18 Replies Latest reply on Feb 3, 2015 1:13 AM by jakobkolbye

    Adobe deletes all printers (every printer!!), then can't add printer


      When trying to print one particular file (others are okay), the Adobe pdf printer will hang. When I then go to Devices and Printers, all printers are missing, included non-USB printers (fax, HP 1020, Epson 1280, MS XPS document writer, Quicken PDF Printer). When I try to add a printer, I get the message that Printer Spooler has stopped running and so I cannot add a printer. All attempts to restart the printer spooler fail (the usual stuff in tried per support forums). Naturally, I cannot print from any other application now since there are no longer any printers installed. Restoring to a previous restore point fixes everything until I try to use Adobe to print the particular file again.


      Here's a link to the offending file:



      Upon a restore, all my printers were back so I tried printing the pdf file above again and got the same result a second time. Since I got tired of doing restores, I didn't try a third time.


      My system:

      Win 7 64 bit, updated to latest level

      Adobe Reader updated to last week (minus the most recent update)

      Inter i7 920

      Mainboard MSI X58 Platinum

      BIOS American Megatrends V1.5 (4/20/2009)

      Memory 6144 Mb, triple channel

      Graphics: Radeon HD 4850


      Any idea what's going on???


      Regards, Bob

        • 1. Re: Adobe deletes all printers (every printer!!), then can't add printer
          bob423423 Level 1

          Since there's been no replies, this must be a tough problem. You can Google "Dutchess county fair" to bring up a link to their website. "Schedule of events" is one of the choices in Google. After clicking on that, the offending pdf file link is on the page that next appears. I'm sure the problem is not intentional but I would be interested in anyone explaining what is happening when you try to print the pdf file. I did notice that I get messages from Adobe Acrobat printer that it's "flattening" the pages before printing, whatever that means - then it hangs and I lose all my printers.


          For the time being, I'm not going back to open that pdf file anytime soon. If it's a problem with Acrobat reader, Adobe ought to know about it in case other files could cause the same probelm.



          • 2. Re: Adobe deletes all printers (every printer!!), then can't add printer

            WHAT IS WITH THIS!

            Couple times now this happenned on the bosses PC. He went to print a PDF file he received as a attachment and lost all printers. We could not restore the printers one time, had to get some expert PC help to get them back. Other time, deleted files stuck in printspooler, restarted and got printers back.

            Windows xp


            Now, just happenned to me running windows 7. Adobe 9.3.4 running. Opened the .pdf file just fine, but when I go to print it all my printer devices are gone.

            Rebooted, printer devices reloaded. Opened the .pdf again and bamm! All the printer devices are gone again.


            I had been printing other .pdf documents with no issues. Why is it that certain .pdf files corrupt my system?


            What is wrong with READER??  What/Where is the fix??


            I need to print this document/


            Looking at the prior respopnses, I am probably dreaming thinking I will see a fix here...



            • 3. Re: Adobe deletes all printers (every printer!!), then can't add printer

              This is Craaaazy! This issue has happened other times before...

              One of my user's printers they all disappear when trying to print a PDF sent in  the email, from different people ONLY if that user's local printer is chosen.  nothing can be printed anymore.

              If any other printer were to be used the pdf would go out just fine.



              I have to restart the Print Spooler and really quick (before the Spooler auto shutdown) i bring up that printer properties where i see the print job errored out and try to End it. I keep doing that and eventually  delete the pending job and route the print job to a different printer.


              After  I am able to restart the Print Spooler (which stays on) all printers are back available.


              Tried deleting and reinstalling that user's printer.
              Tried installing all updates for Acrobat.
              Tried reinstalling Adobe Acrobat.



              Any solution to this WOULD greatly be appreciated.

              • 4. Re: Adobe deletes all printers (every printer!!), then can't add printer
                Daaani24 Level 1


                OK, so there it is people:


                OS: Win7 32x
                System: Intel Pentium Dual CPU E2180 @ 2GHZ, 2GB ram
                Printer !!!!: HP LaserJet 1022
                Acrobat Reader version: 9.3.4

                Disabled UAC; Logged on as admin > NO SOLVE

                Tried installing printer driver from manufacturer's website > NO SOLVE: http://h10025.www1.hp.com/ewfrf/wc/softwareCategory?lc=en&dlc=en&cc=us&lang=en &product=439322&

                Deleted all registry entries pertaining to HP LaserJet 1022 > NO SOLVE


                USED a different LOCAL printer (Samsung CLP-310) > SUCCESS; was able to print the .PDF in question with no issues.

