Computer and Software Support

Troubleshoot printer issues

If you are having an issue with installing a printer or getting other issues dealing with a printer or printer setup on the computer, try this troubleshooter. If a step doesn't apply, skip to next step

  1. Turn computer off
  2. Turn printer off
  3. Disconnect power to printer for 2 minutes
  4. Turn printer back on
  5. Wait one minute
  6. Make sure all connections are good
  7. If your printer has both parallel and USB connectors, only have one of the two connected and not both. The USB is faster.  (most new systems do not have parallel connections)
  8. Turn computer back on
  9. Make sure the printer has ink
  10. Is the printer networked? If so is it connected to the network via computer or router. If it is connected via a computer and the computer is off, the other systems will not see it.
  11. Make sure the dependencies to the print spool is started
  12. Check the manufacturer of the printer to see if there is a newer driver for the printer.
  13. Check the manufacturer for any patches or issues with the printer
  14. "Spooler subsystem app has encountered a problem and needs to close" and "Operation could not be completed" error messages Click here for help with this.
  15. Check Device Manager for bangs.  (A bang is a !, X or ? next to the device. The !, X or ? indicates an issue)
  16. Boot to Safe mode and check for bangs in Device Manager.
  17. Limit MSCONFIG and check for a virus. (Windows 98, ME, and Windows XP) (Be sure to return MSCONFIG to original state after troubleshooting unless you want to leave it that way)
  18. Check hardware Problems for any possible hardware issues that may apply to your issue. 

  19. Check Software Problems for any possible software issues that may apply to your issue. 

  20. Set BIOS to default and clear NVRAM (Check your computer manual or manufacturer for instructions. Each system is different on this)

  21. If you have an error message, do a search for it at and at the knowledge base of
  22. Try the printer on another system to see if it is the printer or the computer.
  23. Look at How to use windows for further information on printers
  24. Use the Software Troubleshooter to further troubleshoot the issue