25 Replies Latest reply on Jul 11, 2011 2:38 AM by Janovlk

    Adobe Reader & HP LaserJet 1020 Causes Print Spooler Service to Crash

      The history of this persistent problem is well-documented here: http://forums11.itrc.hp.com/service/forums/bizsupport/questionanswer.do?threadId=1153974& admit=109447626+1221681663477+28353475

      For background, shortly after updating my business' work stations to Windows XP Pro SP3 and subsequently updating Adobe Acrobat Reader to version 8 (and beyond in the hopes the newer version would fix this error), any time someone in our office tries to print a PDF file to our many HP LaserJet 1020 printers, the print spooler service crashes and all printers disappear and must be reinstalled. This problem only occurs when printing PDF documents.

      There appears to be a complete lack of interest by HP to resolve this problem as the problem was initially reported in the HP forum over a year ago. Despite taking steps suggested by those contributing to the forum, I have not been able to resolve this issue, which is a shame considering our business purchased many of these printers for the office and the problems, unfortunately didn't start until after the warranty period expired (go figure).

      I don't know who is responsible, HP, Microsoft, Adobe or all parties, but it sure would be nice if someone, ANYONE could fix this issue. Does anyone have any insight into this? I've really lost faith in HP products over the past year, I feel their reputation isn't what it once was and I'm considering switching to their competition.

        • 1. Re: Adobe Reader & HP LaserJet 1020 Causes Print Spooler Service to Crash
          I have finally fixed this. First follow the instructions on MS Knowledgebase at http://support.microsoft.com/kb/810894 to remove the effects of the problem.
          Uninstall your printer software.
          Uninstall Adobe Reader.
          Restart the computer
          Reinstall your printer software.
          Install Foxit as an alternative to Adobe Reader, the basic version of which is a free download at https://www.foxitsoftware.com/pdf/rd_intro.php
          • 2. Adobe Reader causes Print Spooler to crash

            Unfortunately, I have also had to follow Tim's advice - but I learned the hard way. I originally got an error in Vista Business (ick) saying "Spooler SubSystem App has stopped working." Then no printers would work HP, Epson, or otherwise. Could not get the Spooler to start again without crashing. So I followed similar advice from another source (basically the same instructions as what Tim has linked) that had me completely uninstalling Adobe Reader and all my other printers, deleting printer keys from the registry, deleting from C:/Windows/System32/Spool, and then uninstalling and reinstalling Windows Scan and Print functionality. As long as I don't ever reinstall Adobe Reader (any version - and I've tried as far back as 7), then I'm fine. I've found Foxit to be a good substitute to Reader.


            You'd think Adobe would have a fix for this already. Especially when people are migrating away from their software. I can never install another piece of Adobe software on my system again because it crashes the printers, so my plans for Photoshop or Acrobat are out the window. I've got a system that's only a couple of months old, too. This sucks - big time.


            Other forums - especially those from Windows and Adobe - will tell you it's a problem with your print drivers. I had 3 different newer printers go down and none would function - even when installed alone with the latest and greatest drivers - once Reader was installed. They all work fine on their own when Adobe software is not installed. As soon as Adobe Reader (7,8,or 9 versions) is installed, the print spooler crashes again. I guess I'm sticking with Foxit.

            • 3. Re: Adobe Reader & HP LaserJet 1020 Causes Print Spooler Service to Crash

              I will try the fix.  We are having the same problem ourselves and I have 8 HP 1020 printers to support.  You can work around the problem and clear the printer.


              - Disconnect the USB printer cable from either the printer or the computer.  This will take the printer off line.

              - Restart the print spooler service

              - All printers should reappear

              - Right click on the 1020 printer and choose "Cancel All Documents"  Alternately you can double click on the printer, choose the document and cancel it.

              - Once the document is cleard reconnect the cable and print a test page to insure it is back.


              - If you have Adobe Pro or Standard you can save the document as a JPEG.  Then open the document with your photo viewer and it will print from there.


              HP was not helpful at al and basically said "not our problem"  even though l told them it printed just fine on our OKI network printers.  I like there printers but I am now soured on them as a company.

              • 4. Re: Adobe Reader & HP LaserJet 1020 Causes Print Spooler Service to Crash

                Was having the same problem with a client.  We switched the driver to the HP LaserJet 4 since it's a black and white printer anyway, and it worked.

