Troubleshooting Printers is Torture

Printers should be banned. They are evil, horrible, expensive, satanic things that cause nothing but pain and suffering. They should be tried in the Hague for their crimes against humanity. Printers, simply put, are the worst.

Why am I writing about printers again when I have already complained about printers in the past? Because there are some people out there who aren’t convinced and think that printers are fine, that it’s all the user’s fault that they can’t print stuff out. Those people are wrong. Also, it just took me 45 minutes to print out a single A4 file.

Image by tookapic from Pixabay
A printer

Why could I not print this file? I don’t know. The first time I tried to print it, the file just sat in the Print Queue, as if awaiting further instructions. Clearly it wasn’t waiting for MY instructions, because it sat there, endlessly frozen. I decided to cancel it and try again. The same thing happened.

Now, I’ve printed from Adobe Illustrator files before. Aside from making sure that I have set the scaling correctly, normally I can print things fine. This file however, was not having it. And when files don’t have it, then I convert the files into PDFs and then try and print them off.

Nope, my normal trick of converting to a PDF and printing that was failing me too. I even went and saved a copy on my desktop, in case it was some sort of issue from my hard drive. Nope, still wouldn’t print.

I tried closing everything and opening everything up. Still couldn’t print.

I tried changing USB ports. Maybe there was something wrong there? Nope, made no difference.

Took me about 5 minutes of frustration to look up the error. I eventually determined that the print queue was stuck and I needed to forcibly empty it.

Thankfully, in theory, this task was a simple one. My printer isn’t connected to any networks (I genuinely don’t trust it) so all I had to do was stop the spool service, go to the PRINTERS folder, located in the Windows directory, inside System32, inside a folder called spool. Once there, I had to just delete everything, restart the spool service and I would be able to print stuff again.

Except that two of the files were still stuck and now un-delete-able. Windows bitched and whined that some process was busy using it. Even though I had closed everything and stopped the aforementioned service. Process Explorer, the free utility from Microsoft, didn’t help me solve the problem.

I had to restart into Safe Mode.

And this laptop takes forever to restart. Ugh. And you have to go through a somewhat backwards system to do it as well. You can’t just restart and spam the F8 key until Windows boots up into Safe Mode.

Anyway, I got into Safe Mode, deleted the files, restarted my computer again and… the problem was solved. Most of the 45 minutes was troubleshooting issues and waiting for Windows to restart. All that, for one piece of paper.

But the thing is, I was lucky. I had the INTERNET to help me out. It would have sucked ass not having the internet to help fix my problems. And I was doubly lucky that I sort of worked out the problem myself. I don’t know what CAUSED the issue to happen in the first place, but I managed to fix it. Eventually.

Now imagine that you didn’t have access to the internet and weren’t sure what you were doing?

Actually, don’t imagine it. Because that sort of thing is cruel and evil. Heck, if you were sent to prison and told to troubleshoot a printer without outside assistance, I would consider it a crime against humanity and a breach of the Geneva Convention.

Seriously, printers are evil.


Also known as Doctor Retvik Von Schreibtviel, Medic writes 50% of all the articles on the Daily SPUF. A dedicated Medic main in Team Fortress 2 and an avid speedster in Warframe, Medic has the unique skill of writing 500 words about very little in a very short space of time.

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