Print drivers need to be reinstalled sporadically


  • Hello! 

    I'm the "printer guy" for my company of around 700 people. Of these 700ish people, a small number (around 10) are having a very strange issue. Occasionally (daily for some, weekly for others), they are unable to print and are forced to reinstall print drivers. Printers are networked and many people connect to a single printer, yet not everyone is affected. We have about 5-6 printers that multiple people print to, yet a fraction of those people have this issue.

    We have 6 print servers across our 3 sites (3x Windows Server 2012, 3x Windows Server 2016). The main printers affected are Toshiba, Lexmark, and HP. However, I do not believe this is a print driver/server issue, as this is also affecting local printers (Dymo label printers connected via USB).

    In most cases (85%), the fix would be for the user to go to their Devices & Printers, right click the printer having issues, go to Printer Properties, and have a message pop up saying "The 'PRINT DRIVER' print driver is not installed on this computer." prompt, and ask them if they want to install the driver now. Clicking yes, and then next a few times, will resolve this problem. The thing is, the print driver isn't uninstalled/removed/altered at all. The driver still shows up in the Print Server Properties GUI and the drivers are still in the registry. 

    In some other cases (15%), we have to completely remove the old driver (stopping print spooler, deleting the driver either in the GUI or registry) before we are able to successfully reinstall the driver. 

    It's as if Windows is forgetting that these drivers have been installed.

    Troubleshooting steps I've done:

    • mapped directly to the printer, bypassing print server
    • changing drivers from exact model to universal drivers, and vice versa
    • creating Windows Server 2016 print servers with new queues 
    • completely wiping all print drivers and starting from scratch

    This all started about Summer of 2017. 

    Any help would be appreciated!

    Friday, March 2, 2018 4:34 PM

All replies

  • With most Win OS,win components needs to be edited for services.Also Win firewall,chk or add print sharing.Also,

    Microsoft has/had a great printer utility called: Print Migrator  although small,it gives great details on printer settings.Also,in run or cmd,type: services.msc  in msc,scroll to printer software/double click,set to auto start,&

    in Recovery tab,reset the software on ability to restart if it fails..

    Friday, March 2, 2018 11:41 PM
  • Hi,

    There is a known issue that the same error pop up when using HP LaserJet 1320 Driver. Please check if you are using this driver. This is a defect in HP drivers when upgrading the printer registry data to the new driver. The driver sets a registry value to 0.

    Compared the registry with the working machine and problematic machine:

    HKEY LOCAL MACHIN\SOTWARE\Microsoft\windows NT \CurrentVersion\print\printers\Queue Name\PrintDriverData

    Changed HPTrayCount to 12 in PrintDriverData, seeing if the problem has been solved.

    In addition, did all the computer running windows 7? Try to make sure they have installed the latest updates.

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    Monday, March 5, 2018 6:40 AM
  • Hi,

    If you have any problems, please feel free to contact me.

    Please remember to mark the replies as answers if they help.
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    Wednesday, March 7, 2018 1:54 AM