                • 6. Re: Adobe Reader causes Print Spooler to crash

                  I saw your comment on people migrating away from Adobe and thought I would add my experience.

                  I have a client that has been dealing with this issue on a large scale.  Close to 200 computers running Adobe, most with HP 1022 printers as local printers.  Since Adobe isn't responding to the issue with an update, we (they) are migrating away.  For most users downloading Foxit reader and using that to view and print .PDF's solves the issue.  Shame that Adobe is losing customers over this but when you don't fix the problem there isn't much of a choice.

                  P.S.  After dealing with this this thing from every angle it IS an Adobe issue

                  • 7. Re: Adobe Reader & HP LaserJet 1020 Causes Print Spooler Service to Crash
                    harmonsnipes Level 1

                    Our problem is we heavily use Adobe Pro and Adobe Standard to create documents.  HP was zero help.  But, I hooked up a Dell 1110 printer to one of the computers and the problem disappeared.  So we are replacing the printers using a volume purchase from Dell.  This was less expensive than continuing to waste labor cost on trying to solve the problem of driver/software incompatibility.




                    Harmon Snipes

                    [signature deleted by host]

                    • 8. Re: Adobe Reader & HP LaserJet 1020 Causes Print Spooler Service to Crash

                      I am having the same problem. I dug a bit into it, and it seems that printers create 2 temporary files in the Windows/system

                      32/spool folder (one .SHD file, one .SPL file).


                      Every program that prints that I have tested so far releases these temporary files after the print job is over and they are deleted (presumably by the spooler). Printing with Adobe Reader leaves them in the folder. Next time you start a print job, the spooler crashes.


                      You can fix that by deleting the files and then restart the print spooler (My computer -> manage -> services), but it will crash after the next Adobe print job again.


                      I downloaded Foxit, and without any other changes, it works fine. No crashes. Unambiguously, the problem is with Adobe. Should be fairly easy to fix (probably Adobe just has to release the files so the spooler can delete them).


                      Adobe, get on the ball.

                      • 9. Re: Adobe Reader & HP LaserJet 1020 Causes Print Spooler Service to Crash

                        I have noticed this problem several times as well over the last two years, and with an HP LaserJet 1020 printer (= 1020), which is a reliable medium-volume printer (regrettably it has been discontinued by HP - I have three of them for my home business).


                        When I receive the spooler subsystem app notice (= spooler notice) for the 1020 printer, I am able to print the document with other HP printers (e.g., color printers), so it appears to be segregated to the 1020 printer.


                        I have been following these strings (on Adobe, on Microsoft, on HP websites) with great interestg.  However, I just noted an interesting pattern today.  My business receives many PDF documents, some of which are generated by copiers or scanners (e.g., someone wants me to send me a document, and only a paper copy is available, so the document is fed through a scanner and gets converted to a PDF document by the scanner, and then sent to me as an e-mail attachment).  I use Acrobat extensively and NEVER have a problem printing any Adobe document that I create on my own using Acrobat 9.X - but I can get the spooler notice when I try to print out a document that has been scanned and sent to me (and it's not all scanners, but just some scanners from some remote locations, but pretty reproducible).


                        Also, I note that I religiously accept Acrobat software updates, so my Adobe Version 9.X Acrobat is always up to date.  However, I got to wondering - how does a "stand alone" scanner or copier update its own PDF-making software, if it is not connected to the Internet?  So it makes me wonder if the PDF that's generated by a remote scanner at another location is incompatable with my latest version of Acrobat.


                        So my workaround is to delete and re-install the 1020 driver (...easy), but also to "print" the incoming PDF document as a PDF file (select PDF in the print menu), so the inbound PDF document gets "re-rendered" as a Actobat Version 9.X PDF document.  When I "re-render' the incoming PDF document in this way, it ALWAYS prints on the 1020 printer correctly.  In fact, I can have the two documents side-by-side on the desktop, print the inbound one (guaranteed spooler notice), and then print the "re-rendered" one that I created myself using Acrobat 9.X and it ALWAYS prints correctly on the 1020.


                        So - until someone proves differently, my theories are: (1) scanned document using an older-version PDF maker+Acrobat 9.X+HP 1020 printer = spooler notice and (2) re-rendering scanned documents with Adobe Acrobat 9.X+HP 1020 printer = NO spooler notice.