                SOLUTION: If the printer you have is a bit old, you have to change it.

                Or you can wait untill Adobe will come out with some fix (who knows how long that may take, if they are even aware of the issue)

                • 5. Re: Adobe deletes all printers (every printer!!), then can't add printer

                  We have over 20 HP 1022 printers. The ones connected to XP machines work okay. The printers connected to W7 64bit have experienced the exact problem described here. Print spooler locks up.  All the printers disappear until the machine or the Print Spooler Service is restarted.


                  We found a work around by selecting Print As Image option under Advanced printer settings. If this box is not checked the Print Spooler crashes.


                  I don't like the "work around" because it is not a solution. We have to expect the 20 or so users to remember to make sure that box is checked before printing.


                  We can't figure out if this is a Win7, Adobe, or HP problem. Regardless of the origin, it sure is frustrating.

                  • 6. Re: Adobe deletes all printers (every printer!!), then can't add printer
                    johnthew Level 1

                    This continues to happen, Win 7 and Win Vista machines. But it only happens with certain pdf files. Most pdf files print just fine, but every once in a while a specific file crashes printing abilities until files are searched out and deleted and print spooler can be retsarted and machine re-booted.

                    The same pdf file will cause the same problem over and over. So there is something different about certain .pdf files.

                    I talked to a creater of a .pdf file giving trouble, and they are doing nothing unusual in creating the file. There are no security settings to lock out copying or printing the file. I dont think the file is bugged, its Reader's recognizing the file that seems to be the problem. It thinks its something else that is not printable.

                    Something tells me the problem is related to Adobe's Flash Player. Dont ask me why, but something there seems to be related in locking out print abilities.

                    Anyway, something with certain versions of created pdf files is very disruptive. Adobe doesnt seem to care about this problem, offers no support what so ever... time to search for alternative software for pdf'ing.

                    hmmmm maybe a career in this stuff... for $100.00 an hour and expenses.. I will come restart your system. over.. and over.. and over.....

                    • 7. Re: Adobe deletes all printers (every printer!!), then can't add printer

                      I've had the same problem, always with pdf files from the Royal Bank of Canada and Canon Canada.  I called

                      RBC's tech support and they said it had to be a problem with my computer.

                        Having read all the responses on this forum, I experimented with a pdf that had been a problem before,

                      printing it on my little HP460 and it printed and didn't

                      delete my printers.  Then I printed the same document on my HP1020 and my printer profiles were deleted (5 of the

                      8 profiles gone, and problems on the remaining 3).  After doing a system restore, I tried checking the Print As Image and it printed and didn't delete my print profiles.  At least now I can work around it - I have to print 2 bank statements every month from RBC and it's been a real hassle forwarding them to my old XP machine and printing them from there.  Thanks everyone for your responses!

                      • 8. Re: Adobe deletes all printers (every printer!!), then can't add printer
                        LinnightL Level 1

                        This is an old thread - and this issue is discussed elsewhere, but the title is still apt.  Most threads on this subject involve HP printers but my experience is printing to a Brother HL-7050


                        Windows XP 32bit - fully up to date
                        Adobe Reader 10.1.4

                        Latest drivers for Brother HL-7050


                        I first experienced the problem over six months ago with an earlier version of Adobe Reader. Since then I have migrated up at every opportunity and also run the Repair feature for Adobe Reader.


                        I look after computers for a small business. They rely on pdfs being generated, after items have been selected, from a particular website. 30% of these pdfs have a print issue. The company hosting the website claim they have 100s of thousands of pdfs being created every year and have never heard of this issue, however the offending pdfs only come from their website. All other pdfs print fine.


                        Searching on the internet didn't provide complete solutions, only displayed many more who were facing the same issue.


                        The problems created:

                        Click print - nothing happens. No other document will now print to any installed printers - local or network.
                        Go to Printers and Faxes folder - there are several and the listings are still displayed. I right click the failed printer to select properties and I am told no printers are installed.
                        Go to Control Panel, Administrative Tools, then Services and turn off Print Spooler
                        Go to Windows/system32/spool/PRINTERS and delete all files

                        Go to Services and turn on Print Spooler

                        Go back to Printers and Faxes folder and all listing of printers are gone. (Don't try to reinstall!!! I learnt by mistake).
                        Reboot PC - Printers are all listed again and functioning.
                        Try to print offending pdf from Adobe Reader again - Go back to step one!!!


