You can delete these files, BUT you must do it while the print spooler program is stopped (otherwise the files are being used by the spooler and cannot be deleted).

    So it looks like the procedure to completely clean out the print spooler is to first use services.msc to turn the print spooler off, then delet the files in the print spool folder, then turn the spooler back on -- a rather clumsy procedure, but it works.

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    Re: Printer Queue Hangups (XP SP2)

    Chuck,

    <big>FIRST</big> Cancel the print job from the Documents menu on the printer
    <big>THEN</big> Stop and restart the print spooler service

    Just restarting the print spooler won't cancel the print jobs.

    StuartR

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    Re: Printer Queue Hangups (XP SP2)

    You're right Stuart, EXCEPT when the print job hangs in the queue and when you cancel it, it just stis there saying "Deleting", but it never deletes.

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    Re: Printer Queue Hangups (XP SP2)

    Try turning the printer off first, then deleting the print job
    Andrew Lockton, Chrysalis Design, Melbourne Australia

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    Re: Printer Queue Hangups (XP SP2)

    I mentioned in <!post=this recent post,564,303>this recent post<!/post> that I usually do it the "manual" way which, in a way (I think) is what WyllyWylly was saying in <!post=this post,345,932>this post<!/post> to which you were referred. Since this kind of thing happens so seldom, why don't you try the Windows Explorer, brute force method to see if it works? On MY machine, the spool files are in this directory: C:windowssystem32spoolprinters.

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    Re: Printer Queue Hangups (XP SP2)

    Just a shot in the dark - Do you also close the document (and maybe even the application that it is coming from) that you are trying to print before deleting from the Print Queue or the Print Spool?


    "Peace begins with a smile. "-- Mother Teresa

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    Re: Printer Queue Hangups (XP SP2)

    Thanks to all the suggestions. I'll try them the next opportunity I get to work with a hung print spooler. Unfortunately, I'm working with the computer lab at a local Senior Citizens Center where we have 7 pcs connected to a single print server, and it is often very difficult to sort out which print job from which pc(s) is causing the problem. It looks to me like the best procedure would be to turn off the printer, shut down the print spooler(s), delete all jobs in the print queue(s), reset the print server, then restart the spooler(s). However, that involves an awful ot of time right in the middle of a computer class!

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