                        I hope that this helps.  I am not a technical guy, but my job is to recognize patterns, and this is the pattern that I see (which makes sense to me).





                        Jon Rogers

                        • 10. Re: Adobe Reader & HP LaserJet 1020 Causes Print Spooler Service to Crash

                          I think Jon may have put his finger on it. I have a relatively new Gateway computer with Windows 7 and Adobe Reader 9, and an older but until now very trusty and reliable HP Laserjet 1018 printer (not a 1020 but it looks very similar).  Since I got the new computer I've had no problem whatsoever printing pdf files with AR 9... until yesterday when I received as an email attachment a scanned image converted to pdf by email, which I tried to print... and which brought on exactly the problems described in these emails.


                          After several hours messing around with troubleshooters and searching the internet for ideas I gave up and followed the drastic solution of reinstalling Windows and all the application software from scratch (suggested as a last ditch solution by one frustrated user whose comments I had read).  With a completely clean install of everything I reconnected the printer and it worked perfectly - printing emails and MS Office documents.  I then tried printing the email attachment again and immediately had the same problem.


                          I started searching  again for solutions and came across this string.  Since I've had no problem printing pdf documents up to now, and since the problem now appears to be solely with this pdf document, that is a converted scanned image, Jon's observations describe my precursor conditions exactly, so I'm going to try his solution.  If it works I will be very happy (and grateful to Jon for sharing his experience and observation).

                          • 11. Re: Adobe Reader & HP LaserJet 1020 Causes Print Spooler Service to Crash
                            jonmrogersmd01 Level 1

                            I'm (a) really disappointed that Marjon01 had to reinstall Windows OS to fix this, but (b) really pleased that we seem to be coning down on the problem.  When I originally discovered the problem 2 years ago it was with a Dell Inspiron computer with a Vista 32 bit OS, which required reinstallation by Dell remote tech support (what a hassle - 1.5 days of downtime prior to the fix).  However, in the intervening period I have discovered progressively more efficient ways to fix the spooler problem and reduce downtime.  I think that this combination generates corrupt registry keys (which we are told not to fool with, and also to avoid registry cleaners),  but there was no way to efficiently delete and reinstall the printer driver because the printer spooler kept stopping before I could delete the printer driver.  However, I purchased an online application called "Printer Spooler Fix Wizard" for about $29 which deletes the corrupt registry keys and the HP 1020 printer driver simultaneously (sorry, I do not know where I purchased that application, but it enjoys a coveted place on my Start menu!).  This wizard allows you to become functional very quickly and delete the offending document in the printer cache in order to start over again.  Now when this happens, I either (a) convert every incoming PDF to a Adobe 9.X-compatable PDF and then print it on the HP 1020 printer (which is somewhat time-consuming) or (b) if I am feeling lucky, just try to print the PDF on its own without conversion using Adobe 9.X.  If I then get a spooler alert, then I simply run the wizard (as discussed above), reinstall the 1020 driver and then re-render the incoming PDF using Acrobat 9.X. 


                            Here is where it gets potentially really interesting.  I mentioned this problem to a colleague a couple of days ago, and it sounds like he has a problem very similar to this (HP 1018/1020 printer + certain incoming (???scanned PDF) documents = spooler alert).   This indeed may be the root cause.  Sound off everyone, we may be on our way to a definitive solution here - and this occupies a lot of chat on Adobe, Microsoft and HP user groups bulletin boards (and wastes a lot of our time, until we get a definitive solution...).

                            • 12. Re: Adobe Reader & HP LaserJet 1020 Causes Print Spooler Service to Crash

                              Jon - you really do seem to have hit the nail on the head. We generate PDF invoices, reports and other documents - and they all print out fine. PDFs originating from scanners almost always fail to print though.




                              To fix print spooler issues, you don't need to hack around in the registry. This works for me consistently:


                              1. Delete all files from C:\WINDOWS\system32\spool\PRINTERS (there are generally 2 files in there)
                              2. Restart the print spooler service (either via Services or the command line: net start spooler (requires admin privileges))


                              To print scanned documents, either use FoxIt PDF reader or switch to 'Print as Image' in Acrobat Reader / PRO printer properties:


                              1. click on the 'Advanced' button
                              2. select 'Print as Image'


                              Other people mentioned these in previous posts but I thought a summary might help and might save other from wasting days figuring this out.

