Print Spooler Problems

Although uncommon, users may encounter print spooler/queue stability problems on Windows. Typically this will not be related to Presto but will impact a users ability to print. Problems can range from not being able to print to a specific queue to the whole print server going offline.

Any of the following could be a print spooler stability issue:

  • The print spooler service (spoolsv.exe) crashes. Errors are reported in Windows Event Monitor.
  • The print queues randomly lock up. Difficulty clearing a job.
  • The print spooler service hangs or the entire queue goes down.
  • Generally speaking the behavior seems random but is often tied to a high volume print server.

Where Presto Fits In

Presto queries each queue about it’s capabilities, and submits jobs to a queue on behalf of mobile users. While it might appear that installation of Presto causes a crash or hang in the print spooler, it is far more likely that a bad driver is crashing or hanging as most print spooler crashes are caused by a bad driver/s. Since the process on Windows works as a single process this means that crashing driver will take down not only the current job but the whole spooler. Please use the following steps to enhance performance.

Local Rendering Only

Turn off an option called Advanced Printing Features. This will force jobs to render on the workstation instead of the server. This change can improves stability because if a crash exists in the driver’s rendering code, the issue would be limited to the workstation and one user only. To turn off Advanced printing features, follow the directions outlined here: Disabling Advanced Printing Features

Disable Bidirectional Support

If a particular queue as problematic, consider turning off the port’s bidirectional support as follows:

  • On the print server, Start->Settings->Printers
  • Right-click on the printer and select Properties...
  • Select the Ports Tab
  • Turn off Enable bidirectional support

Print vendors can implement a communication channel outside the supported operating system methods which can be enabled and disabled within the interface provided with the vendor specific code.

This option will turn off features in the driver related to tasks such as printer hardware status reporting. If issues/bugs existing in this area of the driver’s code, stability can improve.

Print Drivers

High quality drivers from known vendors are a must.

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