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February 4, 2022

The Nemesis of Printing: Print Spooler Crashes

Print servers and the spooler service can be difficult to troubleshoot and cause many different problems across your entire environment. End users are typically helpless when a spooler issue occurs making printing impossible and leaving system administrators to clean up the mess. In this post, we'll discuss print spooler crashes and show just how lost end users can be by this issue.

Do End Users Understand Print Spooler Crashes?

In short, no. End users generally don't understand how print spoolers work or the impact of a spooler crash on printing. Though the above video is humorous it demonstrates the knowledge gap between system administrators and the end users they assist daily. Let's dive into what exactly a print spooler is and the impact of them crashing.

What is a Print Spooler and What Happens When It Crashes?

The print spooler temporarily stores all the print jobs in a server until the printer is ready to complete each job. All incoming traffic is processed and users are permitted to continue working without waiting for each print job to finish. This is a critical feature for fast-paced work environments where multiple employees need to print multiple files at the same time.

Though this storage process seems relatively straightforward, unstable files, such as corrupted PDFs, can cause major print spooler problems. As the software attempts to translate data into a print job, it needs to decompress the file within the spooler and take up processing resources. Typically, this memory usage only causes minor delays — but when the file is corrupted, it continues to take up megabytes for processing until it overwhelms the server and causes a crash. The typical at-home solution to this problem is a system restart. However, when a server crash occurs in a high-speed environment, even a quick restart can lead to inefficiencies across many workflows.

Being Proactive About to Print Spooler Management

When critical issues are properly consolidated and decentralized to be less impactful on the overall system, you'll see fewer spooler crashes and more efficient printing operations. When crashes do occur, they'll be easier to identify and resolve in a timely manner.

A virtual print driver software is capable of assisting system administrators with the creation of a more reliable printing infrastructure. Virtual driver software hosts all spooling on the terminal and print server, which reduces client-side printing delays, boosts server performance and prevents print spooler crashes. By consolidating unoptimized print servers into fewer, more efficient servers, system administrators regain control over the entire server network. 

To learn more about Tricerat's solutions for print spooler crashes, check out our centralized print management solution today!

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