                              • 13. Re: Adobe Reader & HP LaserJet 1020 Causes Print Spooler Service to Crash
                                Marjon1 Level 1

                                Thanks. Very good. I'm going to print off this string and keep it for future reference. Many thanks to Sherlock Jon for for his excellent observational and deductive skills!

                                • 14. Re: Adobe Reader & HP LaserJet 1020 Causes Print Spooler Service to Crash

                                  I am having the same problem. I have confirmed that the problem is related to using Adobe Reader to print out scanned documents. I am using Windows 7, Adobe X, an HP LaserJet 1018,  and I have scanned documents that were generated in PDF form. When I scan the documents using STANDARD PDF compression, there is no problem printing at all. When I scan the documents using HIGH PDF compression then the problem occurs as discussed in this thread. In my case I am using a Canon Scanner LIDE 35 and CanoScan Toolbox version 4.9. I can only guess that at least in this case, the software used in the CanoScan Toolbox to generate the HIGH compression PDF has some kind of bug or incompatibility with Adobe Reader when it prints, or some kind of incompatibility with the HP printer. I am going to simply use STANDARD compression when I scan documents. If people send you scanned documents, and you have some control over the situation, you might be able to find out if they are using HIGH compression and ask them to use STANDARD, to see if this helps in your case.

                                  • 15. Re: Adobe Reader & HP LaserJet 1020 Causes Print Spooler Service to Crash
                                    Brad Christie

                                    Just thought I would check in with a "we're in the same boat". Hopefully  anyone else who comes across this article will create an adobe account just for the purpose of adding their $0.02 to this issue (We have about 20 computers but it's only happened on a couple thus far). In case it's of any help:


                                    I set my spooler service to restart and this is now what I see in my logs:

                                    The Print Spooler service terminated unexpectedly.  It has done this 437 time(s).  The following corrective action will be taken in 0 milliseconds: Restart the service.


                                    Which consists of an entry in my Application log, too:




                                    Looks like ZSR.dll is the culprit of mine (consistantly). And from the \ProgramData\Microsoft\Windows\WER\ReportQueue\AppCrash_spoolsv.exe_* folder (of which I have PLENTY to chose from):

                                    Sig[0].Name=Application Name
                                    Sig[1].Name=Application Version
                                    Sig[2].Name=Application Timestamp
                                    Sig[3].Name=Fault Module Name
                                    Sig[4].Name=Fault Module Version
                                    Sig[5].Name=Fault Module Timestamp
                                    Sig[6].Name=Exception Code
                                    Sig[7].Name=Exception Offset
                                    DynamicSig[1].Name=OS Version
                                    DynamicSig[2].Name=Locale ID
                                    DynamicSig[22].Name=Additional Information 1
                                    DynamicSig[23].Name=Additional Information 2
                                    DynamicSig[24].Name=Additional Information 3
                                    DynamicSig[25].Name=Additional Information 4
                                    UI[5]=Check online for a solution (recommended)
                                    UI[6]=Check for a solution later (recommended)
                                    UI[8]=Spooler SubSystem App stopped working and was closed
                                    UI[9]=A problem caused the application to stop working correctly. Windows will notify you if a solution is available.
                                    LoadedModule[53]=C:\Windows\WinSxS\amd64_microsoft.windows.common-controls_6595b64144ccf1d f_5.82.7600.16661_none_a44e1fc257f685f6\COMCTL32.dll
                                    FriendlyEventName=Stopped working
                                    AppName=Spooler SubSystem App

                                    In case that's of any help to any of the dev team. The toughest part about combating a bug like this is "can not repro.". My hope is people submit enough information (or maybe adobe can release an update that isolates/catches the crash for submission instead of bombing the spooler (maybe just an uncaught exception somewhere?)) and this will get solved. Wishful thinking is my guess.
                                    • 16. Re: Adobe Reader & HP LaserJet 1020 Causes Print Spooler Service to Crash

                                      I've been having these exact issues for awhile now.. I can't pinpoint if it was when we pushed out XP SP3 or if it was an Acrobat Reader push.. but it's been happeneing for awhile.  We've experienced it with more than just LSJ 1020's too... multiple deskjets and personal LSJ's have had the same error.  We learned early on that you could avoid it by printing to a network printer but some locations are remote and don't have access to a shared printer.  It's pretty sad that so far, the fix noted on the Adobe forums is to load Fox-it reader...  I like Fox-it, don't get me wrong, but as far as corporate standards go, we want to stay with Acrobat Reader, however, we'd like it to function on local and network printers.


