Monday, 2 February 2009

Clearing a stalled printer queue / spooler

Every now and again - actually it is every day or two now - when I print to my Epson 4800 via Windows XP the jobs just sit in the printer status queue nearly complete, but nothing ever actually prints. What to do?

This problem only seems to happen with my Epson 4800 printing via a USB port. My networked B&W laser printer has never done it.

I don't get any error messages - it simply sits there doing nothing much. Every subsequent print job joins the queue, but nothing can actually get anything printing.

One solution that often works is to simply reboot the computer, but this does not always work and is, in any case, a pain. If it clears, then all the queued print jobs print one after another, including all the multiple copies I have sent thinking that I must have forgotten to press the print button...

The easiest way I have found to clear the non-printing file is the following:
  1. Go to the DOS command line (via "Run") and type:
    Net stop spooler (see screen shot below)

  2. Navigate your way to the following location:
    For windows XP: Windows\System32\Spool\Printers
    For Windows 2000: Winnt\System32\Spool\Printers

  3. Delete the files in the Printers folder

  4. Go back to the DOS command line and type:
    Net start spooler (see screen shot below)

All should now be well.

I have not found any other way of clearing this problem. Deleting it via the printer status queue or from the printer does not work as you have to clear the spooler itself and neither of these two actions does.

If you do not stop the spooler, clear it and then restart it it will just keep on trying until you reboot, and then it does not always work.

To speed things up I have made a shortcut to the spooler folder on my desktop so that it is easy to find.



Anonymous said...

Have you found a solution to the job hanging in the spooler, or found a better workaround? My Epson 4800 started doing this almost every time -- for no reason I can identify, no system or software changes, etc. -- about 5 days ago, and I can only print by restarting the computer (whereupon the job prints, sometimes requiring a "resume" or "restart" in the OS printer dialog). Like you, I get no error messages, etc. -- the job just sits there.

Churchill Photographer said...


This is the only work around I have found that avoids rebooting - just clear the print spooler and resend the job.

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Unknown said...

Well in this article you can find 3 ways to clear print spooler <-

Unknown said...

I appreciate your blog. I also faced such types of problem in my Epson printer.Recently I faced another problem that was sometimes epson printer printing blank pages.I was so frustrated about that problem.