This past week I had a client contact me regarding a strange printing problem. It seems that when ever he rebooted or even tried to open up the Windows XP printers screen he would get a message that “The Print Spooler service terminated unexpectedly.” If I looked in the Windows services applet the Print Spooler service was stopped. If I tried to start it, it would start but as soon as I tried to look at the installed printers or try to print from any application it would give me the same error again. In the Windows Event log I found many Event ID 7031 errors.

I did come across a windows kb article that sounded somewhat similar but it didn’t help in my case.

The solution I found was fairly simple:
First I needed to stop the spooler service (which was already stopped and would not start ayway)
Second I opened up a Windows Explorer window and browsed to C:WINDOWSSystem32spoolPRINTERS. I simply deleted all the files in this folder.
Once this was done I could start the print spooler service and everything worked again.
This worked for me on a Windows XP pro machine so I am not sure if it will work for Windows Vista or Windows 7. If anyone tries this on those operating systems please let me know if it worked by posting a comment. Apparently it had to do with an application that sent a print job to the spooler that got corrupted or was not in the correct format.
As usual this may not be the only way to remove the software but “It Fixed It for me”
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