                                      The latest idea I read on here was to "print as image".... if that truly is a fix, is there a way to set that in the registry, so I can push it out to all my client machines without having to manually set it?  I searched the registry for "print as image" and "printasimage", I came up empty.

                                      • 17. Re: Adobe Reader & HP LaserJet 1020 Causes Print Spooler Service to Crash

                                        Oh, I have just spent hours on this exact problem.  I have a new HP desktop, windows 7, HP 1022 printer and Lexmark color printer.  Worked fine for last week or so.  For the first time, I needed to have Adobe Reader for a document so I downloaded Adobe Reader X, and started having problems.  Printer spool problem message appeared and my printers disappeared from printer and device (except showed up oddly, in undefined area, not on the printer line)  All of my documents (Word, PDF) said there was no printer installed.  Spent hour online last night with HP support..no solution, unless he sent me the link to the HP Print Diagnostic Utility.  It worked perfectly, fixed the problem (said it was the print spool problem) and quickly reset everythng.  Worked fine until...I tried again to print a scanned PDF document.  Everything fell apart again.  Just re-ran the Diagnostic Utility and it is fixed again.  I uninstalled Adobe X and installed Adobe 9 in hopes that would fix the problem but it didn't.  I am now afraid that everytime I try to print a scanned PDF, I will have to rerun the utility...go to HP website, located it again etc etc.  At least I found a fairly easy solution...if anyone else needs it, it is on the HP support website.


                                        I might try printing to the Lexmark and see if it causes the same problem -- I can't tell from postings whether this is only an HP printer/Adobe problem with scanned documents, but it sounds like scanned documents may be the problem.  Did not have this problem before with my old XP and the same printer.

                                        • 18. Re: Adobe Reader & HP LaserJet 1020 Causes Print Spooler Service to Crash
                                          ss2011 Level 1

                                          I just answered my own question.  At the risk of having to run the utility again, I tried to print the scanned PDF document to

                                          the other printer (Lexmark) and it worked fine.  So the problem is an HP printer/Adobe scanned document problem.  Funny, I asked

                                          the HP tech support person last night if there was a known Adobe/HP problem and he said no....thanks to everyone on this posting.  I think I have my immediate answer.  If I remember to only print scanned PDF's on the Lexmark, I won't have this problem...unless, of course, either HP or Adobe fix this problem.  What I haven't tried yet is to print a regular PDF file (not scanned) to my HP...I guess I should try that next.

                                          • 20. Re: Adobe Reader & HP LaserJet 1020 Causes Print Spooler Service to Crash
                                            Marjon1 Level 1

                                            I just had a recurrence of this problem and was contemplating with dread the only solution that worked for me last time ...  a complete reload of Windows 7 OS and all applications, which took about 8 hours to complete and update.  I went back to this string and noted ss2011's comment about the HP Print Diagnostic utility, which I had not heard of before.  I found it and dowloaded and ran it.  It worked perfectly, and now several reboots later, I still have no problems.  It looks like HP has finally stepped up to the plate with an effective solution to this infuriating problem.

                                            • 21. Re: Adobe Reader & HP LaserJet 1020 Causes Print Spooler Service to Crash

                                              I had this problem again today on the HP Laserjet 1020.  I know that is a very old printer, but I tell you other than this issue arising it prints great still.


                                              Anyway, I read some the posts above and I thought I'd try something.  It worked so I just had to share.


                                              In the printer settings when you print a PDF (as this is the only program that does this) choose the PRINT TO IMAGE option under Advanced settings.  This worked like a charm.


                                              And I'm not sure if it's already posted (sorry I didn't read the whole 3 years worth of posts - Really?!?! Wow anyway)....

                                                   If you get the spooler error you do NOT have to uninstall / reinstall, etc.


