Wanted to throw out an informational post to hopefully save some people some time!
The issue that I encountered is related to users running Windows 7 64-bit trying to print from a 32-bit application.
This started as what I thought was a QuickBooks issue and after too many hours of debugging came back to an error with the splWOW64 Spool Service.
If you are in Firefox you will get an "Error encountered while printing" or in QuickBooks you will get about 5 different Cannot Connect to Printer Errors. You can view the error in the Event Viewer from Administrator Tools. The error is an APP CRASH related to the sqlWOW64 Service.
To fix this error you will need to Manually Restart the Print Spooling Service from Services. To get there go:
Start->Right Click on Computer-> Manage
After you have restarted the service (or you can restart the computer) go to your Devices and Printers accessible from the Start Menu. Follow these steps to disable Spooling:
- Right Click on the Printer and Select Printer Properties
- Select the Advanced Tab
- Click the Radio Button next to "Print Directly to Printer" instead of the top option to spool.
If this doesn't resolve the issue and you are using a network printer you may need to update the drivers for the printer manually instead of find
From the Devices and Printers:
- Add a Printer
- Add a Local Printer
- Create New Port -> Select TCP/IP
- Enter in the IP Configuration
- When it asks you to Select a printer hit Windows Update to Update the Printer Drivers
- After this is complete Select your printer.
- When Prompted use the Replace driver option
- Make sure the Settings for the printer are the same as listed above
You will have this type problem if your 32-bit app is now compatible with Windows 7 and Quickbooks is one that has quite a few older version that don't work right with Win 7. Foxpro is another one.
So, the real solution is to ensure you have software on your system that is fully compatible with Windows 7. If your 32-bit software and print drivers are not fully Windows 7 compatible you will, without a doubt, have problems.
I am using Firefox, Thunderbird, and I don't know what all 32-bit software and I have never encountered any problem as you describe in almost 2 years running Win 7 x64.
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If you have an older HP printer, there is a QFE for splwow64.exe. You can determine which file is causing the process corruption as well if you wanted to narrow this down further. I assume you already picked up the QuickBooks fix for this issue as stated in this post
FIX: A legacy HP printer driver may crash when you run a 32-bit application on a computer that is running a 64-bit version of Windows 7 or of Windows Server 2008 R2
Alan Morris Windows Printing Team
Alan, if you're still around on this forum -- how can I obtain this hotfix?
I am having this same problem.
I need this hotfix, and trying the various "contact" options, I am asked to charge $259 to my credit card before I can "chat" or "phone" Microsoft.
The only other option is this forum.
Thanks for any help,
Follow the instructions in the referenced KB:To resolve this problem immediately, contact Microsoft Customer Support Services to obtain the hotfix. For a complete list of Microsoft Customer Support Services telephone numbers and information about support costs, visit the following Microsoft Web site:
This hotfix may not apply if you have SP1 installed. You cannot obtain any hot fix through any of these forums.
Microsoft has recently released a printing hotfix rollup for Windows 7 and 2008 R2, and the 979681 hotfix is included.
You can download it from KB article 2647753 Description of an update rollup for the printing core components in Windows 7 and in Windows Server 2008 R2