UNABLE TO PRINT / UNEXPECTED PRINT RESULTS
Description: Two frequent problems encountered in Windows printing involve either being unable to print, or getting unexpected print results. There are many different reasons you may run into these kinds of problems. Below you will find steps to aid in troubleshooting.
Scoping the Issue: Depending on the issue that you are experiencing, the following questions will help to narrow down the issue:
Unable to Print
If the printer is locally attached, what driver is being used?
If the printer is a networked printer, is the problem limited to a single client, a group of clients (for example a specific office or subnet), or all users?
For networked printers, are you able to print to that device from the print server itself?
If the printer is local or networked, are you able to print if you switch to a different driver?
Unexpected Print Results
Is the problem limited to a specific document or file type?
What happens if you use a different driver (applies to both local and networked printers)?
Data Gathering: In all instances, collecting either MPS Reports with the General, Internet and Networking, Business Networks and Server Components diagnostics, or a Performance-oriented MSDT manifest must be done. Additional required data may include the following:
- If you are unable to print to a networked printer, capture a Network trace from the client and the server while reproducing the problem
- For either issue, a Process Monitor log gathered while reproducing the issue (client and server side)
- In the event that you are experiencing unexpected print results, pause the printer, send a print job to the printer that would reproduce the issue. Copy the .SPL and .SHD files for the job from the Windows SPOOL folder and provide them, along with a copy of the original document to Microsoft Product Support
- For unexpected print results, we may ask for a faxed copy of the incorrect output if we are not able to reproduce the issue in-house
Troubleshooting / Resolution: The steps below are some things to review and try:
Unable to Print: In addition to the items listed above in the Scoping and Data Gathering sections:
- Uncheck the “Enable Advanced Printing Features” check box on the Advanced tab of the property sheet of the Printer
- Create a new print queue to the device, and test printing
- Restart the Spooler service
- Update the driver with the latest driver from the OEM
- However, if the driver being used is the latest version from the OEM, you may try switching to a generic in-box driver
Unexpected Print Results: In addition to the items listed above in the Scoping and Data Gathering sections:
- Create a different copy of the document, and attempt to reproduce the problem
- Attempt to reproduce the issue on a different printer
- Microsoft KB Article 93503: Isolating General Printing Problems
- Microsoft KB Article 260142: How to troubleshoot printing problems in Windows 2000 and in Windows Server 2003
- Microsoft KB Article: 826845 – How to troubleshoot print failures in Word 2007 and Word 2003
- Microsoft KB Article 826862: How to troubleshoot printing problems in Word 2007 or in Word 2003
- AskPerf Blog: Basic Printing Architecture