                                                   You just need to clean out the print spooler.  To do this see below:


                                              [Windows users]

                                            • Click "start" and go to "Run"
                                            • Type "services.msc" at the prompt which will open the Services window Scroll down the alphabetical list in the right window pane until you come
                                              to the entry with the name "Print Spooler"


                                            • Right-click the Print Spooler, then select "stop". This will stop the computer running the process that holds your print queues.
                                            • Leaving that window open for now, click again on "Start", and then click

                                            • "My Computer" to open a Windows Explorer window.
                                            • We've stopped the queue service, now we just have to clear the jam that is already there. To do this we navigate to the print spool folder which is hiding
                                              within the Windows folders.
                                            • The usual path to the spool folder is C:\WINDOWS\system32\spool\PRINTERS, but yours may be slightly different. Your windows drive may have another name for instance, but this would be uncommon. So click on your Windows drive (usually C), then double-click on the Windows folder, and then find the System32 folder and double-click on that. Windows may warn you that you are about to view system files, but click "View files anyway" message and search out the "spool folder". Within the Spool folder is your Printers folder, and you should open that.
                                            • Delete every file within this folder to empty the jammed print queue (pressing the "ctrl" and "a" keys will select all files and then you can just hit "delete")
                                            • Close the explorer window now that we have emptied the cleared spool files, and return to your Services window. we must re-start the Print spool
                                              service, and do so by right-clicking the Print Spool entry and selecting "Start" from the list. Close the services window and try printing again

                                              REMEMBER to prevent the error from re-occurring - choose to print as image in the advanced printer settings.

                                              • 22. Re: Adobe Reader & HP LaserJet 1020 Causes Print Spooler Service to Crash

                                                RE: Adobe 10 and HP Laserjet 1020

                                                running an old 32 bit P4 at 2.8Mhz on winxp SP3 using Adobe 10.

                                                1) printing as image did not work

                                                2) tried adobe's recommendations from support page to kill nearly every app that loads at startup and try again, still would not print

                                                3) uninstalled Adobe 10 and Air and any other associated Adobe installs (flash)

                                                4) went to www.oldapps.com, downloaded Adobe 9.4... it works great (and faster)

                                                5) also, have not had any printer problems with LJ1020 until Adobe 10....

                                                • 23. Re: Adobe Reader & HP LaserJet 1020 Causes Print Spooler Service to Crash
                                                  michelsmith Level 1



                                                  Go to Start / Run and type in "services.msc" without quotation marks, then press Enter or click OK.


                                                  In the window that opens (Services) look for "Print Spooler" on the right


                                                  Right-click "Print Spooler" and select "Properties".


                                                  Click on the "Recovery" tab and change all 3 drop-down boxes to "Restart The Service".


                                                  Make sure the 2 text boxes underneath say "1" in them.


                                                  Click Ok until you are back at the Services window, close it and you're good to go.


                                                  Go back into the properties of the "Print Spooler" tab and be sure to click Start to restart the Print Spooler service and it will restart the service immediately.


                                                  The Print spooler depends on the Remote Procedure Call (RPC) service. Is this service disabled? Go to services.msc look for RPC. Check state: Automatic


                                                  Get more information to printer spooler error :



                                                  Hope this helps you.

                                                  • 24. Re: Adobe Reader & HP LaserJet 1020 Causes Print Spooler Service to Crash

                                                    RE: Adobe 10 and HP Laserjet 1020

                                                    running an old 32 bit P4 at 2.8Mhz on winxp SP3 using Adobe 10.

                                                    1) printing as image did not work

                                                    2)  tried adobe's recommendations from support page to kill nearly every  app that loads at startup and try again, still would not print

                                                    3) uninstalled Adobe 10 and Air and any other associated Adobe installs (flash)

                                                    4) went to www.oldapps.com, downloaded Adobe 9.4... it works great (and faster)

                                                    5) also, have not had any printer problems with LJ1020 until Adobe 10...



                                                    hi, I use this comment; but before drivers unistall and after this hp laserjet 1020 driver install

                                                    • 25. What solved the problem for me

                                                      I have Win 7 and HP LJ 1020 and we couldn't print over the network.


                                                      On the machine which the "server" for printer go to Printer properties in Devices and printers window. It opens HP LJ 1020 properties windows.

                                                      Go to Ports tab.

                                                      UNcheck Enable bidirectional support.


                                                      It solved our problem.