                        Work arounds:
                        Use alternative pdf reader - Foxit gets suggested and works just fine - also tries to install a whole lot of unwanted extras. I have read several claims of various nasties packaged with this as well.

                        Use Google Chrome and associate pdfs to open in Chrome. Offending pdf documents print just fine.


                        Something is randomly happening in the creation of these pdf files and it is only Adobe Reader (versions seem irrelevant) that triggers the problem when Print is selected.


                        I have also uninstalled the printers - used a Brother clean-up tool to remove all traces and reinstalled - that didn't work.


                        The business I am referring to is in the health and medical area, losing their printing capabilities is highly inconvenient and potentially life threatening in an emergency.

                        • 9. Re: Adobe deletes all printers (every printer!!), then can't add printer
                          Test Screen Name Most Valuable Participant

                          I have no solution, but it may be worth sharing how I understand things to work.


                          When you print there is a printer driver - a piece of software that becomes part of the system. And there is the application (Adobe Reader in this case). And there is the print spooler, which uses the printer drivers to make printing work.


                          So you have

                          1. The application, which decides to print

                          2. The application makes requests to Windows saying "print this stuff (a square, a line, a picture, a bit of text) to that printer"

                          3. The system (the print spooler, I think) is woken up to say, "here, print this stuff"

                          4. The print driver converts these print requests into the stuff this particular printer understands.

                          5. The print spooler takes the stuff and delivers it to the printer.


                          Now, from what I read, if the print spooler crashes, everything to do with printing is broken. So, all the printers seem to disappear. Rebooting should fix this, unless something is broken at a very low level. Trying to repair it before rebooting probably isn't a good idea.


                          Now, Windows is supposed to be robust. That is, an application is prevented from crashing the system, or bits of it like the print spooler. So, if an application can crash the print spooler, in this model it isn't the application, and it isn't the file; it's a print driver or the system itself. Since print drivers are notoriously buggy, my money is always on them. 


                          Now, we can still have a case where a particular PDF causes a problem. The application (Acrobat) needs to ask the system to print what is in the PDF; the print driver has to convert that. We can imagine that when you try to print, let's say, a particular box in that exact size and colour immediately after some particular kind of thing then the driver crashes. So the file seems to be to blame, but the driver is at fault. Different PDF software will ask to print in a slightly different way or order, so they may not trigger the problem.


                          Here for example is an a problem on Microsoft's web site, where the print spooler will crash for certain HP printers. In this case there is a fix, to stop a print monitor application that is messing things up. http://support.microsoft.com/kb/947477


                          I'd suggest that anyone experiencing a problem like this start by making sure they have the latest print drivers. If that doesn't help it would be useful to everyone to list their exact details especially

                          - their operating system

                          - the specific printer in use when it breaks (we expect all of them to vanish, but only one is at fault)

                          - the exact version number of the driver


                          I hope this is reasonably accurate, and helps people get to grips with this serious problem.

                          • 10. Re: Adobe deletes all printers (every printer!!), then can't add printer
                            LinnightL Level 1

                            The driver I use is from the Brother website appropriate to printer model and operating system
                            http://welcome.solutions.brother.com/bsc/public/us/us/en/dlf/dlf/000000/002500/dlf002537.h tml?reg=us&c=us&lang=en&prod=hl7050_all&type2=1&os=7&flang=4&dlid=dlf002537


                            Microsoft example fails in my case in two areas. The printer is a local printer connected via printer usb port. Their example was referring to Server 2003 and a HP printer.


                            In my case it is not one file randomly causing an issue, it will cause an issue every single time when attempting to print it from Adobe Reader. It will however print perfectly fine via other pdf readers.


                            What is different about the offending pdfs generated at the website? In content absolutely nothing. They all follow the exact same structure. No addition of special characters or use of any graphics. In fact they are entirely text laid out to be printed on formed paper stock. The structure and layout of the pdf content does not alter. Once the selection is made and pdf created the exact same process from the same selection can't be repeated from the user end, so I can't test that.


