Printer Spooler not running


Joe Ventre

I did a dumb thing - thinking that my spoolsv.exe was infected by a virus
(it wasn't) I removed all occurences of spoolsv.exe from my registry. Low
and behold all my printers disappeared. Dummy me did not backup my registry
before editing it. Now when I try to install a printer I get an error that
says the print spooler service is not running. If I try to run spoolsv.exe
nothing happens. I also tried to go to a DOS prompt to run "net start
spooler" but that gives me an error the says the service name is invalid. I
did not delete the spoolsv.exe program so it is still in my
windows/systems32 directory. How can I get this to run and to be able to
re-install my printers.

Alan Morris [MSFT]

First attempt a system restore from a date before the registry edits. If
you do not ahve a restore point, you might be able to use the sc command to
add the service back.

I have never used the command to perform this. You need to get the detail
of the service off a machine with a working spooler.

at a cmd prompt

sc create
Creates a service entry in the registry and Service Database.
sc <server> create [service name] [binPath= ] <option1> <option2>...

NOTE: The option name includes the equal sign.
type= <own|share|interact|kernel|filesys|rec>
(default = own)
start= <boot|system|auto|demand|disabled>
(default = demand)
error= <normal|severe|critical|ignore>
(default = normal)
binPath= <BinaryPathName>
group= <LoadOrderGroup>
tag= <yes|no>
depend= <Dependencies(separated by / (forward slash))>
obj= <AccountName|ObjectName>
(default = LocalSystem)
DisplayName= <display name>
password= <password>

Alan Morris
Windows Printing Team
Search the Microsoft Knowledge Base here:;[ln];kbhowto

This posting is provided "AS IS" with no warranties, and confers no rights.

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