                            Setting up alternatives and work arounds is easier said than to make work. The message "this site requires Adobe Reader version whatever" just prompts the user to attempt reinstalling Adobe Reader - thus giving the file associations back to Adobe Reader, or "this looks different" I want to use Adobe Reader.


                            I do not know the process, software or setup the hosting website uses to generate their pdfs. I do know their techs will be viewing this thread - hi.

                            • 11. Re: Adobe deletes all printers (every printer!!), then can't add printer
                              Test Screen Name Most Valuable Participant

                              1. Having the right and current driver is a good starting point, but it can still have bugs. It is certainly worth reporting this to Brother, in whose hands a permanent fix most likely resides. Especially if there is a PDF you can share with them that will reliably crash things.


                              2. I never suggested that this particular HP problem was your problem, but showing it as an example of this kind of problem and the kind of solution.


                              3. Here's a Microsoft page for troubleshooting Print Spooler issues:

                              http://blogs.technet.com/b/perfguru/archive/2008/08/06/print-spooler-crash-troubleshooting -steps.aspx. It seems that third party print monitors (i.e. a part of the driver software you install) are a particular area to look at.

                              • 12. Re: Adobe deletes all printers (every printer!!), then can't add printer
                                johnthew Level 1

                                I have a work around or fix for you. I have run into this same problem with a couple different PC's and even different operating systems. There is something in the .pdf generation this is not being interprupted correctly.

                                Delete the print spooler generated files as explained, reboot system, printers should be listed again. Now for the fix.... open a safe pdf document, select print from the drop down menu, on the print menu screen, select advanced button, now look towards the bottom and check the box that says "pring as image". close the window. Now open up your trouble .pdf and print it. Should work fine now.


                                Hope this helps.

                                • 13. Re: Adobe deletes all printers (every printer!!), then can't add printer
                                  LinnightL Level 1

                                  Thanks johnthew - actually your solution will work just fine - my client wanted a one click procedure for these forms - was not going to happen with a multi-drawer printer so I had to install another copy of the print driver where these jobs were directed to a particular drawer (Selecting another printer labelled Online PDF was more straight forward than manually selecting the correct drawer). As that version is used for no other print jobs I can leave it on print as image permanently.

                                  • 14. Re: Adobe deletes all printers (every printer!!), then can't add printer
                                    Izak van Langevelde

                                    I understand this thread is dead by now, but I have exactly the same issue with one specific pdf on Windows 7: printing it removes all printers, adds one dummy printer, stops the spooler service and makes it impossible for me to add printers. I need to properly reproduce this, but on two occasions, I had to restore the system to a previously set restore point, to restore printing.


                                    Is there any recent information on this issue?

                                    • 15. Re: Adobe deletes all printers (every printer!!), then can't add printer
                                      LinnightL Level 1

                                      Open the corrupt file in Google Chrome. It will print just fine. Possibly if you save it out from the Chrome display it should rectify the problem then be able to work in acrobat reader again.

                                      • 16. Re: Adobe deletes all printers (every printer!!), then can't add printer
                                        Izak van Langevelde Level 1

                                        I wouldn't call this a corrupt file, as it is processed correctly by a good variety of software. The issue I would like to see addressed here is that the Windows spooler service crashes when fed certain files, in a way that is not easy to fix by the average user.

                                        • 17. Re: Adobe deletes all printers (every printer!!), then can't add printer
                                          johnthew Level 1

                                          This has worked for me, and several other PCs at work.

                                          Go to windows/system32/spool/printers..... as I recall there are two files there, created on the date of your error. Delete those files in that folder.

                                          Now... Do NOT open the offfending .pdf yet.

                                          - reboot the PC (all printers should be available again.)

                                          - open a known safe .pdf file. One you have printed before without error.

                                          - select print (print options window appears)

                                          - select the 'advanced" button on that window

                                          - towards the bottom, check the box that says "print as image"

                                          print it to see if it works as should, if so... go open and print your offending document.


                                          I dont know why, but using 'print as image' seems to bypass the problem and pdf's seem to print just fine. This hasnt fixed the root cause of the problem, but seems to be a valid work around.

                                          Good luck..

                                          • 18. Re: Adobe deletes all printers (every printer!!), then can't add printer

                                            BINGO !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

                                            Finally, after so many wasted hours here is a solution that Works. My problem with Windows7 and HP1022 solved - for now...................................... :-)

                                            Many thanks